Everyday many of us go to work and face a giant that has been causing us headaches for months or years. Worse yet many of us realize that the giant is supposed to be working for us making our jobs easier. The tragedy is that we have the ability to do something about the situation but don’t for a variety of reasons. What is this metaphorical giant I speak of? Computer programs/software.
You may be asking yourself why I am referring to computer programs as a giant. For many people trying to operate inside a program on their computer is an intimidating, stressful and frustrating experience. My intent with this post is to show you that you are in control and have the power to change those negative time-draining experiences into triumphant confidence building experiences.
Firstly, know that you can’t break your computer by working in any of your programs like Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop. One of the first fears you need to conquer is the fear of pressing buttons. When you open a program and see all the buttons and tools realize they are there to serve you in your day to day tasks. If you do something and don’t like the results you can simply undo your error or start over. I will give you the advice that if you are going to experiment with tools you’re not familiar with to work in a test file, not an important document you’ve spent a lot of time in. At the very least, save a copy.
Also, over the years software has gotten a lot better at assisting the user through tutorials that come with the software and help files. Should you have the misfortune of a pop-up window appearing telling you something did not work, don’t get frustrated. Learn from that and try again.
Now I can hear a few of you out there murmuring that an old dog can’t be taught new tricks. Well to that I say nonsense because you’re not an old dog. However if an old dog could use Google and read tutorials or watch videos, he could learn new tricks. Like the Bible says, seek and you will find. So go to work every day knowing your computer can work for you, and that you don’t have to work for your computer.
As a suggestion, instead of taking three hours to do your typical routine of spinning your tires in the mud or taking the scenic route to do your daily tasks, spend one or two hours learning something new and then maybe what normally takes you three hours will only take you one hour. After that investment you’ll save yourself two hours every day. That is a huge return on your investment. A site that you might be interested in is Lynda.com – it’s a pretty elaborate tutorial site on virtually every piece of software that I’ve ever come across.
In closing my challenge to you is to spend one hour every week for a year learning something new about the program you spend the most time in and at the end of the year you will have completed 52 hours of training and have many new tools at your disposal to make your life easier. The giant is down for the count, you are victorious!