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Get Better On PC & Mac: Follow These 10 Simple, Useful Tricks for Higher Productivity

Get Better On PC & Mac: Follow These 10 Simple, Useful Tricks for Higher Productivity

Are you working hard every day to get better? Reaching goals?

Recently I’ve had a conversation with an older guy who owns a pawn shop. He started to complain about business not doing well, how he lacks ideas and the drive, how he’s demoralized and overwhelmed by the technology advancement. “We can’t adapt so quickly to the new stuff like you youngsters. We’re slowly being discarded,” he told me while trying to persuade me to buy a used Mac, which he couldn’t use and understand well.

How are you doing in the tech compartment?

The technology today really progresses quickly. And many might feel left behind, or frightened to compete in this fast-paced world. Take the modern work atmosphere for example. New and improved technologies are a must nowadays ‒ if you can’t cope with the latest tech or apps, you’re outdated. Being outdated might put you in a bad position or bring you trouble. That’s why I’m sharing some tips that will help you use both Mac & Windows machine better and easier.

If you’re not as good in the tech section and you’re trying to fit in the new work environment, this is the post for you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a bit older. It doesn’t have to be that tough. You can do it. Start using these 10 tips and you’ll get better on PC & Mac in no time!

1. Quickly hide or close a lot of running apps.

There are many reasons to open a lot of folders at the same time. It could be either to transfer files from one to another or to rearrange your folders simply through the partitions. If not managed well, your screen can get stacked with a bunch of folders which might just confuse you instead of making you more productive. To navigate more easily through folders that you need, it is advisable that you close or hide the ones that are redundant at the moment.

The question is: how to do it?

Get Better On PC & Mac - quickly close an app

    For Mac OS: press and hold the command button ⌘ and keep pressing the Tab key. By doing this, you will list the apps and for the those you wish to close, you just have to press Q key, while for those that you want to hide, press the H key.

    2. Type quickly with your voice with a “hidden” Dictation app.

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    Get Better On PC & Mac - type with your voice

      If you need something written down and you’re not skilled with typing, the Dictation app could prove to be very useful. You can find the Dictation app in System Preferences within the Apple menu. To start writing with your voice, press the (fn) button (located in the upper left corner of a standard Mac keyboard), start talking and after you have finished, press the (fn) button again and your speech will be converted to text.

      The best feature of this app is that you can use it while offline, which makes it convenient while traveling. That is if you don’t mind the strange looks you’ll be getting while talking to yourself. This program offers its users the option to edit occasional mistakes that are known to happen when dictating to a computer. It remembers the changes and guarantees an improved experience each time you use it. While this feature is still new to the Windows OS, it works surprisingly well on Mac.

      If the dictation app is disabled on your PC (this happens often), it is easy to enable it by going to Settings > Dictation and Speech. If the box next to the “Enhanced Dictation” is unchecked, make sure to check the box, close the settings and you are ready to go!

      No more being embarrassed for not being able to type like a machine.

      3. Switching fast on a dual-monitor.

      Get Better On PC & Mac - switching between two monitors

        Dual-monitor setup is common in offices nowadays; it brings more screen real estate into your workspace and enables you to have/do more. Programmers and designers enjoy these benefits the most.

        For example, if you have opened Adobe Photoshop on the left screen and Adobe Illustrator on the right, you will probably reach a point when you want to transfer something from one program to another, i.e. from one monitor to the other.

        All you have to do is to press the Windows button together with the (Shift) and left arrow (ß) and this will instantly switch you to the left monitor. The procedure is fairly similar when going to the right, except this time you’ll be using the right arrow key (à) and that’s it. Also, if your monitors are connected correctly, you can hold your file with the left mouse click and drag it to the other monitor. Simple as that.

        This problem has an even easier solution on a Mac. Pressing ⌘ and F1 at the same does the trick with newer generations of Mac computers. For older versions, your best bet would be to click manually on the dormant monitor before sliding back and forth.

        4. Install Windows on your Mac PC.

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        Get Better On PC & Mac - Install Windows On Mac

          Some programs don’t work as good on Windows as on Mac. Some programs are Windows-only. If you don’t want to waste your time by emulating an entirely different OS, the solution is dual boot – install Windows on your Mac. This is perfectly legal, don’t worry. Installing Windows on a Mac PC could be a difficult task for some people; if you’re willing to go for it, check out the detailed guide that will take you through the process effortlessly.

          Before you start with the installation, you will need to have an Intel-based Mac,Microsoft Windows version 8 or higher OS media or (ISO) disk image and at least 55 GB of free disk space on your Mac. Do not forget to check the system requirements for the Windows OS that you are trying to install on your Mac as the requirements will have a massive impact on both the installation process and the functionality of Windows OS.

          5. Hide and display the Start menu whenever you need it.

          Get Better On PC & Mac - hide taskbar

            You might have seen this on a colleague’s computer, and got confused. No Start menu at all? What’s wrong?

            This is just an auto-hide option that Windows offers to its users. To enable it, you just right-click on the taskbar and go to Properties. Check the “Auto-Hide Taskbar” option and hit “Apply” button. By doing this, your taskbar will “disappear” but should you need it, press the Windows key, and it will appear together with the search option. Same goes with the mouse hover.

            This option is very popular among the programming community since using this option allows programs to be fully opened without displaying the taskbar on the bottom. Of course, whenever you feel like having your taskbar at the bottom again, follow the same steps but uncheck the “Auto-Hide Taskbar” and check the “Lock the Taskbar” option.

            When it comes to Mac OS, the taskbar is, of course, known as a dock and you can hide it if you wish to. The Dock icon within the System Preferences opens up a window where you can check a box to hide the dock automatically.

            6. Preview any file.

            Get Better On PC & Mac - Previewing folders

              If you are one of the Mac owners, did you know that you can preview any type of file, even the Photoshop files and videos? Select the desired file that you wish to preview, and press and hold the spacebar. You stop previewing the file by releasing the spacebar. Feel free to preview any adjacent files by simply using your keyboard arrows while holding space.

              This feature is perfect for all of you who are into photography since finding the right one could be a bit tiresome without the preview option. This feature enables you to go quickly through the pictures and selected the ones you like and separate them from the folder that you are previewing. The same thing is available with videos, as long as the video format fulfills the requirements of this excellent feature.

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              If you’re on Windows, you’re limited to the preview pane which can be turned on in the folders settings. If you want to enable it, click on “Organize”, head to “Layout” and select the preview pane to show. Same goes for Windows versions from 7 and above.

              Get Better On PC & Mac -previewing files on Windows

                7. Force quit an app.

                Get Better On PC & Mac - force quit an app

                  At some point, all of us have faced with the “Application has stopped working” and a frozen screen, which made us try the various options just to make it go away. Struggling with this kind of a problem is common for novices, but there is a quick, professional solution.

                  One of the easiest ways to make the application force quit on Mac is to press the Command key together with the Option and Escape. By doing this, the “Force quit application window” will appear and all you have to do is to select the desired app that you wish to close and force quit it. It can be compared to the more famous Windows option which utilizes the Ctrl+Alt+Delete buttons. When you use this command on a Windows machine, Windows Task Manager will open, where you can see the apps that run at the moment and quickly find the one which misbehaves.

                  Sometimes an app can get pretty stubborn in its disobedience to close. In those cases, you can apply different, advanced ways to force quit an app on Mac. When you look into them further, you won’t have problems with stubborn apps. Overall, make sure you’re running latest drivers and official apps, which usually don’t misbehave.

                  8. Disable notification pop-ups.

                  tips for Windows & Mac - Turn off the notificaitons

                    If you are presenting something to your class or you need your PowerPoint for an important business meeting, the last thing you want is to get distracted by the meaningless notifications that always find their way to pop up in the right corner at the most unwilling time. There is an easy way to disable these annoying pop-ups. Press and hold the (⌥) button and then press the “Notification Center” icon in the menu bar.

                    Once you have done this, you will see that the icon color is changing from gray to black, which means that all notifications won’t arrive until you turn that option back on. If this didn’t work for you, and you still see some of the notifications appearing on your screen, make sure to check out a detailed guide to see if you did everything that is needed.

                    If you have a Windows OS, notifications are disabled inside All Settings > System > Notifications and Actions (Windows 10). For Windows 7, go to Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Notification Area Icons and customize which apps you want on your notification tray.

                    9. Change brightness and volume quickly.

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                    tips for Windows & Mac - Brightness and volume

                      Another cool shortcut that is good to know is how to modify the level of brightness on your Mac quickly as well as to turn down the volume fast, as it may come handy in some situations. If you are watching some content that is way too bright press the shift key (⇧) + Option key (⌥), and a small window will pop up where you can set up the brightness. Don’t forget to look after your eyes, especially if you are pulling long hours sitting in front of a computer.

                      When it comes to the adjustment of sound on your computer, it can be quite irritating if your main speaker is out of your reach. To turn down the volume, without the need to stretch yourself across the desk, you have to press and hold the shift key (⇧) and use the scroll on your mouse. By doing this, a small sound window will appear allowing you to see and adjust the current volume level of your speakers.

                      Windows users, you have to click on a small notification tray and change the sound there. If you’re on a laptop, there are keys for both brightness and sound adjustment on the keyboard.

                      10. Create your own keyboard shortcut.

                      Creating Own Keyboarrd shortcut

                        In the world of computers, automation and shortcuts form a killer combo. Every professional computer user has them; these bad boys make us several times more productive and make our computers work exactly like we want them to. Windows users have the privilege with this possibility, as Mac users can’t enjoy it in full swing (Yosemite adds app shortcuts to the keyboard, which gets Mac users pretty close to this function).

                        In order to make your own keyboard shortcut in Windows, you’ll need a desktop shortcut first. To do this, you need to right-click and select the “Create Shortcut” option. Then, choose the app or folder you’d like to have a shortcut for, and press “Apply.” Once you’ve made sure you have the shortcut on your desktop right click on it and go to Properties. After the new window has appeared, select the “Shortcut Key” line and in that blank space put whichever key you want, for example, K button. By doing this you are ready to go, your shortcut will be created, and you can access it by pressing the [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [K] buttons.

                        This one might help a lot for you to look more tech-savvy.

                        You can stay current.

                        Computers can help us a lot if we understand them and use them properly. The key to being current and productive, is persistence, routine, and positive attitude. Nothing is that tough that you can’t beat it. Especially some operating systems. You can do it.

                        Start using these tips today and edge the competition!

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                        Dejan Kvrgic

                        Blogger, Writer

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                        1 15 Brain Foods You Should Be Eating Regularly to Keep Your Mind Sharp 2 Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power 3 12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power 4 13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride 5 8 Best Cardio Workouts for Efficient Weight Loss

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                        Last Updated on February 21, 2019

                        Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

                        Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

                        Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

                        If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

                        When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

                        In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

                        1. Salmon

                        Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

                        It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

                        Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

                        Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

                        Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

                        Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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                        2. Blueberries

                        Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

                        Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

                        Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

                        Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

                        Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

                        3. Turmeric

                        Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

                        Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

                        Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

                        Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

                        Curcumin has also been shown to:

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                        • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
                        • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
                        • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
                        • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

                        4. Coffee

                        Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

                        Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

                        Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

                        Coffee can also:

                        • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
                        • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
                        • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
                        • Improve your memory.
                        • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

                        5. Broccoli

                        What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

                        Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

                        Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

                        Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

                        Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

                        6. Bone broth

                        Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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                        Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

                        Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

                        Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

                        Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

                        With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

                        Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

                        7. Walnuts

                        Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

                        Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

                        Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

                        Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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                        8. Eggs

                        For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

                        Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

                        Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

                        9. Dark chocolate

                        You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

                        Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

                        Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

                        Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

                        Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

                        Conclusion

                        Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

                        In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

                        If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

                        More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                        Reference

                        [1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
                        [2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
                        [3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
                        [4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
                        [5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
                        [6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
                        [7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
                        [8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
                        [9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
                        [10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
                        [11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
                        [12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
                        [13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
                        [14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
                        [15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
                        [16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
                        [17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
                        [18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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