Purge your PC of unwanted distractions

Human minds specialize in distractions. And with computers, distractions are very easy to come by, what with instant messenger (IM), email, music and Google, all vying for your attention. Whether it’s those tiny IM blinking at the bottom of your window, or that sudden impulse, in the middle of work that takes you to Google or any other website for a quick search. Once you start searching who knows what links you will end up with the following.

Sounds familiar? Well it’s time you got down to purging your PC of all those unwanted distractions. So, while it is fine to have your home PC run umpteen cute applications, keep your work PC free of these.

Make sure your office PC has only the bare essentials in software and running processes. To delete unwanted applications, go to the ‘Start’ menu, click on ‘Settings’ and then on the ‘Control Panel’ Here go to the ‘Add Remove Programs’ option. Remember; be very sure of what you are deleting, as this also lists programs that are vital for your computer.

If you want an easier option, use programs like Uninstall Manager (www.samsunsegman.com) that let you safely remove programs.

Another culprit that leads you to distraction is your taskbar — that tiny bar sits at the bottom of your window and that lists all the currently running programs. A quick cure is to hide your taskbar by ‘right-clicking on it and going to the ‘Properties’. Here, activate ‘Auto-hide the taskbar.’

Many programs, such as MSN Messenger, have an irritating habit of installing themselves in the start-up menu. That means they start running the minute your computer comes on. It’s best to oust these irritants from the start-up menu. For this try programs like Tidy Start Menu (www.tidystartmenu.com).

Another good idea is to view your work full screen. This makes it difficult to spot available distractions. Most office programs such as Word and Excel, allow you to maximize the document so that your work takes up most of your screen.

Finally it’s all about discipline. So try and set time slots for all tasks. For instance, set a 10 minute time slot every hour for reading email only 10 minutes every hour.

Better still, set milestones where you break down large tasks into small ones. So tell yourself, “Finish writing two paragraphs for this report, before checking email.� Set enough such resting points between work, and you’ll find that there is more motivation to get back.