My friends & colleagues sometimes joke that if people spend too much time around me, over time they become "DROdio-ized." So let me tell you what that means.
In my previous post I referenced a saying which says, "The future is already here - it's just unevenly distributed." Let me tell you how I live my life so you can see if any of my "present" is interesting to you. I'd love to hear your tips too.
Becoming "DROdio-ized" means...
You work from anywhere. As I write this, I'm sitting in a seminar with 200 other people, typing on my laptop. The content the speaker is giving is mildly interesting, and I've picked up a good ability to perk up when I hear something I don't know, while working the rest of the time. It works well for me. I look around and see that everyone else has no choice but to listen to what the speaker has to say, but I can tune in & tune out as I wish. I usually gain several hours per week by doing this. I have my Mac MacBook Pro laptop with a Verizon EVDO card (it's fast). The card costs $60/month for "all you can eat" usage. I take my laptop with me everywhere I go.
You force yourself to learn to type, learn MS Office and learn shortcut keys. This sounds so basic that I'm reluctant to write it. But I'm just utterly amazed at how many people can't type. I even have a friend who types using just one hand (yes, believe it). Not being able to type automatically disbars you from even being considered for the "Get DROdio-ized" club. Living online without being able to type is like living in the physical world and not knowing how to eat. And knowing how to type doesn't mean that you're good with the "hunt & peck" method. Really knowing how to type means that when you type, the keys sound like a machine gun being fired. While you're in your typing class, learn the keyboard shortcut keys (you can see my related post below). And while you're in class, go learn MS Office. Learn what SHIFT+F5 does in Excel. Learn how to send an email in Outlook without dragging your mouse over to the "send" button. In fact, try to spend a day not using your mouse at all (yes it is possible). Then do it for a week. Learn how to print documents without opening them. Learn how to email a document without opening your mail program. Make yourself do these things for a month, and you'll break your bad habits. You really have to want to do this, because your bad habits are ingrained so deeply in your behavior that doing these things will be a much greater challenge than you think. But approach it this way: Your bad habits are robbing you of your life - of time you could be spending with your spouse or your kids. Living online and not knowing how to use keyboard shortcuts is like living in the physical world and not knowing how to use a knife & fork at the dinner table!
Stop taking notes on paper. Taking notes on paper is another habit that's really hard to break. (See how much of being DROdio-ized requires breaking bad habits?) When I am in a social situation and need to take notes, I take out my Treo phone, and I send myself an email with the note using Chattermail. Then, when I get back to my email later, it's easy for me to manage the note/task by forwarding it to someone else or acting on it.
Learn to use search indexing programs to manage your email. You can read my #1 productivity tip that deals with this issue. Stop making folders and then not maintaining them. Stop looking through your inbox to find an email, and start being efficient in your email usage.
Switch to Firefox and learn to use CTRL+F. I like Firefox better than Internet Explorer for many reasons, but a main reason is that it searches content of web pages better than IE does. Stop looking through content on a web page and just CTRL+F instead.
Learn not to take "No" for an answer. I've noticed that there's tremendous value in just learning not to accept "no" for an answer. When I'm on the phone with a customer service representative, and the rep says they can't do something for me, I tell them, "sorry, that's not good enough. Help me find a way to get this done." The rep is usually very surprised to hear me say this, but often, I am able to achieve my goal (whether it's through the rep or their supervisor). This attitude applies to life. People will often say "no" because it's easier. You have to make it harder for them to say "no" than to say "yes."
I hope these tips help you "live the future" along with me - I look forward to hearing yours as well.