Advertising
Advertising

10 Skills We’ve Lost Due to Smart Phones and PDAs and Simple Ways to Get Those Skills Back

10 Skills We’ve Lost Due to Smart Phones and PDAs and Simple Ways to Get Those Skills Back

1. Memorizing phone numbers

It was a hassle remembering numbers. Now we simply add them to our contacts list. That usually works well unless our device is lost, stolen, or damaged. No one can be expected to remember all their contact numbers. What we can do is memorize 5 of our most important contact numbers. This should include a mixture of family, friends and business. If you’re really ambitious you can memorize 5 contacts for each category.

2. Map reading skills

The convenience and effectiveness of GPS guidance systems and digital maps generated by search engines is undeniable. They’ve definitely made our lives easier. What we don’t get from using these devices and applications are the increased ability to understand spatial orientation, representative symbolism, and navigation. To renew or acquire those skills, try using physical maps to plan your next trek. Whether it’s a long or short trip, take time to stop and safely chart your progress. After a few excursions, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how efficient a tactile map can be.

Advertising

3. Photography

Even amateur photography required a rudimentary learning curve about lighting, depth, and composition. This was true for analog and digital photography. Most smart phone camera’s automatically make these adjustments. We no longer have to learn the art of photography. On most devices, this is easily rectified by turning off the automatic settings. Experiment with manually setting the scene modes, lighting, and zoom. You just may learn that you’re a “true Photog.”

4. Fact checking

Reference books and encyclopedias were once the gold standard for finding reference information. They provided peer reviewed and fact checked data on a vast array of subjects. They just aren’t as convenient and rapidly updated as search engines, digital reference materials, and databases. That said, the results of information derived from digital sources aren’t always reliable. Their information is limited by the review process. No one wants to be embarrassed by regurgitating false information. It’s taken time, but most people now realize that wiki retrieved data comes with a caveat. To make certain you’re disseminating factual information, make an effort to strictly utilize reputable and reliable sources.

Advertising

5. Reading comprehension

The primary culprits are E-readers. They’re convenient and can store thousands of books. There’s also evidence that their format makes it more difficult for users to retain and recall information they just read. Don’t worry, there’s no need to give up your e-reader! What we should do is make an effort to read printed books. This will be especially helpful when perusing information we need for academic or career purposes.

6. Hand written correspondence

Writing letters and notes incorporated hand writing skills, organizational skills, and learning about the person or persons you correspond with. This is another easily regained skill. Send a letter to an old friend, relative or acquaintance. If you’re truly feeling adventurous, join a pen pal club!

Advertising

7. Conversations

This one may seem counter-intuitive, especially considering how many people have smart phones, but it’s true! We actually use email and texts far more than we talk. It’s more prevalent among certain demographics, but it touches them all. The solution is self explanatory: take time make phone calls.

8. Currency

Using coins and paper money requires fast arithmetic and accurate calculations. Sure debit cards are often more practical, but cash has its benefits. In addition keeping our calculating skills sharp, cash can actually be safer to use than debit cards. Use cash for purchases under ten dollars. While ostensibly debit cards are safer, they’re are susceptible to fraudulent practices such as skimming. This often happens at locations where make quick, low dollar transactions. If you inadvertently lose a small amount of cash you’re not going to be too upset. On the hand, if your debit card is compromised it could become a true fiasco.

Advertising

9. Walking

Distracted walking detracts from the observations and experience of walking. It can also be dangerous. Accidents can easily occur when we become immersed in text messages. An easy solution is to set observation goals for each trip. If it’s a routine walking commute, make a game of noting the changes, no matter how subtle, on your commute.

10. Expanding our knowledge base

The convenience of nearly instantaneous information can easily become a crutch. If we’re not knowledgeable about certain subjects such as physics, politics, or music we know we can look it up online. That’s not necessarily a negative. What’s problematic is that we often look up and recite the information, but don’t actually absorb it. It may seem daunting, but this is arguably the easiest skill to revitalize. Whenever you reference an unfamiliar subject take time to actually learn the information.

More by this author

10 Skills We’ve Lost Due to Smart Phones and PDAs and Simple Ways to Get Those Skills Back 5 Keys to Maintaining a Gluten-Free Diet

Trending in Lifestyle

1 How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck 2 How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries 3 How to Manage Anxiety: Sound Advice from a Mental Health Expert 4 How to Start Eating Healthy No Matter How Old You Are 5 Understanding Intermittent Fasting Benefits: More Than Just Weight Loss

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

Read Next