(L60) My Humanity or My Technology?

Which three time-allocation changes could increase my productivity the most. Why?

The top three things I could change in terms of unproductive time use are over-sleeping, technology, and technology.

Now, I do understand that I provided 2 unproductive habits, rather than three. But, the amount of wasted time that I can dedicate to electronics deserves two slots in this essay. The reason being: I am addicted. I honestly do not have very much free time and when I do, I use it sleeping or watching television.

I am absolutely more likely to get more free time in each day if I ‘budget’ my sleeping habits to the necessary amount. Sleeping early and rising early would give me a leg up on my responsibilities; my energy levels however may not match those of that when I sleep on my own bodies schedule. This change in energy may also cost me some amount of productivity. (It is very hard for me to sleep early and rise early. I am quite the night owl, and mornings are just about the bane of my existence.)

Technology is not my only habit of relaxation, but it the only habit which can be labeled unproductive. I love to knit, bead/make jewelry and trinkets, and write. Sometimes I even do these things while I watch TV (because otherwise I get bored). However, I find myself at all hours of the day and the night on my iPad. My laptop. My cellphone (when I still had an iPhone at least). Sometimes I am so plugged in that I wish someone would pour water on me and make me short circuit back into the real world.

Thousands of hours lost to oversleeping and screen-based products. Imagine the things I could buy if I spent those hours working. Or the things I would know had I spent those hours learning. Not to mention all the skills I could have mastered if I spent that time training. And from all of these things, I can merely conclude that I have cost myself the most precious thing of all, time. Time to meet new people and build lasting relationships. Time to help others, and heal the world. I have lost time that I owe the Lord; time that should have been spent with praise, thanks and love.

I have lost enough time to realize that I have just about lost my humanity, but not so much that I cannot reclaim the time to come.




(L15) The Race Against Robots

Why is running my own business a way to guarantee my employment in 2030?

Running my own business is a way to guarantee not only my own employment in the future, but also the employment of others in an increasingly artificial intelligence dominated economy. Being a business owner would mean that it would be my decision whether to “employ” robots, or humans (or both). It would also mean that I would be nearly irreplaceable as the personality behind the brains of the business; nobody could step in to replace the top-boss with a robot unless the boss allowed it. In a world where people are growing to prefer machinery, it would be my job as a business owner to offer things that robots cannot; a personal touch. Emotion, personality, understanding, and human connection are all things that people subconsciously crave, and they will trump any percentage-increase of productivity and “perfectness” that machines offer.
I believe that the overtake of technology, while not necessarily a bad thing, is certainly a case of “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”. When the basics of face to face interaction become lost among convenience, society will shatter. Emotional connections through love, laughter and genuine joy cannot be shared among machines and humans together, and the very idea that it can leads people into a treacherous and depressing false reality, where relationships and society can no longer exist.

Turning a Smartphone Into a Financial Management / Business Management Tool (L40)

Last year for Christmas I got the first cell phone I had had in years; a brand new iPhone 5s. It was beautiful; and having my new toy-camera-textmachine turned out to be much more beneficial than I had previously anticipated. The more comfortable I got with my thumbs on that slick glass screen, the more I found myself exploring the depths of the Apple world. Before I knew it, I was writing essays on my phone waiting for the train, and creating Powerpoint presentations at lunchtime – amazingly, all without a computer. To passer-bys I was another teenager glued to my phone; little did they know that I was teaching myself the value of my time, simply by eliminating wasted minutes. Setting alarms to be awake at certain times, or to keep you on task are extremely helpful as well. There are hundreds, probably thousands of apps available for smartphone users that will allow them to increase their productivity during what would normally be “dead time”. From document applications, to spreadsheets, to calendars/planners and, even “brain training games”.  Waiting for appointments, standing in line, commuting, even short treks to the bank – these are all instances displaying the value of our time, or rather the value of the time we’ve wasted already. Beyond using a smartphone to make calls, send and receive texts and emails, and plan meetings, they can be used to organize, and remind you of these events as well. Downloadable credit trackers, budget planners, and even stocks are now at our fingertips – and so many of us aren’t taking advantage of all the free help being offered.
Jumping back on the Apple bandwagon – there is a product that was released some years ago; it is simple. Just a little tiny white cube that plugs into the headphone jack – however this little block offers a whole new world of convenience to small business owners and self managing people. Being able to swipe and charge credit cards with a touch of your phone screen is a huge step in both time management and organization. This will also build better relationships between buyer and seller due to the interaction, which the bank lacks. This is the time and age of taking charge of our lives; taking control of what we really want. Don’t be afraid to let technology help you achieve this, but don’t let it push you back either.

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Steve Jobs (L20)

Before reading, please note that the entire following essay is from a single website (cited below)

Steven Paul Jobs was born in San Francisco, California in February of 1955; adopted as an infant, his new parents took him to the city of Mountain View where he grew up. This area was booming with new businesses at this time, surrounding young Jobs with engineers and electronic growth which strongly grasped his interests. At age 13, he met 18 year old Stephen Wozniak who came to be a good friend of Jobs’ (but we’ll get to him later).
By the time his parents had scraped up enough money for him to go to the college he wanted, Jobs turned around one semester later and dropped out. He took a slight break from the rushing world around him to ‘find enlightenment’ through his world travels and drug trips; once he settled, he found himself part of a ‘hippie commune’ in Oregon.
Once his spiritual spurt was over, Jobs traveled back to California and got a job working for the (then) small Atari video game company. His old friend Wozniak, in the meantime, had been learning all about computers, and had actually been able to build his very own personal computer board. This caught Jobs’ attention, and thus on April 1st 1976 the Apple Computer baby was born with all intentions of making personal computers accessible to software hobbyists, “who wanted to write software without the hassle of assembling a computer kit.” While assembling these computers in Jobs’ garage, newer and better technological ideas were flowing; the two were able to scoop up insanely large investments from people who had both money, and faith. With their growing success over the years came interest from large companies, and their profits (as well as their products) only got more advanced.
The reason that Steve Jobs (and Stephen Wozniak) were so successful is two things actually. The first being that they had a legitimate interest and passion for what they were doing. It had been a calling from a young age, and they were able to combine their background knowledge with perseverance and a dream. This all certainly entails a great amount of self discipline as well. The second reason that they were successful is because they had constantly changing goals. They were quickly adapting to their own ever changing business circumstances. As they became more popular, they were already in the process of trying to make a newer, better version of what they already had. This is exactly what people in the market of technology wanted then, and it is more than anything what they’re desiring today. People want the most attractive, functional, advanced version of anything they can get their hands on – and they want it fast. They were able to stick to their mini goals in advancing the company as time went on because of their main goal: money. This was their greatest motivator of all; it certainly did the trick. (Moisescot)

Moisescot, Romain. “Short Bio.” All about Steve Jobs.com. Romain Moisescot, 7 Mar. 2012. Web. 08 Oct. 2014. <http://allaboutstevejobs.com/bio/shortbio.php&gt;.