Productivity Hack – Secretary On-Demand

by Sean Foster | September 16, 2020 | Newsletter

Do you get the same conflicting advice that I get, you know the one about multi-tasking being a myth, yet you come across books teaching you to multitask?  I have come to the conclusion that the truth lies somewhere in between. 

After all, when you first learnt to drive, there seemed to be so many things you had to concentrate on, yet nowadays I feel like I could almost drive blindfolded. 
So, my summation is that multitasking is 100% possible if some of those tasks operate on autopilot. These tasks are so well ingrained that I don’t have to really think much about them. 

Yet when I type, there is just no way that I do so on autopilot, and when I watch myself typing I mostly use 4 different fingers, two on each hand. I know my typing skills suck, and who does not need to type nowadays?  

When I type, I really have to concentrate on my typing, and this is where multi-tasking comes back into the picture. If I concentrate on the keyboard, trying to get my typing correct, I lose some focus on my creativity and the subject or message that I am typing on. But wait there is more …. There is a fix! 

What if you could just speak out loud what you want to type and your secretary, who is a whole lot better at typing, fingers your message into the computer? Now that’s an original thought.  

Problem is most of us don’t have a secretary on call. Back in the 80’s and 90’s I tried to overcome my lack of typing skills and bought some expensive dictation software. The result was a disaster. So, with that experience in mind, I was genuinely surprised to discover, and only recently, that Word, Google Docs and Apple users have access to free dictation software – and they work. 

If you have not tried them out, then I encourage you to, you may become a convert.  

The two big payoffs:  

  • You can focus on the message you are trying to get across rather than the keyboard and your typing. 
  • If you find yourself putting off some typing related tasks, like blogging, newsletters etc, then you may be surprised to discover that you tend to be a whole lot more productive when you dictate rather than typing. The software helps with your procrastination! 

Want to see it in practice? Check it out here. 

Have you been putting some of my previous learnings to practice? In this newsletter, I am now using Word dictation, Loom and 2 Pomodoro’s. You can access previous newsletters here to check out those subjects. 

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