Advertising
Advertising

11 Ways To Work Smarter at Your Computer Job

11 Ways To Work Smarter at Your Computer Job

Computer technology is changing the way people work and live at such a fast rate that it can be difficult at times to keep up with an increasing load of job expectations, especially at computer-based jobs. If you are one of those people facing hundreds of emails in your inbox every day and you have dozens of projects to complete, try some of these simple steps to help manage your work time at your computer job.

1. Take care of yourself

Above all else, the most important thing is simply to take good care of yourself. Get plenty of rest, eat healthy, drink plenty of liquids during the day, and make sure you get enough exercise. These are common sense ways to stay healthy, and the healthier you are, the better you are able to cope with any added work responsibilities, as well as the potential for increased stress. This also means taking care of yourself at the end of the day by finding ways to reduce your stress outside work, such as massage or aromatherapy.

2. Set a regular routine for your daily tasks

In any job, it is necessary to set a regular routine, so you can plan out how to address your daily tasks. Decide what your priorities are and go from there. Things that need doing first will get done first, and other tasks can be done in the order of their importance. If you have a daily routine set up for tackling the workload, it will seem easier if you break it down into bite-sized pieces. This will allow you to focus on one thing at a time, instead of being overwhelmed projects as a whole.

Advertising

3. Develop a method to help you track your progress

The planning process of any job means finding how best to do what is expected. Only you know what works best for you, so you should devise your own way of managing your time. You need a process that allows you to see what needs to be done and track what you actually accomplish every day. You need to be able to see not only what you have done, but also set a plan for accomplishing what you need to do. This plan can start with what you expect to accomplish and fill it in as you go with what you actually accomplish. Like an athlete in training for a race or competition, you will gradually prepare to meet your goals.

by Osseous on Flickr

    4. Take regular breaks from the computer

    With a full workload, it is easy to become absorbed in your work and forget everything else. It may seem easier to stay focused, but it is actually bad for your health (both mentally and physically) to stay seated for long periods of time. It is important to remember to just take breaks throughout the day. Stand up and stretch, walk around, do what you can to release the pressure from time to time. This should be a part of your regular plan each day.

    Advertising

    5. Gather feedback from other employees

    Any job is better when you can get feedback on what you are doing from other people in the office. Rather than just staying focused on your own responsibilities, it helps to engage in conversation with others around you. Everyone has something to contribute in a workplace, so don’t underestimate the value of feedback. You always gain from the input provided by those who work with you. If you need ideas or feedback on what you are doing, the people next to you are your best source.

    6. Spend time helping or promoting others

    Even in job situations where the emphasis is on individual performance, you should still reach out to other workers for support. This can go both ways. When you make time to help other people, or take note of what they do well, it can increase your job satisfaction greatly. Everyone appreciates gaining support from coworkers. When you contribute to the training and support of other people, you also gain personal satisfaction that comes back to you in immeasurable ways.

    Rowan University Publications Flickr

      7. Set aside a day for catching up

      No matter how complex your job is, everyone needs a break. If you are under a lot of pressure, you need to feel like the pressure is off some of the time. Coping with work stress is not easy, so you need time to relax. Choose one day of the week to allow yourself to regroup, or just catch up on tasks you may be falling behind in. It will give you the time needed to face unexpected problems that arise and to solve them. This can be your designated non-stress day.

      Advertising

      8. Find ways to reward yourself

      Work can seem so difficult that it can rob you of the feeling that you are making any progress. It’s a great idea to find some way to personally reward yourself when you complete something, no matter how small. Pick something you enjoy, like a special food, or treat, or anything else you enjoy. Rewarding yourself is a great way to stay motivated and feel better about what you are doing every day. There are always ways that you can find small rewards in whatever you are doing. These can be small things that others might deem insignificant, but rewarding yourself is essential to job satisfaction.

      9. Make time to evaluate your  progress

      Every job has its challenges, but it is important to set aside time to evaluate the progress you are making. On a weekly or monthly basis, you should plan to spend time looking at what you have been able to accomplish and how successful at it you have been. You should be able to look at your own strengths and weaknesses, rather than depend solely on the evaluations of your supervisor. Be honest with yourself about how well you are doing. Evaluating your progress will help you look forward and plan ahead.

      10. Take time to relax and think creatively

      Everyone needs time to unwind, even during the work day. It’s a good idea to set aside some time for yourself, even short amounts to relax and take a break from your normal routine will be beneficial. This is extremely important, especially if you are in a position that requires some creativity. Being relaxed is the best time to come up with new ideas. While stress can reduce your ability to get inspired, the lack of stress will stimulate your creativity. Simply getting up and just going for a short walk can spark your imagination.

      Advertising

      11. Expand your knowledge through courses or classes

      Furthering your education is something that can be overlooked in work environments. It may seem easier to just learn the job you have and settle into a routine. However, everyone needs to be able to expand their knowledge. Take an online course, or just read about new subjects in your spare time. Even the so-called experts in any field, spend time learning. Continuing to read more and study up on a variety of topics related to your job will help you stay well-informed. Being empowered with greater knowledge will help you move ahead in your career and prepare you for possible career changes that may lie ahead.

      Featured photo credit: by Eef Ink at Flickr Creative Commons via flickr.com

      More by this author

      Karen Bresnahan

      Photographer/Writer/Artist

      14 Fun Ways to Give Cash at Weddings, Parties and on Holidays 13 Ways to Handle Grief After the Loss of a Loved One 9 Unforgettable Things My Mother Taught Me couple at sunset 20 Ways to Say ‘I Love You’ With Photos 3 Easy Ways to Shake the After-Holiday Blues

      Trending in Productivity

      1 Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed 2 To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System 3 How to Increase Brain Power: 10 Simple Ways to Train Your Brain 4 The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It? 5 Forget Learning How to Multitask: Boost Productivity 10X More with Focus

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on October 15, 2019

      Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

      Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

      Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

      Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

      There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

      Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

      Why we procrastinate after all

      We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

      Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

      Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

      Advertising

      To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

      If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

      So, is procrastination bad?

      Yes it is.

      Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

      Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

      Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

      It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

      Advertising

      The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

      Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

      For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

      A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

      Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

      Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

      How bad procrastination can be

      Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

      Advertising

      After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

      One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

      That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

      Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

      In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

      You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

      More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article:

      Advertising

      8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

      Procrastination, a technical failure

      Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

      It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

      It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

      Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

      Reference

      Read Next