Take a Break from Your Computer

bigstock-Interior-of-Working-place-54242042It’s so easy to get caught in the web: The world wide web.

There are so many tempting ways to completely waste your time. You start by looking for a smoothie recipe, stumble across a news items about food fights, watch a video of the Tomatina, the tomato throwing festival in Spain, then watch another video on the running of the bulls, look up beach resorts in Spain, go on Expedia to see if you can find a cheaper vacation closer to home, visit Facebook to find out where your friend stayed in Mexico, start ranting in the Massage Therapists group, stumble upon a Trunk Monkey video… Before you know it you’ve been online for 90 minutes and you still don’t have your smoothie made, so you grab a glass of wine instead.

Surfing on the web is almost as deadly as turning on the television. You have to be super vigilant to make sure you don’t get caught up in all the shiny objects that are dangled in front of you on the Interwebs.

Hopefully, you’ve been using your kitchen timer for the Pomodoro. Now use it to control your Internet obsession. Put it beside your computer and every time you sit down at that keyboard for any reason, set the timer for 15 minutes.

If you want to continue doing what you’re doing when the timer goes off, feel free to do so. Set the timer again for another 15. At least now you are aware of the time you’re spending instead of wasting it mindlessly.

When you take a break, do a few easy back bends. Then reach up to the sky with your arms going up on the balls of your feet. And let your body roll down let your head and arms hang loosely. Do that a few times to wake your body up, release tension from your muscles, get your circulation flowing and some blood back to your brain.

You may want to consider downloading either the free or paid version of RescueTime to monitor your activity. It will track your online activity and give you a report at the end of the week.  It’s easy to fool yourself, but it’s not so easy to fool a computer. I mentioned this tool last week. If you’ve been using it, what have you found? Are the results surprising? Here were my results from earlier in the challenge.

There are even apps, like StayFocused for the Chrome web browser that just won’t allow you to spend anymore time on a particular site once you’ve reached the time limit you’ve set for yourself. I’m sure there are many more out there as well.

Do you use any specific techniques to remind yourself to take breaks?

I’m also super curious how your TV use, your phone use and your social media use has changed over the month. Has anyone made any big changes? How has that impacted your life. Let me know in the comments below or in the Facebook group.


Eric Brown of BodyworkBiz (an online massage business resource) also owns Thermal Palms, Relax to the Max, World Massage Conference and Massage Therapy Radio. Sign up for the free BodyworkBiz massage marketing newsletter at http://bodyworkbiz.com/newsletter.php


You can now find me on Twitter @ericupsidebrown
Erik Dalton Techniques at Indiana State University | Eric Brown, BodyworkBiz Blog https://t.co/xIoW1VHqfA - 2 years ago

4 thoughts on “Take a Break from Your Computer

  1. Howdy Eric,
    yes I spend way too much time surfing the net. hours and freaking hours on the thing. almost to the point of obsession, oops I’ve admitted it. It’s like a complete addiction really… My name is Paula and I am a computerholic!!
    TV = off except 2 shows that I love each week.
    Social media = don’t look at it all the time but do respond if I see something that is directly sent to me (or something from this challenge)
    Phone = only to respond directly to business inquiries AND early morning prowl through the www.

  2. I have to say that with all the tips shared, I am learning that I don’t waste a lot of time. When I wrote down all that I did in a day, that was the best way to bring that awareness to myself. I don’t spend hardly any time on the computer other than when I need to reply to emails or do a specific search, hardly look at Facebook, etc, don’t use a cell phone, limit my TV to favourite shows that are pre-recorded that I watch on my down time. I think the one tip that I likely will not do is hire someone to do various tasks. I’m a DIY person, which is a bit of a hobby in itself. I like the challenge of learning new things. That’s where my spare time goes, so I have fixed my gutter corners, installed solar motion sensor lights, other projects around the house and yard. I do my own books for my practice (which you have to keep track of anyway if you want to take this to an accountant), but at the end of the year, it only takes me a few minutes to run through all my numbers and plug this into a tax program, so that saves me the cost. I have done my own website and learned how to do that, it was fun actually. Could it be better, sure, but I’m happy with it and clients find me on the net, have had positive comments. I would rather put all that money into my mortgage and retirement fund. If there truly are things I can’t do or don’t like to do (like plumbing), I’ll get someone else to do it for sure. So these last weeks, I have felt that I am in fact fairly efficient with my use of time and devices, etc. What has been useful was the priority comment, but I put a positive spin on it: “I have other priorities right now, so I won’t be able to do…”. Sounds less arrogant than saying “This isn’t a priority”. (If someone said that to me, I’d be insulted, it’s almost like saying that I’m not particularly important, and neither is the thing I want done….) But I am using the priority idea to look at my use of non work time. So last night, I was so tired that all I felt the energy to do was to lie on the couch and watch a couple of TV shows, TV wasn’t my priority, relaxation and down time was. Great tips though, from the beginning. Helps me focus on certain things more specifically, and ask myself where I can be more effective.

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