Preventing Yourself from Burning Out

Stay recharged and avoid overworking

While we all want to be as productive as possible, working 100% of the time will actually work against us in the long term. This chapter focuses on the importance of taking frequent breaks and how to know if you are overworking.
  1. Knowing When to Take Breaks
  2. Using the Break Timer
  3. Knowing When You Are Overworking

Knowing When to Take Breaks

Studies tell us that taking frequent breaks improves our ability to focus and complete cognitively demanding tasks. This is reasoning behind the Pomodoro technique. However, many people report that they don't use the Pomodoro technique because they often forget to start a timer once they start working. This is because users have to mentally prioritize the technique over their work itself in order to remember every time.
Luckily, you can work in a Pomodoro-like fashion with Rize, but without needing to remember to set a timer. Rize simply detects when you start working and notifies you to take a break after you work a specific amount of time. You can customize this threshold by viewing your Notifications Settings and changing the threshold under "Smart Breaks".
Simply ensure that the toggle is set to "On", and choose a threshold of when to be notified to take breaks. Rize will only notify you if you work for more than this threshold in one sitting.
For example, if you have the threshold set to 45 minutes, you will not receive a notification if you work for 25 minutes, take a break, and then work another 25 minutes. Additionally, Rize will not notify you to take a break if you are actively participating in a meeting.
If you aren't quite ready to take a break when you receive the notification, you can snooze the notification by clicking the "Options" button in the notification and selecting "Snooze".
The snooze time is 5 minutes by default and is customizable in your Notifications Settings. The snooze feature is perfect if you are almost done with a task and just need to take a few minutes to finish up.

Using the Break Timer

Rize auto-detects when you take breaks if you put your computer to sleep, lock your computer screen, or if your computer idles for more than 5 minutes. Using the break timer is strictly optional, but it helps you to take breaks for a minimum amount of time (as in the Pomodoro technique). If you take breaks from work but still want to be on your computer, the break timer is a great way to differentiate that time spent on your timeline.
To use the break timer, simply go to the "Break Timer" section of your dashboard, and click on "Start Break (15 min)".
You can optionally change the duration of the break that you want to start by clicking on the downward-facing arrow inside the same button.
The "Break-to-work ratio" above the button indicates the amount of break time you take relative to the amount of time you work. If you use the Pomodoro technique with four 25-minute sessions, three 5-minute breaks, and one 15-minute break, your break-to-work ratio is approximately 1:2.5. We recommend a break-to-work ratio anywhere from 1:2 to 1:5.

Knowing When You Are Overworking

The total amount of time worked per day is just important to our mental health as the frequency of the breaks we need to take to stay recharged. As work-from-home becomes more of a common practice, we need the tools to help us separate personal time from work time.
Rize tracks your work hours, defined as the aggregation of any time that is considered work as well as any break less than 30 minutes in length. To prevent yourself from overworking, you can set a notification in your Notifications Settings that will alert you when you worked over a specified number of hours for the day.
Your work hours will also appear in the "Work Hours" section of your dashboard along with the percent of your work day utilization. Once the utilization exceeds 100%, you will receive a notification that you worked over the threshold.
If you are finished for the day, but still need to use your computer, you can simply click "Pause Tracking". Depending on your settings, it will automatically start the next day or it will remain paused until you manually resume it. See the Tracking (or Not Tracking) Personal Time section of this guide in the Ensuring Accurate Time Tracking chapter.

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Improving Focus and Minimizing Distractions

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User Guide