Millions of people all over the country work exclusively on a computer. In fact, there are over 4 million information technology workers alone!
These days, you don’t even have to work in the technology field to work on the computer. Computers are used for everything from productivity to entertainment, which is both a positive and a negative.
Because you likely use your computer for both work and play, it’s important to keep a few computer tips in mind during your workday to keep yourself on track.
To learn everything you need to know about staying productive while using a Mac, just keep reading!
- Turn on Do Not Disturb
One of the biggest benefits of using a Mac is that it syncs with every other Apple device you own. You can see everything from text notifications to calendar appointments on all of your devices!
And while this is a handy tool, it can be a major distraction when you’re trying to work. To prevent this, put your computer and phone on do not disturb during the workday. Don’t worry, if someone has a serious problem, they will be pushed through the do not disturb filter after the third call.
You don’t have to block everything out for the entire day. However, if you’re working a big project and need to focus, turning off all the pings and pop-ups can do wonders for your productivity.
- Filter Your Email Inbox
When you pull up the Mail app, are you inundated with emails? If you use one email account for work and personal matters, you’re bound to have more emails than you want or need in your inbox.
Your email might not seem like a distraction, but start scrolling through all of the junk and messages from family and friends, and before you know it you’ve spent two hours doing virtually nothing. This is why email filters are so useful.
To prevent this, it’s a good idea to have folders for each type of correspondence. That way, you can go directly to the work folder and stay inside of it until you have free time to check the others.
- Clean Up Your Desktop
When you’re trying to work more efficiently, nothing’s worse than a cluttered desktop. You need to be able to get to everything you need without a great deal of searching. Even though MacOS 11 promises some fantastic tools, including old favorites such as Spotlight and Stacks, it’s still crucial to keep yourself organized.
A clean desktop will make you feel more at ease and keep your computer running smoothly while giving your productivity a boost. Take an hour or two to move everything you no longer need to the trash (don’t forget to empty it after!) and organize the rest into folders.
- Learn Some Keyboard Shortcuts
It might seem obvious, but knowing some keyboard shortcuts can help you type and work faster. There are tons of shortcuts available on Mac computers, all of which are worth looking into. That said, some of the most helpful include:
- Command-C: Copy to clipboard
- Command-X: Cut to clipboard
- Command-V: Paste to clipboard
- Command-Z: Undo recent action
- Command-A: Select all
- Command-Space: Bring up Spotlight
- Command-Tab: Pull up recently used apps
- Command-W: Close front window
Mastering all of the shortcuts and abilities your Mac offers will take time but will be well worth the effort in the long run! The more familiar you are with your computer, the more efficient you will be. If you find that MacOS 11 is too confusing, you can always uninstall Big Sur and go back to Catalina.
- Track Your Time
Do you know how your time is spent on your computer? Odds are, you’re letting minutes or even hours slip by with distractions without realizing you’re doing it.
Taking intentional breaks is a good thing, but in order to stay productive, you need to stay on task. Consider tracking your time to help you do this. You can do it manually using the Notepad or Calendar app, or you can download an app specifically for tracking time.
Certain apps are designed to track which programs you use and how much time you spend with them, as well as how much time you spend on your computer as a whole. Having this knowledge is an excellent productivity tool in itself!
- Put a Lock on Distracting Sites
If you find yourself opening social media or other distracting sites a little too often, stop yourself from accessing them during work hours with a site blocker! They’re easy to find and add to your browser as an extension.
Simply put in the sites you want to block access to and the times in which you want them to be unavailable and let the program do the rest. You’ll still be able to get to these sites if you really need to, but the block is a good reminder to keep working.
- Take Frequent Breaks
The worst thing you can do, for your back, your eyes, and your productivity, is to sit in front of a screen all day.
To keep your eyes healthy, follow the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes of work on the computer, look away at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. When you’re working, do your best to blink often.
Now, you’ll need to physically get up every hour and a half or so. Stand up, do some stretches, walk around, grab a snack. Anything is fine, as long as you’re up and moving for a few minutes.
Use These Computer Tips to Work Smarter Not Harder
Computers are a wonder of modern technology, they can even fit in our pockets! But because they offer so much in one place, staying productive can be tough.
By keeping these computer tips in mind during your workday, you’ll find that you breeze through your assignments faster than ever before. Do what you can to block out distractions and remember to take a break every once in a while. Your work will be done before you know it!
Looking for more tips and tricks for improving productivity? Be sure to check out our blog!
Also published on Medium.