Letters of Life

When You Get Onto The Computer

American blogger-author-social media marketer  Seth Godin, (Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?, 2010) and founder of Squidoo.com, a single-page website generator, provocatively titled his recent blog post thus: “The First Thing You Do When You Get On Your Computer.”

His post was the idea that if the first thing you do when you get on the computer is to check email because your boss is bird-dogging you on the latest project, or you’re looking at Twitter or Facebook feeds, looking at responses to your updates, then you’ve given away the “best chance to start something new.”

Instead of being a responder, be the first thing people do when they start their day.

He explains that by being an artist, a leader, or someone wanting to impact your world means the first thing you should be doing is to “lay tracks” to achieve your goals.

It’s become something of an instinct to check my Inbox first thing in the morning, and I’m going to de-prioritise this. Checking my Inbox and the online network distracts and yes, subtracts my time and energy from what I intended to do that morning, or that day.

Getting online and checking personal newsfeeds may seem fresh and may feel like we’re receiving information hot off the wire, but in reality, it’s chatter and clutter about other people’s responses or reactions to yesterday or yesterhour’s happenings.

It’s fun, but perhaps not the first thing I should be doing. Not if I want to make a difference.

What is the first thing you do when you get on the computer? Your thoughts please.  


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4 Responses »

  1. I read e-mail. Not all of it. Like you, I prioritize. Family comes first.
    Then I read my Yahoo News account.
    [I have to know what’s goin’ on]

    Then the Financial stuff – like the Futures, LIBOR and other stuff from my days at Fidelity. Do I sell, change, stay with it etc. Mostly I stay ‘with it’. (I’m too old to take a chance and ride out the consequences 😦 )

    Then I read the Comics. Pearls Before Swine (My ‘fave’) then ‘Get Fuzzy’. [Bucky Kat has a solution to all of life’s problems].

    Men make plans
    GOD laughs

  2. For me, checking my social links (email, FB etc) comes first in a day normally because it’s part of an ongoing conversation with the world. And as in any good conversation, you assume the other person has something to say and which you should listen to first. I only start if the other person (for some reason or other) declines to start or resume the conversation.

    As a teacher, I do start conversations: it can be good pedagogy. But I also take time to see how I can ground my approach to starting such conversations in the constituents of other people’s realities. Adding value to myself is only important insofar as it allows me to continue adding value to my correspondents, conspirators, conversants — my communities.

    • It’s great that you’re laying out tracks on networks which I, for one, am badly distracted on. For me, my online conversations aren’t as good as face-to-face, or written, and the value on the keys is obviously a longterm one. Appreciate your well-thought out comment.

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