I've just discovered Workrave, and was trying to use it along the Pomodoro technique (5 min break every 25 min).

But the concept of 'natural breaks' of Workrave seems to interfere with what I'm trying to achieve. Workrave tries to guess that I'm doing a natural break if I stop using my mouse and keyboard for longer than 5s. It then stops the work timer, and start counting time as if I was doing my break.

Here is a typical example : I've configured a 5 min rest break every 25 min. I start working. 10 min later, I receive a phone call, or start talking with a colleague, or any work-related action that do not need either keyboard nor mouse. Workrave then stops counting my time as work time, and starts its rest timer.

If my phone call is shorter than 5 min, then Workrave will resume its timer where it stopped it. Meaning that my time on the phone is not counted as work time, and so my break time is pushed a few minutes later than it should be. Even worse, if my phone call is longer than 5 min, then Workrave count it as a complete rest break, and when I'll resume working, it will restart its timer completely.

I'm looking for either a way to disable the natural breaks, or increase the 'inactivity time' from 5 s to maybe ~1 min. Or maybe an other angle to look at the natural breaks that might work with the Pomodoro technique (forced 5 min breaks every 25 min).

I'm using Ubuntu 11.10.


2 Answers 2


You can try the 'reading' mode. It disables that feature AFAIK.


Set “inactivity” (idle) to 1′:

$ gsettings set org.workrave.monitor idle 60000

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