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Enhancement: Autopause on inactivity #79

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jockster opened this Issue · 3 comments

2 participants

@jockster

I suggest that autopausing would be added to the app, so that when no mouse movement and/or keyboard typing was detected for a set number of seconds (20?) the current timer is halted and automatically restarted upon new user interaction.

@kamilprusko
Collaborator

Thanks @jockster for posting a request.

I want to give a bigger picture. There are two strategies into making breaks:

  1. with working sessions fixed - ask to start a next session during pause
  2. with working sessions adaptive - ask to take a break after a fixed period of time of activity

The first one is more true to the original pomodoro technique, its purpose is to make a mental distinction between working and having a break - focus on work and then "focus" on a break. The second is more of a typing break and is helpful to relieve physical strain, it's also more of a suggestion then a routine. If we want to keep thing simple and intuitive we need to stick to one of them (and there should be a different app for the other strategy).

Now, there are some problems with auto-pausing:

  • it breaks the idea of time boxing pomodoro technique is based upon, and inactive time would be counted as a work time
  • while reading, watching or working away from desk, user may loose some focus by remembering to use his/her mouse to keep the timer notified about being active
  • basing on above issues it would be less accurate for time management
  • it doesn't honor the routine

I agree that sometimes user needs to shorten a pomodoro - and we should implement that, but auto-pausing violates too many principal ideas to me. Sure there are benefits, but user may do better with a "break timer" that uses the second strategy.

Please don't get upset about my opinion. Feel free to bash me. Maybe others will have other comments on this idea.

@jockster

Thanks for your answer. I fully agree that autopausing shouldn't be default in any case. Making it toggleable however makes a lot of sense to me who mainly develops on my computer and only leaves for phonecalls.

Perhaps auto-stop on inactivity would make more sense, so that the either the current period are reset or that new periods aren't automatically started.

How about that?

@jockster jockster closed this
@jockster jockster reopened this
@kamilprusko
Collaborator

Auto-stop sounds more fun :) But again, it wont be nice if user starts reading, watching or doing stuff off the desk...

Some pomodoro timers keep track of interruptions, usually for a fixed period of time around 15s or 30s. You could use them to register when your mind slips off from work. It's a nice feature if there are stats ...and a bit silly :)

How about this:

  1. user selects "Interrupt session" / "Make an interruption" from the menu (under a Pomodoro Timer toggle), or with a dropdown indicating a current state: "Pomodoro" "Short Pause" "Long Pause" or "Interruption"
  2. a notification pops-up saying to click once ready to resume pomodoro
  3. to resume pomodoro dismiss a notification pop-up or go back to menu and click again the option

There could be a hotkey <Ctrl><Alt>i or <Shift><Ctrl><Alt>p to toggle it.

Interruption is similar to a short pause, so 10~15 minutes of inactivity would reset the long-break cycle. I think pomodoro should get invalidated when that happens, and pop-up another notification.

When user is inactive for a minute during interruption and comes back we could auto-resume - but that's a bit magical and not always expected. More reliable way would be to resume when coming back from a LockScreen or ScreenSaver.

How that sounds?

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