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7 Ways To Get Started

7 Ways To Get Started

    Most of the readers coming to Lifehack.org are looking for ways to become more productive, create cooler, better stuff, and make sure that they have some sort of work/life balance. What tends to happen during this process is that when we are trying to create things, we sometimes get stuck.

    Some call it confusion. Others refer to it as “the fear”. Regardless, this bump in the road is all about traveling over the gap from ideas to reality and happens to all creative people at some time or another. This gap from ideas to reality is something that can be handled. Here are 7 ways you can get started.

    Outline and Act

    Sometimes when you are paralyzed and just can’t get any of your ideas started you really just don’t know what to do next. Being the productivity geek that I am I feel that there is nothing that can’t be solved with outlines, lists, or mindmaps.

    So, sit down, brainstorm and outline your ideas on paper (or, of course, your favorite digital tool), pick one single, clear, next action, and then act on it no matter what.

    Copy and/or steal

    I’m not a total Apple, Inc. fanboy, but there is one quote from Steve Jobs I find interesting:

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    “Good artists copy. Great artists steal.”

    This is good when you have an idea that others have already acted on. For example, if you want to start the next great gadget blog like Engadget, then copy what Engadget does. Don’t copy word for word from their articles, but write about the same things that they are writing about.

    Copying can help you get over the initial fear of getting started, then as you work on your ideas and plans more and more you can become more of “your own”.

    Prototype

    A prototype is a “first or preliminary model of something” and creating one can free you up from the inner voice that says “you can’t create something”. Creating a simple prototype of your idea, whether it’s a website, webapp, iPhone app, physical product, etc. you get an idea of what it will take to make your idea a reality.

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    By creating this first “throw-a-way” model of your idea, you can show yourself that you can bring your thoughts to fruition.

    Brainstorm with outsiders

    There is nothing better than getting fresh ideas when you are at a road block. Talking to people around you that aren’t involved in your business or ideas can give you a super fresh perspective.

    Also, you can obtain some fresh criticism that may make you rethink your idea and shape it into the thing that you need to move forward.

      Focus

      If you are one that says that you are always too busy then it’s no wonder that you can’t get started on your ideas or projects. If you have a great idea and you want to make it happen but can’t find the time to get it done, then you need to focus.

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      The only way to make sure that you can make your dream a reality is if you have the time to do it. Therefore, you need to cut something out that is less important. There are a fixed amount of hours in a day, but you are the one that has control of what you can and cannot do with those hours.

      So, either find the time and get started or ditch the idea. It’s that simple.

      Identify fears and then smash them

      If you are trying to start a business or something on the side of your “traditional job” you can have a host of fears. Instead of just letting the fears linger and then try to start your idea, you could try to identify them and then smash them.

      Write down everything that you are afraid of and then try to come up with the reasons that you are afraid. Nine times our of ten you will find that your fears aren’t grounded in reality. This can be the kick in the pants you need to get started on your idea.

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      Expect everything less than perfection

      Even with the best idea, a solid 5-year plan, outlines and project plans, time, money, etc., your idea won’t be perfect. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be.

      If you go into the creation process of your ideas expecting perfection, you will be defeated in the first day. Instead expect nothing. Work hard and create what you want. Then make it better. And after that make it better.

      It’s this type of iteration and constant improvement that make good ideas great and allow you to get started without the burden of making everything great at day zero.

      Motivation is a tricky thing. Mostly because it all comes back to yourself and your choice to do something or not to do something. All the tips and tricks in the world are no good if you don’t use them and then chase your ideas. So, if you have an idea that you are not starting on, stop looking for advice, try one of the ways to get started above, and then make your idea a reality.

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      CM Smith

      A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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      Last Updated on November 20, 2020

      How to Type Faster: 12 Typing Tips and Techniques

      How to Type Faster: 12 Typing Tips and Techniques

      Do you know that being able to type faster makes you more productive? In fact, it’ll save you 21 days every year just by typing faster!

      Many people look up to master typists and wish that they could handle a keyboard like they do. The truth is that none of them started that way, and they had to learn.

      How can you learn how to type faster?

      In this article, you’ll learn 12 useful fasting typing tips and techniques.

      1. Improve Your Workspace

      Many people believe that fast and correct typing will start when you can master the keyboard. However, the truth is that you will need to begin with getting a workspace that is clean, properly ventilated, and comfortable. Also, for optimal typing, you will need to get a table and not work with your laptop or computer on your lap.

      If you will be working for an extended period, make sure that you’re comfortable.

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      2. Fix Your Posture

      If you want to type well, the correct posture will be seated, straight backed, and with your feet planted a little apart, flat on the ground. You wrists should also be positioned in such a way that your fingers can cover the keyboard. Tilt your head a bit as you can look at the screen properly as well.

      Adjust your office chair so you’ll be able to easily play with the seat and get a proper posture[1].

      Learn how to type faster with correct posture.

        3. Hold Your Posture

        It is also very important that you keep this position as you type. Ensure that your posture is good, and this way, you will be able to avoid getting aches on your wrists. These aches have a way of slowing you down and keeping you out of rhythm.

        Keep your back and shoulders from hunching, and while relaxation should be your key goal as you work on, also be sure to stay upright.

        4. Familiarize Yourself with the Keyboard

        The keyboard is your tool here, so you will need to get to know it. Fortunately for you, most keyboards that you see will make use of the same layout; the QWERTY layout. It is called that because of the letters that make the top left corner. You’ll also find that a lot of keyboards have keys around these main ones that do several things.

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        Here’s a nice video to help you familiarize yourself with the keyboard:

        Work on memorizing the positions of the letter keys, as well as some of the most used punctuation marks. You will need to understand where they are without looking at the keyboard. This is the only way you can learn to type fast.

        5. Close Your Eyes and Say the Keys out Loud as You Press Them

        Another great way to get to know the positions of these letters is to look away from them and directly at the screen. Then, pronounce the keys as you press them and see if you’re correct. This step will go a long way in helping you to memorize the keys, and it can easily help you learn how to type faster.

        6. Start Slowly With Touch-Typing

        Improving your speed as you type is a matter of developing your muscle memory over time. However, the quickest way to master typing will be learning touch typing[2]. If this is your first time with touch typing, then you might spend a lot of time on this step. However, once you can type key combinations without looking at the keyboard layout, your speed will increase.

        7. Don’t Look at Your Hands

        The whole essence of this step is to keep you from looking at your keyboard as you type so that your fingers are made to learn how the keys work.

        Again, you might find that your speed reduces when you begin, but just stick to it. Touch typing will help you to reach higher speeds and master it.

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        8. Practice, Practice, Practice

        Mastering the touch typing technique will prove to be a bit finicky, but once your posture is up and you get your fingers where they should be, you can only improve by practicing.

        Spare some time on a daily basis to practice and master both accuracy and speed. With continuous practice, you will also notice that you make fewer errors with time.

        9. Check out Some Online Typing Games

        There are also some websites that can help you with your practicing. They score you and record your words per minute, so you can try improving your record and competing with others as well. Here are some of the best sites:

        10. Dictation Practice

        If you don’t know what you can write, another alternative to getting good practice is to listen to something and try to type as you hear the words. There is no limit to the kind of things you can write, and you can even make the practice process more fun.

        Get an e-book, an online lecture, or listen to a TV show or talk show.

        11. Monitor Your Progress

        Ensure that you keep track of the progress you make as you go on. However, it is important that you don’t get obsessed with how many words you are able to type in a minute. Rather, ensure that you stay comfortable while you’re practicing. With time, your words per minute will increase, and you’ll be able to clock up some high numbers.

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        12. Get Some Formal Training

        There are many specially designed courses and typing lessons that will boost your abilities. If you’re willing to improve your skill, get any of these and see how well they work for you:

        The Bottom Line

        Typing is a skill that takes time to develop, but with practice and dedication, you can learn how to get faster at typing and improve your productivity on a day-to-day basis.

        One day, you may even improve your typing so much that you reach 40 wpm!

        More Tips on How to Type Faster

        Featured photo credit: Cytonn Photography via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Well: Working WELL anywhere
        [2] Techopedia: Touch Typing

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