Monday, August 31, 2009

Invest time in learning

Often I hear "I don't have time to learn how to do stuff on the computer". My answer to this is usually "you don't have time to not learn how to use the computer".

Like the old saying "It takes money to make money. " The same can be said of time. It takes time to make time. Think of the time you spend learning how to become more efficient as an investment in time that will repay itself many times over.

For example, if you perform the same task 10 times a day and it takes you 2 minutes each time, investing 2 hours to learn how to do it in 1 minute - will repay itself in just 12 days. You will save more than 33 hours in the next year.

The computer is good for helping you do those things that you do more than once or twice. You just have to weigh how much time currently takes you to perform a task, how much time it would take you if you learned a better way and the frequency you do it to determine just how much time you can "invest" in learning how to do it more efficiently.

Keep in mind that often learning new skills will help you perform more than just one task. With computers, the skills you learn in one application usually apply to many others.

Once you learn something new, share it with others! By investing time in helping others become more efficient you will get repaid many times over. One benefit of sharing your knowledge is that usually you end up learning even more from your network of friends/coworkers.

Probably the biggest time saving tools I can think of in today's world are the collaborative tools available. Using sites like Delicious.com for managing and sharing your bookmarks, Google Docs or ZoHo for collaborating and remote access, Flickr or Picasa (or any of many others) for sharing photos, shared calendars (Google, Yahoo! or many others), wikis (PBworks among many others). For most of these the learning curve is insignificant. It is more of changing your mindset and changing habits than learning new things.

Open your mind to working differently!

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/23065375@N05/2247354510/

3 comments:

Greg said...

I've noticed that those people who seem happiest are those who spend their lives learning. Eduard Lindeman's "Meaning of Adult Education" echoed the same sentiment. Doing the same thing everyday is a bore. Life is much more fulfilling when you are learning. Taken to the extreme as Lindeman or I might suggest, living **IS** learning. You're left with -- "Invest time in living!"

Monkeymetal said...

Love this. My mom has a friend who thinks this; thank you for taking the time to write this and encourage others to learn.

Doc Martin said...

The only constant in life is that things will change. In technology the rate of change is even faster. Like all tools learning to use them to your advantage does take time but the value is knowing which tool can help you the best. For example I use Google calendar to help share my work calendar so people can schedule time with me. Great Post.