Technology is all around us. In fact, in recent years, it seems that you really can’t escape using technology even if you want to. While you may feel like technology is taking over—seems like everyone is perpetually looking at a smartphone nowadays—there are ways that you can embrace technology for the better. Here are seven quick and easy tech tips to make your life better.
Tech Tips to Improve Your Life
Whether it is a website, your digital photo collection, or a paper that you are writing, make sure that you are in the habit of saving often—and even having data saved to a back-up server. While technology is a very useful tool, it can also be very frustrating if you have put a lot of time and effort into a project on your computer just to have it all erased if you unexpectedly lose power or a shutdown occurs.
Use your smartphone calendar
You may be used to writing things on your desk calendar or wall calendar, but you really need to start using your smartphone calendar. Not only can you set it up to alert you of events and meetings that you have entered, but you can also share events with family members in your network so they can view the event and will receive the alert too. Definitely a great way to cut down on miscommunications and missed events.
Set parental controls
While many devices have the ability to set controls on devices in that group (for free), you can also buy products, such as Circle with Disney. This device allows you to: set daily time limits on apps and websites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, filter online content by age level, pause the internet, and check online usage to monitor where your kids are spending their time online.
Take frequent breaks
If you need to use your computer for extended periods of time, it is suggested that you take frequent breaks to rest your eyes and body.
- Micro-breaks—this is not a break from work, just a quick break for your muscles to relax for a minute or so. Any repetitive motion can strain your muscles. So to combat this, take a minute to flex your finger muscles and rest your hands when doing a lot of typing, or even take a moment to stretch or stand up to help alleviate back and neck strain.
- Rest breaks—every hour or so, you may want to take a little bit of a break and get up and walk around. Taking a 5 minute break to get a drink or use the restroom can give your muscles a chance to relax and use different muscles groups, but also give you a necessary mental break.
- Eye break—you may not realize that you need to give your eyes a special break. It is suggested that every 15 minutes or so you should take a minute to look away from your computer and gaze into the distance (approximately 20 feet away) to give your eye muscles time to relax.
Get an ergonomic design
In addition to taking breaks, you can make your workstation a bit more user friendly with an ergonomic design. You might want to get an adjustable stand for your keyboard to take some strain off your wrists when typing. Or even get an ergonomic desk converter for your computer that can allow you the flexibility of sitting or standing to help relieve back strain.
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Know the simple keyboard commands
You may not know (or ever use) all of the function shortcuts. However, there are a few shortcuts that you need to know to make your computer experience a lot easier:
- CTRL + ALT + Delete—this is a quick way to get to the task manager. If your computer locks up, instead of just unplugging it and restarting, use this short cut to get to the task manager and shut down each application before powering down.
- CTRL + prt sc—this will take a screen shot of what your desktop is showing. If you need to document a problem that you are having, take a quick screen shot and send it to the help desk. They can probably help you solve the problem quicker if they can see the exact problem that you are having.
- CTRL + rolling the scroll button on your mouse—this will change the size of the words and pictures showing on your desktop. Need to see some small wording? Click the CTRL key and scroll up to enlarge. Roll back down to shrink the wording and images on the screen.
As great and useful as technology is, sometimes it is necessary to just unplug from it for a bit. Even if you need to have your smartphone handy for work, you can still make it a habit to set aside all devices during meal times. Another good habit is to put them away after a certain time in the evening to allow you sufficient time to unwind from the day and quiet your mind and body for a more restful sleep.