5 Computer No-nos that have to Go-go
Updated: Oct 12, 2020
Kicking bad habits is never an easy task. It may as well be rocket science trying to get someone to stop doing something you know does more harm then good, and on the off chance you are a rocket scientist, you may still find this difficult.
So why do the same to your computer?
Believe it or not there are several similarities between a computer and a human. They both have functions, assets, memory and several other similarities we may not care to admit.
Equally, there are certain things that a computer needs to ensure maximum optimisation and productivity, and sometimes, our bad habits compromise this.
Although not a complete list there are some easy practices you can implement to kick bad IT habits.
1. Running Too Many Programs at Once
One of the biggest similarities comes from this idea of multitasking.
As much as we may like to think we can multitask effectively, in reality, it makes us less efficient. Reaching our goals is the universal human measurement of success but we become less likely to reach our goals if we take on too many projects at the same time.
Computers are no different. When you launch too many programs at once or have too many tabs open, chances are the computer will slow down, struggle to complete tasks and maybe even effectively ‘burnout’ or crash. This not only wastes your own time but can sometimes be a source of anxiety for the user. Of course, this is all based on CPU, RAM usage and how long the computer has been turned on for.
Trying to minimise the number of inactive programs or browsers is a good habit to have for both your own and your computer's sake.
2. Letting Sleeping Plugins Lie
We are not talking about letting plugins lie to you, we are talking about letting them lay dormant and unused.
No ship sails smoother than a clean computer. It's natural to download a range of third party apps and have fifty different search engines that do slightly different things, each with their extensions and plugins. But realistically as time goes on they become less and less relevant and just sit in the deepest darkest corner of hard drives collecting dust and causing problems.
Although it's easy to ignore them, it's better to remove them entirely. They slow down computer performance or even still run background processes consuming precious resources and taking up disk space.
3. Forgetting to Erase Your Old Computer Hard Drive
Surveys have found on average that people replace their computers every 4.5 years. Although this is far less frequent than a cell phone, it's still exciting to go out and treat yourself and see all the new features. However, after doing this the correct handling of your previous device is essential. It is not uncommon for people to forget to completely return their device to a factory standard. Whether choosing to resell your old device or otherwise make sure you have the data backed up and then removed. Vital private data may still be recoverable by the new owner if the right steps are not taken.
4. Taking Breaks
Taking breaks is crucial for mental health and productivity. It is important in every field of work especially when working on a computer. Staring at a computer screen can cause severe eye strain and headaches. Even with the aid of computer focused eyewear such as blue light glasses, these issues may continue.
Sitting at a computer desk can also cause back strain and aches so it's important to look after yourself during the workday. In some cases this can even lead to chronic stress and cognitive impairment. It is recommended someone takes a break at least every 50 minutes, even if it's just a stretch or to refill your coffee.
5. Never Restarting Your Computer
At the start of this article we talked about how computers and humans are similar and here's another example.
When a person is tired they are far less alert and productive. It is well known that a large number of cybersecurity breaches can be related back to human error.
Computers are much the same. When they are tired they will slow down and not work properly. Often if your computer is freezing or taking what seems like an eternity to load a website, it may just need a restart. In fact, it is best practice to restart your computer daily, we have mentioned it before and will likely mention it again but this is simply because it solves a lot of issues.