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5 Things You Should Do When Using Your Computer

Finding ways to stay more productive and happy while working

Everyone has a thousand things on their “To Do” list these days. The need to use your time wisely is more important today that it was several years ago. It has become absolutely imperative in today’s world. Here are five things that you should always do to help save time, keep your sanity, and maintain your health in your day to day tasks.

  1. Keep your posture straight - Keeping yourself upright will help you remain focused and alert. Slouching will only make it easier for you to wish you were back in bed instead of getting to work. The best way that I know to correct posture at your desk is to sit away from the back of the chair with your butt half way between the back rest and the edge then raise your head up as if someone has a string at the top of your head and pulled it upward. Give it a try…

  2. Set some goals for why you are at the computer - If you’re really trying to get the most of your time in front of a computer make sure you know exactly why you are there in the first place. Triage your tasks and make sure you tackle your tasks in order. Don’t get side tracked by the distractions that other people will throw at you and certainly don’t get caught up in the thousands of fun “bells and whistles” that computers have to offer. (Hint: surfing the internet) If you need to correspond with someone by email then get it done.

  3. Prepare everything that you will need to complete your tasks - One of the most common obstacles to completing your daily tasks is looking for misplaced items. Let alone the people around us trying to get our attention. I am not sure what the most recent numbers are, but I was told that if we add up all the time we use “looking for things” it would be in the order of months over our lifetime. Gather everything that you will need to get your first task done and put it in front of you when you begin. Like a sniper, have your ammo ready to fire, take aim, and get to work on your tasks.

  4. Keep your fingers in motion - Don’t hesitate to write extra sentences or thoughts to get your point across or to find the solution you are looking for. If you need to write out an outline, data flow chart, or mind map, do it! Our minds think thousands of times faster than we speak or type. Some times it needs to take a side trail to get to what you are looking for. Don’t fight it. Your mind will learn to take the more direct path later. Remember, there is no penalty for hitting the backspace key on computers.

  5. Make sure you mitigate external factors (when you are able to) - We all have people in our lives whether that is co-worker, kids, or significant others. It is natural for people to be curious about what you are doing. However, many use this as an excuse to get what they want whether that is getting you to complete a task they would rather not do themselves or just trying to pass the time by talking to you. Instead of letting you get you’re your work done. The best way to mitigate this risk is to try and schedule your time for most important tasks before everyone else arrives or when they are on lunch. If that does not work try working with an intent look on your face. Just don’t over do it… if it becomes the norm they will just try and distract you anyway. Try and use this tactic as an emphasis not an indicator of character. When you notice the worst offenders starting to head to your desk, excuse your self if necessary, promptly get up and start heading to the bathroom. Most people will just move on the next victim and hopefully get the message.
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