There are many layers to make continual learning an integral part of your life. First, decide whether there’s value in doing so!

Somewhere down the line though it becomes a logistical question. You’re busy and have a million other priorities, so how do you infuse learning into your everyday? I’ve found two things you can do.

1. Find Your Sources

At a simpler level, here are some specific things you can do today:

  • Listen to Podcasts in your downtime. Driving, running, cooking, cleaning…even in the shower.
  • Watch less TV.
  • Read, including fiction, which can boost your mind’s creative capacity. Regular newsletters and blogs count too. Hacker Newsletter, AVC and Bloomberg’s Daily are some of my go-tos.

2. Change Your Perspective

At a deeper level, you’ll need to leave your immediate circle and build new habits. Unsurprisingly you’ll also see these changes can have the biggest affect:

  • Travel. As Trevor Noah comedically states in his latest stand up, Afraid of the Dark, “See another place. Discover a different point of view. Traveling is the antidote to ignorance.” I couldn’t agree more.
  • Spend time outside of your bubble. Try to get as many perspectives as possible by expanding the variety of sources of your news and learning. Diversity wins in the end.
  • Ask questions to your friends and colleagues to see their perspective. What do they know more about than you do, which they can teach you? What do they know less about than you do, which you can teach them (by the way, teaching is a great way to improve your own learning by forcing you to simplify & clearly articulate an idea – that’s one of the reasons I blog).
  • Become more humble, which in turn increases your self awareness and openness to new ideas.

It’s worked for me, although following my own advice I’d love to learn what’s worked for you!

a16z partner Benedict Evans had an astute observation last week.

As voice-based interfaces improve what they can do (e.g. by adding more “skills”), how do you inform, train and perhaps most importantly remind end users of what they can do, without a GUI to do so?

Well, here are three ideas:

  1. Leverage recommendation engines (think Google Now, Netflix, etc) to proactively talk to users. For example, what if Alexa had motion sensing on it and when it saw me walk by the first time each day it told me what the weather was going to be
  2. Developers must design and build for a wider array of edge cases. For example, when listening to Pandora the phrases, “Thumbs up,” “I like this song,” and “Yes! More of this!” should all be able to rate the song higher.
  3. And probably easiest is to remember you do still have a GUI. For example, Alexa’s companion mobile app could use notifications and suggestions to help users maximize their Echoes. Yet in its current form the app feels like an afterthought.

This post is less about how to activate this Apple iOS feature and more about bringing awareness that it exists!

If you’ve ever been on an SMS or text chain with a half dozen of your friends it can get out of control quickly. Before you know it, a dozen back-to-back texts in the span of a minute has your vibrating and ringing phone making you feel more like you’re at a club instead of the office cubicle you’re sitting in. If you have an Apple Watch too, you really feel the pain!

Sure we all know how to turn off all text / SMS notifications, but did you know you can turn off notifications for an individual text chain?

Step 1. Open Up The Group Text

First, open the Apple Messages app from your iPhone and select the group you want to mute.

(A quick reminder, this guide is for iOS users – iPhones, iPads, iPods and the like – as of iOS 8.)

Step 2. Tap “Details”

Step 1

Step 3. Turn “Do Not Disturb” On to Mute

Step 3

And that’s it.

Don’t worry, you’ll still get the red number badges above the iOS Messages app so you’ll know when a new message is in, but without the distracting notifications!

Easy fix to a frustrating, but very real problem, as Gizmodo and GroupXiT agree. Thank you Apple for stopping the insanity!