Every time I go online these days, three words rattle around in my head like a mantra. Often, they are directed towards myself, when I’m clicking on the fourth article about some stranger who has been cancelled for dubious reasons. But increasingly, I say them as a kind of incantation to the countless people I see online acting in a way that is clearly counter to their best interest: Just log off.
I can’t think of one online dust-up, cancellation, ruckus, brouhaha, Twitter screenshot apology, or controversial company statement—followed by another bizarre statement that clarifies the first one—that wouldn’t be…
⌨️ Today’s tip: Download this keyboard cleaning tool.
You don’t eat at your computer, do you?
Just kidding. Obviously we all do, especially in These Times. And when we do, our keyboards get full of mysterious, disgusting crud. But you can get that fresh, clear keyboard feeling without accidentally sending an email that just reads “fnuekrgpevfbnvjslbfwi” while cleaning around the letters: Use the KeyboardCleanTool for Macs or Keyboard and Mouse Cleaner for Windows, and temporarily quiet your keys. It’s handy for cleaning, or for letting a curious child (or cat) tap away for a few minutes.
💻 More from Forge…
💻 Today’s tip: Group your tabs.
Having 32 tabs open on your browser might feel like a sort of de facto to-do list, but chances are all that digital clutter is just making it harder to focus. Maybe that’s why everyone at Forge was so delighted by this hack shared by Girl’s Night In: In Google Chrome, you can create groups for your tabs.
Label the groups yourself by project or priority, then right-click a tab to add it. Voila, a neat and tidy browser window! If only there were a setting like that for our brains, too.
My son was born in 2006. The iPhone was born in 2007. They have been competing for my attention ever since.
I always knew it was wrong to steal a moment to look at my phone instead of my son. But I thought I had plenty of moments.
And then my son was 12.
My time as the father of a small child had come to an end. What had I given my device that I could have given my son? Like the average American, about four hours a day. Every day. Two waking months out of every year. Two…
Creating a manageable schedule isn’t easy, but you know what’s even more difficult? Sticking to it.
Here are the problems with the typical calendar: When you glance at it, you probably just see a wall of to-dos. You aren’t gaining an understanding of the type of tasks that occupy your schedule or how urgent they are. You also aren’t seeing ways to leverage your energy levels to maximize your productivity. And you have no idea whether the way you’re spending your time is in line with your goals.
A way to conquer all of this? Start color-coding your calendar.
A couple weeks ago, as I stared vacantly into my phone, my wife offered a gentle observation about the amount of social media I’d been consuming. Her kind implication: I was spending too much time on Facebook.
“Honey,” I replied, “it’s no big deal — I’m just checking to see if anybody outside of our house remembers that I’m still alive.”
She sighed, patted me on the head, then walked into the other room.
I’ve learned a lot about myself since going into quarantine. Like how my daily 3 p.m. anxiety spiral can be treated with a snack or four. That I prefer to wear the same sweatshirt multiple days in a row, alternating between wearing it inside out and right side in until it needs washing. How I find an entirely gray outfit — a groutfit, if you will — to be oddly satisfying. And just how much I absolutely cannot stand seeing my face on Zoom.
There’s a certain paralysis many of us are feeling right now: We want to be helpful during this pandemic, but aren’t sure how to do so safely from our homes.
Fortunately, being stuck inside doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do. Forge recently shared some ways to support your community while social distancing — you can volunteer to call isolated seniors, or tutor students who are home during school closures, or sew masks for those who need them.
And you might want to look beyond your immediate community, too, to the science and tech experts working on vaccines and treatments…
Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t be distantly social. It doesn’t mean that you can’t connect with people or that you can’t be closer than you were before this, even with people you’re not stuck in the same house with.
In fact, our mental health depends on staying in touch with other humans. We are gregarious animals. This is why I’ve been having at least one virtual meal a day with a friend, colleague, cousin, or random business contact. It’s a powerful way to attempt something normal at a time when nothing is normal.
And oddly, in these times when…
If you had both the resources and the inclination, you might be able to get away with never hand-writing anything but your signature ever again. Most of us have smartphones, a computer, and other assorted digital programs and pieces of technology — plus virtual “assistants” like Alexa and Siri — to help us keep our lives in order. These gadgets can capture our to-do lists, schedules, important dates, and other snippets of thought we want to preserve.
A publication from Medium on personal development.