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How do you stay fresh in front of a computer all day long

RValu100

I get a strong start each day but my "drafting energy" takes a major hit around 1-2PM. Drinking coffee and so on don't seem to help. Other designers in the office click along their merry way like nobody's business. Is there some mental strategy to keep the speed up? Cattle prods?

 
Jul 20, 22 9:03 am
Wood Guy

I don't. I blame it on my ADHD but I don't think it's normal human nature to be able to sit and draft for 8 hours straight. I try to divide the day into blocks of 2-4 hours each; by early afternoon I'm ready for a change of pace and I'll do something besides drafting. Then I get another burst of energy later in the afternoon and sometimes do an evening shift as well. 

Jul 20, 22 9:12 am  · 
2  · 
axonapoplectic

My tips:


1. Don’t eat lunch at your desk.


2. Get up and walk around every 45-90 minutes or so and for about 10-15 minutes - I use it as a time to either bug the gray hairs or chat with someone in the break room or hallway.


3. Get exercise either in the morning or during middle of the day.

Jul 20, 22 11:59 am  · 
2  · 
natematt

Pretty much same. I always try to get out of the office during lunch, even if I eat there. I never eat at my desk and try to take my full hour, and don't sit for extended periods of time. Even working from home I act similarly.

I feel like this is something that doesn't work for everyone though. A lot of people can't effectively start and stop tasks, so I am curious what those people do. 

Jul 20, 22 12:46 pm  · 
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Look away from the monitor every 20-30 minutes or so (give or take...), like when it's doing something like rendering, even a 1-2 minutes away from looking at the screen like looking at the code book or something else is one thing because the biggest issue you face is eye strain. The other issue you may face is what I may jokingly call the "flat ass syndrome" for sitting in a chair too long. Not to be confused for the actual syndrome by that name or some similar sounding name, but still, if you sit on your butt too long in a chair, you may know what I am talking about. The actual syndrome can be caused by sitting on it too much, too long, etc. over a prolong period of time, but that's potentially a more serious than merely the joking about having a "flat butt", so get up and walk, do something that is not sitting in a chair. Anyway, humans aren't meant to sit in chairs or sit all the time for several hours on end. Multiple shorter periods sitting at a computer with periods of time doing something else other than sitting and being in front of a computer screen in between is better for ones health and being able to deal with this stuff. 

Jul 20, 22 1:59 pm  · 
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b3tadine[sutures]

Did you really say the same thing others have?

Jul 20, 22 2:02 pm  · 
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Maybe.

Jul 20, 22 2:19 pm  · 
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maybe

Jul 20, 22 2:19 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

I've written this a few times here before, but here goes again.  I solved the in-front of a pc thing by deliberately setting up all my things in the most non-ergo friendly way.  Keyboard off to one side, screens on the other... note book in the middle... and I constantly switch between 2 different mouses (mices?).  My screens are also set so low that my eye line is actually above the screens (and to a window with good downtown view).  This forces me to shift about and reach for things all day long and I can't say I've ever felt much effect from 8-12hr days at the desk.  It also helps that I'm not monkeying around/drafting all day too.

It's something I picked up way back in grad school. Works so far.

Jul 20, 22 4:01 pm  · 
2  · 
archanonymous

Bong rips and yoga, bro.

Jul 20, 22 8:45 pm  · 
3  · 
OneLostArchitect

during work hours?

Jul 20, 22 9:29 pm  · 
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Miyadaiku

I always just use physical code books instead of the online versions to ease the blue light off my eyes and get some weight training.

Jul 20, 22 10:41 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

Wet wipes. 

Jul 21, 22 1:01 am  · 
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justavisual

Take a lunchtime walk after you eat !

Jul 21, 22 3:05 am  · 
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zaza

Giving up my secret here- I never eat lunch on my desk. Get my full hour outside by myself with no carbs and when I return.. I pop a timely vitamin. Took me years to figure out the vitamin, but never a dull afternoon since. 

Sep 25, 22 11:26 pm  · 
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sameolddoctor

People who eat lunch at their desks all the time are those who will lead a life of indentured servitude all their life. Dont be them.

Sep 26, 22 12:23 am  · 
2  · 
l3wis

some people work through lunch so they can leave the office earlier

Sep 27, 22 11:37 am  · 
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x-jla

Best investment in your health is to get a stand up desk.  I bought one a few months ago because my back couldn’t take the sitting anymore.  Helps a lot.  

Sep 26, 22 10:47 am  · 
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JawkneeMusic

I don't have any experience USING cad, except for learning it.  I do all my drawing by hand.  I've done many attempts to completely draft a building (If you're familiar with my drawings this is quite a bit of work) and concluded it came down the the pleasure principle: don't have something better to do.

Sep 26, 22 1:23 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

Wait. The best thing you have to do is the drawings you make?

Sep 26, 22 1:28 pm  · 
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Jawk - please to talk to a professional.  

Sep 26, 22 1:44 pm  · 
1  · 

Simple - I don't.  I get up from my desk around eight times a day.  I'll walk around the office - literally going outside for a walk  I leave the office over lunch and either walk or exercise.  


Sep 26, 22 1:43 pm  · 
2  · 

Exactly. 

This lengthy response is not really a direct response to Chad but to convey and illustrate through words things I've done to help with staying fresh and being productive and yet find plenty of opportunities to have those moments away from the computer, looking away from the screen, and so forth. Even when doing something that requires a lot of time at the computer like computer programming. You don't have to be sitting and staring at the screen the whole work shift. 

Get up, walk around or doing something else that doesn't necessarily need to be in front of the monitor. When doing software development and video game development, there are parts of the work that doesn't explicitly require being in front of the monitor. Sure, the programming itself, 2d bitmap artwork / 3d modeling, and such. Sure but there are parts that are not necessarily need to be done on the computer. In the day like 2d art like creating sprites would can be planned out and designed on graph paper. While I may have certain work that requires some lengthy computer time but even a 5 minute break and thinking away from the computer can be done away from the computer that allows one's own eyes to relax from staring at the computer and do other things. Doing that over an 8-12 hour time window with moments even if it is 8 hours of actual work it's spread out a little bit. Now, architecture is becoming more and more computer based designing/development doesn't mean it is entirely at the computer. When you have the computer doing some heavy duty rendering, you can do other tasks related to your overall work that doesn't need to be done on the computer. 

There are many facets to the whole cumulative work of architecture. It's also that way even for computer software & video game development. The idea is simple: YOU DON'T.... yes, you don't just sit in front of the computer all day. Even for software/video game development, you don't have to be sitting in front of a computer screen looking at it for 8+ hours. When I am thinking about something and the computer is working on a task that doesn't need me looking at it continuously, I do something else that doesn't need me to be looking at the computer screen or typing. As a building designer, I know there is a lot of potential opportunity to do something that doesn't need you to be staring at the computer. 

Those "breaks" I do, help with mitigating the development of carpel tunnel syndrome. In the "good ol' days", I had those nice lovely z-fold papers that were often convenient for printing out the code and reviewing it. This can help with eye strain especially if you have good lighting but the paper print allowing time to debug off-screen so I can have time where my eyes are not looking at the screen especially in those ol' CRT days. 

This lengthy response is also to convey there is a myriad of opportunity to be productive and not necessarily be at the keyboard looking at a screen for such crazy long stretch of time without breaks. Sometimes I may close my eyes for a few seconds or however to allow such eye relief yet still overall can be productive. It's about working smarter and healthier.

Sep 26, 22 2:15 pm  · 
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bowling_ball

Brevity is the soul of wit, dude

Sep 27, 22 1:19 am  · 
2  · 

However, brevity can be boring and says little to nothing. You can be as short as one word.... (contraction of two words) but it doesn't tell anything about how people have managed to find ways to get away from the computer or look away. I spoke from an example in another field that involves using computers and possibly even more time in front of the screen than you may as an architect. Then to translate to what you can do in the architectural field. Like, when the computer is busy crunching numbers to process the rendering, that's a great time to do something else because you really don't need to sit there looking at the computer rendering for 10-15 minutes OR more (or less). Great time to get up, walk to the bathroom or to do something else. That can be akin to in programming an app or game to compiling or to do say... rendering for some of stuff that you want pre-rendered. That's time to look away from the screen to relieve your eyes. Point is, you don't just sit at the computer with your eyes looking at the screen for continuously for every second on the clock minus the legally required break time. You can be productive even when you are not at the computer because not everything to be done is at the computer.

Sep 27, 22 12:39 pm  · 
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If you have to ask the OP's question, you still need to be taught. You still need to be schooled.

Sep 27, 22 12:41 pm  · 
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x-jla

Let the body lead the mind. (Is the witty??? I don’t know what it means but it sounds smart!)

Sep 27, 22 1:34 pm  · 
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If I let the body lead the mind, my body has a message of a closed fist with the exception of one middle finger raised proudly.

Sep 30, 22 12:24 am  · 
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Almosthip

I suggested to higher ups that we hire a massage therapist. They didn't initiate that one.  Other than that, I get up and move often, I also go home for lunch

Sep 27, 22 10:56 am  · 
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bennyc

Humans are not meant to stay on computer all day long. Quit your job and go cut some wood. 

Sep 27, 22 5:02 pm  · 
1  · 

Says the guy on a computer all day . . .

Sep 27, 22 5:43 pm  · 
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bowling_ball

Take a break from the medium screen, to stare at your small screen, until you can go home to your large screen. 


It's not the screen, it's the work. Well, it's mostly the work. 


The 20/20/20 rule is: every 20 minutes, stand up and stare at something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds. 


To get away from the screen at work, can you schedule meetings or site visits outside of the office? Probably can't do that every day, but along with walks at lunch, it's going to help. 

Sep 27, 22 11:56 pm  · 
2  · 
Wood Guy

Or there's this version:


Sep 30, 22 11:21 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

I set the top of my office monitors about 100mm below my eye level. That means my normal sightline is always to the window. Everyone else has their screens in the faces. I also keep the coffee mug in a way that forces me to turn to grab it.

Sep 30, 22 11:48 am  · 
1  · 
kenchiku

M, W, F I take a 2 hour lunch break. 10min walk to the gym and back with a 1hr workout thrown in. Completely refreshes me for the second half of the day.

Oct 5, 22 5:49 am  · 
1  · 
zonker

On my lunch, I walk over to Embarcadero center in San Francisco, go up to the promenade for a 20 - 30 minute nap - it's like waking up again and afternoon is another morning - eating lunch at your desk is something not to do, especially if they serve pizza at a lunch n learn - or a turkey sandwich that's like driving with the parking brake on

Oct 8, 22 11:56 pm  · 
1  · 

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