How (and Why) to Spend Less Time Online - Among Other Things

How (and Why) to Spend Less Time Online

Raise your hand if you waste too much time online.

Guys, serious question: When did we all get so damn busy?

the vision council eyewear trends and eye health for 2017

Productivity is a weird thing, isn’t it?

It’s like, we’re always striving to find it, but along the way we tend to lose it as a result.

Remember my trip to New York City a few weeks back? I spent most of it offline, so I’ve had some time to marinate on the notion of this — and I’ve come to realize that the culprit on my end is simply wasting too much time online.

chicago style blogger best practices on working from home
Truthfully, I’m the worst at this. You ever hop over to YouTube to check out one quick tutorial and all of a sudden it’s an hour later and you’re looking at pop music videos from your high school days?

Been there. So been there.

I’ve been making a valiant effort to spend a lot less time online — both for my sanity and, as I’ve come to learn as of late, my health.

I’m going to share some of my trips and tricks for online productivity with you toward the end of this post, but I want to briefly touch on the health portion a bit upfront.

chicago style blogger wearing haute hippie cold shoulder silk blouse

Let’s back up for a moment:

Last month, I was approached by an organization called The Vision Council (an organization dedicated to eye health education). They shared information on eyewear trends and eye health through their website — — and even offered to gift me a pair of frames of my own.

At first glance I wasn’t interested, though, since I don’t wear glasses (and am fortunate to have never needed them, thankfully).

… Or so I thought.

kate young for tura glasses for vanity why you should wear frames to protect your eyes from digital eye strain


Did you know there’s such a thing called blue light? And, um, it’s something you likely look at every day via digital devices — and blue light can contribute digital eye strain.


Digital. Eye. Strain.

These last three words piqued my interest. It definitely sounded like something I either already have or am well on the way to having, considering you can get it from looking at your computer – or any digital screen, for that matter — for just two hours at a time. Guilty.

productivity tips on how to work from home haute hippie off the shoulder white blouse with boyfriend jeans working from home outfit
According to The Vision Council, digital eye strain is that physical discomfort you feel after staring at a screen for too long (two hours, to be exact). Symptoms include dry eyes, neck pain, headache, and so on… Sound familiar?

Research even suggests that exposure to this bitch of a blue light situation is even known to cause sleep disruption… And if you’re not careful, it can cause serious long-term damage to your retina or eyes.

(I should clarify, I’m by no means a vision specialist — like I said, I didn’t even realize I was potentially damaging my eyes on the daily. I just spent a lot of time on their site after being introduced to it.)


Anyway, upon doing a bit of research, I learned that you can (and should) wear frames with specialized lenses if you spend a lot of time looking at your computer and whatnot, so I decided to give a pair of them a try since I do.

Plus, while we’re at it; glasses have this certain aura on the style spectrum that they make people seem well read, and well, smarter. Don’t you think?

The pair I ordered — designed by Kate Young for Tura — have lenses that feature a blue light filter and anti-reflective treatment to ultimately prevent digital eye strain. You can kinda see the blue light filter in the photo below, no?

kate young for tura glasses for lenses for blue light filter

These type of lenses can be incorporated into any pair of frames, so you don’t have to sacrifice style for eye health.


The point in tying these two thoughts together — busyness and eye strain — is in the fact that I mentioned: I’ve been making it a priority to spend less time online. Period.

Be it a phone, my computer, etc. Less.

garance dore book quotes about smiling

With that in mind, here’s five simple but effective time-management tips you can use to start doing the same.

(But regardless, remember to protect your peepers. Let’s face it: technology is always going to be a huge part of our lives, and totally escaping it likely isn’t feasible. Lenses like these will help keep your eyes healthy, despite how much time you spend on your phone, tablet, computer an whatever else society introduces to us in the future. If nothing else, they’re chic, no?)


Four tips to spending less time online

Focus on what’s (actually) important.

Some priorities are your own, and others are given to you by your employer or customers. Both are important. It’s on you to find the balance between which ones matter.

Nothing wrong with distraction in small doses, but otherwise you’ll never be able to get your shit done.

Stop mindless social media’ing.

… Yes, as a verb.

Getting lost on YouTube. Or mindlessly using keyboard shortcuts to get to Facebook — the struggle is real. You’ve got to get your social media’ing under control.

I elaborated more on how I do that in a post I wrote awhile ago, which you can read here.

glasses for people with 20:20 vision to protect against blue light filter

Take a trip to OHIO.

This is a new-to-me term, but OHIO stands for “Only Handle It Once.”

YAS! Game-changing acronym, no? (And not just because I am an Ohio native myself, ha!)

Don’t look at something and then think you’ll come back to it — that’s how missed opportunities and procrastination slip into your life (and inbox). When you see it, either do it, toss it or task it. OHIO it!

Be less available.

Remember on AIM when we’d put up Away Messages? Or say “BRB?” What ever happened?

For most of us, you do not need to be accessible all day of err-day. Ever! In fact, always being online actually numbs you to the experiences and information you could otherwise be absorbing, so step away. Then repeat this list as necessary.

best tips for working from home for bloggers

What are some of your tips and tricks for spending less time online?

*In this post:

Off-the-shoulder blouse: Haute Hippie (also here in black)
Skinny distressed denim: Joe’s Jeans Icon in ‘Blondie’ (sold out, similar on sale here)
Glasses: Kate Young for Tura c/o The Vision Council
Foundation: bareMinerals Complexion Rescue in ‘Beige Natural’
Lip color: NARS satin lip pencil in ‘Rikugien


Iron & Honey Photography

Thanks to The Vision Council for partnering on this post.

As an FYI, it’s recommended that you visit your eyecare provider for an annual eye exam to get your eyes checked, talk about your digital device usage and find a pair of frames with lenses that suit your unique eye health needs.

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Join the Convo:

  • YES to all of this. I noticed last year how bad it had gotten for me so did a few things: quit blogging, quit Twitter, & deleted the Facebook app from my phone. And it’s been really liberating. The blogging was a hobby but it was taking up so much of my time, so with a career & two little kids I just let it go. To not have to worry about photos or content or posting 5 days a week- life changing.

    I’ve never loved Twitter so that one was easy but around the time of inauguration I just had to quit FB. It was too stressful & such a time suck. Deleting it off my phone has been pretty awesome- I only go on to check if my daycare posted any photos or to scroll through maybe once a week.

    • How’s it been not having those apps on your phone? I want to but I worry I’ll need (“need,” ha) them and have to re-download them in a quick pinch.

      I’ve been better about managing my own expectations about quality over quantity blog posting, too. You seem like you’ve got it down, lady. Did you do a post on your tips too? I’d love to read it!

  • cDs

    UGH the blog life. Def mindless media’ing. I need to stahp that.
    x0x0 Caro

    • Yep, me too. My fingers know the keyboard shortcut to Facebook and before you know it I’m 10 minutes deep into my newsfeed for no reason.

      Here’s a tip – don’t auto-save your password on those sites. It actually helps!

  • Dana Mannarino

    The struggle. I recently started getting TERRIBLE migraines – to the point my vision would get spotty and blurry and then my hands go numb….all thanks to staring at a computer for basically 14+ hours a day (thanks to my job + the blog). As much as I love social media and always doing SOMETHING on the computer, I need to pick my battles because the migraines are NO joke. I loved this little reminder today!

    Pink Champagne Problems

    • You know, I used to too and I wonder if that was the culprit… Damn. Glad you are remembering to take care of yourself! Have you ever considered frames like this? They might help!

      Times like these I’m thankful for that dark room where we can go on Do Not Disturb mode : )

      • Dana Mannarino

        I definitely want to look into these and see if they help at all! Most of my migraines happen during work, so I tell my boss I’m crawling under my desk for a bit;)

  • This is a great post! Especially when you are a part of the blogging world, it seems as though the majority of our lives is spent online. I recently started to wear the blue-light reflective glasses myself and they seem to really help!

    • I wanna see a pic! Is there one on your site? (As mentioned above) I can’t believe I’m just now learning about blue light. Better now then when it’s too late, though, right?

  • First of all, those glasses look INSANELY cute on you! They’re worth it just for the style factor alone, but the health benefits are also great, ha!
    Second, I am totally on board with eye health. I have glasses for seeing distances and I used to wear them in lecture halls to see the powerpoint or when I go to the movies. I never thought about wearing them at work sitting at my computer. But I mentioned to my eye doctor that my eyes felt strained at work and he suggested I add the blue light and glare filter to my prescription lenses and I will never go back now! Best decision ever, my eyes so rarely get tired now at work, I can’t live without them.

    • Thanks, to be honest I didn’t get to try them on before I selected the so I was a little nervous about the fit. So interesting RE your doctor, thanks a lot for sharing! Crazy how this information is all new to me.

      xo H

  • Alyssa Loring

    I wish I could step away from the internet sometimes, but I’m in digital media (much like you used to be!), so you know how hard that is!
    Alyssa | feathers and stripes

    • Yep, I know what you mean! Between playlists and music research and DJing (update to come, hehe!) on top of blogging I’m right here with you. Just remember to look away every few minutes (20 feet away, I think they recommend). Try it coupled with The Pomodoro Technique (working on one task for 25 minutes then taking a short break). It helps!

  • Lisa Wilson

    You look fab in those glasses! <3 🙂

  • After daily headaches between my day job and blogging, last summer I got glasses to help with the reflection from a computer screen. They have made things so much better, but I definitely still need to get away from the computer as often as possible. Some nights I just can’t get it together to blog after looking at a screen all day. I’m learning to be okay with that.

    Ellen | A Pop of Pink

    • I feel you girl. Me too, sometimes you just need to unwind with actual words on paper!

  • Love the OHIO step! Great tips, Hallie

    • I have it on a post-it on my computer. Total gamechanger!

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  • Yes to OHIO

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  • Umm I had no idea you were supposed to wear separate glasses for the computer! Note to self, because I definitely am in the camp of spending way too much time in front of mine between work and blogging. Eek! Also, you look adorable. Hope you’re doing well, Hallie!
    Isn’t That Charming.

  • Love the new glasses!

    I am trying my hardest to be less ‘available’ and not responding to everything all the time. I don’t need to respond so quickly or be available – it takes away from other things, etc.

    Beautiful post and great way to bring them together!

    I love it.

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  • This is so interesting! After being at my day job all day sometimes the last thing I want to do is jump on my computer to blog all night. This helps to lessen my guilt. Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend!
    xx Tess | Sequins are the New Black

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