For most people, there are simply never enough hours in the day.
You show up to work, turn your music on, put your head down, and feel motivated to crush your calendar… and yet somehow, one thing after another pops up, making you feel more like you’re running fire drills than accomplishing tasks on your to-do list.
Productivity is even more challenging for freelancers who have to resist every possible distraction—which is much easier to avoid in an office environment, where temptations are far less present.
Work drags on, one day bleeds into another, beginning to cut into your life at home and affecting your overall happiness. Sound about right? If so, try these tips to maximize productivity on your work laptop—they’ll help you knock out projects faster so you can take back control of the clock.
Get into Work Mode
Literally! The Work Mode Chrome extension can be added onto your browser free-of-charge. When it’s turned on with a simple click of a button, you’ll be blocked from all time-wasting websites (in addition to custom URLs). If you never feel the urge to check in on your friend or scroll through some mood-lightening material, then good on you—but many of us stand to benefit from the blocking on the option completely. If you don’t like self-censorship, think of it this way: the faster you get your work done, the more time you’ll have to connect with friends and unwind watching viral videos later on!
Explore Other Extensions
While downloading that add-on, scroll through the Chrome store to discover more extensions that can help your productivity skyrocket (extensions are sort of like mobile business apps, except designed for your work laptop). You’ll stumble upon all sorts of industry-specific add-ons with tools and features you can benefit from. Whether you need a little help getting organized and staying focused, or you could use an IT log analyzer for business, you’re sure to find something offered by Google’s vast sea of developers.
Clear Up Communication
How much time do you spend emailing back and forth, trying to describe something to a colleague or client? Well, remember the old adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words”? Save yourself bundles of time spent typing away at your keyboard and learn how to screenshot on an HP laptop at work.
In a matter of seconds, you can capture whatever’s currently displayed on your screen, highlight or point at the material you’re referencing, and include a brief description. Just like that, you’ll save yourself paragraphs wasted on trying to explain to your graphic designer that you’d prefer the font of a certain section to appear slightly larger and more vibrant, similar to the competitor found on another page, for example. You get the picture (pun intended).
Learn About Plugins
On the topic of website design, hopefully you’re aware of plugins. Essentially, they’re pieces of software that act as an add-on for the browser and enable greater functionality on your site. If you’ve been spending time trying to crack complex HTML5/CSS3 code to make a web page look sleek and sophisticated, then these guys are bound to save you massive amounts of time. We’ve recently discussed the various WordPress plugins for photographers, but there are all sorts of solutions that can make your site easier and faster to update.
Set up for Success
So far we’ve shared different tips on how you can tweak your work laptop, the way you communicate, and the software you run… but did you know that the way you physically position your laptop has an effect on your productivity as well? You probably don’t even realize how much time you spend throughout the day simply trying to process the information right in front of you. Use these tips to see more comfortably and more efficiently:
Set your screen(s) at the appropriate distance to avoid craning or extending your neck.
Adjust the height of your screen to where, if you were to close your eyes and then open them, they would naturally land on the address bar.
Angle the monitor down just a smidge to avoid reflection.
Don’t stop with our advice on how to improve your work laptop for enhanced productivity; check out our list of office tech tools that can help you crunch out work faster—so you can relax sooner!