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#35: 20-20-20 Rule

2 min read

I can’t remember which day it was I’ve been starting using the 20-20-20 Rule. If I had already used the Five Minute Journal at that time, I would have known the exact day, because I would have written this event to one of the points of the question “Amazing things that happened today?“. It was around autumn 2016 when I realized after spending some programming session time from morning to the late evening for many days in a row in front of a screen that I felt symptoms of eye strain like eye watering, dry eyes, headaches even a kind of a hurting feeling in the eyes. I started researching what to do about it and came across the App Look Up for Mac which used the 20-20-20 rule. The rule works like this:

You take a 20-second break from looking at a screen every 20 minutes. During the break you focus on an object 20 feet (~6 meters) away, which relaxes the eye muscles.

How to put this rule into practice:

  • Set an alarm for every 20 minutes, as a reminder to take a break
  • Download an app which follows the 20-20-20 rule. Look Up for Mac seems not to be available anymore. So here for example eyeCare
  • Look out a window during the 20-second break. Try focusing on a tree or another object on the street for example.

Since I use this rule while in front of a screen for hours I have no problems anymore with eye strain. Maybe the 20-20-20 rule will help you too.