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Has Technology Made us Lazy and Dependent?

Has Technology Made us Lazy and Dependent?

How many of us could go a week without our cell phone? Do you even bother to memorize phone numbers anymore? I can’t even recall the last time I went a day without looking at the internet at all. Technology has made life so convenient for us that it’s almost scary to think of what would happen if we had to go without our favorite gadget for an extended period of time. We have to face facts: Technology has made us lazy.

No need to leave the house for entertainment

What’s the point of getting up, taking a shower, getting dressed, and driving to the movies when you can just sit on the couch and fire up Netflix? We’ve all been there before. You’re on the fence about whether or not you want to get out and do something, but then something comes over you. You start looking around at your PS3 and laptop, then realize you can have just as much fun staying in the house.

To make things worse, Nintendo and Microsoft had to go ahead and release the Wii and Kinect (respectively). Thanks to these two addictive gadgets, you can go bowling, play tennis, or participate in the Olympic Games in your living room.

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Is it even possible to get lost anymore?

I get the feeling that we’re getting closer and closer to the day when people won’t even be able to read paper maps anymore. There are already a good deal of young adults that have no idea how to navigate through their own cities without using a GPS.

The beginning of the demise of paper maps was MapQuest. Being able to print out complete turn by turn directions for where you need to go pretty much killed the need for a map. But even with MapQuest, some people still kept a map in their cars just in case of emergencies.

Once TomTom and Garmin hit the scene, paper maps became obsolete. Even MapQuest is getting used a lot less frequently thanks to GPS apps. You can use Google Maps on your smart phone and get voice guided turn by turn directions for free. Even people with no sense of direction can get to where they need to be with today’s technology.

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Oh yea, and now Apple is getting involved in the GPS industry so the future of paper maps isn’t looking too bright. Soon, Boys Scouts will be teaching kids how to use a GPS instead of how to navigate with a compass.

Find the answer to anything with Google

We have all Googled something that we were completely embarrassed we didn’t know the answer to. According to Google, “How to tie a tie” gets over 500,000 searches a month. For some reason, over 1,000 people are searching “how to boil water” and “how to boil eggs” gets over 40,000 searches per month.

Google has made the process of learning how to do things extremely easy. There was once a time when if you didn’t know how to do something, you had to either:

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  • Know someone that knew how to do it
  • Try to figure it out and mess up until you got it right

Not anymore. A quick search on Google will bring up instructional YouTube videos, blog posts, and PDF’s that show you how to do anything. So much for being self sufficient.

So long errands!

Running errands use to take up entire Saturday mornings. By the time you got home, you were drained and just wanted to relax. Well thanks to online shopping and services like Peapod, running your own errands is a thing of the past. Giant’s Peapod service lets you get groceries delivered right to your home. TaskRabit lets you find people that will literally do any type of errand you need from returning merchandise to putting together Ikea furniture.

These services are great for people that are physically unable to do certain tasks themselves, but there are plenty of able-bodied people using them too just for the convenience. Buying clothes, electronics, and other goodies once required leaving the house. Not anymore. The E-Commerce industry is doing extremely well and is expected to increase 62% by 2016. I’m definitely part of the problem here because I love online shopping. But I can admit that it has made me somewhat lazy.

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It seems as though with every new piece of technology that gets released, we get lazier and lazier. Hopefully we don’t get to the point that we become like the people in the movie Wall-E. If you’re the type of person that won’t change the channel because you can’t find the remote, or would rather Skype then drive to visit friends/family, technology could be making you lazy.

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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