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How to

Take a Forced Break

Online Fatigue

Many people spend a major portion of their day online and fatigue is inevitable if a break is not taken. We always intend on stopping, don’t we? We tell ourselves okay, just 30 more minutes and when we look at the clock it’s been four hours. There is a solution.

Take a Forced Break

There are several programs available that will either put your computer to sleep at a designated time or will set an alarm that you are *forced* to disable, thus making yourself manually recognize it’s time for a break. Studies vary, so I can’t be sure what the best break is, but I personally suggest a quick five minute computer-free break.

For Mac Users, I recommend the Dejal’s Time Out which dims your screen during the break rendering your computer useless.

For PC Users, I had a tough time finding a forced break that disables your computer, but I found an extremely effective alarm- all you do is tell the Online Clock to go off at your designated time and as you suspected, it sets off an audible alarm, so make sure your sound is at a tolerable level for the sound of an alarm clock.

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What methods do you use to force yourself to step away from the computer?

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. OnlineClock

    September 14, 2008 at 7:17 am

    Hello Lani,

    Thank you very much for mentioning !

    We also recently released the world’s first-ever Online Clock Radio (Beta Version).


  2. Lisa Sanderson

    September 14, 2008 at 11:34 am


  3. Todd

    September 15, 2008 at 7:32 am

    The time interval varies from person to person, but yes, hyper critical to get up away from the monitor and break.

    I learned this from some insanely smart people who borrowed it from athletes. Being “in the zone” is mentally taxing, by dividing it up into sessions ( like exercise ), you can learn to get in “the zone” faster, stay in it longer. Some more good advice I have been given that has proven to work for me;

    Take a combination of Ginko and Guarana seed extract as a substitute for caffeine.

    Taking breaks away from monitor and walking around for a bit is good for circulation and reducing eye strain.

  4. Nick Bostic

    September 15, 2008 at 11:59 am

    I’ve been using EyeDefender on my Vista machine for a while now. Not only does it remind you to take breaks, it forces you to and give you some great eye-strain relief.

  5. Teresa Boardman

    September 16, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    my husband tells me when I am done so I don’t need an alarm. The dog some times alerts me too.

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