8 Ways to Power Through the Task You Hate

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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 a task like this 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 Tasks you Hate and Those You Love

A lack of motivation characterizes the tasks we hate. There is no drive to work or power through boring jobs. As such, the trick is to bring back the excitement. 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 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. You are also more driven to complete other pressing tasks earlier.

4. Break the Task 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 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 the Task

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

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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 many 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 battery life 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 a 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

If 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.

6 Helpful Tips When You are Stuck with Tasks You Hate

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The topic of productivity is often discussed, especially in the context of business. One of the paramount issues that stand in the face of being effective in our tasks is whether we love doing them or not. Usually, in a company, certain jobs are absolutely crucial but not inspiring at all. So, how do you ensure that the tasks you hate are done?

Well, it is a problem that can be conquered with a bit of pre-planning and a deliberate change in mindset. In this article, we discuss 6 effective ways that can help you tackle this problem efficiently.

1. Start with a Schedule

There is a reason why people swear by scheduling and goal setting. Having a plan of action in place and knowing that there is something to look forward to once the unpleasant tasks are taken care of, is a sure-shot way to trick your brain out of procrastination. Set goals every day and evaluate yourself against them to keep up. Soon, this will become a habit and the prospect of carrying out boring or unpleasant jobs will not be so daunting anymore.

2. Move Between Tasks You Love and Hate Doing

While this may sound too simple when you alternate between tasks that you love and hate doing, you can find the necessary motivation to tide over your entire schedule. The idea is to balance the good and bad in such a way that you do not get bored while tackling the not-so-favorable jobs.

3. Keep the Bigger Picture in Mind

In the world of business, it is important to never lose sight of the bigger picture. Hence, whenever you feel unenthusiastic about certain tasks, focus on the final outcomes and the reason why these jobs need to be done. There can be several factors like rewards and recognition, bonuses, productivity gains, and business bottom line.

4. Break Down Tasks

Often we bite more than we can chew and that becomes the root of many troubles. Thus, when it comes to doing a large chunk of an uninspiring task, breaking it into smaller steps and handling them individually helps. Another effective strategy to implement when feeling overwhelmed by unfinished jobs is to take a step back and regroup. Sometimes a change of approach is necessary to finish the task successfully.

5. Take Breaks

Even the best of us cannot function constantly and always be productive. Taking time for breaks is essential. It not only helps our brains to recoup but also relaxes us enough to tackle a new problem with renewed vigor and energy. This is why break times are intentionally scheduled in many workplaces, especially on shop floors and factories. 

6. Pat Yourself on the Back

Never forget to give yourself credit where it is due. Waiting for others to recognize your efforts for a job well done is not always the best thing to do. Sometimes, it is necessary to reward yourself when you know that you have achieved something worthwhile at work. Think of treats that you will enjoy like a night out or a movie or even a new book and indulge in the same without guilt.

Many a time we forget that there are tasks that we cannot complete alone. It is absolutely essential to understand when to ask for help from colleagues and team members. Another viable option is to hire the help of professionals to take care of otherwise energy-draining jobs. This not only saves you from mind-numbing tasks but also increases overall productivity. Your time and resources can be freed up to solve more important problems while professionals do the job for you.

Cleaning Your Laptop

a woman is cleaning the kitchen with a mop

If someone asked the average individual what objects they used the most, would it be their vehicle? Probably not. Sports equipment or cookware? Highly unlikely. No, all the computing devices they own, along with the devices used by their family members would likely come to mind. Both at home and on the job, most people use a conglomeration of desktop machines, laptops, tablets, and smartphones for hours on end every day. Needless to say, with all the heavy usage that technology devices incur on a daily basis, their outward demeanor of cleanliness is simply a myth. In this post we will discuss why cleaning these devices is a healthy habit to adopt, in addition to providing several cleaning tips every user should incorporate into their cleaning routine.

What You Can’t See 

Certainly, every device collects some dust over time, but it’s what you can’t see that alarms people. Most device users do use their hands and fingers to touch their devices at some point. Even those who love the hands-free features that come with many technology tools. There are areas in the home or office such as bathrooms and kitchens that likely incur above-average levels of bacteria. These areas are usually cleaned on a regular basis thus keeping bacteria and other unwanted particles to a minimum.

This is not necessarily so with computer devices. Many people have not yet made it a habit to regularly clean their devices. This means the most contaminated items in a home or office area are likely all laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc. Considering how heavily most people use these devices, they should be the first items cleaned when trying to reduce contagion, increase sanitation levels, etc.

Cleaning Tips 

Microfiber cloths are great for removing dust from screens and other parts of a device. Some microfiber cloths are infused with antibacterial properties that also provide the benefit of wiping away germs and other bacteria, along with dust particles. A microfiber towel dampened with a mixture of equal parts of distilled water and rubbing alcohol can help sanitize device exteriors. The exceptions are computer screens which should only be cleaned with a cloth dampened with distilled water. A dampened cloth means just that. A cloth that does not drip any water when squeezed.

To clean a keyboard, whether it is detached or part of a laptop, simply turn it upside down. Then, shake out the contents. Be sure to have a steady grip when turning a laptop upside down. Using a can of compressed air at an angle on either of these components can also help remove stubborn particles. Cotton swabs are also great for cleaning all the small nooks and crannies found on most computers.  

The most important thing to remember is to make cleaning all your devices a regular part of a cleaning routine. If you would like to know more about taking care of technology components, please contact us.

Go Paperless – Save Money and Help the Environment

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It’s difficult to remember the days when all correspondence was either done through the mail or perhaps with a phone call. Of course, now it’s easy to send an unwanted message to the trash bin along with saving the important ones in a file folder, but that was not always the case. Although there have been significant increases in the use of electronic documentation rather than using paper, there is still room for improvement in many instances. Many organizations are capable of moving to the next level and going paperless in the office even more.

Paperless Offers Access On-The-Go

If some of your employees are still printing out documents so they can have them when they are on the go, it’s definitely time to consider using technologies such as Microsoft’s OneDrive or Google Drive so they can have access to important information anytime, anywhere.

Double-Side as Default

Sometimes documents do need to be printed, however, in many (most?) cases, it’s perfectly fine to have the documents printed on both sides of the paper. By setting all office printers to double-sided printing as the default, companies can likely decrease their paper usage by close to 50%.

Promote Paperless Awareness

Send an email to all your employees letting them know about the company-wide goal of reducing paper use. In addition, post a sign above the community printers asking employees to consider whether they truly need to print that email, or print all 10 copies of a document when 9 copies would suffice.

Make Recycling Easy

Invest in a paper shredder and encourage employees to use it. Shredding confidential documents as soon as possible reduces the chance of wandering eyes seeing information they shouldn’t, while quickly removing other excess paper makes it easier to keep office spaces clean and organized. When it comes time to remove the bags of shredded paper, most cleaning and garbage removal companies easily accommodate shredded paper designated for recycling.

Ask Your Paper Supplier

Ask your current office supply vendor if they offer recycled paper for office use. If they don’t, shop around until you find one that sells recycled paper at a reasonable cost.

If you would like more helpful tips on how to reduce paper waste in your organization, please contact us.