Use scheduled Sleep in Mac OS X to unplug yourself

MacenergysavingsAs a full-time content creator, I know I spend way too much time working online. When I forget that, my family is kind enough to remind me I should get out of my home office and leave the Mac alone. Note I said they were “kind enough to remind me”; I never said they’re kind when they remind me. ;)Earlier today we had a post on why do people care so much about computer boot times when Sleep and Hibernate functions exist. Although my on-line habits don’t seem related to computer power management settings, some deep thought tells me they are. After all, if my computer is sleeping, I can’t very well well be online. Maybe I can combine the two concepts to save power for both me and my computer.

In the last year I’ve been using a Mac (has it been that long?) I clearly overlooked a setting in the Energy Saver preferences. Down at the bottom right in the power saving settings is a “Schedule…” option. Lo and behold, an idea formed in my head when I clicked it and saw this:

Schedulesleepwake

Yup, I didn’t realize you could schedule a time to start up your Mac and when to put it to sleep. The Sleep option can also be changed to schedule a Restart or a full Shut-down. Now, I doubt this is what Apple had in mind when they designed this feature, but I figure I can use this to set a more reasonable online schedule in my home office. I’m not a morning person, so I probably won’t set a time to wake the machine up. It sleeps at night just like I do and there’s no point of waking it up if I’m not awake or don’t have a cup of coffee in me.The second option though… that just became very appealing to me. I often promise the family that I’ll “clock out” of my office by 7pm or so. For a few days, I do well with the forced schedule… except it’s not really “forced”; it’s just me hopefully paying attention the clock. Give it a week and before you know it, I’m working until 9 or 10pm again.I just tested the scheduled Sleep option to see what would happen if I was working and the Mac realized it was time to shut down for the day. Hey, every rule can be bent… if I’m in the middle of a post or a podcast, I wouldn’t want the machine to just shut down on me. Luckily, when the test time came and went, that didn’t happen. Instead, I received a 10-minute online stay-of-execution where I could still get work done or cancel the scheduled sleep:

Macsleep_2

If nothing else, the scheduled Sleep could serve as a nice reminder to call it quits. Funny how what seemed like a totally unrelated post can be morphed into something so helpful. Now… the real question is: what time should I schedule Sleep mode for? I just might call it an early day right now. ;)

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