A small follow-up on the “Simple Pomodoro” post:

It turns out merely showing a notification is far from being enough to control my rhythm of work. In the first few months of having it, that notification has gradually lost its ability to gain my attention, and it has almost became my second nature to disregard the notification without doing anything.

In hindsight, it would be more of a surprise if it remains effective in the long run, because:

Controlling oneself with one’s own self-control is just never going to work. — me, 2019

Therefore, I present you the cronmodoro 2.0:

# Interruptive version:
0,30 8-22 * * * osascript -e "display notification \"Going dark\" with title \"Bravo Six\" sound name \"Submarine\"" && sleep 10 && pmset displaysleepnow
# Non-interruptive version:
#0,30 8-22 * * * osascript -e "display notification \"Remember to Go Dark\" with title \"Bravo Six\" sound name \"Submarine\""
... and 10 seconds later, your monitor goes dark.

I use the second non-interruptive version when I’m attending meetings or interviews, it also acts as a good reminder for me to switch back to the interruptive version.

This has been super effective for me in the past few weeks, not only because it adds a cost to “disregard the reminder and carry on with work” by requiring me to type in my password, but it also tells you that: Your workstation is already locked, so why not just take the chance to:

  • stand up and walk around1
  • look somewhere 20 feet away2
  • adjust desk to standing/sitting mode1
  • and grab another drink?

See also:

  1. Breaking up workplace sitting time with intermittent standing bouts improves fatigue and musculoskeletal discomfort in overweight/obese office workers: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25168375  2

  2. “20-20-20 rule”: https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/nei-for-kids/healthy-vision-tips