Technology Life Skills

May 11, 2011
“If you are in school today the technologies you will use as an adult tomorrow have not been invented yet,” writes Kevin Kelly. Thus, the point of Technology Life Skills is not being good at using a particular technology (like, say, Twitter or Ableton Live), but being good at understanding HOW technology works.
Kelly lists out some great principles for understanding what he calls the “technium.” Here are a few favorites:
You will be newbie forever. Get good at the beginner mode, learning new programs, asking dumb questions, making stupid mistakes, soliticting help, and helping others with what you learn (the best way to learn yourself).What do you give up? This one has taken me a long time to learn. The only way to take up a new technology is to reduce an old one in my life already. Twitter must come at the expense of something else I was doing — even if it just daydreaming.

Nobody has any idea of what a new invention will really be good for. To evaluate don’t think, try.

Don’t check your email first-thing in the morning. Productivity coach and blogger Sid Savara has some great advice on this one: “If you’re blindly checking email first thing in the morning, the real problem isn’t that you’re wasting time checking email – the real problem is that you don’t see checking email as a low priority activity, because you haven’t decided what the high priority activities are. When you don’t have a clear list of priorities, checking email becomes an urgent activity that you do at the expense of your important ones.”
Do your best to write concise, actionable emails. This may seem obvious, but as much as we struggle with email, many of us don’t practice the Golden Rule when it comes to writing them. The more poorly written and unclear your email is, the more likely it is to spawn a long chain of replies and counter-replies that demand clarity. As Ben Brook sputs it:
– “Tell me what I need to know, and
– What you need from me.”
That’s it.
Try “Priority Inbox” if you’re a Gmail user. According to Fast Company, “Compared to Google employees without Priority Inbox, PI users spent 6% less time reading email, and 13% less time reading unimportant stuff in their inboxes. PI users were also ‘more confident’ to bulk archive emails, or delete nonsense.” I’ve been using PI for quite a few months now, and have to admit it really does separate the wheat from the chaff.
[Read full articleMore 99% tips on email strategy.


Posted in Blog by Douglas Fahlbusch