Close-Up: The Root Of The Myopia Problem
You’ve been doing well so far, [s2Get user_field=”first_name” /].
You made it past a giant e-mail barrage, you got the program sign-up link, you opted to commit your own time and money to finally doing something about your eyes. Considering how busy and noisy our lives are, you took a serious stance.
And you’re here. You have a lowered prescription, you know how to use eye charts, you understand diopters and how your eyesight relates to them.
Right now you know more about eyesight than 99% of the world’s population.
You’re also well on your way to knowing more about myopia control than most optometrists. Scary thought, right? Before long you’ll have more experience and knowledge about reversing a problem they consider “unfixable”, than most actual eye doctors.
You’ll be in a strange bubble. Ahead of a whole lot of modern (retail) medicine. You’ll be the one who knows that the earth is round, in a time where all the so-called experts still think it’s flat.
Flat earth days. I think you are well on the way of feeling proud about all the moves you’ve made, choices you made. You took some risks, spent some money, you went out on a limb.
I’m going to continue making this all entirely worth your while.
You can tell by now, I’m trying to butter you up.
Like the praise we give before we drop a big challenge on someone. “Really, wow, you are doing so, so great! Hey, you rock! Oh and also ….”
This session is a bit of an “oh and also”.
We need to talk about your close-up hours, a bit.
Before we do, let me tell you about your eye guru’s close-up habits. Make you feel better.
I use a TON of close-up.
I check my e-mail in the morning. Read world news. Finance things. Answer messages from friends. Then at the gym, try to distract myself between sets, with more news articles.
And then I get to actual work. Updating the site. Doing video editing. Replying to forum posts.
Then later in the day, maybe get a movie for the evening. Catch up on some books.
Safe to say, I accumulate a good 6-8 hours a day of close-up.
Also, I used to have a -4.00 prescription and the optometrist said I needed to be at -5.00 to see fully clearly. And today, I can see 20/20 without glasses.
So you can actually use a lot of close-up, and still get your eyes on track.
Now, for the but part.
I want to use 12. 15. I’m weeks behind on guest articles for various media outlets. I want to devour every last video editing class on Adobe’s site. I want to binge watch Game of Thrones and Archer, and read the next 20 books on my reading list.
I could LIVE inside a computer. Put my brain in a jar. Hook it up to the Internet. Put a turban on top of the jar. Play some Indian instrumentals. Call me, guru-in-a-jar.
That considered, 6-8 hours is a major concession on my part.
And here’s where you want to start thinking:
How much of your close-up time do you really need?
Start keeping a little spreadsheet for the next week or so. Add it up. Don’t guesstimate, take the time to actually just do one week of close-up hours accounting.
Do it for a week.
After that week, start looking at where you could trim some hours. Don’t go nuts, because you don’t want to burn out on some radical changes.
Just look at trimming a bit.
Maybe you don’t need that hour on Facebook. Maybe there’s room for a quick morning walk, instead of that. At lunch perhaps instead of playing smartphone games, get outside for half an hour. Practice your new focusing skills.
Use your eyes to look at the real world.
Coming from me, believe me, I know that might suck. The real world is infinitely more boring and less productive than things found in the zillion pixels.
But the trick is, if you use distance time productively, and sneakily build habits around it, they’ll stick.
Don’t try to cut your close-up time in half.
Try to shave off 15%. 20% at most. Just little bits, and only in ways that you have a worthwhile replacement for that close-up time. To make this work you have to build a habit around it. Get a puppy, that needs to be taken for walks (not really. set easier goals, less intrusive)
Cut a little, and then cut some more three months from now, when you notice that you’re ready for a lower prescription. Cut a little, every 3-4 months. Baby steps.
That’s what works. Not New Years resolutions.
And why all this?
Close-up is the root of the myopia problem. We can squeeze in your full work day, and some casual enjoyment, which is an amazing amount of close-up. Truly. But let’s cut back on the part that goes past “a lot” and straight into “gluttony” territory. Slowly and over time, let’s cut back a bit.
All the things I’ll be showing you in these sessions to get the good kind of stimulus, all the lens and focal plane tricks, it all creates incentive in the system for positive change.
But you need to also dial back on the close up, the accommodated vision (when you look up-close), to complete the circle.
1. Make yourself a quick and easy spreadsheet, just for a single week, and log your close-up hours.
2. Set yourself a reminder for next week, to look at where you can cut back on close-up. Don’t make it any more than 20% at most.
3. Realize that close-up is more fun than going outside and dealing with slow, boring real life. Acknowledge it, and also acknowledge that you pay a huge prize for consuming copious amount of “empty calories” photons through those eyeballs, by watching all those YouTube videos, shows, and social media. Realize that you love it, and realize that you’ll cut back on the sauce a bit, just a bit.
4. Make yourself a small shrine, with enough room for a picture of guru Jake, and some incense and candles.
5. Not really, that #4. Just 1-3. Next time you make it outside today, think about this session. Think about all that close-up time, and how corporations have managed to suck all your attention into non-productive, empty content consumption. Fight back just a tiny bit. Reclaim just 10-20% of your daily conscious experience, for something slower, something right in front of you. (just not right in front of you, on a computer screen)