It’s true that modern computing has allowed us to enjoy the ability to run more than one program at a time. We probably can’t even imagine it being any different than this. But there’s a limit to this, and it’s different for every computer.
If you really want to drag down your computer’s speed, then just keep several programs that you’re not actually using open all the time. If you don’t need a program to complete the current task, then close it out! This frees up RAM and processor time so you can get the most speed to do the work you’re actually trying to do.
Hint: Look for programs running in the system tray (by the clock for Windows users). Those little icons represent programs that are running in the background. Right-click on any you think can be closed in order to quit or exit the program. You can even change settings for some of these programs to make them not automatically start up when you boot your computer. Just do a quick Google search to find out more about how to do this.
If you want to get really sophisticated, then press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC to open Task Manager and look at the list of currently running processes by clicking on the “Processes” tab. You can sort by the amount of Memory or CPU that each process is using to pick out the “hogs”.
Mac Users: You can press Command + Option + Esc to open the “Force Quit” dialog, which will list all of your running programs so you can terminate them from there. There’s also the Activity Monitor (Finder > Applications > Utilities), which is similar to the Task Manager in Windows.
By closing out of programs that you’re not using, you’ll speed up your computer, which can have a huge time-savings effect.