IT Tech Tips for the New Year and Relax

Happy new year! Here’s to a fabulous 2014.

As many make resolutions at this time of year here are some you could add to make your life less dominated by IT and relax a bit more. Let’s face it technology should be there to make life easier and more enjoyable.

1. Turn off your work email, and personal one for that matter if they too are getting on top of you, on weekends and holidays. I recently went on holiday and decided this time to turn it off completely and you know what, I felt no temptation to check my work emails. Like me I’m sure many of you check to stop a build up of emails for when you return. I let people know I wouldn’t be around and there weren’t many when I got back.

For a change I felt like I had a real holiday.

2. Don’t check your emails at weekends or evenings. We’ve all had that email that we’ve seen on a Saturday morning or before going to bed that has just made us angry. Believe me it is better not to check as it is unlikely you can do anything about it anyway.

3. Are you always running low on battery power or phone going dead towards the end of the day, just when you need it most. This is when you are calling to say you’re on your way home, please pick me, put my dinner on or perhaps you want to use your remote heating app to turn on the heating, got this coming in an attempt to reduce my gas bill.

The good news is modern phones have lithium ion batteries and you don’t need to let them run down before charging up so you can give them a boost any time you get the chance. These batteries do not have the memory problem of other battery types. Another thing you could do is get one of those portable battery packs that can give your phone a boost or if you can change batteries then get a spare battery.

4. Backup. Now that word just seems to invoke the thoughts of a chore but it needn’t be. It might seem like a chore but when something goes wrong you will agree how valuable the time taken to backup has been.

Backing up to the cloud is great assuming you don’t have hundreds of photos and videos to back up regularly. Dropbox and Carbonite are two great options.

If you are backing up to a hard drive then back up to two, yes really, and then keep one at home and one at the office (or somewhere else), swap them over once a week or once a month depending on what’s convenient. If you’re like me where you are constantly taking photos and video you might want to do this more often. These are valuable files and unlike documents are difficult to recreate.

5. Speed of your connection. This might not seem important but are you getting the speed that your broadband provider is suggesting. Use www.speedtest.net to check. If not chase them up they might be able to do something.

By the way, turning off your modem when you are away on holiday can cause your connection to slow down as the providers system may change your profile if it sees no activity.

6. Stop being tied to your phone. Did you really need to look at Facebook or Twitter. I know I’ve done this when I’m with someone and I didn’t need to do it. I see people at restaurants taking ages as they fiddle with typing something in on Facebook telling the world what a marvellous meal they are having. The person with them looks bored!

7. Now my one sister reckons she doesn’t have time to learn how to use her iPhone, Excel, Word etc better yet when I watch her she either muddles her way through it the long way around or she doesn’t do it as she doesn’t know that any of these are capable of doing what she want. Recently I finally got her to watch one of my tutorials on how to remove duplicates from a list, I knew she needed to do this. Eureka! Where she had been working around this now in minutes she had done what she needed to do. You can see if any of these tutorials are useful for you on my website www.jargonfreehelp.com

I look up tutorials for things I need to know in 2013 I learnt an awful lot including how to fix our washing machine.

Hope these help make your 2014 a little more relaxing. These are all things I implemented in 2013 and yes I learnt to relax, I was overdoing it and can now see I was.

Happy new year.

Gary

About garysch

A bit of a techno nut who likes sharing what I know about technology, especially with those who struggle with it. Also through my podcast www.jargonfreehelp.com
This entry was posted in productivity, Smartphone, Technology, travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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