How to increase my productivity on a computer

Updated: 08/31/2020 by Computer Hope

Productivity can be increased in many ways. Some tips for doing this are provided below.

Use a bigger screen

Use of a bigger screen or multiple screens (i.e., dual monitors) helps increase productivity by having more things in view at once. For example, a maximized window on a large screen can display more of the content within that window than a small screen. As a result, more text can be read, more graphics can be viewed, and less scrolling is needed.

Another advantage to a bigger screen is the ability to have multiple windows open and viewable at the same time. With multiple windows open it can be easier to copy and paste, retype, and do web design or anything that requires different windows or programs. The picture below shows an HTML editor and a live preview of the page open side-by-side to make editing and viewing the page faster.

Screen productivity

Practice typing

Typing faster makes everything faster and reduces the need to make corrections, which helps reduce the time to complete tasks and increases your productivity level. Also, not having to hunt and peck for each key on the keyboard will significantly increase your productivity.

Use keyboard shortcuts

Use of keyboard shortcuts helps you save time by keeping your hands on the keyboard instead of navigating a menu to select the action when needed. The more an action is used, the more that using the keyboard shortcut for it helps improve productivity. For instance, if you copy text often in Windows, using the Ctrl+C keyboard shortcut can save you from needing to use the right-click menu or the Edit menu to perform the copy.

Use an up-to-date and recent computer

Using an up-to-date computer, or upgrading your previous computer, helps you be more efficient by reducing the load time of programs. Getting programs to run faster when opening and being able to run more at once can have a big impact on your productivity. For example, upgrading a computer's hard drive to an SSD (solid-state drive) or getting a new computer with an SSD can dramatically increase your computers speed.

Do some clean up work

When a newer computer isn't possible, some clean up work may help your current computer run a little faster.

  • Clean up your hardware - Cleaning the computer, mouse, and other equipment helps make things run more smoothly. For instance, a dirty mouse can be difficult to move or make sudden large movements. To see how to clean your computer hardware, go to cleaning the computer and its components.
  • Defragment the hard disk - As programs are added and removed from the computer, the disk places the on different places. Defragmenting moves and organizes the date on the disk which makes accessing the data faster. For more information, see our Defrag page.
  • Upgrade hardware - Adding more RAM (random-access memory) or upgrading other hardware such as a new SSD helps make things run faster. More information on computer hardware is on the hardware page.
  • Remove viruses or other malware - If something has managed to attack your system, it can cause the computer to run slower. To read more about this, see: How does a computer get infected with a virus or spyware?

Use a faster Internet connection

A faster Internet connection will speed up load times and reduce the time it takes to view something online. It also increases download speeds, which speeds updates, file transfers, and obtaining new software. If you're still using a dial-up Internet connection, it is time to upgrade to broadband.

Remove distractions

Reading e-mail, social networking (like Twitter and Facebook), and watching videos on YouTube can slow down your productivity. Removing these distractions from your workspace while you are working helps you stay on task more consistently and finish work faster.

Programs like RescueTime help remove distractions by displaying how much time you spend doing something on the computer, and also warn or block you if distracted for too long.