The Hidden Costs of Your Actions - [225 and Beyond #004]

When you’re doing Thing X, you aren’t doing Thing Y. 

“Wow. How insightful,” you might be thinking to yourself. But this simple fact has counterintuitive and extremely rewarding implications.

We all know that our money isn’t infinite, and that’s why we are careful with how we use it. When we buy one thing, it often means passing up buying a different thing. Every dollar spent on coffee is a dollar not available to spend on books.

Curiously, we often treat our time and energy as if they were infinite. Of course, they’re not.

With this in mind, it’s important to understand that everything we engage in—even if it’s free monetarily—has a cost: The cost of not doing something else with that time and energy.

Every minute spent on Facebook is a minute not spent practising; every hour spent editing a transcript is an hour not spent with friends and family; every day spent in court reporting school is a day not spent in law school.

This isn’t meant to fill you with existential dread over how you spend every waking moment of your life. Rather, now that you’re aware of this hidden cost of your actions, you can take it into account in making decisions about how you’ll spend your time in both the long and short term.

In the somewhat longer term, you might decide to hire a scopist to edit your transcripts because you realise that your time might be better spent taking on more jobs, doing a side gig, or spending time doing what you love. 

For me, this idea is most fascinating when applied to an extremely short timescale. Every day, there are countless small gaps in testimony that most stenographers don’t put to any use at all other than resting their fingers and thinking about when the next break will be.

The cost of this is massive because if you’re proficient with realtime macros, every gap in testimony—even if it’s only a second or two—is an opportunity to correct previous misstrokes, add punctuation, fill in drops, and more. Not doing this results in decreased realtime accuracy and increased editing time after the job.

Realtime macros—called AccelerWriters in Case CATalyst—are editing commands that you execute directly from your writer, and they just aren’t talked about enough, in my opinion.

They can allow you to do things like find and replace a word, define the last untranslate, and join paragraphs, but if you learn to make your own, the possibilities are endless.

Resources to Learn About AccelerWriters

Here’s a video I found on YouTube that goes through the basics:

Another resource you can use to learn more is the Macros & AccelerWriters Self-Study Guide and the Using Extras AccelerWriters pdf document under Exceptional Extras, both of which you can find in Case CATalyst.

This page by John Gales contains a list of some very inventive and useful AccelerWriters that I have started using myself.

Here’s a list of five of my favourite AccelerWriters that you can get started with by reading the Using Extras AccelerWriters document:

  1. Fix 1-Word Mistranslate

  2. Interrupted Speaker

  3. Suggest Brief For Last Word

  4. Delete Designated Word

  5. Cap and J-define 2, 3, and 4 Words

Also, I offer one-on-one and group training sessions on how to use AccelerWriters! I have done a lot of hard work teaching myself them, and I would love to show you how to use them so you can improve your writing too.

Please get in touch if that sounds like something up your street.

Elsewhere On The Web:

You don’t get extreme results without extreme actions—The title is quite self-explanatory. You can get good with consistent effort, but to get extremely good, you’re going to have to do some extreme work on your end.

Via Negativa: Adding to Your Life By Subtracting—This article summarises a really interesting portion of an interesting book called Antifragile that I read recently. The idea is that we tend to think of improving our lives—or anything, really—by adding more stuff to it, but via negativa is the idea that instead, we should just subtract all the handicapping things about our life.

Quote Of The Week:

“Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Day by day, and at the end of the day—if you live long enough, like most people, you will get out of life what you deserve.”—Charlie Munger