As a CS person, you’re likely to be busy most of the time, and you will have to deal with a lot of tasks frequently.
In such a situation, productivity doesn’t remain an option for you but becomes a necessity. You might have tried other methods and you may even be the most efficient person around. But there are a few things that often go unnoticed.
There are always some defects in your habits which can be fixed and the chances for improvement are always high.
Just in case you think productivity isn’t an issue
You may use busyness as an excuse for your idleness but the carelessness and indiscipline likely pay-off. Doing the wrong things and expecting to get the right results is just another way you can use to fool yourself.
How long do you expect yourself to survive by using the same age old methods?
You cannot get much farther if you keep laboring all day without having a specific pattern of doing things. That would be like intentionally poisoning your success.
To be clear, productivity decides the difference between work and right work.
Until you pay heed to productivity, you’re simply laboring uselessly like a moron. What’s even worse is that the useless work you do feels like work too. It often becomes easy to get stuck in a rut and fail to distinguish what really matters from the junk.
Occasionally setting aside some time for working on new ideas and innovating can save you hours of hard-work and frustration.
One good way to do be productive is to first analyze your needs and then decide your priorities and methods accordingly. If you just develop a mind-set that aims at making things easier and getting more work done, you can probably skyrocket your chances of success.
We’ve made this list to make you realize the potential of some simple habits that can significantly make you productive.
These are just the usual ordinary things which are often taken lightly and are underestimated. Use these ways to increase your productivity and ease your life.
1. Touch typing
Most people feel the need for touch typing but don’t care about learning it, or at least they don’t try to.
It’s painful in the beginning to resist the urge of letting all fingers loose like wild bulls on the keyboard, but things have to be started somewhere. Stop your attempts to develop your finger-muscles by mercilessly poking the keyboard with your index fingers and learn to type like a gentleman.
Unfortunately, most professionals are bound to waste their time because they never realize the importance of a simple skill like touch typing. Perhaps they prefer ignoring the potential need of this skill, which later drags them each time they need to type something.
You’ll need to type mails, write long articles, or document your tasks. You see, you can’t afford not typing properly. Follow the conventional typing method for a few days until you eventually build up an interest for it. Then invest some days to learning this skill sincerely to watch it reap its benefits for the rest of your life.
Touch typing is always worth learning, and is cool anyway. God gave us ten fingers so that we can type properly — use them.15 minutes practice on Typingmaster for about two weeks would be enough to improve your typing speed.
2. Keyboard shortcuts (use them)
Well, do you know that Windows key + E opens the file explorer in Windows Operating Systems and that Ctrl + Shift + T reopens a closed browser tab in Mozilla Firefox?
If not, you must.
The keyboard shortcuts might seem confusing but once you start using them and get familiar with them they become your best-friends.
The habit of using shortcuts can make you insanely productive by getting most of the jobs completed using the keyboard itself. This reduces the need for repeatedly using the mouse and hence saves you from a bit of inconvenience.
You don’t need to memorize all shortcuts that exist. Just have a glance at the ones available on the internet and use that you find most useful.
However, you can benefit from shortcuts only when you make using them a habit. We’ve seen several people who know that Ctrl + S is save, and yet they tire the poor cursor again and again. Don’t be among those people.
Check out this list of keyboard shortcuts on Wikipedia if you need.
3. Manage windows effectively
Most people fail to use windows for their own benefits. They don’t use them correctly. Here, we aren’t talking about the Microsoft Windows but the window feature of any Operating System.
Using windows is an art few people know about. You must know when you should minimize windows or when you should make them appear side by side depending upon the kind of work you’re doing.
For example, if you’re doing HTML in notepad and referring a PDF at the same time, then you can use them side by side instead of minimizing and maximizing them again and again. This way you can concentrate more on the work than minimize-maximize.
The same is applicable to the browsers where you should open a new tab whenever necessary, or keep the file explorer on the screen if you need to refer it again and again. Practice what works for you and make the most out of the windows feature.
4. Use private window of the browser
Isn’t it tiresome to log-out and log-in your account from the browser each time your relative or neighbor asks you to check his email?
Or isn’t it frustrating when you mistakenly click on those fat-belly ads, which then appear every time in your browser’s history until you delete them?
Private window is a blessing to keep your browser filled with only the things that matter, like favorite bookmarks or articles. Only a few important sites should find an abode in your history.
If you think that the next term you’re going to Google search is “which brand does Justin Beiber wear?” then it can probably be searched in a private window since it isn’t so important to you.
Also, you can use multiple accounts in your browser without logging out from the one that is remembered. So using a private window can also help you in dealing with the accounts of bothering relatives.
Alright, we’re kidding, but it’s really helpful.
5. Set up a second monitor
Well, to be truthful; we don’t completely entertain this tip.
The only reason we’ve included it is that several CS people claim that using a second monitor has proved to be a lifesaver for them. Since two monitors can handle multiple windows at a time they’re often used to avoid some sort of manual work.
Which means, instead of switching between the apps, all you have to do is just turn your head a bit, take a look, and get back to work.
Cool and lazy!
If you’ve got a second monitor which you think can ease your work then there’s no harm in trying it out. Nevertheless, it’s better to use your old monitor if you have one rather than letting it gather dust.
6. Get a mouse
You think we’re kidding? Not really.
Although a mouse is required by the desktop users, we’re talking here about the laptop users.
Touchpads are convenient but they aren’t a better option than mice. A mouse gives you the freedom to move your hand around without any restriction, whereas the touch pad keep you stuck to a tiny rectangle.
Just because there’s already a touchpad on your laptop doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use a mouse. Buy a decent mouse and carry it along with your laptop accessories. When it comes to dealing with the cursor, the mouse nails it. The tasks that require high precision are easier to do using a mouse than a touchpad.
Nonetheless, a mouse gives you a greater control over things and it is still much preferable than its alternatives.
7. Optimize that mouse
It’s astonishing to us to see that some people never bother to change their mouse settings after they purchase a computer. They simply use whatever they were given, like a puppet.
Whatever might be the reason, what we want to say is that using a slow-moving mouse feels the like dragging a slug on the screen. This pain has to be gotten rid of. Ease things a bit by making your mouse swift, speeding it up and letting the cursor free.
Also, change the settings to a single click if possible. A ‘Click!’ is easier and better than ‘Click! Click!’ So why waste time on an extra ‘Click!’ hundreds of times a day? Optimize your mouse to make the best possible use of it to increase your productivity.
8. Keep a list of some favorite sites
This is an essential step to stay focused and committed to a specific set of tasks.
Find out the sites that suit you the best in terms of learning or reading and stay loyal to them. This is what productive people do. They clearly understand how probable distraction is and take this precaution.
A few selected sites for learning programming, keeping up with the trends, and learning additional skills would be enough. Constantly switching between sites not only creates a clutter but also prevents you from getting work done.
Once the thought of hunting the best options enters your mind, you start digging the whole internet and get trapped in the habit of tasting everything without achieving anything meaningful.
In order to avoid this, rely only on a few chosen sites which are capable of fulfilling your needs, are interesting, or are the ones which you love.
9. Marry Google
Yes, do that.
No, we aren’t asking you to offer a marriage proposal to the Google guys but to build a lifelong relationship with Google. That’s because you’ll need it again and again.
It’s a companion who will always be there for you during hard times, when you don’t understand something and it will entertain you when you’ll get bored. But above everything, it’s a one stop solution for most of your problems.
Whenever problems arise, you can be assured about getting their solution on Google. The habit doing a Google search can undeniably contribute to your productivity. Embrace Google and make it a part of your life. You won’t regret it. Here’s a guide to help you become a Google power user.
We would love to hear from you
Are you using certain methods which you think make you more productive? Which do you think are some ways for computer science students to be productive but are often underestimated?
Leave a comment and let us know.