Tuesday, February 19, 2013

5 Minute Activities?

Well, I'm trying out some new software today. With all my whingeing about being overwhelmed by social media and wanting to get away from the computer, I still find myself sitting here staring at this glowing screen quite a lot. For better or for worse, keeping up with the things I care about -- friends, family, cooking, local food, my neighborhood, and so on -- requires me to spend a good part of the day on the computer. That's where stuff happens.

I even started volunteering recently at my favorite local farmers market, thinking "farmers, agriculture, commerce, food... surely that will get me out of the house!" But then at the first meeting I attended, we talked about things like outreach, education, research, marketing, event planning... all good things, but guess where it led me? Ha. Yep. Say it with me: back to the computer.

Oh, well. It's all good stuff, so I'm going to stop complaining. Which brings me around to this software I'm trying out: Dejal's Time Out. It lets me set time outs at intervals and lengths that I choose. They fade in and out, with sounds if I want, and can be postponed or skipped if I don't want to lose my train of thought. There are two kinds of time-outs: the "micro" time out, which lasts for a few seconds and serves to remind me to look away from the screen regularly; and the normal time out, which lasts for several minutes and reminds me to get up and move around -- and maybe even shift gears or move onto another activity (if I'm mired in facebook, for example) when the break is over.

I'm working on a list of activities that can be done in about five minutes or less each, so when the break comes and I have to hop up and do something, I won't be at a loss. So far, I've got a good list of stretches and strength training (yoga, pushups, etc), cleaning something, stepping outside, checking the to-do folder, playing with the dog, and working on my French vocabulary. Does anyone have any suggestions for others? My only requirement is that I have to stand up and move around somehow.

Updates: floss! read something quick (magazine article, recipe...)


tut-tut said...

What an interesting concept. Post again on how it works (or not) for you!

Keera Ann Fox said...

I've used Time Out and can't remember why I cut it out. Hmmm…

Your ideas for what to do when you have to take a several minute long break are good. They're what I would do because it's important to actually stop sitting.

Sometimes I reverse it: I take a break from whatever I'm doing to go sit down at the computer. Then it's really important not to take too long a break!

alice said...

Yep! Yesterday was a day like that -- up on my feet most of the day with just short computer breaks -- and today looks to be shaping up to be another. So Friday may be my next shot at giving Time Out another good tryout.