5 Life Lessons From An Amazing Young Inventor

I’m proud to admit it. I’m a card carrying, hands-on, tinkering kind of engineer at heart. I also love helping, and learning about, young people who seem to have similar interests.

5 Life Lessons

These are two of the many reasons why I was thoroughly enthralled with a story that arrived in my Inbox recently from the folks at Interesting Engineering.

It’s a about an amazing young man named Easton LaChappelle, from rural Colorado, who’s been working since he was 14 on developing a low-cost, realistic prosthetic arm. 

Boost Your Productivity By Blocking The Internet With The FREEDOM App

ECL Readers: At the bottom of this post is an embedded video tutorial on using FREEDOM. Be sure to scroll down and check it out. FREEDOM is a great app.

Does the Internet tend to consume far more of your time than it should? Do you bounce in and out of email or social media when instead you should be writing that project report that’s due?

Do Something

CC image courtesy of Fernando Mafra via Flickr

For years, my answer to both of these questions was “yes”. It wasn’t until I finally hired an assistant a few years ago to help me, that I could finally answer “no” to both questions. 

Using Filters For Email Efficiency And Stress Reduction

ECL Readers: At the bottom of this post is an embedded video tutorial on using email filters. Be sure to scroll down and check it out.

Does all of your incoming email automatically make its way to your inbox? For far too many years, that’s the hands-off approach I used to manage my incoming email. I’m ashamed to admit that it made working through my inbox time-consuming and stressful.

Coffee Filter

CC image courtesy of holycalamity on Flickr

Of course, my approach wouldn’t surprise you if you saw the way we managed our snail mail at home during those same years.

On most days, someone in our family of five (we had three sons at home at the time) would go to the street, empty the mailbox, bring the mail into the kitchen and pile it on the table. 

Information Junkie?…Stay Up To Date By Using Feedly

ECL Readers: At the bottom of this post is an embedded video tutorial on using Feedly. Be sure to scroll down and check it out. Feedly is a great tool.

Do you crave the access to information and new ideas that the Internet provides? I do, because I love learning. But at the same time it can often feel all-consuming and overwhelming.

Information

CC image courtesy of Brandon Heath on Flickr

But of course, that’s exactly why great tools like Feedly continue to be created. 

Be A 24/7 Super Sleuth Using Google Alerts

ECL Readers: At the bottom of this post is an embedded video tutorial on using Google Alerts. Be sure to scroll down and check it out.

In 1997, I wrote a newsletter story for my engineering job candidates titled, Staying In Touch by Scanning The Environment. In it, I pointed to the need for job seekers and career changers to develop a habit I called “scanning the environment”. 

Super Sleuth

CC image courtesy of chrisbb@prodigy.net on Flickr

In the article, here’s how I described this valuable research habit. 

On a personal level, this habit involves the daily search for and absorption of information on trends and changes that may impact society in general, but more specifically the working world we live in. 

“Scanning” can be as simple as taking in the evening news on TV or as focused as attending a seminar hosted by futurists. As a career development tool, scanning the environment can be a wonderful catalyst in leading us to new people, new ideas and new opportunities. 

Now, let’s fast forward to 2014…