There’s on thing I am terrible at, and that’s taking regular breaks away from the screen. I love blogging and could spend all day at it. However, that’s not very good for maintaining consistent concentration, your eyesight and your health in general.
Two of the major problems bloggers and I guess anyone else who spends a lot of time in front of a screen, is eye strain. That’s why taking regular breaks is so important. The other problem is that sitting around all day is not good for you. You’re not getting any exercise and that can lead circulation and heart problems.
I found some good advice on the post, ‘Workstation Ergonomics: Take a Break!‘…
Eye breaks – looking at a computer screen for a while causes some changes in how the eyes work, causes you to blink less often, and exposes more of the eye surface to the air. Every 15 minutes you should briefly look away from the screen for a minute or two to a more distant scene, preferably something more that 20 feet away. This lets the muscles inside the eye relax. Also, blink your eyes rapidly for a few seconds. This refreshes the tear film and clears dust from the eye surface.
Rest breaks – every 30 to 60 minutes you should take a brief rest break. During this break stand up, move around and do something else. Go and get a drink of water, soda, tea, coffee or whatever. This allows you to rest and exercise different muscles and you’ll feel less tired
I’m working on my own routine where I take breaks every 60 – 90 minutes. This allows me to get most of a blog post written before I start refining it. Also, I try to go for a long walk around 4pm each weekday just to stretch my legs and to get some fresh air.
There’s a handy Chrome plugin that I use called ‘Timer’. You can find it on the Chrome store here and takes moments to install. You can set the alarm to go off in 10,30, 60 and 90 intervals. If you’re already working in Chrome for blogging, then having an alarm built-in as it were, makes it very handy.
There’s another benefit that I’ve experienced while using Timer, it gives me a deadline to work to. I’ve often found that working to a deadline means I concentrate better and not get distracted by Youtube or Facebook. I know that when the timer has gone off, there’s a treat waiting for me, like a cup of tea or something to nibble on. I’ve found that it also encourages in a different way. If I get my work done and there’s time left, I fill that gap with checking emails or tidying my desk up. The little jobs that need to be done but often left till much later.
It’s important to have a healthy attitude towards your work. It doesn’t matter if your are self-employed or work for a company, you must take care of yourself!