10 New Year Tech Resolutions that could change your life
We do it every year. It’s the start of January and we are feeling sluggish, bloated and resolving to eat less and exercise more. But this year how about some resolutions that are going to help move us towards being more productive and more efficient.
Since most of our working life is spent at a computer – we started to wonder – what are some tech resolutions that can help us achieve our goals? Or even ones that can do tasks for us?
So we’ve pulled together a top 10 list of tech resolutions. These are things we are going to do, or change about the way we use our computer/laptop, software and apps to make 2019 more productive, more effective and hopefully – happier too!
1. Digital de-cluttering
Our digital belongings can often pile up in the same way as laundry or dirty dishes. Having random files littered about your desktop or incorrectly filed can cause the same angst and stress as a cluttered house. Taking time out of your busy day to resolve this will make all the difference for the rest of the year. Having a clear filing strategy and using a naming convention will save you unnecessary search time in future.
2. Schedule as much as possible
Use task and to-do list apps to plan out activities and actions that need to be completed throughout the year. Using an online to-do list – one that syncs across devices – can be a massive time saver. Try apps like Todoist or Wunderlist. Whenever a nagging task pops into your head, being able to write it down, scheduling a reminder to pop up on any of your devices will dramatically improve your productivity and create some much-needed headspace.
3. Use project management tools
Worrying about big projects can also detract from our everyday productivity. By using project management tools you can properly plan your tasks, consider requirements, dependencies, antecedents. things in, break up big projects into smaller tasks and plan them in. Use apps like Trello or Click-Up to help visualise and structure your tasks with easy to use reminders and calendar views.
4. Stop using notebooks and wasting paper
Fed up of trying to locate your notebook that you wrote that password in or telephone number for that client that said he was interested in something? Then save paper, save the trees, and use online notes. There are so many to choose from. All with varying levels of functionality and designs to suit you. Simplenote is a completely pared back app which simply allows you to record your thoughts. There are no bells and whistles and no distracting background images of cute puppies. Google Keep does allow for a few more fancy bullets and numbered lists and the ability to change the colour of your note, but is still pretty simple for capturing your thoughts. OneNote and Evernote are more like a massive folder with sections for categorised notes if you need something more comprehensive.
5. Stop multi-tasking and close those tabs
Researching information can often take you on a labyrinthine journey across the web. Don’t get lost down the rabbit hole. Having multiple tabs open of content that you found interesting will decrease the performance of your computer and slow everything down. Let alone leave you confused three hours later when you wonder why that tab was open in the first place. Use something like Pocket to save and tag the web-pages that were of interest to then look up easily again when you need it.
6. Don’t respond immediately
With an increasing number of us working virtually across time zones and locations – staying connected is important, but having constant pop-ups from communicator apps and collaboration tools can interrupt our concentration and ruin or productivity. When working remotely there is a danger of responding immediately to questions and emails to help you feel connected.
Instead, we recommend setting times to check your emails and direct messages. Keeping your day compartmentalised for tasks and responding to queries can improve your focus and help you finish an activity rather than ending the day with multiple unfinished actions. You could even try setting emails to auto-send later in the day – and hopefully, encourage others to not feel the need to respond straight away either!
7. Get more focus with Pomodoro
If you are anything like me, my mind wanders to other tasks and I did in and out of other activities. The Pomodoro technique helps you focus in 25-minute blocks of time. The theory is – that you will be far more productive by having 25 minutes of focused activities followed by a break – rather than making yourself work solidly for hours. This method can keep you creative and make you more productive. There are plenty of apps available to help you keep track of time. Give it a go. Enforced breaks have definitely helped my productivity.
8. Be more productive using music
Try music to help keep you focussed and block out unwanted pings, bings from notifications and emails arriving. Spotify has some great playlists for background music – try “Music for Concentration” or “Peaceful Guitar”.
9. Make more ethical choices in all my electronic purchases
Ever since watching Blue Planet, I have a pang of guilt when opening up a plastic wrapped cucumber and throwing away a packet of crisps. While I can make ethical choices in some areas, often our office spaces are overlooked. I would love to have a zero-waste office and not be plagued with guilt every time I picked up a single-use pen.
Often computers are overlooked when we are thinking of making ethical purchase choices.
Here at Secondlife-IT, We take fully working IT (including Laptops, PCs and servers) from some of the biggest computer manufacturers in the world, which have usually been supplied to major corporations on a lease basis and give them a second life. Research has shown that refurbished is the best option when considering buying technology – as it avoids the environmental cost of mining, manufacturing and shipping new units.
10. Throw-away less
For decades we have been accustomed to buying products that can be used once and thrown away. Cheap, seldom cheerful, items that now make us feel terrible. While I have no qualms about buying second-hand cars or clothes, there are still items that I wouldn’t consider buying second hand and I want to change my attitude. Pretty much everything can be repaired or refurbished. We just need to make it fashionable again, and change perceptions to eventually change the culture of what and how we buy. This year I’m resolving to buy more refurbished or reusable tech products.
I hope our resolutions have inspired you to make your own – and make your work / life a little bit more productive this year.
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