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You’re Hurting Your Eyes When You’re Staring At This Screen. Here’s What To Do…

You’re Hurting Your Eyes When You’re Staring At This Screen. Here’s What To Do…

Unless you’re taking the proper steps to protect yourself, you’re hurting your eyes just by reading this article. Indeed, the bluish light pouring out of your screen has several adverse effects. It strains your eyes, keeps you awake at night thanks to its role in inhibiting melatonin productionand increases your risk of acquiring certain diseases. What can you do to protect yourself from the glowing flat panels that seem to dominate our modern lives? Read on …

1. Get your eyes checked to see what damage has already been done.

Of course, you’ll want to see how much damage you’ve already done to your eyes first, or else all of these other precautions won’t really help you much. If your eyes have already been adversely affected by a computer screen, an eye exam might allow your doctor to figure out any issues and fix them before they get worse.

2. Throw out your old CRT displays to reduce flicker.

Your ancient CRT monitor is a thing of the distant past. Not only are they bulky and unsightly, but they are more prone to annoying flickering and are generally lower resolution than LCD displays, both of which are detrimental to your eyes’ health. I suggest checking out a website like newegg.com, as they often have great deals on monitors, and, unlike Amazon, reviews are done mostly by tech geeks so you know what you’re getting is good. Always go with the largest screen with the best resolution you can afford.

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3. Buy matte screens when possible to get rid of screen reflections.

Many displays have reflective surfaces. If you want to protect your eyes, the less glare the better, and that means matte (non-reflective) screens are the way to go. If you do have a reflective screen, try editing its brightness and contrast settings, or closing window shades and turning off lights in your room to ensure that unnecessary photons aren’t being beamed straight into your retinas.

4. Use LCD wipes to clean the grime off your screen.

A dirty screen will only make it harder to see what you need to see, and furthermore it can add to the amount of glare you’re experiencing as well. LCD wipes will get rid of the smudges, dust, and other imperfections that can distract your eyes from the content on the screen.

5. Keep screens at least an arm’s length away to reduce eye strain.

First, do what’s called the “high-five test.” If you can’t extend your arm fully without knocking your screen over, then you’re sitting too close to your screen. Keeping your panel at arm’s length and a bit below eye-level will ensure a proper viewing experience.

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6. Blink to keep your eyes from drying out.

People tend to forget about blinking while entranced by the bright light of an LCD screen. The last thing you need is dry eyes on top of all of the other irritation caused by prolonged computer use.

7. Taking a break gives your eyes a chance to recover.

There’s this thing known as the 20-20-20 Rule. Every 20 minutes, look way for your screen and focus your gaze on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. That will sort of reset your vision, reducing the strain caused by staring at your screen for hours on end.

Additionally, there’s a nifty little web application called “Protect Your Vision” that will allow you to keep track of exactly when you should be resting your eyes, you can find here. Using it should be pretty straightforward, but in case you need further assistance, this page has thorough instructions.

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8. Anti-glare glasses eradicate harmful blue light.

As I type this I’m wearing a pair of anti-glare glasses. They aren’t the most stylish accessories ever, but their yellow-tinged lenses do a great job of cutting down the glare and blue light of most LCD screens. I notice a clear difference when wearing mine; without them, there’s always a slight glow emanating from the edges of screens, with them, that aura disappears and everything appears far more matte, almost e-ink-esque.

9. Alternate fonts reduce blurriness.

Fonts like Times New Roman can be hard to read, what with all of its fancy serif-infused letters. Other fonts, like Arial, are a bit less tiring to read because of their more streamlined, no-frills nature.

10. Filters and dark backgrounds help reduce glare.

White backgrounds create a lot of glare, especially when you’re viewing them in a dark environment. You can use gray or other darker backgrounds instead, or wear the glasses cited in #8. Alternatively, you can buy an anti-glare filter, which is manually placed over your existing screen. These filters will cut down on glare, as their name would suggest, though your image quality might not be as good since you’re basically placing a mesh of sorts over your screen.

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To close, I think the key point to take away here is that you should use your computer in moderation, and when that isn’t possible, try and utilize the above suggestions as best you can. Be sure to take advantage of these tips now so that you can maintain that 20/20 vision in the future!

Featured photo credit: Eye macro/ Micky** via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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