Internet Self Improvement

10 Mini-Habits That Solve Your Tech Problems for Life

Mihir Patkar 17-06-2016

“It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.” Louis Sachar, the children’s literature writer, knew that great results happen with repetitive small efforts.


That’s the whole concept of using micro habits to spark massive changes How to Use Micro Habits and Spark Massive Personal Change Creating new habits is hard. Habits are usually built over weeks or months of repetition, and motivation is the challenge. When the going gets tough, micro-habits can be a huge help. Read More . While a daily habit takes 66 days of regular follow-up, a micro habit (or mini-habit) can be something you do in larger intervals.

More importantly, mini-habits can help you adopt a few practices that make technology more useful, safer, or work better for you. This isn’t about things you can automate, like backing up your data regularly 5 Basic Backup Facts Every Windows User Should Know We never tire to remind you to make backups and keep your data safe. If you're wondering what, how often, and where you should back up your files, we have straight forward answers. Read More or defragmenting your hard drive 7 Windows Maintenance Mistakes You Should Never Make If you want to keep your Windows PC running smoothly, you need to avoid making these big mistakes. They could shorten your computer's lifespan and make your experience frustrating. Read More . It’s about tasks that can’t be automated but still need to be done regularly.

Secure One Service Every Week

We know that security and privacy are supremely important, but it’s one of those things that we always procrastinate with, isn’t it? It’s partly because there are so many different services we use now. So let’s make it easier.


Every week, take one important service you use regularly — like Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, or whatever else — and tackle it. Each service’s settings will have unique options you should enable or disable, but these are the most common safety measures you should take:


To set up a schedule, identify the services in advance and then just go alphabetically. As for the day and time, it’s up to you. I tried doing it with a fixed schedule and failed, so now I just make sure one service is handled every week — and so far, I’ve been successful in sticking to it. It’s a life-changing mini-habit 10 Life-Changing Mini Habits to Get Back on Track This Year How are you doing on your New Year's resolutions? If you have given up on your goals, try mini habits. You can learn new skills and make lasting change with small steps. Read More to a better tech world.

Move One Item Off Your Desktop on Every Screen Start

Is your desktop full of lots of icons, a cluster of folders, files, and shortcuts? An unorganized desktop can slow down your Mac or Windows computer, apart from the fact that clearing out clutter is good for you Clearing Out Clutter Is Good For You — But Why? Decluttering is a great way to start the year feeling fresh, and it gives you a big sense of accomplishment — but there's more to it than that. This simple habit can improve your life. Read More .


Maybe keeping your desktop clean all the time is too much for most of us. Instead, adopt a mini-habit. Every time you start your computer’s screen, clear one item from the desktop. You might want to move it to a folder or delete it outright, but just one item at a time will make a difference eventually.


And there’s one other thing. Don’t download stuff to your desktop, there are better places to store files 3 Better Ways to Store Your Files Than on the Desktop The Windows desktop isn't meant to be a folder for your files. Here are some of the better options to store your files. Read More .

Exercise and Stretch with an Existing Habit

It’s a well-known fact now that sitting too long can cause serious health issues 4 Serious Health Issues From Sitting Too Long (And How to Avoid Them) Sitting too long at your desk or on your couch is a modern epidemic. Here are four deadly risks to a sedentary lifestyle. Read More , so you need to mix it up with some stretches and exercises. To build these healthy new habits, use the idea of “habit stacking“, where you take an existing habit and add one extra action.


For example, take these eight easy exercises you can do at your desk 8 Easy Exercises To Help You Stay Fit At Your Desk Staying fit at your desk is actually possible. Here are some exercises anyone can do. Some don't even require getting up, others take no longer than 10 minutes out of your daily routine. Read More . Something as simple as tapping your feet rapidly or squeezing one target muscle should be easy, right? Well, you’ll probably forget to do it. So add it to an existing habit, like checking your email. So every time you sort your inbox, tap your feet. Every time you browse Facebook, squeeze that muscle. The more you do a bad tech habit, the fitter you get!


Unsubscribe One Newsletter Daily

Inbox clutter and email overload are big problems 3 Easy Ways To Stop Email Overload From Hitting Your Inbox Email has quite a reputation as a productivity killer. Managing email well can help you keep your inbox clean, but wouldn’t it be great if you got less of it to begin with? Read More . But you know what’s the biggest culprit? Newsletters and subscriptions that you don’t care about, and just delete or archive without thinking about them anymore.


Instead, start unsubscribing from these. Those mass unsubscribing tools Clear Out Your Inbox: Quickly Unsubscribe From Multiple Newsletters With These Tools Unsubscribing from newsletters is about more than just spam. Most of the newsletters that fill our inbox are not selling medicine or offering prize money – they’re genuine newsletters from trusted companies we ourselves subscribed... Read More are useful, but still take a lot of time and you will add more subscriptions over time. Make it a daily habit instead to unsubscribe from one unwanted chain every day. You can use Gmail’s one-click unsubscribe button Keep A Cleaner Inbox As Gmail Gets One-Click Unsubscribe Button A prominent "unsubscribe" link at the top of an email is the small but user-friendly change that should be coming to all Gmail accounts soon. Read More or do it manually, but you’ll end up with a cleaner inbox over time.

Tag or Delete Photos on the Pot

A lot of people take their smartphones or tablets with them when answering nature’s call. Use that to entertain yourself while being productive too! Instead of reading short stories while you take a poop 5 Sites and Apps to Read Free, Quick Short Stories Everyday Reading fiction has several benefits. So, if you aren't reading fiction already, you should be. We found the best sites and apps that serve a dose of short stories whenever you want them. Read More , open your photo albums and start tagging pictures.



These days, Google Photos gives you unlimited storage Get Free Unlimited Photo Storage & More with Google Photos If you aren't using these hidden Google Photos features, you're really missing out. (Hint: There's free and unlimited photo storage!) Read More and automatically backs up your images. So fire up the app to go through your own memories, which can be a nice look back at those good times, and tag the pictures appropriately while you’re browsing. This will make a big difference when you eventually want to search for one photo out of thousands.

Clean One Hardware Every Month

Keeping your devices running fast isn’t all about software, it also comes down to hardware. Maintaining your PC hardware elongates its life 8 PC Maintenance Mistakes That Kill Your Hardware Lifespan PC maintenance isn't rocket science, but you could be making a handful of mistakes that are actually harming your hardware. Read More and keeps things running well. Plus, it will also give you better resale value for your device when you eventually upgrade.


So once a month, pick one device and physically clean it thoroughly. It could be your TV (yup, TVs gather dust too), your smartphone, your laptop, or whatever else. Mac users should take a look at our guide to clean your MacBook or iMac How to Clean Out Dust From Your MacBook or iMac Cleaning dust out of a Mac isn't as easy as cleaning dust out of a PC, but it's not impossible. Here's what you need to know. Read More . And Windows users, we have a spring cleaning checklist and toolset The Spring Cleaning Checklist & Toolset for Your Windows PC Your computer needs a regular checkup, just like your car or your garden. The hardware can collect dirt, while the software can bloat and slow down your system. Let us guide you through the cleanup. Read More for you.

Read More with the 10% Rule

Everyone wants to read more books; we just never get around to it. Here’s one mini-habit that will get Kindle users to read more How to Use Your Kindle to Read More Books Many of us have a desire to read more books, but it's hard to find the time and inclination to do so. Your Kindle can help you achieve this goal. Here's how... Read More than ever before. It’s called the 10% Rule, and it relies on Kindle using percentages instead of page numbers for books.


Every day, read 10% of a book. You can be reading multiple books, that’s not an issue. But whichever one you pick, read 10% and stop. Next day, pick it up again and read another 10%. Of course, you might want to change the value of the percentage depending on the size of the book — can’t be reading 10% of The Lord of The Rings in a day, can we?

Learn to Code with Daily Small Lessons

Much like learning English was essential for the 20th century, the future requires you to learn another language: programming. With all the technology around us, learning to code can expand your skill set exponentially. That’s where Solo Learn comes in.

This wonderful free services teaches you the basics of programming This App Teaches You Coding Basics in Minutes per Day Want to pick up the basics of a programming language whenever you have a few spare minutes? Check out these awesome free apps. Read More with daily lessons for different languages like C++, Java, Javascript, Python, CSS, etc. Download the app, learn through a course, practice with in-app coding, and take quizzes to ascertain your growth.

Start Offloading Your Brain Power to Tech

Do you remember all the recipes you ever cooked, or do you use apps and recipe books? Your brain has limited capacity. Instead of overloading it, it’s a practical tip to free up your mind 13 Practical Tips to Get More Done, One Thing at a Time This is the age of multi-tasking. But is it productive or is it our biggest stress villain? Evidence says that you can get more done by focusing on one task at a time. Read More by offloading to computers and smartphones.

Apps like Google Keep, Wunderlist, Any.Do, Google Calendar, and others will stock the things you don’t need to remember any more. Instead, your mind can be focused on other items, like creative solutions for problems or coming up with grand ideas or tackling life’s great questions.


It can be difficult to get started with these, so to begin, use one of the above apps for one task only. That could mean using Google Calendar to schedule meetings and appointments, or using Wunderlist to share grocery lists, or whatever else. Mini-habits are about starting small. So pick one task, one app, and get going.

Curb Your Tech Addiction

While technology can help improve your life, you shouldn’t get too reliant on it either. In fact, it’s proven that technology addiction is a real problem How to Recognize and Overcome Your Tech Addiction Overcoming tech addiction doesn't mean ending your use of that technology, it just means using technology to improve the quality of your life. This guide shows you how to manage your online cravings. Read More , as using our gadgets releases dopamine, which is our brain’s signal for experiencing pleasure.


Mini-habits can help you overcome this addiction too. Start with something simple like not checking your phone till you’re out of bed. In small increments, extend that to not checking your phone till you’re done with your shower or your morning coffee. Once you’ve reached your limit (which you get to determine), work on when you stop using technology at the end of the day.

You could take digital detox vacations What Happened When I Went Completely Offline For A Week Living in the Internet era has changed us to such an extent that the idea of having to live completely offline even for a little while sounds like a prison sentence. But it really isn't. Read More , have a no-tech hour each day, or figure out your own ritual to slowly curb your reliance on technology. One small step at a time.

Tell Us Your Techie Mini-Habits

Have you incorporated some tech-related mini habit in your life that has changed things for the better? Share your insights with us in the comments below.

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  1. Anonymous
    June 19, 2016 at 6:17 am

    Here's my favorite: every time I encounter a problem on my computer that I can't solve, even after doing web searches for a solution, I throw my hands up in the air, shout something incomprehensible at the monitor, give it a "double bird," stand up, walk around my chair, then watch porn. I always feel better and more productive after that. Oh. I just realized. It's the PORN that's screwing up my computer!

    • Mihir Patkar
      June 30, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      Hahahahaha as much as I want to admonish you for being non-helpful, that genuinely cracked me up. 10 points to you :D

  2. Pravin Kumar
    June 18, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Good one, Mihir. Most part of the article relates to my day-to-day tech problems :p

    • Mihir Patkar
      June 30, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      Thanks Pravin!