The 20-20 Rule That Will Help You Stay Focused All Day

photo: Sezane


Staying focused can be one of the hardest things to do, especially when the coffee starts to become counter-productive. You have to push yourself because you’re the only person who can do it! The workload is only going to get bigger. So after typing the assignment title, don’t reward yourself by heading over to Instagram or having a little nap. Your co-worker’s neighbor’s friend can wait – stay focused and get the job done.

Trust us, we’ve been there, sitting at a screen all day can be full of dangerous distractions. But these hacks can help to keep you focused all day long, and save you from your own procrastination. So, put that second cup of coffee down and try this oh-so-simple 20-20 rule that will help you remain focused all day!

The 20-20 Rule

We spend a huge chunk of our days glued to our phone and laptop screens, and it can be hard to avoid the fatigue that comes with it. The rule is simple: Every 20-minutes, take a 20-second break and focus on something at least 20-feet away. Think of it as resetting your eyes and retuning your brain.

If you know your eyes will be given a rest soon you will be more likely to focus steadily for the 20-minute bursts. When the 20-minutes are up, focus your eyes on something that makes for a welcome distraction. Perhaps people watch if you’re in a coffee shop, or take a moment to study any wall art or framed quotes (if like me, you have too many in your home!).

Tip: Try to blink more during these breaks. We tend to blink less when we are focusing on work (who knew?) and so by upping our blinking every 20 minutes we can moisten and refresh our eyes, which will help keep them alert and sharp.

Leave your desk

Eye strain is not the only thing you have to worry about, sitting in a chair all day may seem like heaven, but it does no justice for your back. It’s important to break your day up, by getting up, stretching and stepping away from the screen. You will also find that this makes you feel more energized when you return to tackle the desk. To avoid back and shoulder strain, try to get up from your computer and perhaps close your eyes for a short while too. Remember, adjusting your screen to the optimum brightness as well as font size and contrast can also help fight fatigue and eye-strain. You’ll find yourself getting your work done ahead of schedule despite the regular breaks, promise.


What keeps you focused? 

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  • Ellie

    Love this post! I am totally going to try this tomorrow

    Ellie xx

    • Lisa Collins

      How did you find it Ellie, did the rule help you to feel more refreshed and focused? xx

  • Meg

    Good post! I am also going to try.

    • Lisa Collins

      Make sure to tell us how you get on Meg!

  • Lauren Parkin

    Okay wow as someone who literally has gotten glasses because I stare at screens so much I really forget to do this!! Thanks for the cheeky reminder ;)

    Lauren x

    • Lisa Collins

      Glad we could help Lauren! Let us know how you’ll getting along!

  • daphne siy

    Love this tip!

  • Amy M

    Ahh yes taking a break from the screen is so necessary ♥

    Amy // Snippets of Amy

    • Lisa Collins

      I often forget to look away from the screen myself, especially when I’m editing. It causes me to get headaches so often, so I like to set phone reminders for myself!

  • Elizabeth

    Where is this coat from!?

    • Lisa Collins

      Hi Elizabeth! This Sezane coat is unfortunately sold out- obviously many people like it! However, you can follow this link to Vestiaire, where you can find it! : . x

  • Jessica Wen

    Tried this 20-20 rule after reading this post – it’s very refreshing!

    • Lisa Collins

      We’re so glad it helped you Jessica, do you think you will continue to use this rule in future?

      • Jessica Wen

        Yes definitely! I spend wayy too much time looking at my screens aha

  • Amy Theodore

    I hadn’t heard of the 20-20 rule before but it makes total sense and is definitely something I’m going to try and start incorporating into my day.

    Amy //

    • Lisa Collins

      Definitely do it Amy, honestly you’ll feel so much more refreshed and ready to keep going with whatever you’re doing!

  • lilian Tahmasian

    needed to read this RIGHT NOW! haha
    Off on a break I go..

    • Lisa Collins

      Hahaha tell me about it! Sorry head editor, its part of the 20-20 rule, off to starbucks i go!

  • Fiona

    Looking forward to trying this. I suspect I will ignore my 20 minute rule as I get engrossed in my work though – so will set the timer on my phone and place it across the room! (Lucky I work from home hey?!)

    • Lisa Collins

      haha thats what I do! Otherwise I’d never remember ahah
      Tell us how you get on with it Fiona

  • Natalie Redman

    Great post! Will definitely try this out.