I’ve been recovering from Post-Concussion Syndrome for the past 7 weeks or so. Now that I’ve been getting back to work, I wanted to share a few things that I’ve found particularly helpful for keeping up with my work without hurting my brain.

The first things I’ve learned to do better are to ask for help and delegate where I can. I’m trying to focus on tasks that only I can do. I’m also learning to keep emails more brief and not send essays/rants that require a long time to compose (if I need to, I set up a meeting or a quick phone call). I’ve also avoided browsing on social media as I tend to get sucked in easily and need to save my precious screen time for work.

I downloaded an app called awareness (mac) that gives you a soft reminder (the sound of a meditation bowl ringing) whenever your designated work duration is up, and automatically resets itself when you’ve taken a break for your designated break duration. It also shows how long you’ve been using your computer without a break in the task bar. I found this helps keep me from idly using my computer and reminds me to give my eyes and brain a short screen break (> 3 minutes) every 20 minutes or so.

I’ve also been sporting computer glasses when I look at any sort of screen for more than a few seconds, which help reduce eye strain and definitely seem to help prevent my headaches. I didn’t have an appreciation for how aggressive projector screens and fluorescent lights are until my head injury, and these really help.

I try to charge my laptop up for the day, and then use it on battery power throughout the day. I try to plan out any writing or work I have to do on a piece of paper before I start so I’m focused on the task at hand when I open my laptop up. If I run through the battery in a day, it’s a sign that I should consider taking the rest of the day easy to give myself a rest.

If anyone has other thoughts on more efficient/mindful computer use, I’d love to hear more.