Lazyweb: time management add-on that nags you just a bit?

I want a time management nagger that reminds certain people in this household that it really is time to go to bed. What I really want is something that will shut the computer down at say 10:30pm on weeknights, but which gives a 15 minute warning and then a 5 minute warning to save your work. Maybe it has an option to extend it by 15 minutes – once only.

Anybody run across anything like that?

(If it’s configurable for other types of nags that don’t necessarily involve a shut down, that would be an added bonus e.g. go for that walk, for goodness sake eat something at lunchtime, etc).

Categories: health, parenting, relationships, technology

7 replies

    We were using this a little while ago (until the habits were broken, or replaced with other habits like watching “just one more” time-shifted episode of Fringe). You can set up different start-up and shut-down limits for different users and for different days of the week. There’s a warning and request for password to override. Works well.

  2. Which OS?
    (We are having a weird phase of the opposite issue here. The Lad starts dragging around and saying “I want to go to beeed noooow”. Which was right fabulous when he was doing it at 1945-2000, but the earlier sunsets seem to have dragged his internal bedtime cues back right to around 1830 or even earlier – which means wakeup times that are incompatible with life. So we’re now in the bizarre situation of being parents of a school age kid who are trying to get him to stay awake a bit longer on weeknights. I expect this won’t last.)

  3. One of those annoying answers that presents an alternative, but perhaps try F.lux as well? I don’t know how much of it is scientifically validated but the idea is supposed to be to shift a monitor’s colours away from “HELLO BRAIN IT IS NOON” colour temperature.

  4. And Lauredhel, I’ve occasionally dealt with that problem as an adult, particularly while pregnant, and dealt with it by adopting biphasic sleep for a while, but I can imagine that it would be too hard on a household’s routines to encourage a kid to sleep at sunset and then have any kind of awake period in the night. So… no real suggestions here, but commiserating: I found it annoying enough when it was my body doing it.

  5. If you’ve got Windows XP or later, there’s a way to make your computer do it with no extras. The scheduled job feature can set up a job to run ‘shutdown -s -t 900′, which gives you a 15 minute (900 second) countdown over the top of everything. The way to stop it from happening involves opening a command prompt and running ‘shutdown -a’.
    This isn’t great for a teenager; if they play full screen games on the computer, the timer is likely to interrupt that and make it hard to save. As well, if they’ve got the same level of user account as the one that set up the timer, they can cancel it with that one command. However, if your child has a user-level account and you have an administrator password, windows will lock them out of aborting the shut down.

  6. Thanks, everybody. I haven’t had time to check these out yet, but I really appreciate the recommendations.

  7. Time Out Free from the Mac App Store does good periodic reminder stuff:
    F.lux is definitely based on some science – ISTR seeing articles on and other places about colour temperature and its effects on sleepiness before hearing about F.lux itself. Too lazy to google them right now though. 🙂

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