We live in a world where “optimization” is constantly at the top of our consciousness. There are all kinds of devices and programs that are designed specifically to help you be more productive and more efficient. Ideally the systems we use operate with this in mind, but there are always a few things you can do to tweak them so that they work better for you. Here are some great things you can do to increase your productivity within your Windows operating system.
1. Configure Your Windows Updates Settings
You know how Windows updates your computer, then you get those horribly annoying pop-ups asking you to restart your computer? Let’s face it– you probably waste more time clicking the “restart later” button than it would take to just restart your computer. However, restarting when prompted could cause you to lose unsaved data. To disable the pop-up, right click on “My Computer,” go to the “Automatic Updates” tab, and select the “Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them” option, and click okay when you’re done.
2. Consolidate Your IM Services
How many instant messaging services do you have running on your computer right now? Most likely, you’ve got a few. Facebook chat, MSN, AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk, Lync…. And on and on and on. You can waste a lot of time simply finding the right service to you to chat with whomever you’re trying to connect with. Luckily there is a service called Digsby, which you can download onto your computer. It most likely supports all the IM clients you use, and allows you to manage all your email and social networking accounts right from the window. It even has tabbed conversations, how cool is that!
3. Learn Your Keyboard Shortcuts
It is amazing how much time keyboard shortcuts can save you. You might think it’s not that big of a deal, and that you can use that brain space for something else, but just try it out. You’ll be glad you did. You can get a jumpstart on shortcuts by clicking here.
4. Reduce Your Auto-Starting Programs
As time goes on, your PC tends to get bogged down with auto-starting programs. Even if you use these programs a lot, you probably don’t need them to be started every time you boot up your PC. You can remove unnecessary programs from starting up automatically with an app like RevoUninstaller. Such a program is great because not only does it help you uninstall, it will tell you whether or not the application is critical to the system, and make sure that it is safe to disable.
5. Organize Your Programs and Folders in the Start Menu
Put you most visited programs in the Start Menu. You can also change the number of frequently visited programs Windows automatically displays in the Start Menu to zero. Do this by right clicking the Start button, making sure the radio box beside ‘Start Menu’ is selected, and click ‘customize.’ The setting will be under ‘programs.’ This will de-clutter your start menu and give you faster access to the programs you want and need to use most. Happy computing!!!