What to do when your computer slows down during a job

Buy a Mac. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Whatever type of computer you have, there comes a moment when you need to quickly do this particular thing or other and it is taking ages. I don’t know what happens now with Windows, but with a Mac it’s when you get that spinning beach ball.

Given that I keep saying you shouldn’t multitask, am I really going to say you should stay looking at that beach ball instead of going off to do something else?

A little bit.

Partly because, yes, multitasking is that bad for you. The time it takes you to switch over to a different task, mentally, is equal to the time it takes you to switch back and both times are huge. Much worse than you imagine.

So I would stare at the beach ball for a fair while before I’d be better off doing something else.

But there is another reason. Very often, if our computer is slow saving a Word document, say, then we’ll nip over to Mail on it. And now that’s slow. So we just open that graphic that we need to tweak in Photoshop. And what do you know, dammit, now Photoshop is slow.

Whatever was causing the original slow down, we are compounding it by turning to different tasks on our computer. So if we’d just stood sitting there, we wouldn’t be distracted, we wouldn’t be slowing down our computer and we wouldn’t therefore be getting frustrated at how everything seems slow now.

I just don’t know how long to give that.

I do know that sometimes I should really restart the whole machine and that if I do, things will work better. Taking the time to restart is hard but it can be worth it, you can repay that time soon.

But in the meantime, here’s a shorter answer to the problem: try a little patience, it’s worth the effort.

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