Simple Productivity Task Of The Day: Let Your Computer Time Out

by Randy Murray on January 22, 2013

The very thing designed to make the knowledge worker more productive can also be the thing that decreases productivity. Staying too long at any task saps attention and energy and focus. It is far too easy to lose sight of the real tasks we’re engaging in if we’re all locked in at our computer screens.

Even a few minutes away from a screen can help to recharge and refresh us. Perhaps, like these same computers, we need an energy saver mode.

Fortunately, your computer does have one. You probably just have it set for too long before it kicks in.

Here’s my recommendation: Adjust the power settings on your computer so that your monitor and computer will shut down after 5 minutes lack of activity. If you find that your computer has shut down while your attention is somewhere else, congratulations. Let it stay off for at least 5 more minutes and search for something else to do.

If you’re computer hasn’t shut down in the last hour, get up and walk away. Stay away for at least five minutes.

These little breaks can help you save your energy, and refresh and recharge you. They can also give you the opportunity to review your tasks, progress, and gain the required perspective to know when to shift to another task.

You don’t need special technology to do this. Use what you already have. If required, when you sit down to work set the timer on your phone to alert you after 50 minutes of work. Then step away from your computer and recharge.


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