by Steve Siercks, Jordan Streiff, & Chris Rogers
computer news with the teen perspective
Maximizing Time With A Mac
by Jordan Streiff
Time... you never can seem to get enough of it. There are always places to go, people to see, jobs to be accomplished. In the fast paced life that most of us live in America, there is never enough time to do anything. However, it doesn't always have to be that way.
I had the good fortune of being able to live in China for a number of years. In China, it seems there is always time. Always time for a lunch break, always time to be able to sit down and talk, always time to maybe have a little fun. I find that one of the reasons was that they didn't have to deal with technology like we do. Sometimes technology can be just as much of a hindrance as a helper.
Even though we don't want to admit it, Macs are just another tool. It can't even run without a human-being telling it what to do. The purpose of a tool is to make life a little easier, not more complicated. So while you love your Mac, if it takes up time instead of giving time back, then what good has it done you? What can be done to combat this problem? Here are just a few tips that I've come up with to help you maximize your time with your mac:
If you can't figure out a feature of a particular program, come back to it later. I've spent hours tinkering with neat little gadgets that various programs have to offer, and still never completely gotten the hang of them. So unless you absolutely have to have something, save the best for last... that way you can add things on at the end... if you have time.
Sometimes you don't need the most elaborate tool to get the job accomplished. Why watch Word crash when you could have been using SimpleText or AppleWorks?
Work to live, don't live to work. If your work (or school) is your life, then maybe it's time to reconsider what your doing and why. If work is costing you your happiness, then you'd be better off without that job (even though school is mandatory, damnit :)
Get a cheap old laptop. It will save you a ton of time when you're on the go. I use my PowerBook 165 all the time to do homework on the way home from school.
If you're doing schoolwork on the computer that requires drawing, it would probably just be quicker to do it by hand. Sometimes the pen is mightier than the processor.
Be sure and turn ICQ or Instant Messages off while you're working. Especially if you're easily distracted (like me) this will be a definite time saver.
Try to be a good judge of what tools would actually be quicker and/or do a better job - pen and paper, or mac and ink jet.
Take a moment every once in awhile to get a little breath of fresh air. This helps to relieve some stress and once you come back you're mind should be able to focus back in on the project.
Try to set time constraints on particular parts of a project. Once you've spent a certain amount of time on something, move on.
Well, that's about all for now. Hope this helped you somewhat. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to use some of my precious time.
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