I’m writing this blog post on a Metrolink train headed to Oceanside. Very soon I will be seeing the sparkling blue ocean on my right and tanks from Camp Pendleton on my left. I love train travel, so this is a treat because in California trains aren’t terribly convenient. The schedules are sparse, the routes are minimal, and the accompanying app & web technology is quite clunky. The LA Metrolink is no London Tube or NYC Metro. Nevertheless, I love trains, and I have started to discover various opportunities where the train actually works to my advantage, allowing me to be productive on my commutes and less stressed by California drivers.
Talking about stress, that is precisely the topic of this week’s (belated) blog post. On Wednesday, our students returned to school for the fall semester, so the campus was abuzz and my email inbox is back to overflowing. Our society loves its digital tools like email, but we seldom are trained in how to use those tools properly. Technology is lauded if it is “intuitive”, but that merely references ease-of-use, not how a piece of technology interacts with other aspects of our lives. When it comes to email, how many times have you found yourself killing 2-3 hours wading through a sea of emails. I have spent countless days where I have wasted most of my workday just trying to stay afloat of the deluge.
That is not good use of a technology. That is enslavement to that tool, rather than mastery of a tool.
So, this year I am thoughtfully examining how to better use my resources, both digital and analog, to both maximize my productivity and create healthy habits in my life–physically, mentally, and socially. I’ll be checking in with my discoveries periodically. To begin, I recently found an amazing free course that transforms the relationship one has with their email inbox. The 21 day program is called Revive Your Inbox, and it takes about 10-20 minutes every day. I am usually fairly skeptical of these types of courses because I find them obvious and unhelpful, but the creators of Revive Your Inbox have carefully curated together a number of extremely useful tips. I’m about halfway through the program and discovering how much I need to change my email habits.
The course was created by the creators of Boomerang— another email productivity tool that you may already use. The team has rolled out a number of nifty tools related to best practices with email, and I really hope they extend their thoughtful technology development to other areas of our digital lives.
Please check it out and let me know your experience with Boomerang or Revive Your Inbox in the comment section below. And don’t forget to let people know about High and Low, as I continue to build up my readership.
I finished Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. The ending was exquisite though I was slightly disappointed that not all my questions were answered. In reflection on last week’s post, I have revised my conclusion and I think that perhaps I did place unfair expectations on the game based on prior constructs of “what constitutes a video game.” Rapture makes no pretense to be anything other than what it is, and it does a phenomenal job of that. A review from US Gamer articulates the “that” well, “Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture takes elements of a radio play, underpins it with a core of classic science fiction literature, and wraps it into a combination of walking simulator and slice of interactive drama to create a game, product, or perhaps even a piece of art, that’s simply gorgeous.”