In the realms of popular culture, The Terminator was our first proper glimpse into the Artificial Intelligence takeover. We’ve heard time and time again – on screen and on paper – that machines are set to take over the world in the near future, being the superior species and all that comes associated with it. Dark skies and desolate infrastructure are in our near future…
Or are they?
This grim, dystopian reality is unlikely to be experienced by either you or me during this lifetime. Or the next. So wake up from that futuristic daydream, get away from science fiction fantasies, unlock your laptop and get back to work. For now, humans are the superior species, not machines.
However, to deal with these machines is another matter altogether. As a working professional you may already have a lot on your plate, especially if you are also pursuing a distance education course. Below we’ve listed a few tech tips to help you get along better with your machine and use the remaining time in focussing on your distance learning courses:
Uninstall unused programs
Most working professionals use laptops or desktops for their work. Arguably the simplest way to improve work speed and efficiency is to clean up your laptop! As simple as it sounds, most of us don’t bother about this mundane activity.
Many computers come with several programs you probably didn’t even know existed. Various programs also run background processes when you load your computer, even if you are not using them. To get rid of these programs, open the Control Panel, and uninstall those that you do not need. This tip will also give you quicker access to your online distance learning study material.
You can also use various third-party software removal programs available in the market, but remember to get rid of bloatware after uninstalling. Bloatware includes files, which may still be on your system even after uninstalling a program.
LEARN Word and Excel
Microsoft Office – particularly Word and Excel – is by far the most commonly used software in a working environment. Do an in-depth study of each and you will realise that Word is more than a document to type and Excel goes way beyond number crunching.
Through Word, you can format your proposal or report to reach a high level of professional acumen and the formulas in Excel are beyond helpful whether you are dealing with numbers or not. There are various online courses that will take you through these two programs within a day. If not an online tutorial, then Google tips and tricks for Word and Excel will give you all your answers at the click of a button.
Slack at work
As you enter the professional working world you may find yourself inundated with the number of emails you receive. This is when you turn to email aggregator/client Slack which provides collaboration beyond the normal functions provided by Outlook or Gmail. It is innovative and offers simple, but ground-breaking functionality to enhance ‘team communication’.
Slack is an instant messaging and collaboration system. On Steroids. Its features include private and public messaging systems, sharing options, messaging systems and it’s available on various platforms. Check it out, it’s free for basic use!
You may have used PowerPoint in school and college and probably felt that you may never need it again. Here’s a reality check – in the professional world the most commonly used software is Microsoft PowerPoint. If you’re about to venture on your professional journey, now would be the perfect time to brush up on you PowerPoint skills. From pitches to proposals, ‘decks’ will be your ally for the most part of your career.
Adobe Illustrator is another, more advanced, option. Start with PowerPoint first, though.
Use a Timer
Ever heard of Parkinson’s Law? ‘Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.’ This is exactly why you need a timer for every task – be it small or big. If the time taken to complete a task is open-ended, you will always take more time to complete it. Conversely, if you attempt to beat the clock, you’ll work far more rapidly. An hourglass is an equally helpful option.
As a distance learner, you may feel the need to make the most of your time. An inefficient day at work involving a lot of struggle with your laptop/PC may leave you unnecessarily tired ultimately affecting your study schedule. These tips will help you manage your time well even if you are a student.
What are some of the tech hacks you use to work more efficiently? Let us know in the comments section below