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While our computers enable us to work remotely, they can also be a source of frustration if and when tech issues pop up. To help you use your work computer as efficiently as possible, we’ve put together these seven smart computer tips for remote workers.

Computer Tip #1: Prolong Battery Life

Productivity becomes a major struggle if your laptop has battery issues. Fortunately, there are ways to prolong your laptop’s battery life before you have to plug it in.

For starters, close out any applications that you’re not using but are running in the background and draining your valuable battery juice. Along similar lines, disable visual effects that don’t serve much of a purpose beyond consuming system resources.

Another one of the important computer tips you might not know about: unplug your charger once your battery is filled up to 100%. And remember to fully shut down your laptop once in a while to allow updates to take hold.

Tip #2: Learn Keyboard Shortcuts

You’re probably familiar with “control + c” (copy) and “control + v” (paste), but there are lots more keyboard shortcuts you can learn. These easy commands will reduce the amount of time it takes you to carry out certain tasks.

For example, Macbook users can use “option + command + delete” to remove files from the system permanently or hit “command + q” to quit an application.

Whether you’re a PC or a Mac user, familiarize yourself with new keyboard shortcuts to make your computer work even more efficient.

Tip #3: Use Productivity Apps

Thriving as a remote worker can be challenging, especially when it comes to sticking to a schedule.

Thankfully, there are a variety of scheduling and time-tracking tools that can help. Time-tracking tools allow you to set a schedule, measure how much time you’re spending on certain tasks, and even block distracting websites.

Tracking your work time helps you stick to a schedule and avoid missing deadlines. Plus, it helps remind you to take breaks throughout your day, not to mention unplug once the workday is over.

Tip #4: Dictate When You Can

A voice-to-text dictation feature can be a life-saver in certain situations. Maybe you have a paper document that you need on the computer, but you don’t have a scanner at home.

With a dictation tool, you can read the text and have it appear on a text document. Speaking out loud might also be helpful if you’re been typing a lot and wants to rest your hands. 

Tip #5: Disable Notifications

Computer notifications can be really distracting when you’re trying to get work done. If you’re getting lots of pop-up messages, try disabling incoming notifications from irrelevant apps.  

There may be some notifications you want to keep, such as update reminders or new work emails. But if you’re getting notifications about a game you no longer play or a sale on a new app, you could try blocking these to save yourself the distraction.

Tip #6: Declutter Your Desktop

Desktop clutter can be another source of distraction. Plus it can slow down your overall computer performance. 

It can be tempting to launch a game when there’s an icon for it right on your desktop. Or maybe you have text messages popping up on your home screen.  

Removing these temptations from your computer’s desktop will make it easier to focus on work.

Tip #7: Install an Ad Blocker on Your Browser

You might already be using cash-back apps on your browser, but are you also using an ad blocker extension?

An ad blocker stops pop-ups and other types of advertisements. Not only can it protect you from ending up on a malware-infested landing page, but it can also help you avoid distracting ads that tempt you to shop online instead of working. Plus, it can save you time by blocking ads that play before videos.

If you work on your computer, use these computer tips to maximize your battery life and optimize your own productivity. And for more remote work tips, head to this guide on how to design a work-from-home schedule that works for you.