Splitting attention among various busy tasks is physically and emotionally draining for most people. Believe it or not, your computer feels the same way. Like humans, a computer can only process but so much at a time, and the more tasks you make a computer process, the slower it thinks, overall, which is why a discipline in closing unused programs is so important to long-term computer health.
Focus on one thing at a time
While difficult for most users, focusing on one goal or task at a time is probably the wisest way of using your computer processing resources and, more importantly, your own.
Open an article because you want to eventually read? There’s no time like the present. Designing a new logo for your small business? Do nothing else until you’re done or at least reach an appropriate stopping point for the day. Need to schedule out meetings? Finish them all as soon as you can.
Not only is this beneficial for your computer, it’s beneficial for you. Fewer tasks left undone means fewer things to worry about when you’re no longer on the computer. So don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do right now.
Close programs and tabs when complete
Quality carpenters use, clean and stow their tools to maintain usefulness, guard against theft and control accessibility. Like a carpenter, maintain control of your tools. Don’t open 29 tabs when you’re really only scrolling through Facebook. You might not even realize you have so many open programs and browser tabs.
Get into the habit of closing anything you don’t need as soon as you’re finished using it. If you can’t use it right now, it’s okay, you can open it later. If you love saving online articles for later, build the habit of bookmarking. Many people have never really learned how to use bookmarks. Start here: Organize browser bookmarks for maximum speed and efficiency.
Use tools to circle back to read articles later
Sometimes, you find content you really want to engage but have higher priority tasks before you. Web browsers offer a variety of tools that allow you to save articles for later. Since most browsers have add-ons or extensions you can download, explore them to see which might help you.
LifeWire offers 8 different ways to save articles for later, ranging from using Pinterest, Twitter or specific article-collection extensions. More importantly, don’t allow interesting articles interrupt a quality work flow. Automatically saving articles for later allows you to focus on current tasks.
Computer management programs are mechanics for your computer
Programs like CleanMyMac for Apple or IOLO for Windows can help clean up caches, empty trash bins, remove extraneous files left behind by cookies or programs you’ve uninstalled and even perform analyses of how well your computer memory is stored.
For example, CleanMyMac offers a dropdown from the top-bar (above) that offers real-time data on RAM (temporary memory), ROM (permanent memory), processing speed, laptop battery health, overall processing stress, etc. From there, users can bring up deep-dive tools. Running full scans can help protect your computer, improve speed and clean up extraneous space-sucking files.
To research what program might be best for you, check out PCMag‘s The Best Tune-Up Utilities for 2020 for Windows or ZDNet‘s Top 10 must-have Mac apps and utilities for Apple.
Whichever route you choose, protect the quality of your computer processing like your favorite hand tool, cooking utensil, prize horse or favorite sportscar. Care for tools keeps them useful for years and you as productive as possible.