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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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