Digital literacy, digital citizens, citizen developers, remote workers, these phrases have become part of our daily bingo cards, but do we really understand the effort behind, and true meaning of being or becoming digitally fit? It’s a topic I discussed a couple of weeks back on LinkedIn with a friend Cameron Amigo, I said I should write a blog about it, and true to #LockDownForm, it’s taken me THIS long to get around to putting my thoughts down on this. #Microsoft365 #Office365 #Adoption #CitizenDevelopers #Training #ChangeManagement

Now of course, as I’m a consultant, trainer / change management & adoption cupcake focusing on #Microsoft365, first thing I’d tell you is training, training and TRAINING! Then also, if you know me or have ever read any of my crazy blogs, you’d also know that this rainbow-scattered brain works a bit different. So I went Googling, about becoming physically fit – to see if there are any similarities to the “steps” I have in my head, for becoming digitally fit. And who would ever have known? OF COURSE THERE IS!!

As I’ve had fun with “juxtaposing” wikiHow articles over tech stuff before, this is where I went. Found this little gem “How to Get Fit” and oh my word, DO I LOVE IT! Thank you wikiHow.com, please don’t sue me for creating an infographic from your blog or applying it to tech 🙂

I’ve summarized this for you below and you’ll see that they had 3 categories, with a total of 13 steps. Now let’s break that down and “techie-fy” it. Feel free to go read the original “unsullied” version as I believe that most of us need some tips on being physically fit as well, after 2020 😦

I’ll be using the original “health fitness” headings from the wikiHow article and then give my interpretations thereof.

Developing the Right Mindset

Develop the right attitude

I’ll answer this with a famous Henry Ford quote and that’s all you have to remember.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right”

Create a commitment contract with yourself

I can never say this enough. If you don’t document your decisions and goals, you can never measure it, and find yourself successful (or not), in the end. Oh and let me give you another tip, make it public knowledge, we’re not great at keeping ourselves accountable, but once the world knows, different story. Which is pretty much how I ended up writing 730 blogs about #Microsoft365 in 2 years. #TrueStory

Keep track of your progress and be proud of minor improvements

As mentioned above, you have to start with the commitment – document it, then it will be possible to measure it. Although difficult it can be done in various ways, but I do want to ask you to be transparent about your successes AND failures. For too many years we (as IT) used to only brag about the achievements, but as soon as something goes wrong we enter radio silence. Believe me, that does not build trust or good relationships with business / clients / fellow employees. We’re all human you know, if something doesn’t work out, communicate and share next steps.

Get someone else to get fit with you

There’s nothing better than a Microsoft 365 buddy!! It’s so much more fun to learn and share. Which is why mentorship programs work great to change cultures (reverse mentoring is also something great you should consider). You pretty much learn at twice the speed – if you share ideas with each other and ask each other for help.

Exercising to Get Fit

Incorporate more physical exercise into your daily routine

If I had to ask you to sit down for 21 hours (3 days) to learn something new, that would be difficult right? So what if I asked you for 5 minutes a day? Yes?! Well that’s what 5 minutes every work day, over a year would give you = 1260 minutes. #MicDrop

Start an exercise regimen and stick to it

Above we spoke about commitment and documenting your goals. I want you to document your resolutions. And then try stick to it. Like a training schedule. I use #OneNote for this of course. Part of my learning process is to scan Twitter / LinkedIn for a couple of minutes each morning. I then make a list in #OneNote with references to new, cool stuff or URL’s to blogs, I want to go try out later (when I perhaps have more time).

Switch things up

Change happens outside your comfort zone. If I stuck to the products/apps I was comfortable with, I’d still be writing everything on paper. But first it was SharePoint, then InfoPath (yeah I know), then SharePoint Designer, then onto great things in #Microsoft365 etc. And don’t be afraid if it hurts a bit (is difficult), it’s supposed to be, but every step gets easier. I promise.

Join extracurricular activities like playing sports

Oh yay!!! My favorite topic. #Community. Get involved. These days you don’t even have to leave your house to join a UG, attend or speak at a conference. Be part of the greatest community in the world!!

Here’s the link to our local South African UG if you ever want to join (everyone welcome), also check out Tech Community and of course, the various groups on Facebook / LinkedIn and Twitter.

Eating and Drinking Right

Give your body the fuel it needs & Keep your house stocked with the right food

These were a bit more difficult to relate to tech, and it made sense to me to combine them. I do think it’s about surrounding yourself with people good for your soul. Mentors / allies that you can grow with and learn from. Cut the garbage out of your life, honestly peeps, no one has time for energy sucking vampires that only takes from you. It’s a two way thing, choose wisely. For me this also refers to “food for the soul”. What we feed our mind with, find the blogs / community mentors out there that can feed your brain on a regular basis, and make it part of your “exercise schedule”.

Drink 1.5~2 liters (0.5 US gal) of water each day

I’m in IT people. Of course I’m referring to coffee…. 🙂

Ok maybe not, replace that with something healthy. Wine is a fruit, #JustSaying.

Let your body rest

Especially now with remote working being the new normal for most of us, getting up, stretching, catching some fresh air is more important than ever. Thought you were gonna work less at home? Think AGAIN?! There’s some great articles out there on the “Formula for Perfect Productivity”. Like the 45/15 or 52/17 model or Pomodoro, whatever you choose, please remember to rest in-between, and be good to yourself. There’s only one of you – and that’s super important.

Get a check-up

This one was real tricky, as they’re referring to checkups at the doctor or regular maintenance. I reckon that can refer to apart from self-learning, doing regular “formal” training and certifications. That’s a great measurement by the way. Not sure where to get started? Below are some resources that could help you:

And then some additional notes not covered above. Just like going to the gym, you need to know which equipment to use when and understand their benefits (apps & services), you should never seriously hurt yourself or others (do more damage than good), be consistent, and KNOW where to get help when you need it.

And that’s it folks. Was super fun by the way. I hope you enjoyed the “not so much 5 minute read” and that perhaps you’ll grab some ideas from this. Stay awesome! 🙂