Monday, June 1, 2015

The 15-Minute Rule

Years ago I read a great tip and have been sticking to it ever since. If you can not figure something out yourself in 15 minutes, stop. Go find a resource that can. Do not waste time going in circles. This practice has saved me countless hours, gifting back free time or productivity in return.

For example, if you are trying to fix a tricky formatting issue in a Word document- let's say there is a horizontal line that you can not delete no matter how many times you try, it just keeps moving around or coming back. Stop. Do a quick web search on "how to delete line in Word" and scan the first few sites that pop up. Going to another source- one with expertise already formed- will almost certainly be more efficient. Nearly any thorny IT issue has been experienced by other people, and has solutions posted online.

Same with Powerpoint formatting- suppose you cut and paste another slide into a presentation deck. Now it does not match the sizing of the main deck and looks awful. Ask a colleague to help. Maybe an administrative person, or someone strong in business operations. A few quick clicks from someone who knows the template ropes will be faster then fiddling around with it yourself for long.

When it comes to configuring smartphones and modern gadgets, ask a millenial!:) Facetime won't work on an Apple device? There are a handful of accounts that have to be connected.

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