Tue, April 4, 2017

Five Key Strategies to Speed up your Workflow

During a work day, the speed of which you can get your work accomplish often relies on the mercy of your computer’s speed and reliability.

Increase productivity, IT Managed Services, IT Services

Computers are just slow, right? It’s an infamous myth some people who aren’t as savvy with the subject seem to take in stride. Although your PC may not be acting how it used to be, there is usually a tangible cause that can be remediated. It may not seem like much at first, but seconds to minutes that are wasted on a PC chronically trying to catch its breath can take valuable time out of your day. To remedy this, here are five valuable tips from the experts at Centrality to help maximize productivity.

 

#1 – Upgrading to a Solid State Drive

Quite frankly, with how significant the difference is in speed and reliability compared to a traditional hard drive, upgrading to a solid state drive may even spare you from having to execute the other strategies listed here. Traditional hard drives spin at certain RPM speeds, or revolutions per minute. There are many moving parts and platters with sectors that your data is stored in. A solid state drive, however, relies on flash storage instead, eliminating all moving parts. On average, they are virtually three to five times faster than traditional hard drives. Thus making literally everything you do on your PC go lightning-fast. This can make even an old, clunky PC act as if it just came fresh out of the box. Opening and writing files will be speedier than ever. It only takes but a small matter of seconds to reach the logon screen when powering on. One drawback though is, they do cost significantly more than traditional hard drives, but as customary, the slope of the cost will vary upon how much space you require.

#2 – Adding More RAM (Memory)

A new hard drive is an option that can benefit basically anybody. However, adding more memory is what some power users may require. Not to be confused with storage space, as some people use the terms synonymously. RAM (Random Access Memory) is what the computer makes use of for programs to utilize while running. If you notice significant slowdowns while you are multitasking heavily, chances are, you can add more memory to remediate this. The more memory a PC has, the more programs you can have open at once without trouble. Luckily, the average cost lies in the $25-50 range, and only requires a Philips screw driver for installation.

#3 – Managing Local and Network Files

If you’re in a business environment, chances are you store files on your company’s network drives. Some users may even only store their files there for ease-of-access and convenience, but this too can have its drawbacks. Documents and spreadsheets are relatively small, and can open in a pinch. However, larger files can cause major latency if consistently opened across the network. For example, unbeknownst to you, your Outlook data file with all of your emails from the past five years may be stored in your shared drive. Over time, your desktop client is slowed to a crawl as the size of your data file increases. When a file becomes several gigabytes in size, latency in your network will become a given in any program that is using it. Consider copying large files to your local hard drive to soothe cases of this nature. Lastly, for Outlook as one example of many, the web app via Office 365 is a great option to keep the easiness and reliability of getting your email from any machine across your network.

#4 – Keep your PC Clean and Stay on Task

Often, programs can be running in the background without your knowledge that can hog up valuable resources. If you have many programs running at once, or programmed to start with your computer, this can severely impact performance and startup time. Go to your start menu, type in, “msconfig.exe” and hit enter. Here, you can manage your startup programs. Disable them from running without your knowledge, all without actually deleting them (unless otherwise done later). Meanwhile, to mitigate the risk of rogue programs installing behind your back, try to keep your browsing to as close as work-related tasks as possible on your company’s intranet. Websites such as Pinterest or Facebook are crawling with advertisements. These may just lead you astray enough to bump into unwanted software. The more you only use your PC for work instead of play, the less problematic your workflow will be.

#5 – If All Else Fails…

In rare cases, many of these may not yield much assistance, and your issues may be more underlining than anticipated. Replacement units or reinstallations of Windows are typically a last resort, but that doesn’t make them a bad option. While you are eager to work to the best of your ability, the fact of the matter is, you can only work as fast as your PC permits. If you have any questions or uncertainty regarding any of these tasks, do not hesitate to ask Centrality for an evaluation. We are always here offering only the most professional support and solutions tailored to your exact needs. With a proactive and personable team, on top of improving your workflow beyond your expectations, we will also maintain it through user education and a work ethic you won’t find anywhere else.