Just a simple thought this week. A friend sent me a useful article last week about the increasingly important benefits of blinking as we spend more and more time with our computers and gadgets. (Thanks, Dr. Peter Roggemann.)
A study at Ohio State University warns about “dry eye”, which happens when we squint at the computer screen. Dr. James Sheedy, the study’s lead author states, “People tend to squint when they read a book or a computer display and that squinting makes the blink rate go way down….Blinking rewets the eyes. So if your job requires a lot of reading or other visually intense work, you may be blinking far less than normal, which [causes] eye strain, tension, and dry eye.” A minor amount of squinting reduces blink rates from 15 blinks/minute to 7.5 blinks/minute.
We squint because it improves eyesight by helping more clearly define out of focus objects and because it cuts down on glare. This is mostly an automated process, so we don’t realize it is happening.
Dr. Ben Kim suggests we all develop the habit of blinking as often as possible. (March 20, 2012, Daily Herald) Kim notes that one of the reasons we don’t blink as often as we should is that the actors and media people we see are trained to blink as infrequently as possible. Our subconscious mind absorbs this and we learn it isn’t cool to blink frequently.
It’s best to blink every two to four seconds (or 15 to 30 blinks per minute). You can train yourself to do this automatically. A good practical prescription for keeping your eyes well-lubricated is just to consciously close your eyes whenever possible, like when you’re just thinking or when you don’t need your vision.
So what does this have to do with business? Well, nothing, per se. However, I believe in the power of little things. I believe that a whole bunch of miniscule adjustments and changes for the better ultimately result in major increases of efficaciousness in all our business and personal lives. You pick up so many things by constantly reading as broadly as time allows and there are so many helpful insights in all the nooks and odd crannies where you least expect illumination to come from.
So here’s to more blinking. It’s one more minor arrow in our quiver of business improvement tools. As punk band Blink-182 puts it, “Remember to eat, sleep, and blink.” Thanks Blink-182.