If you work on a computer all day, like I do, you probably are sitting for unhealthily long periods of time. I realized this and started using the Pomodoro technique to remind myself to stand up. Although it’s billed as a productivity strategy, I usually just use it for this simple reminder.
I was searching around for a simple Pomodoro timer and found Tomighty. I recently switched to a different computer and went to download Tomighty again. Then I thought this is way too simple of a need to be using a full-fledged Java application. Here’s a quick and easy “Pomodoro” app for the terminal:
sleep 1500 && gedit -b; sleep 60 && killall gedit
This will sleep for 1500 seconds (25 minutes) and then open a gedit window (gedit is a text editor for Linux that has a nice background command line flag). Then after 60 seconds, it goes away. This is just enough to remind me to stand up and stretch for a minute or so every 25 minutes.
You can also use this command for a less-intrusive version:
sleep 1500 && notify-send break
This would result in a small popup in Ubuntu that says “break”. So you can alter the command anyway you want, but it gets the Pomodoro job done.