A woman at a desk is frustrated with her slow computer.

As almost everyone has experienced, a slow or malfunctioning computer can seriously limit our ability to get work done. It can cause even the simplest of tasks to take far too long. Also, that drop in productivity will lead to more work being pushed back. Thankfully, there is a solution. Today is National ‘Clean Your Computer Day’, so there couldn’t be a better time to discuss potential solutions. Not only will we be talking about ways to speed up your computer, we’ll also discuss some tactics you can use to be more efficient yourself!

A clean, quick computer is great! However, it’s not nearly as valuable as it could be unless you are well organized. There’s something to be said for a clean work space, and the same can be true for a digital work space. To begin, we’ll break down a few strategies you can use to work smarter, instead of harder on your computer.

Organize Your Documents & Folders

One of the best ways for you to work better is to be more organized. Organizing documents will make things easier to find, and cut down on time searching. This is true for both physical and digital files. If you haven’t put in the work to organize the files on your computer, you should consider doing so. It’s much easier to operate quickly when you know where everything is. Once you make the change, it’s also hard to break habit!

Sort Your Inbox Into Separate Folders

One of the largest time sinks at work is email. Some workers spend hours every day, reading, responding, and sorting through emails. There are plenty of strategies for dealing with that, but today we’re focused on being efficient. It’s smart to organize your e-mails into folders. Doing so also allows you to sort them out of your inbox. This makes it easy for you to know what you need to respond to in your inbox. This also has the added benefit of making it much easier to locate an email you need!

Clean Off Your Desktop Icons

If you’re going to be cleaning your computer, you shouldn’t just stop at files and emails. Too many desktops are littered with icons, and they serve almost no purpose, since there are too many to sift through anyways. Save your desktop icons for those you use the most, and need to access constantly. Other files should be saved in your sorted folders, off the main screen. This type of optimization also leads us to our next point.

Favorite Your Most Used Websites

Most browsers allow you to favorite websites. Doing this will give you quick access in the navbar to anything you may use constantly. So if you find yourself using one specific site for work everyday, it may make sense for you to bookmark it. That way, when you need to quickly access it, it’s only a click away. It’s not a huge time saver, but it keeps you from having to type in the full url teach time!

Learn Keyboard Shortcuts

The great thing about using a keyboard on your computer instead of a touchscreen is the access to quick keyboard shortcuts! You are probably familiar with Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V to copy and paste, but there are many more! These shortcuts can actually save you a ton of time, if you are able to remember them. If you’re interested in using them, check out Microsoft’s and Apple’s full lists to start learning.

Check For Performance Issues

If you’re on a computer running Windows, you have a handy tool available to you called the ‘Performance Troubleshooter. To access this navigate to your Control Panel > Search ‘Troubleshooting’ > Click Troubleshooting > System & Security > Performance. This program will detect any problems that may be slowing your computer down. Pretty nifty!

Remove Unnecessary Files

Another reason your computer may be taking a while is if you have many large files. Even when you delete files, most of them go to the recycle bin instead of being erased completely. So those files are just taking up space on your computer. This can prolong searches, and slow down your file explorer. Take some time to go through and empty your trash bin, and clean out your downloads folder. Also, if you have big media files such as photos or video, consider getting rid of what you don’t need.

Uninstall Unused Programs

It’s entirely possible that there are many programs on your computer that have never been used. Some of these programs may run in the background, or run on startup, slowing down your machine. Thankfully, it’s very easy to remove them from your computer! Navigate to Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features. From there, you will see a list of all of the programs currently installed on your computer. This way, you can easily choose the programs which programs you’d like to remove. Just be careful with what you uninstall. If you’re unsure what a program does, make sure you search it first to see if it’s something you need or not.

We hope this tips and tricks help you clean up your computer, and work more efficiently! Saving time using your computer can be a lifesaver at work, and enable you to focus on other projects and tasks. Also if you haven’t already, make sure you backup all of your files. It’s terrible to have the hard-drive fail and lose everything you have. Do you have any other tips you’d like to share? Comment it below and share!