No doubt that typing per se, it is one of those things that are complex, it is simple to hit the keyboard, but touch typing is complex. We tend to avoid learn to touch type, but regardless we are using the keyboard all the time. On my book “25 Tips for Productivity” I spend a chapter explaining how, learning to type was key to gain over two hours of free time per week.
When I got my iPad, I also got an Apple Bluetooth keyboard, and took me a while to find the perfect accessory for it. It was a keyboard case called ‘Origami’ from Incase. This one works as a cover for the Keyboard as well as a stand for the iPad. Those had been a been a good combination for long typing.
I had use this case, and travel with it, since have two important purposes, one it work as stand and second avoid that the keyboard turn on when in the bag. This had happened to me before I got the case, and was really frustrating to get to work and discover that you have no battery. (Both times I had extra batteries on the Bag.) I have been able to touch type for some time, so having a keyboard was key for me to use the iPad for certain things, therefore was a no brainer for me to get the keyboard.
It took me a while to understand that typing on the keyboard but be deficient on the screen was not in my own benefit. It wasn’t allowing me to be as productive as I could be. After a friend recommend me an iPad app called TapTyping I began learning. I remember the first time I try it. I did 15 words per minute. I almost cry. But I had practice, and I can type today around 60 on the screen of the iPad. One of the things that I like about this app, is that you can have different profiles, so you can do a Keyboard Profile and a Screen Profile and improve both. Also other people in your household can also create their profile and learn to type. The application provide you with a Beginner, Intermediate, Advance as well as Extra Credits levels and Statistics for you to track you progress. It is a really complete application.
In my expirence, learning to type can save so much time. People tend to convince themselves that they don’t need it. I did it too for a really long time. I even avoid to learn how to type effectively in the iPad screen even when it was my main machine. We tend to beleive that the time we will spend lerning will not pay back, therefore we avoid working on it. Honestly, if we stop trying to convince ourselves and working on learning to properly type we will discover a couple of hours per week, every week. Can you imagine that?
When Apple release iOS 5.0 something changed on the kind of things you could do on the iPad. It was on that moment that it changed from being used forty to sixty percent of the time to eighty to ninety percent of the time. In other words, it convert itself into my main machine. Behind were the PCs and MacBooks and since then I have no interest in going back. The idea of this series of posts, is once a week talk about something I do on the iPad. Somethings I had to learn, some tricks so I don’t use the MacBook or the PC, others they simply work better on the iPad.
I decided to call this series: “Working on MY iPad, because I don’t know how you work on yours:” for a simple reason. There are many people out there, that when you mention that the iPad is your main machine, Immediately they consider it impossible, and try to convinced you why you need a PC or a MacBook. This series is dedicated to my work, to what I do daily and week over week. There are going to be moments in witch I will explain why use the MacBook or PC where simply was necessary.
Again, the idea is simple, my iPad represent ninety percent of my working hours, but there is a ten percent that happen on the PC or MacBook, I am not sure if it is possible to use the iPad for those, but I have not spend the time to found out, so it happen there.
The applications that you will see, and the ones I will talk about are the ones that I use daily or constantly. In general I try to keep my iPhone as well as the iPad without excess of applications.
I got my first iPad on launch day. It was a 32GB iPad. Recently replaced for an iPad2 of 16GB. The reason I mention this, is because a good friend once he finish reading my book “25 Tips for Productivity” told me that in my list of “Things I don’t need” I had the iPad2. When I wrote the chapter of that book, my iPad1 was in perfect working conditions. When the screen crash I was in need of a new iPad. There was a really good deal for my current iPad so I got that one instead of a newer one. I though that if the iPad1 was enough for my needs, most likely the iPad2 will be too, without any problems.
Maybe it is important to understand who I am, to understand how I use the iPad. I am first and foremost a father. That means that my daughter play with my iPad once in a while. It also means that you will see mention of applications that are appropriate for her. I am a writer. As I publish this post, I had publish two novels in English, “The Writer” and “Putsch” and one Productivity book, “25 Tips for Productivity“. In november the spanish version of “The Writer” and “25 Tips for Productivity” will go for sale. I also have a little productivity book that will come out before the year ends in English and Spanish, as well as a series of interesting projects for 2013. I also, work as an investor in the Stock Market as well as in the real state market, therefore they will be mention of things I used for that purpose. Finally I am a consultant in Productivity, Sales and Marketing. (I was a Sales Manager for Latin America, Canada and the US for over eight years.) In 2013 maybe we will also add Public Speaker. Seems like destiny is providing interesting prospects on that matter. As you can see, I can do my job from anywhere, I work at home by choice. This has his own set of challenges, but without a doubt is wonderful.
My work begin at 4:00AM, at that time I had coffee and get ready. From 4:30AM to 7:30AM are my first three hours of work. At 7:30AM I get my daughter ready to go to school. After I return, the second part of my working hours begin, until 12:00PM. The third part begins between 1:00PM and 2:00PM and ends around 4:00PM. At that time we go to Ballet, Gymnastics, Spanish and Swimming Lessons. At night I read for pleasure.
I think this explain a little who I am and what I do. Like I said, the idea of this Series is explain how I work on my iPad. I hope to obtain comments on how to do it even better, ideas, software and more.
The idea is to publish it on Wednesday, once a week. The reason that this post is on Tuesday is to introduce the series and not give the readers a week to the first one.
Until then, I will be working on MY iPad.
I love the 2 minute rule. I believe that it is one of the best cures for procrastination, and can really move things that we believe stuck.
The first time I remember reading about it was on David Allen’s book Getting Things Done, and honestly change many things. I am a believer that if more people would to focus less on other stuff and finish more two minutes items, we will all be a much happier crowd.
In my experience we have no clue how long are two minutes. I am constantly setting an alarm to use better that time, because it is always longer and allow me to do more than what I believe it is possible.
1.- Review my list of Next Actions
2.- Send a text to my wife and tell her that I love her very much
3.- Breath and enjoy Peace
4.- Pick the trash and take it out
5.- Learn a new word in the Dictionary
6.- Drink a glass of water to replenish myself
7.- Write a Thank You note
8.- Play: Paper, Rock, Scissors, Shot with my daughter
9.- Read a little bit more of the book I am currently reading
10.- Fast walk to make blood flow into my body
11.- Listen to a Power Song on the iPhone
12.- Play a move of Chess, LetterPress or Word with Friends
13.- Clean one of more of the items of my Next Action list
14.- Check the news * Not first thing in the morning or last thing at night
15.- Read one or more of my Instapaper articles
16.-Enjoy 2 minutes of silence *You don’t know how long they are until you try this
17.- Stretch your body
18.- Clean your desk to continue working
19.- Purge your Wallet and dump the appropriate stuff in the Inbox
20.- Clean your glasses
21.- Do a mind dump * It feels great!
22.- Clean the screen of your devices
23.- Check the next two weeks of your calendar to spot land mines
24.- Process some items of your Inbox
25.- Close your eyes, relax and try to clean your mind
What else can you do in 2 minutes or less?
As simple as that sound, we are doing everything backward and we are suffering because of that.
Let’s see the following for a moment. We wake up in the morning running, prepare lunches so our kids can take them to school. We shower and dress up trying to beat the tic tack of the clock. We work all day. Return home and the race begin again until we collapse on the TV or on a book until the next day. I have done that myself, in many occasions. My parents did the same, as well as my aunt and uncles. When I was a kid if you sleep over a friend house was the same… so, we assume that was: normal.
The problem is that maybe it is. Normal not always means: the best. Let’s assume the following scenario: You wake up calmed. Have enough time to have breakfast. Don’t have the need to beat the clock. No need to stress before you leave your home. No need to fight with your kids. Read a little, maybe even do a little exercise.
Sound like a magazine ad. Sure only someone without responsibilities can do that, but for me is simply impossible. Certainly it is, because you and I are doing it backwards.
What will happen if you wake up two hours earlier? (I know it is impossible under the current conditions, but bear with me for a moment) We will had two hours to do all those things that today are impossible, not only that, since they will be the first things of the day, we will be full of energy and in many cases we will be able to enjoy them even more. I know we don’t have two hours and that we are exhausted in the mornings. But those two hours, are the same ones that we are doing when we get home from work. My proposal is to do it backwards.
If we go to bed two hours earlier, even if that mean miss that TV show that we sleep trough regardless. Instead of do that stuff when we come back exhausted from work, we do it at the beginning of the day. What do you think will happen? What it is more important? TV or your Objectives?
I know it is impossible, because we are exhausted, because we are not sleeping enough hours as it is. Because it is almost impossible to wake up in the morning. Think if for a week, you could do those things first, you will be calm, no stress, and begin the morning as if it comes from an Ad on a Magazine. Maybe then you will discover as I did that we are doing it backwards. At least that happened to me.
I made many excuses to avoid it doing this, but the reality is that the experience had been incredible. Also I don’t miss those 2:00 AM nights and even less the morning after.
Almost four years ago our life radically changed. My wife and I were pregnant of our first daughter. Alicia had been one of those wonderful things in our life, she has come to change realities and disarm truths; while creating a new reality and a new truth.
I never thought that life would had change so much when you have a daughter, but I am the first one to admit that the journey had been incredible. See how they do things that you had try to change and improve for years on yourself. When they answer you with that ingenuity that only a child can use to answer. When they disarm you with a simple: I love you.
Our life is going to change again, Tomás is on his way to change it even more, change the truths that we have left y disarm the realities that we thought were established with new ones. I am sure he and Alicia will find ways to make us understand, that what we think we know is not true.
When we learn that Alicia was on her way, I remembered how I thought that out life wasn’t going to change much and I continued laughing at myself on how much everything had changed, how radical the change had been and honestly, I will not changed for anything in this world.
This time I am ready for everything to change and I am counting the hours to see how everything transform itself into incredible and unexpected again.
If you have ever practice or read David Allen’s book Getting Things Done, you are familiar with the horizon of focus that he mention and with the 40K level, or 3 to 5 years goals.
I decided to get back into writing on 2010 and as part of that decision I envision goals for the next 3 to 5 years.
Last week as I was doing some review of my system I got to my list and discover some really cool. I had an item that I could cross. This is a list that I check as much as I need but not all the time or every review.
When I choose to begins career as a writer I set a goal of three books. One of my goal was to publish three books. I published The Writer on May 2011, Putsch on December 2011 and 25 Tips for Productivity on September 2012. Not only that the editor had in her hands the Spanish version of The Writer (El Escritor) and the Spanish version of 25 Tips for Productivity (25 Consejos de Productividad) and they should be for sale in the fall of 2012. So it was mission accomplished. I wrote those three books and translate two more, that if you ask me was as hard or harder that write the book.
I was smiling, celebrating and acknowledging myself when I read the next line: Write a Best Seller.
I didn’t knew if that will ever happened. When you write a book you pour all your heart there but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is going to sell or even reach Best Sellers status. But I was lucky, and honored by a group of people that went and bought my book 25 Tips for Productivity and made the book a Best Seller on Amazon.com on Time Management (at the time of this writing for 19 days in a row!); so I was able to cross out of the list also that item.
The reason of goals like those is to guide you, to set direction, to help you discover the direction you are working toward and be able to recover when things make no sense, when you feel that you can’t take another step. Are those long term goals that seems impossible when you write them that keep the fire in your heart, that work as a guide to get somewhere.
I want to use this opportunity to say thanks, to all of you that read what I have to say, for those of you that support me by buying my books, to those of you that had share any of my books with anyone, to those of you that believe even when I have doubts.
In the mean time I will continue creating crazy goals and working hard to attain them. I hope to be able to come back in 3 – 5 years and tell you that I cross something else. Even better I hope you come back and let me know about something you cross.
In my most recent book, 25 Tips for Productivity, there is a chapter where I mentioned The Reflexion List. The idea of this list, as I mention on the book is simple: Have a place, where to find those things that I want it to think about during a vacation I was taking. As I mention there also, I continue having that list and I believe, that most people should have one.
There are many things that we are thinking constantly, most of the time in an inconsistent way. A soon as we place them in a place that we can check constantly, we begin thinking about them in a different way. The reality is, that this things are present, are things that worry us, that distract us and that entertain our mind constantly; regardless if we are willing to admit it or simply decided to ignore the existence of those, they do and many times there are not even important stuff.
The issue here is that this is a different kind of list, different that most of the lists you had made in your life. Even that the final objective is to cross the things on the list, is different than the other lists, because their initial objective is not.
The reality is that the objective of this list is simply allow you to focus and concentrate your energy and thinking power on those things, instead of spend mornings, afternoons and nights simply trying to think and reflect, waiting that something happen, simply use this same time and think based on your list, so that way, your thinking is on the things that are distracting you and maybe get a better chance to reach a solution.
Now stop for a moment and think on five (maybe three) things that had been distracting you lately. It can be the idea of eat healthier. How little are you reading. The amount of time that you are wasting in the web. The reason you are mad with that client, or simply, that your life isn’t what you expect that was going to be and what it is going to be your next step.
The fact that those are written in the list doesn’t imply that you are going to find a solution tomorrow, but its going to allow you , the next time that you have energy, are in the right mood, have the time or any combination of these elements, to use that energy and to get one step closer.