Raise your hand if you waste too much time online.
Guys, serious question: When did we all get so damn busy?
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.
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.
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 — Eyecessorize.com — 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.