Liz here with your weekly Learn Robotics article. This week’s topic is going to be a little different than the previous few weeks; rather than a technical or robotics tutorial, I’m going to talk about how to improve your productivity if you’re used to working on a computer.
There are lots of distractions when you work primarily on a computer. And for majority of us tech-buffs, we pursue jobs or activities that require the use of a computer. With devices becoming more and more accessible, it’s easier to get our hands on a computer and use it for hours on end.
Wouldn’t it be great to maximize our time and be productive while using a computer?
In this article, I’m going to explore two tips that I’ve personally implemented over the last couple weeks while working long hours (10+ hour days) working on my computer. Give these tips a try, and let me know in the comments section below if you’ve tried these methods or have others you’d like to add to this list.
Tip #1 – Turn off the Notifications on your computer
I find that when I’m working on something and a little notification banner pops up on the right side of my screen, it distracts me from what I’m trying to concentrate on. For those of you that don’t know, I’m team Mac (all the way, baby!), and Apple has a new notification for nearly every app installed. From updates to Messages to emails, to downloads, the notifications are highly distracting. About a week ago, I disabled ALL notifications from every app on my MacBook, and let me tell you, I was able to concentrate on my work for about four hours straight. It’s amazing what you can do with four-hours of uninterrupted time.
For those of you who’d like to try this out, you can disable notifications on Mac (I’m on OS High Sierra) using these steps:
- Step #1 – Click on System Preferences
- Step #2 – Select Notifications
- Step #3 – Opt to turn on “Do Not Disturb” from your working hours (i.e. 9am-5pm) or…
- Step #4 – …Select each program individually and shut off the notification banners
For all my Windows users out there, check out this tutorial on Digital Trends to disable notifications on Windows 10.
Once I disabled the notifications, and saw such a major increase in my productivity throughout the day, I decided to step it up a notch and remove email from my life. That leads me to my next tip.
Tip #2 – Don’t leave your email client open
Almost anyone out there who podcasts, is in the entrepreneurial space, or is a “mover and shaker” will say that you shouldn’t base your day around your inbox. And I completely agree.
Email is literally the biggest time waster of my day. While I don’t have a set timeframe to read email, I do try to limit it to once or twice a day, and when I’m done with checking it, I completely exit out of the email client.
This ensures that when a new message comes through, I won’t be distracted by the little number bubble next to the Mail app. I won’t be tempted to read through the email marketing campaigns and do some internet shopping. I can just focus on the current task at hand.
Email is a very passive way of communicating. What I mean by that is, if you need to tell someone something urgent, you’d be better off giving them a call or shooting them a text. Emails can marinate in people’s inbox, be ignored, or frankly, just deleted.
While email is great for marketing and promoting products, it’s completely unnecessary to keep your inbox open all day long. Batch your emails, close out of the mail client (Outlook, Google, Mail App, etc), and check it once or twice a day if need be. You’ll see your productivity sky-rocket, which will make your job easier and more efficient.
In Summary – Productivity on a Computer is Achievable!
In summary, here are a few quick changes that you can make to be more productive in your job using a computer. First off, try disabling all the notifications on your computer. Rather than seeing the bubbles pop up on your screen, you can concentrate on a single task at a time.
You’ll be less likely to go off on a tangent talking to a buddy on Messages or browsing an online store’s sales. Multitasking is the death of productivity, so if you can eliminate distractions, you’ll have a greater chance at completing the task at hand rather than half-completing a bunch of tasks.
Lastly, if you switch to checking email no more than twice a day you’ll eliminate another huge time waster. Don’t let others control your day by being influenced by your inbox. Open it once or twice a day, read through your emails, flag the important ones to follow up on, and then exit out of the program.
If you try these two simple things, like I have, you’ll be able to manage your time better, and I guarantee you’ll see an increase in your productivity and mindfulness.
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