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How to Teach Your Non-Tech Savvy Parents Some Useful Skills

How to Teach Your Non-Tech Savvy Parents Some Useful Skills

Parents are great. They know a lot about life that we certainly don’t know. However, they aren’t always the most technologically advanced individuals on the face of the planet.

As the saying goes, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Instead of trying to deal with all of your parents’ seemingly endless issues over the phone for the next couple of decades, it’s just better to teach them a thing or two. Here are some of the easiest ways to do just that.

1. Use a Screencast

If your parent is having a difficult time completing a task on their computer, one of the best things you can do is create a screencast for them. This is especially valuable if it’s something they need to do repeatedly, but will likely forget.

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“When creating the screencast, it’s best to plan it out a little bit in advance,” millennial, Adam Dachis says. “This doesn’t mean you need to spend a ton of time on it, but just take a minute to think about the steps you’re going to cover in advance so your instructions are clear and succinct.”

2. Sign Them Up for a Tech Support Service

Did you know that there are tech support services that specialize in providing people with wide ranging issues? Yes, you can actually sign your parents up for a service that provides them with unlimited tech support for every device and issue you can imagine.

Whether it’s a virus, problem with email, issue connecting to WiFi, problem accessing a smartphone app, or anything in between, a full-service tech support plan gives your parents someone else to contact.

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3. Give Them Some Reading Material

The reason many parents have so many questions for you is that they don’t have the material they need to do it themselves. By providing your parents with some reading material, YouTube videos, and other resources, you can give them the tools needed to figure it out on their own.

4. Show Them How to Work Google

When you have a technical issue with something in your life, what’s the first thing you do? Most people your age simply type a question into Google and look for answers. Parents don’t always do this because they aren’t well versed in how to use Google efficiently for problem solving.

One of the best things you can do is teach your parents how to use Google. Don’t assume that they already know. Show them how it works and teach them how to type in inquiries and get relevant responses.

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5. Avoid Using Confusing Jargon

Words that may seem commonplace to you could very likely be foreign to your parents. When explaining concepts, don’t assume that they understand what you’re talking about. Even using a term like “copy and paste” could confuse them.

For best results, try to speak in analogies and explain any concept that doesn’t make sense outside of the context of the technology being used. You’ll feel like you’re dumbing things down too much, but they’ll let you know if you’re going too far.

Don’t Leave Your Parents Hanging

It may be annoying to receive multiple requests from your mom or dad asking about how to use an emoji in a text message, but it’s not the end of the world. Instead of just doing it for her, show her how to do it. Your parents aren’t dumb; they just didn’t grow up in the same world of technology that you did.

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Pay it forward and teach them a thing or two. You’ll all be happier.

Featured photo credit: Shutterstock.com via shutterstock.com

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Larry Alton

Business Consultant

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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