Dancing with Problems & Trouble

Danger SignOk, I finally feel like I have returned from the holiday whirl. And as I was eating, laughing, and generally talking trash with my peeps, many ideas for this blog drifted in and out of my head.

I imagined that you accepted my challenge to learn the basics of digital survival, developed a strategy to get you there, and made a commitment to take action. When you start to take yourself and your computer needs seriously, you will make time for the necessities, and:

I have mentioned that people’s stories can teach you a lot about the necessity of having a strategy to take charge of their computer. Including solid reasons to tackle the five basic areas of knowledge needed to survive in a digital world. Even though I know many such stories, I don’t want to bog you down with other people’s stuff so I started to consider the elements that many of these stories have in common.

Then it hit me upside my head. All of these stories share a basic component—the hero/ine puts together a bag of tricks, it leads to applying strategy, employing knowledge-based skills, carrying on in the face of frustration…and doing a little dance I like to call the “solve it before you shoot it hustle.”

In calmer times, needing to learn how to solve problems and troubleshoot is intellectually obvious. When the @#$% hits the fan, your computer is doing odd things akin to rolling over and dying, and you have a project due tomorrow, calm may just jump ship.

At that point, there is little left to do but relax, take a deep breath, and figure out how to work around whatever the problem seems to be now. Try it. When that solution is not a solution after all, make a note, and try another one. Repeat.

Learning the basics of digital survival will certainly give you confidence. But even more importantly, along the way you are bound to develop some experience in getting what you want from your computer one way or another. There are always work-arounds.

Before you decide to move heaven and earth to determine exactly what went wrong, remember that knowing the answer can be less important than finding a solution, even an imperfect one.

That said your process for solving problems ought to be consistent and thorough. So get yourself a notebook for all things computer. It has to exist in the physical world so you can refer to it when your computer does not work.

In this notebook you should have:
relevant phone numbers for your Internet Service Provider
account and phone numbers help with your computer (manufacturer, etc.)
Knowledge you pick up along the way-what worked and what didn’t
Passwords for non-financial accounts

And, in our opinion, notes to help you develop your strategy and learn enough about the 5 key areas of knowledge everyone needs to survive in a digital world.

The 6th piece to the puzzle is all about applying what you have learned and are learning when you need to. The more you know, the better you will be at solving problems and troubleshooting. The more you wrestle with glitches, the better you will understand their sneaky ways and the more likely you will triumph in the end.

Next time I will walk you through a basic approach to troubleshooting so that you can get a picture of some habits that saved me more than once. Be ready to consider what you will do differently as you refine your own approach, the key is to have a system and be consistent.

Be easy in the face of computer-related aggravation—it is unavoidable but needn’t be intolerable.

Thanks for the great image above, Kate Mallatratt via stock.xchng!