Reduce Your Screen Fatigue

It’s Wednesday afternoon, and you’re having an unbelievably busy week at work. You’ve already racked up more hours of screen time than feels reasonable. You can feel a headache coming on, and your vision is blurry. Perhaps you’ve turned to Google for a quick fix: Does the 20-20-20 rule really work? How can I instantly stop eye pain? Effects of staring at a screen for 13 hours.

There’s no denying we rely on screens for so much of what we do, but there’s certainly a way of giving our eyes a break. Audio is the answer.

Writing for Forbes, Bryan Robinson, Ph.D. says:

Spending long periods looking at screens can strain your eyes and add to screen fatigue. Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is a condition in which you experience one or more of eye symptoms as a result of prolonged working on a computer. It can result in headache, eye strain, eye-watering, eye redness and blurred vision.

We all hope to avoid this uncomfortable experience, so this is our 5-step guide to preventing screen fatigue and embracing audio.

  1. Limit unnecessary screentime

Sometimes we use screens by default. Or rather, we just don’t consider the alternatives. It’s easy to get lost in a scroll hole and emerge feeling disorientated. When our tech can assist with every task, it might be hard to look away

But you could seize an opportunity for a screen break by using a notepad to jot down ideas or listening to a podcast. Maybe the book you’ve been hoping to read for weeks would be far more convenient in audio form. Discovering the benefits of audiobooks can provide an excellent alternative to screen-based reading.

There are likely times when you use a screen when there’s another (eye-friendly) option. If you want to learn something new or explore new perspectives, audio is a great medium. If you wish to engage in reflective practice or focus on personal development, podcasts and audio lessons are a revelation. 

  1. Consider options for relaxation

Your day-to-day work might have to be computer-based, but explore how to unwind in your free time without screens. A walk whilst listening to a podcast gives your eyes a break. Listening to an audio lesson at the gym is a perfect way to rest your retinas. If you’re a keen gardener, why not make audio a companion for outdoor activities?

  1. Have your headphones nearby

Do you ever rely on video when audio might be more helpful? Listening to content without sound can be tempting if you don't have headphones nearby. You might glance at a screen by default, but you’re missing a lot of knowledge by discounting the sound.

Keep your headphones close so you can access all the information you need. They’re essential for travel and when your eyes need a well-deserved rest after a long day.

There’s a whole wealth of insights and motivation to be found in audiobooks and podcast-style audio lessons. Take a break from video content to kickstart your imagination. Engage your mind’s eye to give your optic nerves an hour or two off!

  1. Call a friend 

We’re used to using Zoom or Teams to connect with people in our networks. Email and messaging are often the default. But these options are exhausting for our eyes, especially after a long day of meetings.

To give your eyes some respite, opt for phone calls. You can ask your friends for podcast recommendations this way, too!

  1. Discover activities that don’t involve screens

Love nature, walking, cycling, cooking, or dancing? Have you got a crochet project that was abandoned when lockdowns lifted or a great pasta dish you’ve been meaning to recreate? 

These activities pair perfectly with audio and are great ways to take a screen break without being bored. Consider them next time you’re tempted to start scrolling social media or clicking ‘play next episode’ for the fifth time (we’ve all been there!)

Assemble You offer audio lessons for enjoying while you cook, clean, commute, or relax. Check out our full course list here


Too much screen time can result in eye strain and headaches and leave us feeling sleepy. If it sounds like your eyes are in need of a break, podcasts and audio lessons are great options. Audio allows us to be away from a computer and frees up our hands for activities such as cooking, gardening, or walking the dog. It’s valuable to seek out activities that we don't need a screen for during the working day or in our downtime.

Listening to podcasts, calling friends, and accessing audio lessons for learning on the go can be great options for giving our corneas a moment of calm. So, step away from the screen and venture into the world of sound.