Pomodoro + Workrave = Well-being
I’ve been a big fan of the Pomodoro Technique for almost a year now. No, I don’t go as far as actually having a ticking timer in my office in front of my co-workers, and I don’t necessarily plan the day in advance, but I do try to break up my work in 25-min iterations punctuated by 5-min breaks.
I used to use Ubuntu’s Timer applet to alert me to take a break, but a month ago I found what I now believe to be the perfect complement to the Pomodoro Technique: a nice little application called Workrave.
Workrave will let you define work intervals after which it will, shall we say, strongly encourage you to take a break and propose a couple of physical exercises. I’ve installed Workrave under Ubuntu (I believe it runs also on Windows) and configured it for:
* no micro-breaks
* a 5-min rest break after 25 min of work
* a daily limit of 8 hours (never reached)
Try it out! It’s completely free and quite nice. I can also recommend the Pomodoro Technique Illustrated book from the Pragmatic Programmers, but you might also want to begin with the free “official” Pomodoro book.