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6 Ways to Survive Your Computer Job

6 Ways to Survive Your Computer Job

Some of the best jobs today unfortunately require being on the computer for long periods of time. And although using technology can be amazing, efficient, and fun, sitting at a desk all day is not easy; and in fact it is very bad for your health.

Here are 6 easy things you can do that can help counteract many of the possible health problems that can result from not taking proper care of yourself, and being stuck at a desk for the duration of your work day.

1- Rest your eyes

This may sound a little silly, but it is important to give your eyes periodic rest. Computer screens are hard on your eyes because of the harsh light they omit, and it can cause strain on your eyes to stare at a screen for too long. Your screen should be at least one arm’s length away from your face. Too much screen time can cause dry eyes, blurred vision, and headaches. This is why you should look away periodically and even close your eyes every once in awhile. You can also try doing some eye exercises. Try to give your eyes a break at least every hour of the work day. Even if you close them for only 5 minutes, it will help your eyes feel better and reduce the amount of eye strain.

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2- Stand up and stretch

This next thing is just common sense. Every half an hour to an hour, you should be able to stand up and walk away from the computer. Stretching your arms and your legs is important whenever you get a chance. Bend over, and touch your toes. Lean down and stretch your calves. Reach up with your arms, shrug your shoulders, and moving your arms in circles. Turn your head from side to side and up and down.  Anything you do to change your body position, is a good thing, especially if you can stretch periodically throughout the day. The worst thing you can do is to stay in a sitting position and remain that way for 8 to 10 hours at a time. A stationary position is bad for your circulation, your muscles, joints, eyes, shoulders, back, neck and even your wrists.

3- Drink plenty of fluids

Here is one mistake that almost everyone makes. It is easy to get caught up in your work and stay at your desk so you can get more accomplished. But, if you have to stay seated for a long time, at least drink plenty of fluids (especially water). Water is essential for keeping your liver working right and allowing your body to release toxins. You need at least 8 to 10 or more full glasses of water every day. It is easy to forget to drink more fluids when you are busy at work, but try to make it a habit. Keep a water bottle handy to remind you to drink more. And, if you are into outdoor workout activities like bike riding or jogging, you will need to drink even more water to compensate for the loss of fluids when you sweat.

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photo by Global Panorama, Flickr

    4- Eat healthy snacks

    Sometimes, it just seems more convenient to grab a sugary snack like a candy bar, a donut, or a piece of cake, because they are so readily available at convenience stores and vending machines.  Not only is the sugar bad for you, but most snacks also are loaded with calories, which increase your risk for excess weight gain. Try to make a conscious effort to keep healthy snacks on hand, both at work and at home.

    Raw fruit and vegetables are the best things you can munch on when you need a snack. Nuts and dried fruits are also good. If you just remember to have snacks that are low in sugar, and avoid things like chips and fried foods, you will be eating a whole lot healthier each day. Also try to avoid eating your lunch at your desk, because then you are tempted even more to avoid exercise and overdo your work efforts (and potentially mentally wear yourself out).

    5- Move around

    The most important thing you can do to prevent health problems from a computer job is to move around. Try to get up and walk every hour, at least, and don’t stay seated for more than 2 hours at a time. Stand up and walk around as much as you can. The more exercise you get, the better you will feel. On longer breaks, you should always try to do some fast walking, or climb up and down the stairs. Remember to stretch before any intense exercise.

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    6- Make time to unwind

    As soon as you get off work, make sure you take a little time to wind down. This is so important, because it can help both your mood and energy level. You need to allow your mind and your body to rest when you need it the most. After you get home from work, just take 15 minutes to a half hour to lay down and close your eyes. You will be amazed at how much better you feel after decompressing. It gives your body time to unwind so you can begin enjoying your time off.  Physical and mental relaxation and rest are extremely important for maintaining good health and ongoing wellness.

    Now, simply make it routine

    If you follow these simple steps, you will feel healthy every day. Rest your eyes, stand up and stretch, drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy snacks, get up and move and make time to unwind. These should be easy things to keep in mind. Try to make them a part of your normal everyday routine. And, when you try to stay healthy, life can be so much better because you will have the energy to do anything you want to do.

    The cost of working long hours

    The consequences of working long hours without a break, or eating too much junk food, and drinking too many sugary drinks, will catch up to you and eventually cause your health to suffer.  Being young does not mean you are foolproof from the effects of bad health habits. If you are a middle aged or older worker, these steps are twice as critical. If you don’t take care of yourself, you will start feeling weak and your immune system is likely to start breaking down, which will make you more susceptible to getting sick.

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    Serious health issues

    Poor health habits can lead to serious long term health issues, like increased risk for the three biggest global killers: heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Sitting for long periods has also been linked to weight gain and shortened life spans.  Many doctors believe that most, if not all serious health problems can be traced back to poor daily habits, such as not getting enough rest, or exercise, or eating a poor diet.

    So remember to follow these simple steps, and you will be on your way to a healthier happier work life, where you can be more productive and feel better each and every day.

    Featured photo credit: Photo by Jim Larrison, Flickr. via flickr.com

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    Karen Bresnahan

    Photographer/Writer/Artist

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    Last Updated on May 25, 2020

    10 Best Task List Apps to Boost Productivity in 2020

    10 Best Task List Apps to Boost Productivity in 2020

    Organizational drag is anything that eats up time and keeps people from getting things done in time. Companies that wish to boost productivity do so by creating more efficient processes.

    This also applies to individuals, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. Whether you work alone or as part of a team, it is important to use the right tools to boost productivity, and having an accessible and easily manageable task list can go a long way.

    Here is a list of the top ten productivity apps that you can use to achieve more.

    1. ToDoist

      ToDoist is an awesome to-do task list app that is used by over 10 million people. To use the app, you just have to write down all the activities that you plan to do. The software will then interpret these activities and categorize the tasks accordingly.

      For instance, if you create a task to go for lunch at noon with a friend, the app will automatically categorize this task as a meeting and will send you a reminder at the right time.

      However, this app is more than a personal activity planner. You can use it to plan activities for the entire team. It is also good for planning entire projects, discussing details about the project, and monitoring the deadlines.

      The basic functionality is free, but you can unlock premium features for $36 or $60 a year for full access.

      Available on iOS and Android

      2. monday.com

        This productivity app lets you manage your workflows and tasks. It is a great tool for creating a task list and helping you have a clear view of your work and the status of each task.

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        The app is a bit similar to a spreadsheet. However, it looks much nicer, and it allows you to toggle between multiple views. It gives you alerts and notifications, and it allows you to attach files as well as communicate with colleagues.

        The features of Monday.com include a task board that can be customized to manage due date, hours spent, task status, and much more. Users can upload and attach files, make comments, mention members of their team, and more. It can also be integrated into Google Drive, Slack, GitHub, Jira, Dropbox, and many other platforms.

        If you have problems setting it up, you can contact the customer via email or phone.

        Available on iOS and Android

        3. CloudApp

          CloudApp is a great app for boosting productivity. It offers highly intuitive communication, which can help you save up to 56 hours a week. Your only problem will be deciding how you can utilize all the extra time.

          Whether you are talking with a customer, colleague, or client, this app has all the features you need. With GIFs, screenshots, and image annotation, you no longer have to write lengthy emails. Instead, you can show people what you want them to do.

          The app has over 3 million users. It has proven quite reliable when it comes to helping users to boost productivity. You can opt for the free version or you can opt for a $9 a month upgrade to access premium features.

          Available on iOS

          4. Quip

            If you are working closely with members of your team, Quip is a great app for team activities. The platform combines spreadsheets, documents, slides, and chat. Its main strength is that it comes with a suite of Live Apps. You can use them to increase the functionality of Quip.

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            Moreover, you will waste less time by being able to streamline the use of various tools. Quip is one of the most adaptable productivity apps in the world.

            There are options to use connected tools to track time, manage work, and much more. Some of the integrations of Quip are Dropbox, Github, Slack, Salesforce, and much more. The app costs just $30 a month for 5 users.

            Available on iOS and Android

            5. Trello

              Trello is an app that makes managing projects an easy task. This is made possible by the app’s Kanban philosophy. It is a visual and intuitive platform.

              Users can break huge tasks into small chunks, making it useful for creating a task list. This is made possible by creating cards for each task. The cards can be organized into different columns, which are representative of various stages of the project. Once a task is complete, a card is moved from one column to the next.

              The app is free but it comes with a premium plan with $9.99 a month.

              Available on iOS and Android

              6. Focus Keeper

                This app is perfect for those who wish to improve their work habits and minimize distractions while maintaining focus on current tasks. Focus Keeper is based on the Pomodoro technique. This method utilizes timeboxing to ensure each task is complete.

                This is more than a task list app. If you wish to understand how you work best, the app delivers a suite of tools that you can use to set up your workday. It tracks your hours, analyzes, checks interruptions, and much more. Some of the integrations of Focus Keeper are Trello, Asana, Todoist, Basecamp, Outlook, Google Keep, and many others.

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                The app costs $2.99 a month for those who wish to access premium features. It is accessible on Linux, iOS, Android, web, macOS, and Windows.

                Available on iOS and Android

                7. Quire

                  This app is designed as a professional and personal to-do task list manager. The app has a very efficient and optimized design due to the developers’ philosophy on visual task management. It allows you to easily get updates and work with your teammates.

                  The app also allows users to customize and choose templates based on their preferences. It is easy to use, but it helps you get things done. The app is currently free.

                  Available on iOS and Android

                  8. Asana

                    This Kanban-style app is quite popular. It helps you visually organize your tasks. With this app, you can set deadlines, tasks, assignees, and visualize your workflow. It is quite popular and used by many people.

                    The app features a sleek clutter-free design and comes with several integrations. As a result, it can be adapted to a wide range of projects. The app costs $9.99 a month.

                    Available on iOS and Android

                    9. Toggl

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                      You can use this simple time tracker to help boost your team’s productivity. It works on different devices across several platforms, and it comes with numerous friendly reminders to ensure that you remember to keep it on. It usually sends you a report once you complete a task to help you make improvements next time.

                      The app is free and those who wish to access premium features pay $9 a month.

                      Available on iOS and Android

                      10. Omni Focus

                        This app is considered the gold standard of the to-do apps. Omni Focus delivers a huge number of features that can be used to sort, prioritize, and plan tasks. It features several ways to categorize tasks such as location, energy needed, and priority.

                        It is only available on Apple devices and it costs $39.99 for the standard package.

                        Available on iOS

                        Summary

                        All the apps above are great for boosting productivity. However, you will need to pick one that best suits your needs. Try a number of them out before you decide to settle on one.

                        More Tools for Productivity

                        Featured photo credit: Bram Naus via unsplash.com

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