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Disabling breaks on a schedule

I teach math and programming, and — this being my first year using Time Out on the same machine I present from — I find myself needing to disable breaks routinely, lest I be interrupted while presenting to students. (The first time is OK, since I can do an impromptu mini-lecture on the importance taking breaks from coding, but after that it gets old...)

For the time being I have an approximation to a solution: just setting an exclusion for when PowerPoint is frontmost. However, since my classes are on a predictable schedule I'd like to be able to schedule the disabling of breaks. Is there an action I can use to have Time Out disable/enable breaks via an AppleScript tell, or some other equivalent mechanism?

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Disabling breaks on a schedule

The only way is to use the Available option to schedule a start and end time for the break. You can add as many breaks as needed throughout the day, each with their own availablity time range.

Re: Disabling breaks on a schedule

That's unfortunate. My school has three different daily schedules, with all of my work time (in which I want breaks) falling on Mon/Tue/Thu during what is my class time on the other days (in which I *don't* want breaks), so a "one-size-fits-all-days" solution isn't what I'm after.

I'm guessing the closest I can get to an automated solution, then, is either having a launchd job kill the Time Out process at beginning of class and restart it at the end, or setting a reminder to manually pause breaks.

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Disabling breaks on a schedule

Or, as you attempted before, have an App Exclusion for some app that runs only during class. Other than PowerPoint, you could just launch some other app perhaps even one you don't normally use, e.g. TextEdit or Notes, to act as a "class is in session" signal.

Another option could be to assign global shortcuts to manually pause and resume the breaks. (Or pause/resume via the status menu.)

Those aren't automated solutions, but could be workable. The former could be automated via launchd, though.