Last week was another trip to the optometrist as my eyes continue their slow march towards bifocals. I’ve gone to the same optometrist for a few years, but since I moved, I decided to try another one nearer to my house. I’m glad that I did. This doctor explained a few more ways in how sitting in front of a screen can cause eye problems. She said that we blink less often when we’re staring at a screen and that this can lead to drier eyes. Thankfully she also had a solution in the form of a habit that I could practice to help relieve my eyes, called it the “20-20-20” routine:

Every 20 minutes, blink (hard) 20 times, and look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Knowing that I’d never remember to do this, I wanted to see if there was a way I could get notifications on my work machine every 20 minutes during the hours of the day that I’m typically in front of the screen. cron to the rescue. Adding this line to my crontab pops up a notification every 20 minutes from 9am to 5pm on workdays, casually nudging me to perform the routine:

* 20 9-17 * * 1-5 osascript -e 'display notification "20/20/20" with title "Eyeguard"'

So far it’s worked great and my eyes feel much less strained at the end of the day.