8 Ways to Power Through Tasks You Hate

Doing things you love is easy; it is the things you hate that test your mettle. And life and business are full of jobs you flat out hate. How you handle those tasks will determine how far you go as an individual.  

But there is a silver lining in this cloud of jobs you hate. There are ways you can power through those jobs, and below are a few you can consider.

1. Alternate Between Jobs you Hate and Those You Love

A lack of motivation characterizes the tasks we hate. There is no drive to work or power through the boring jobs. As such, the trick is to bring back the excitement. To find ways to stay motivated.

One way that stands out is to alternate between tasks you love and those you hate. This breaks the monotony of having to work on hateful tasks for extended periods.

The balance between good and bad experiences is way better compared to a situation where you are being pounded with tasks you don’t like.

2. Take the Path of Least Resistance

Just because you to do something does not mean you have to be flawless. Take the path of least resistance when working on boring jobs. Apply the minimum effective dose; that is, the least effort while still being productive.

3. Dedicate Time

If you are having trouble working on a particular job, then block some time to work on that job and only that job.

By dedicating time in advance, you prepare yourself mentally for the mind-numbing tasks. Also, you are more driven to complete other pressing tasks earlier.

4. Break It Down

With baby steps, you can move a mountain. The same applies to a tedious job that seems impossible.

Break the task down so that it is approachable and more doable. Breaking down the tasks reduces our tendency to procrastinate as we know where to start. Also, the smaller tasks might not be as dull as the larger job.

5. Swap “I Have To” for “I Choose To”

By choosing to work on those boring assignments, you trick your mind into accepting them, and suddenly, they are not that tedious.

When you no longer have to work on the humdrum tasks but choose to do them, you are excited about the jobs. A change of perspective does a lot.

6. Bribe Yourself

When you have to do something you dread, you can ease the pain by promising yourself something better immediately after. You realign your perspective. You focus more on what comes after the task, over the agony of the task.

By scheduling fun things, between those nightmare errands, you find that you will not be putting them off for days on end.

7. Focus on What You Gain From the Task

Creating a website might not be a riveting experience, but nothing beats the experience of having an online presence.

You can also choose to focus on the growth you gain from the task. For instance, writing a pitch is tedious, but you learn essential skills. You learn how to communicate better, how to organize an important document, and how to fact check.

8. Hire Someone to Do It

Finally, you can outsource the job. If it is not the primary focus of your business, you can get experts in the niche to help. It could be true for IT tasks, that though necessary, are not the core of your business. Hire specialists to handle the technical tasks, while you do what you do best.

Working on tasks you dislike is tedious; working on those you hate is aggravating. The least you can do is ease the burden using the tricks above. If you choose to outsource, remember to hire experts.

Want to Extend Your Laptop’s Battery Life? Try These Tips

One of the worst obstacles for an on-the-go small business professional is a laptop battery that’s about to die. Without taking the right precautions, even a fully charged battery can run out fast, delaying project completion and interrupting teleconferences. Stay productive on the go with these tips for maximizing your battery life.

Lower the brightness to raise your battery life

Your laptop’s screen is a huge energy drain. A maximized brightness setting can reduce battery life by hours. Get those hours back and lower the brightness of your display. Windows 10 gives you a lot of different options for customizing your screen backlight, such as automatic adjustment when your laptop is unplugged or adaptive adjustment that takes surrounding ambient light into consideration.

Save power with automatic screen shut-off settings

You can gain even more battery life when you turn the screen off altogether. That is, if you remember to do it. Luckily, modern operating systems can automatically shut your screen off when your laptop is not in use. Set it to 5 minutes of inactivity and enjoy your laptop battery for longer. If you’re on Windows, you can even customize different shut-off times, keeping your screen on for longer when it’s plugged into the wall.

Forget Sleep Mode, put your laptop into Hibernate Mode

What’s the difference between Sleep Mode and Hibernate Mode? In Sleep Mode, the computer keeps the system state in RAM and uses a small amount of power so that your laptop can start up right away when you need it. When entering Hibernate Mode, your laptop writes the system state to disk and then powers off completely. It might take a little longer to start up later, but you’ll have noticeably improved battery time over Sleep Mode.

Disable WiFi and Bluetooth for quick battery life gains

It’s surprising how much battery power WiFi, Bluetooth and other services require. Your WiFi card uses significant amount of power when searching for an access point or transferring files. Bluetooth doesn’t use as much, but over time it adds up. Try turning off your WiFi when you don’t need to be on the internet, and wait until you’ve plugged in your laptop to access that big PDF from your email. You can even save a small amount by trading in your wireless mouse for an old-school wired one.

Mute your speaker when you’re not plugged in

Your laptop’s speaker can be another energy drain. Every time your speaker needs to make a sound, whether it’s playing a video or a quick system beep, it draws power from your battery in order to do so. The best way to avoid this is to mute your speaker entirely. Otherwise, lowering the volume can make a small improvement in your battery life.

Shut down applications you’re not using and enjoy big savings

When you’re not using an application, it might still be running in the background, eating up battery power for no good reason. That’s why it’s important to periodically check what apps you have running and exit the ones you no longer need. It’s easy to adjust background settings for individual apps on Windows, or to stop them from running entirely.

Watch the temperature and keep your battery healthy

A surprise factor in long-term battery life is heat exposure. Regularly exposing your laptop to heat can reduce your battery’s maximum capacity. Get out of the habit of leaving your laptop in a hot car or on a shelf in the midday sun. If your laptop has any vents, make sure these are clear so the laptop can ventilate properly. Extreme cold can also damage your battery, so don’t let your laptop freeze either.

With help from Bluwater Technologies, you can enjoy enterprise-level support and advice for all your peripheral devices, from laptops to smartphones and beyond. Contact us today and enjoy premier IT support tailored to your business needs.

Business Technology: Don’t Ignore These Password Tips

Business Technology: Don't Ignore These Password Tips

If there is one thing that has remained a constant in the battle against data breaches, it is the importance of adhering to a well-rounded password policy outlined by a company’s network administrator and supported by management. 

If a data breach should occur, poor passwords such as “1234” or “password” are no match against hackers.  Any organization who wants to avoid a data breach should create and strictly adhere to a comprehensive password plan.

Password Essentials

A good password plan requires some effort on both the part of the systems administrator and individual staff members.  An effective system administrator will make use of tools that lock someone out after a few failed login attempts, force the requirement to select new passwords every 30-90 days, and require staff members to use new passwords rather than simply reusing old ones. 

They also may be able to control the content of passwords by requiring the inclusion of numbers, symbols and both upper and lower case characters when passwords are created.

Staff members should be informed not to use personal information such as their date of birth, addresses, or SSN for passwords.  In addition, staff members should be instructed to always logout of applications after use, or employ a password-protected screensaver when they leave their desk in order to discourage others from gaining access under their login.

Terminations – Voluntary and Involuntary

Many organizations allow their employees to log in to corporate applications from home or from their own smart devices.  When employees leave a company, it is imperative that the former employee has zero ability to gain access to corporate systems.  Employers must keep a comprehensive, up-to-date list of every application an employee has access to and all devices from which they access corporate systems.  If the employee is fired, all passwords must be changed, access cards and hardware equipment accounted for, in addition to keys to buildings and offices.

In the case of voluntary terminations, some employers will ask their former employee to vacate the premises immediately.  In other cases, an employer will allow the employee to fulfill what is typically two weeks notice.  Regardless, employers need to have a systems access policy already in place in order to smoothly transition the employee over to former staff member.

If you would like to know more about creating a comprehensive password policy for your organization, please contact us.

Find Your Weak Link And Help Prevent Security Breaches – Computer Tip Of The Day

Find Your Weak Link And Help Prevent Security Breaches - Computer Tip Of The Day

There have been many unfortunate incidents of hackers stealing customer and employee information, such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, checking account numbers, and other highly-sensitive information. Data security is not something that should be taken lightly; you should never assume that your business will not become the target of a breach.

Hackers have become very sophisticated, and many of them will tend to find the weak link in a business’s security features. It can be extremely difficult to access a business network through the various firewalls and other barriers, but many businesses will still have their data breached because hackers will find access to the system through a weak link.

What can you do to prevent breaches from occurring in your business?

Use A Risk Assessment

What kind of sensitive information is being used in your business? Once you take the time to evaluate the different types of sensitive information, you will gain a better understanding of what information will likely be targeted by hackers. The information that you feel is most vulnerable should be at the top of the list of data to secure first.

Encrypt Your Data

Do you have encryption software installed on all the computers in the office? Do you have encryption software installed on your workplace’s mobile devices and USB drives? Not only should you use data encryption, but you should also make sure all devices and important accounts are being secured with passwords.

Revisit Your Security Policy

When some data breaches occur, it is due to what is taking place on the inside. Only the employees you trust the most with sensitive data should have access to it. If it is not necessary for a particular employee to have access to sensitive data he or she should not be able to easily access it. We encourage you to have a data privacy policy that will lay down the rules for accessing sensitive data. Any paper documents you have in the office should be secured so they cannot be easily accessed by unwanted hands and unwanted eyes.

Security is a constant struggle because there is always someone who is looking for any weak links and vulnerabilities. Do you want to reduce the chance of your business becoming a target of a security breach? Contact us today for more information.

Cyber Security Tips – Is Your IT Support Company Looking out for You?

Cyber Security Tips - Is Your IT Support Company Looking out for You?

An effective IT support company possesses the knowledge and expertise required to design a comprehensive security strategy for their clients.  If you want to protect your organization from the increasing threat of all the various cyber attacks, it is essential to select an IT support organization that always stays vigilant.  In turn, their vigilance allows your organization to conduct its daily operations safely and securely.  In this post, we will outline 7 points to review, in order to ensure your support team is supporting you.

  1. Evaluating Hiring Procedures – Most companies are surprised to learn that insiders are responsible for 60% of cyber attacks.  A professional IT support company will recommend background checks and other tips to their clients as part of their hiring procedures.
  2. Educating Staff – A good IT support team will ensure your staff is properly trained in overall cyber security measures, including how to spot data breaches and how to handle them when they first occur.
  3. Secure Hardware – Hardware devices such as laptops and other mobile devices like smart phones and tablets are always at risk for theft, loss or damage.  A comprehensive security plan will include how to protect all these types of devices.
  4. Password Protection – A good security plan will educate employees on the importance of password protection and a good support team will put measures into place to ensure employees adhere to a company’s password policy.
  5. Data Protection Plan – Your support company should provide clear steps on how they plan to protect your company’s data.  Regular software updates and backup and recovery procedures are just some of the points a comprehensive plan will cover.
  6. Cloud Service Evaluation – A solid security plan will encompass any cloud services your company uses as well as on-site technology.  Measures for securing cloud data, backing it up and recovery are just as important for cloud data as it is for on-site data.
  7. Encouraging Two-Factor Authentication – More and more companies are moving toward authentication that requires access to a separate device and authentication code before a user can gain log-in privileges to cloud data.

Contact us today for more on how to secure your organization against cyber security threats.