For the most part, computers are all but integral to daily life. They have their use in almost every industry, education, leisure pursuits, and more. There are a lot of people who rely on their computers either in their professional or personal lives, and it is really easy to find yourself whiling away the hours in front of your computer or laptop screen. However, if you aren’t using your device efficiently, then you are wasting time. Readjusting your approach can help to dramatically increase your productivity, improve your output and save you a lot of time too. Read on to learn more.
Why You Should Become More Tech Savvy
You might be wondering why you should bother trying to become more tech-savvy with your computer. If your way of working is sufficient, then why bother changing anything? Prolonged exposure to a computer screen can have a significant effect on your health. The light emitted can disrupt your sleep patterns, and staring at pixels all day can also lead to eyestrain and migraines. Lastly, if your setup is not optimized for your posture, then you are also more likely to experience joint and muscle pain too. By ensuring that you are using your computer as efficiently as possible, you are likely to discover that you don’t necessarily need to spend that much time on it. This is all in addition to increasing your output and boosting your productivity, of course.
Become a Better Typist
The mouse and the keyboard are arguably the two biggest areas that see the most usage on a computer or laptop. Inputting data of any kind, regardless of whether you simply fill in forms or spend your time crafting content, if you aren’t an adept typist, then it could be taking you a lot longer than it needs to. The average computer user tends to type around thirty-five words a minute. However, with a little practice and training, you can type far more quickly. The thing that slows people down is having to stop and look at the keys before they type each letter. Touch typing, on the other hand, is where you place your hands properly and you develop an intuitive knowledge of where the keys are so that you can type without getting slowed down looking for the right keys. This does take a little time to learn, but it is well worth doing. You can look up resources online or even choose to take a class.
Use Your Computer Shortcuts
As mentioned above, the mouse and the keyboard are the two biggest elements of computer use. It makes sense then that the average user tends to use their mouse to interact with what is on their screens. However, you don’t actually need to use the mouse as much as you do. Every application has keyboard shortcuts which, as the name suggests, are quicker to use than the mouse is. You can even go into the settings on your computer to play around with the shortcuts to better tailor them to your preferences. While the shortcuts are often somewhat universal, they can vary between makes and models, which is something that you should bear in mind when you come to purchasing a new computer.
Organizing Your Desktop Properly
If you want to use your computer more efficiently, then it is imperative that it is organized well. You need to be able to find all of the relevant files, documents, and even the applications that you use regularly quickly and easily. Think about how they are labeled and filed, and try to be as clear and concise as you can possibly be; this will save you time when you need to find them. It also helps if you need to collaborate on the files or share them with others. Think about pinning the applications that you use the most to your home screen or taskbar.
Utilize the Taskbar
Most computers have what is known as a taskbar which sits at the bottom of the screen and is a great tool if you are utilizing it properly. Programs that you use regularly, or even daily, should be ‘pinned’ to your taskbar so you don’t have to look too hard for them and you have quicker access. Essentially, using the taskbar is like creating a shortcut to the program. You can choose the order in which the apps lay. You can also pin documents or other files too.
Learn Basic Skills
The next thing that you need to do is to learn a few basic skills. Most computers do tend to come with pre-sets and pre-installed applications. Take advantage of these apps; you can also purchase and download more if you have specific needs. You can also find a lot of information online too that can help to improve your skillset. The internet is a great resource; after all, you need to make sure that you are making the most out of it. Think about skills that would be advantageous to your computer use and try to learn them. You can also take advantage of online services provided by brands like Smallpdf, which allows you to compress PDFs to make them easier to store.
When to Turn Off vs Hibernate
Most computers have a hibernation – sometimes known as sleep – mode. This should be used when leaving your computer for short periods of time. This is because when you allow your computer to hibernate, it only shuts down on a surface level. It keeps all of your files and programs open so that when you wake the device up, everything is right there where you left it, ready for you to jump back in. This really should only be done for short periods of time; you shouldn’t do it every time you put your laptop away for a bit because it can actually be really bad for it. If you plan to leave your laptop for more than a couple of hours, you should shut it down properly.
This also gives you the opportunity to install any updates that your device might need. Most of the time, your computer will prompt you when it needs to perform an update. It tends to allow you to schedule them, and you can either choose for it to download the update and restart or download the update and shut down. Obviously, it makes sense to schedule the updates for when you are going to shut your computer down anyway, so try to think ahead.
Install Anti-Virus Software
Lastly, you could be using your computer as efficiently as possible, but if your computer itself isn’t working optimally, then the point is moot. Unfortunately, your computer is vulnerable to viruses; you can pick them up simply by clicking the wrong link or opening the wrong attachment. Once your computer is infected with a virus, it begins to slow down, and some of your files might become corrupted. In order to avoid this and ensure that your computer continues to work well and allows you to work to the maximum efficiency, it is worth investing in some anti-virus software. Luckily, there are plenty of good options out there to choose from too.
To Sum Up
Most people use a computer in their daily lives, and many of us use them for work. If you want to get the most out of your computer, you need to make sure that you are working as efficiently as possible. Think about your current working processes and use the tips above to come up with a plan on how you can improve. Put the work in to improve your output.