eye docctor equiptment

Do you have the type of job where you stare at a screen ALL DAY LONG? Or even for several hours at at time?

These days, those types of jobs are extremely common. More and more, I find myself switching between a computer screen (or multiple computer screens) a tablet, a smart phone, and then back to the computer again.

This type of work can be extremely hard on our eyes… and when our eyes are strained and tired, we automatically feel more tired and less productive.

Not a great combo if you ask me! 

The 20-20-20 "rule":

I've heard that a general "rule of thumb" for those of us who stare at a screen for long periods of time, is that after every 20 minutes, we should take at least 20 seconds to look at least 20 feet away to let our eyes readjust and not be so focused on a tiny screen right in front of our face.

And since 20 minutes goes by REALLY quickly, I like the idea of setting a timer to remind me every time another 20 minutes is up.

This little reminder not only helps to encourage proper eye health, it also helps me to stay on-track, focused and super productive.

You see, every time the timer goes off, I know that another 20 minutes has passed and I'm able to assess what I accomplished (or didn't accomplish) during that time. Did I cross a few things off my to-do list or did I waste most of that 20 minutes searching the internet, catching up on social media or aimlessly reading emails?

Thankfully, 20 minutes isn't THAT much time; so if I find that I did waste a large portion of my previous 20-minute time period, I can easily get my focus back and make up for lost time in future 20-minute time chunks.

What to do in a 20-second break?

You might think that taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes sounds ridiculously short and that it probably won't do you any good. But besides the benefits it could have on your eye health, a short 20-second break could also have some positive affects on your productivity.

Here are just a FEW things you can do in a 20-second break.

  • Get up and stretch — get the blood flowing and relax your muscles
  • Do a couple lunges in your cubical or office to get your legs working after sitting for so long
  • Take a (very) quick walk around your department, or even just up and down the hallway
  • Go to the bathroom (might take more than 20 seconds, but still a good use of a quick break)
  • Grab a snack
  • Wipe down your desk top
  • File a couple papers or clear out some trash in your office
  • Sit with your eyes closed and focus on what you need/want to accomplish the rest of the day
  • Stare aimlessly out a window and zone out
  • Step outside for a quick breath of fresh air

Seriously, there are so many things you can do in 20 seconds… and if you just want to sit and do nothing, that's OK too!

If you think about it, if you diligently do 20-second breaks every 20 minutes, you'll end up with over 20 mini-breaks over the course of an 8-hour work day.

So set a timer (on your phone or computer) for 20 minutes, see how much work you can accomplish in that time period, and then enjoy a quick little break (both for your eyes and to assess your productivity!)

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