This is the third in a series of 10 Keys to Success. As I mentioned last time, in one of the final sections of our Publishize book, I list my 10 Keys to Success. Because I only briefly touch on them in the book, I’m expanding on them here. Here’s number three in the list.
Don’t Fear Technology
In Keys To Success # 2, I suggested that you turn off all technology and focus on one thing at a time, so this advice might sound like a bit of a contradiction. But it’s really not. Technology is a tool. Like any tool, you need to learn how to use it.
Even if you are a master delegator, there are some things you will need to do yourself on your computer. Spending the time required educating yourself in basic file management and computer use pays big dividends. The investment you make in learning will be multiplied a million-fold in increased productivity.
People always ask me how I get so much done. One of my secrets is that I know how to use my computer. I know where every file is and keyboard shortcuts for every program, so I don’t spend hours wasting time looking for files or doing things the hard way.
It is inevitable that you will have to do some word processing in the course of running your business. For example, you might have to type up a letter that includes some information about the prices of your products. If you know how to create a table in Microsoft Word, you can line up the columns easily. If you don’t, you can make a gigantic mess by pressing the spacebar 400 times and your columns still will never line up.
When you are writing a book, again, you will undoubtedly use a computer. If you know the keyboard commands for cut, copy, and paste, you can rearrange stuff quickly and easily. If you understand how to use styles in your word processing or layout software, you can save countless hours on book production.
These simple tasks shouldn’t take hours, and recreating files you “lost” is a huge waste of time. It never ceases to amaze me how many people use computers inefficiently for literally years. They can’t find their files, their computers crash, or they end up infected with malware and viruses, so they spend countless hours in a state of extreme frustration.
A lot of computer problems can be avoided. Just as my husband needs to sharpen his chain saw periodically before he goes out and chops down a tree, when it comes to computing, a little education and preventative maintenance can go a long way.
It’s easy to learn the basics of computer maintenance and file management so you never “lose” a file again. Obviously, tons of computer information is online, but unless you know what you’re looking for, it can be difficult to start at the beginning.
If you are new to computing (or even if you’re not), consider investing a few hours in some adult education classes on using computers. They are available almost anywhere. The end result is a greater sense of accomplishment, and a lot less frustration.