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:


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:


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. ;)



James- if you want really want to force yourself offline, just unplug your MacBook Pro towards the end of your work day and let it drain. Once it gives you the low-battery warning you know it’s time to shut down and it’s there’s no ‘ignore’ button. Sure, you could plug back in, but I’ve found this to be very effective when I’m on an Internet binge and am ignoring the real world/family too much.

Comments are closed.