Unlike many people, I do not play with the health and performance of my computer. I regularly maintain the speed of my computer by performing few monthly rituals. Just like we maintain our automobiles we need to also take some time out to look after our computer, especially now that the average time we spend on computers are increasing.
One of the thing I do to speed up my computer is run my antivirus and antispyware programs. Spyware and virus do slow down computer, and sometime you may not know how/when they sneaked in on you, especially if you share your computer with other people, or your children. Running weekly or monthly virus or spyware scanner will keep these malware out and thus maintain the speed of my computer.
The second thing I do to speed up my computer is to check through my installed programs, background services and start up items to make sure that no new programs is consuming my much-loved memory in the background. Keeping regular eyes on background services and startup items (System Configuration Utility) once a month will regulate your computer speed.
The third thing I do to speed up my computer is to perform hard disk maintenance. The hard drive is a fragile component and should be take care of. Once every month I fragment my hard disk in order to have a contiguous file which makes it easier for the hard disk header to locate files on the platters, thereby making it faster to respond to the processor.