Best tools for close-up work break control

This is probably basic bread-and-butter eye health stuff for all you eye gurus but I thought why not start a topic for anyone who hasn’t thought about this yet.

Currently I’m using Workrave ( which is a nice little tool that you can configure to remind you to take breaks and look away from the computer as often as you want for as long as you want. It does get annoying exactly because you would normally not look away that often but that’s the whole point, to interrupt your usual staring contest with your monitor :stuck_out_tongue: and look into the distance.


i am using hourglass:

and my monitor has a built in break reminder. it reminds me every hour.

i find it most practical to use my casio wrist watch with a timer running on it.

besides that… every of this tools needs you to be self disciplined.
you can achieve that with motivation/visualization/NLP and other techinques.
like in the book the 7 habits of highly effective people. Habit 2 is “start with the end in mind”. Or Simon Sinek’s “why”.
i am achievnig self discipline with knowing why i do soemthing i do. Because i visualeze the end results. The end feelings and so on.

every individual needs to find the tools that work for him, but all in all it is that anything you want to achieve and you find steps how to do it. You need to be consistent in doing the steps.


On Mac, I am using the Take A Break application.

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nice tool like google chrome eye reminder

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Been using “Time Out” on Mac. Highly recommended, especially for 20/20/20 style eyeball breaks.

Nicely crafted with plenty of options. Free version does the trick, but being a fan of coders I offered him some support which opens up further neat features within the app.

Iris is also good. And includes blue light filtering technology to adjust with sunrise and sunset times.

Free trial can be found here:

So this isn’t a full screen time break tool, but it has some nice features. Apple has this built in (depending on what version OS you have)… Settings -> Screen Time It has a summary of your screen time for the day broken out into what types of apps you were using & how much time you spent on them as well as if you are above, at or below average. You can schedule downtime (it is just a simple solid block of time) and set app limits for specific apps like games. I use it to have a 1 hour limit on gaming apps. I don’t really use Instagram or other social media very much and the other apps I use I actually don’t do much screen time because it is either listening to Pandora or listening to youtube while doing other stuff(only looking at the screen to select the video I want to listen to). I work on a screen all day, so I’m thinking about using some of these other tools to remind me to take breaks.

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I used this when I had wrist trouble. Very configurable.

I’m using Stretchly;

Also configurable

My work computers are pretty limited for me to install anything that needs registry control. But happened to just find out my work allows for eyeLeo, so giving that a try as it allows for short and long break reminders.