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Sick of being outpaced by technology? It’s amazing how much the digital landscape has changed in just a few years. Technological advancements happen fast and they can leave you in the dust with obsolete apps and outdated devices. Are you in a technology rut?

It can take a lot of time to keep up with cutting edge news, so we grow lazy and complacent with what we have. We end up settling for that which is less than ideal, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few simple tips to help you stay ahead of the curve for very little effort.

Cultivate Your Curiosity

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In some sense, technology ruts can be traced back to attitude. Perhaps you were once driven by technological curiosity, intrigued by the newest features and newest devices, and that’s how you kept pace with changing tech.

Eventually, that curiosity fades away and now all that’s left for you is maintaining a routine. Don’t fix what isn’t broken, right? That five-year-old task list program of yours might be buggy, but you’ve been using it for all this time and you’ve learned to deal with it, so why bother switching to a new program?

And that’s how we end up falling into a technology rut. If you can get your sense of curiosity back, then not only does it become easier to stay up to date with new goodies, it becomes enjoyable because it satisfies said curiosity.

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Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer for cultivating curiosity. It requires a change of mindset which, like all aspects of human psychology 6 Mind-Blowing TED Talks About Psychology & Human Behavior 6 Mind-Blowing TED Talks About Psychology & Human Behavior The human brain is complex and confusing, which explains why human behavior is so complex and confusing. People have a tendency to act one way when they feel something completely different. Here are a few... Read More , can be tough to force but necessary. Stop settling. Don’t be content with low standards and shoddy programs. Ask yourself what else might be out there.

Identify Problematic Areas

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Technology was created to serve mankind. Most of that service exists in the form of problem solving. But here’s the curse of humanity: for every problem that we solve, two more pop up in its place. There will always be some aspect of life that can be improved with tech.

Think of all the day-to-day tasks that still drag you down and pick one that could be eased with some sort of tech, whether a mobile app, a website, or even a portable device. Hop on the Internet and do a bit of research into the subject to see if a solution exists. Few things motivate better than the promise of doing less work in the future.

Reassess Your Apps and Tools

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As mentioned before, one main reason why technology ruts are so prevalent is because we grow complacent with the tools we already use. Change requires overcoming inertia. In other words, it’s just easier to stay with a sub-optimal solution than switch to a slightly-better solution.

But the easiest path is rarely the best path to take. In the long run, it’s better to put forth some initial energy to switch over and enjoy the benefits of a newer app than to be lazy and suffer through the old and outdated.

You just have to do a little bit of housecleaning One of Each: A Simple Rule To Fight Clutter On Your Android Phone One of Each: A Simple Rule To Fight Clutter On Your Android Phone Fact: Computers get cluttered. Smartphones, even more so. If you have a smartphone, I'd like to to reach for it, flick it on, and check out your app drawer. How messy is it? Read More every once in a while. Go through all of your current tools, identify the ones that are lacking, and search for alternatives. Think about how much better your apps could be and use that to fuel the curiosity that you should be cultivating.

Explore New Uses For Old Tools

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Ruts can also form when you fail to use an app to its full potential OR when you use the same app for the same thing in the same way over and over again until it becomes mind-numbingly boring. We’ve all been there, haven’t we?

Be creative 6 Of The Simplest Ways To Spark Your Passion With Creative Ideas 6 Of The Simplest Ways To Spark Your Passion With Creative Ideas Ideas are basic to any creative process. Not every idea is going to be a great idea. Even then, here are some ways to consciously come up with them. Read More . Try to use your tools in ways that you’ve never considered. For big and bulky programs, go through the features list and learn what else the program is capable of doing. If you’ve been using an app to solve one problem, see if you can find a way to solve a different problem with the same app.

Share and Learn From Others

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Perhaps the best tip for getting out of a technology rut is to surround yourself with others who love technology. Trying to get out of a rut on your own is a recipe for failure, but the energy from enthusiastic tech lovers can be contagious. Where can you find these people? Web forums, Reddit, tech blogs like MakeUseOf, etc.

Exercise your curiosity and ask lots of questions. Which apps do they recommend? What sorts of tools do they use for spreadsheets, for system maintenance, for malware protection, for maximizing productivity? Do they know any lifehacks for Excel, Gmail, or Firefox?

This is the best way to clean out obsolete software and replace them with the latest and greatest. Tech communities are also great for hearing about new products, which is one way to stay in the loop without much effort.

Have you ever fallen into a technology rut? Are you in one right now? Have any tips on how to stay on top of new tech products without having to sink a lot of time into it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Image Credits: Curious Cat Via Shutterstock, Frustrated Worker Via Shutterstock, Wrong Tools Via Shutterstock, Matchstick Wheel Via Shutterstock, Mobile Sharing Via Shutterstock

  1. ReadandShare
    June 13, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Actually, it's hard to get stuck in a rut, with hardware and software makers constantly "sunsetting" their own products, making them obsolete, and forcing us to upgrade.

    • Joel L
      June 13, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      Yes, in many ways that's true. However, being "caught in a rut" tends to be more of a psychological issue, preferring to stick with the old out of comfort/familiary/laziness rather than using a newer, better tool more suited to the job.

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