Thursday, January 22, 2015

Delve Into the New

When it comes to information technology, ignorance is never bliss. Here are some situations that need only a minor adjustment to see big results.

On the job, it may be tempting to let IT handle every problem, or you may be in a job where the IT department insists you let them handle every problem.  If you are under the watchful eye of a control-happy IT department, don't let them stop you. I'm not suggesting violating company rules, becoming a junior hacker or sabotage, of course. Learning is the answer.  They can do the fix, but watch, if you can. Ask questions definitely. Google!

Want to trim time off of a project? Educate yourself and your team. Make sure all the participants are knowledgeable about the aspects of the technology involved. If everyone is "on the same page", understanding the features of the spreadsheet, design, document, web page, (fill-in-the-blank), less time will be spent communicating back and forth unraveling the mystery of how it all works.

Whether at home or at work, do not let those walls of that comfort zone contain you. You may feel like it's safe or easy but you are limiting yourself and more importantly, your productivity.

Here are the steps to turn this around:

Decide to Learn
Decide to make the change. Change always starts with a decision. Procrastination is the opposite of decision.

Schedule Time to Learn
If you want a really tasty home-cooked meal, time must be set aside. You could hire a personal chef to cook all your meals at home because it doesn't take from your time. It would be easier but quite costly. If you schedule time to learn, it will be an investment that will save you time and money.

Have a Learning Goal
Choose one piece of the puzzle of your workday/project/business; one function of your computer, phone, software. Do some research and learn one new thing a week about that one puzzle piece. Or several puzzle pieces.

Here are some good websites to get you started on your journey. Approach your information technology with eyes wide open and make the first move.
  • iTunesU for iPhone, iPad and iPodTouch - This amazing app offers free courses from leading universities and other schools.  Just type "computers" in the catalog search  and voila!
  • Code Tuts Plus "10 Tips for Learning a New Technology"- an article full of useful ways to kick-start and follow through on learning something new in IT or any type or learning, really.
  • YouTube - I prefer reading, but lots of us like to watch a video on that problem that stumps us. Enter your search term and be amazed!
You will never regret learning something new.

"Learning never exhausts the mind."  -Leonardo da Vinci