What tools do you use to help you limit excess screen time?

I need some ideas, please.

I know there are old fashioned timers. There are apps. What else?


I already have a thread on this or do you mean something else?


I recently started using a simple stopwatch, the Windows one. I simply start it when I log in, and then it counts upwards how long I’ve been using the screen continuously.

It has only been a few days, and I got an unexpected result: my productivity has increased! :sweat_smile:

Turns out, I’ve been doing various quenstionably useful little things on the screen, but never been too aware of it. But now, as I’m typing this post, a little “35 minutes and counting” reminds me to finish the post, take a break, take a mental step back, and think about how I’m using my screen time.

Let’s see how this works out over the next weeks as I get more used to it.


It’s called pomodoro method :slight_smile: Essentially it says that you should set fixed (relatively short) interval for works and breaks. And you should strictly held both so if you are at the work time you have to stop working and if you end of your break time your have to start working. The traditional is 25 min work then 5 minutes break and after every 4 cycle you take a longer 15-20 break (but numbers can change as fit, just make sure to fix them). The premise is that if you know you will surely have a break time and if you know you surely have to stop working after some time you are more focused and less likely distract yourself. It also perfectly aligns with eye breaks :slight_smile:
It works surprisingly good in my experience. My problem was with it, that my work setting is a bit more chaotic (phones, someone ask questions, etc.), and after some time I could not bother to always stop and restart it.

More about it:


Hm, interesting… it’s not quite the same though, I sometimes need to concentrate on something beyond what a hard 25 min limit would allow.

The stopwatch has so far made for a pretty good soft limit, because it implicitly asks, “are you really in so deep that it’s more important to keep going than take a break?”

In a lot of cases where I’d just have zombied on before, I now stop and get away from the screen. This spreads out the break times much more effectively, but without disrupting workflow when I really need it. I am also using a 100 min hard limit at the moment, but never reached that so far.

Contrast that to before… I sometimes crossed two or even three hours on frivolous stuff that didn’t need the nonstop screen use at all. Who knows, maybe this addresses the improvement issue I’ve been looking for? Let’s see how things go in the coming weeks!


Huh, sorry, I somehow missed this. Maybe I started my reply before yours and then didn’t see it? :sweat_smile:

Everyone, should we migrate to the other thread? Or merge them? @FMR, unless you want to go in a different direction with this topic, should we merge it with Lajos’s topic? You could just do it if that’s fine.

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:coffee: :coffee: :coffee:

Program your subconsciousness to prompt. I used a break reminder once but got rid of it.

Not really a reliable method

Time Tracker Mini. $20 at Amazon.com. It has gone up since I bought mine (I have two, one for work, and one at home).

It’s for kids, but it has a lot of nice features. It uses a light and sound is optional, and adjustable. The light is green, will show yellow for warning (or not), and goes red when time is up. Nice signaling.

There is NO TICKING. I find those tomato/pomodor/kitchen timers super annoying and distracting.

The Time Tracker Plus, or whatever the big one is called, is like $30 or more. I’m too cheap for that 5#!7. :crazy_face: :crab:

Personally and I mean it’s my opinion, I don’t think screen time matters at all. Again, it’s the distance to blur that matters Always. Depending on the diopters one’s.at, we have to wear differentials accordingly. Looking at wall or a screen or a tree doesn’t matter. For low myopia or non myopic eyes then yes it matters a lot and breaks to focus far away is important.