Hit “Delete” on Computer Stress for Good

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“This bleeping machine. I’m done.”

“Why doesn’t this thing ever work? It’s so frustrating!”

“Oh, great. Another error message. Now what?”

Like or it or not, computers are a part of modern life. Even if you don’t use one for work, there’s a good chance you have one at home. And it’s a fact of life with computers that sometimes, they just don’t work the way they are supposed to. There are a number of reasons that computers might have problems, from corrupted programs to viruses to simple user error. Regardless of the cause, though, computer problems often have the same outcome: Stress.

frustrated computer userResearch shows that the average computer user has trouble with their computer every four months and spends about 12 hours trying to deal with the issue. Often, those 12 hours are fraught with anger, frustration, and tension, which can spill over into other areas of your life. It doesn’t have to be that way though. With preparation and a few proven strategies, you can eliminate most computer-related stress from your life and be more productive in the process.

Start off on the Right Foot

The key to reducing any kind of stress is to keep it from even happening in the first place – and that goes for computer stress as well. You can avoid a lot of frustration by starting off on the right foot, which includes:

Investing in the best equipment you can afford. There’s truth in the saying that you get what you pay for, and that’s very true when buying computer equipment. Sure, you can cut corners and by a machine that has a slower processor or less memory, but ultimately, any money you save is likely to be negated by the stress caused by a slower or less reliable computer. If you want to reduce stress, get the newest and fastest computer you can afford.

Reading the instructions. It’s amazing how much more smoothly things go when you follow the instructions and know where to find the answers to issues. Even if you aren’t interested in becoming a computer expert, learning the basics of your specific computer and the software you’re running on it can help prevent problems and give you the tools you need to fix things on your own. When you are prepared and feel capable, any situation becomes less stressful.

Lining up help. Even if you want to fix something yourself, often getting help from an expert will save time, money, and frustration. Don’t automatically disregard the premium service bundle offered by your security program or computer retailer. Spending a little extra for unlimited the support and troubleshooting assistance can keep your computer running smoothly and reduce your stress.

Ultimately, knowing that you have the right tools in place to help you when you have problems will give you peace of mind and increase the likelihood you’ll handle problems without freaking out.

Use Your Tools

annoyed computer userOne of the leading causes of stress when you have computer problems is the fear that you’re going to lose your files. Whether it’s work data, family photos, or the Great American novel you’ve been writing for two years, the prospect of everything disappearing forever is enough to cause a panic attack in even the most even-keeled individual.

If you use the tools you have at your disposal, though, you can eliminate that fear and stress. Rule number one? Back up your machine, and back up often. Set your computer to back up to the cloud automatically or set a reminder to run a backup at least once a week. When you know that your files will still be accessible, you’re likely to have less panic.

Getting the most from your security tools can also reduce stress. Make sure you have the most robust protection possible, and keep it updated. Don’t rely on inexpensive security tools that don’t provide full protection, as they can create a false sense of security. Investing in more comprehensive virus protection reduces worry, and in many cases, will ensure you get help when you need it.

Practice Stress Relief

Finally, when things go haywire with your computer, it’s a good time to practice some proven stress relief techniques. When you feel panic or frustration rising, stop and take a few deep breaths to calm down and gain some perspective. Stepping away for a few moments to clear your head and calm down can also prevent you from doing anything that will make the problem worse. Take a few moments to jot down some notes about the issue – including any error messages – or better yet, take some screenshots if you can. This will help you find a solution or describe the problem in detail to the tech support if necessary.

Computer issues are inevitable, but there’s no need for them to raise your blood pressure or push you toward a life without technology. If you prepare, stay calm, and get help, you can eliminate computer stress from your life for good.