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Putting the time in up front


An article by Flavio Copes got me thinking. He wrote about how he has various software programs performing lots of tasks that would be time consuming for him to do manually, and I was wondering what other superpowers we can give ourselves.

Learning to type

When I was in my early 20s I lived with my brother for a while and we set ourselves a competition: we’d each take the Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing course and we’d see who could type the fastest after a set number of weeks.

Turns out I won. Not because I worked harder, had more of a flair for typing, or anything like that, but because my brother broke both of his thumbs playing American football!

Once we’d started, though, I enjoyed it! Finishing the course was just the beginning; it took a long time and a lot of perseverance afterwards for it to feel totally natural and not fall back to my forefinger chicken-peck, but it was well worth it in the long-run as it has saved me a lot of time.

Giving my daughter a superpower

Fast forward to 2020 and COVID-19, one of the biggest issues we had during lockdown was childcare and homeschooling. My eldest was 8 years old when it hit the UK, and one of the activities I’ve had her doing has been learning to touch type.

My daughter will no doubt write very little by hand once she gets to high-school and beyond, so the ability to touch type will be a big boost for her.

When I think back to all those essays I wrote at University and the number of hours I would’ve saved if I’d’ve been able to type properly…


But it’s not just about time; I’ve found that investing in superpowers like touch typing or configuring text snippets are also great enablers. They lower the friction when tackling something I might otherwise have avoided, with excuses of “It’d take too long”, “Sounds fiddly” or “Seems like a lot of work”.

Whether it’s running a business, establishing a blogging habit or emailing an old friend, these superpowers make good things that might otherwise never have happened happen. As good a reason as any to put the work in!

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