Accomplish More in the Same Time

Until a while ago, my typical mornings were made mainly of multi-tasking between preparing breakfast, eating breakfast, taking a shower, my morning workout, and so on. Since I have to leave for work between 8:15 and 8:45, I figured I could multi-task all that I had to do in the morning so that I can “do” more before leaving for work. However, it always seemed like I couldn’t really finish enough tasks before work. More so, I sometimes don’t even get to have breakfast before work.

A couple of months ago, I read an article that advised NOT checking your emails in the mornings. It was a little bit unusual, but I could understand her reasons why. Although the article said not to check emails in the mornings AT WORK, I interpreted it to mean BEFORE WORK. So… I tried it a few times at home before work, and that lead evolved to what I call the “Progressive Morning”.

This is one productivity hack that has been really quite successful for me for lately. So properly explain, let me describe what my typical mornings used to be like (on average)…

● 6:00 – wake up
● 6:10 – put on laptop + music + internet
● 6:30 – toilet
● 6:50 – internet (emails, #youtube, work, social media, etc.)
● 7:15 – workout
● 7:30 – internet again
● 7:40 – shower
● 8:05 – prepare breakfast + eating
● 8:25 – internet, until it’s time for work

image

And like I said, sometimes, I don’t make it for breakfast and repeatedly breaking the work flow leaves me without accomplishing much.

Now, this is what my progressive mornings are like these days (on average)…

● 6:00 – wake up
● 6:10 – put on #music
● 6:15 – toilet
● 6:40 – #workout
● 6:50 – #breakfast (or shower)
● 7:10 – #shower (or breakfast)
● 7:20 – ready for workAs you can see, this leaves me with about 45 to 60 minutes uninterrupted to work, check emails, youtube, social media, etc. and never miss breakfast, never be late for work 🙂

This is what I now call the “Progressive Morning” which simply means,

● NO multi tasking whatsoever
● Complete all morning rituals back to back, one right after the other
● NO internet or television until you’re set for the morning
● Put on some good music to get you in a good state of mind
● Then you can relax, and do whatever you want.

Sometimes I still get to catch an extra 20 to 30 minutes nap in the morning before my colleague shows up.

I would like you to give this a try, and tell us if it was any useful or not, and leave your comments below

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Track your productivity with RescueTime

If you’re having problems tracking what you do with your time, you may want to try this app. I’ve been using RescueTime for a while now, and it has helped me to consciously track how I spend my time online.

Install, setup the browser extension and configure your distraction or productive activities, and you’re ready to go! For instance, look at my productivity for last week. I set a target of at least 2 hours per day on distractions (facebook, youtube, etc.) and at least 2 hours of actual work (coding, websites, etc.)

If you want to track how you spend your time, especially online, then I would highly recommend this app.

Rescue Time
Rescue Time

 

What time management or time tracking software do you use? Please share

5 Tips for Protection Against the Heartbleed Bug

I’ve been reading a lot about the Hearthbleed bug and this is serious. I’ve put together a list of things you can do to stay safe, from all I’ve gathered yet…

1. Avoid public WiFi
Unknown or untrusted WiFi should be avoided. You’re probably not safe on random “free” WiFi connections and with the Heartbleed vulnerability exposed, chances are that they probably haven’t taken any security measures against the loophole yet. Until, and unless you’re sure it’s safe, stay away from public WiFi, probably until the loophole has been widely fixed.

2. Change your passwords for the fixed sites
Not all websites were affected by this loophole, and not all that were affected have been fixed. How would you know? The websites that were affected emailed their users (I received several emails this morning). If you received one of such emails, it means that they have patched up their servers to fix the problem. So simply follow the instructions to have your password changed. Don’t go changing all of your passwords willy-nilly lol It is not necessary to change your password on the websites that were affected but haven’t applied the patch. Why? Because without the patch, changing your password still means your data is exposed.

At least, change your passwords for the following websites:

  1. Google (and Gmail)
  2. Yahoo (and Yahoo Mail)
  3. Facebook
  4. Pinterest
  5. Instagram
  6. Tumblr
  7. GoDaddy
  8. Dropbox
  9. GitHub
  10. Minecraft
  11. OKCupid
  12. SoundCloud

Here is a list of common websites affected by the Heartbleed Bug.

3. Watch out for your credit cards (and bank statements)
In the worst case scenario, your identity or personal information may have been exposed and you probably aren’t even aware. To be on the safe side, just check to make sure nothing strange goes on or changes with your accounts, from time to time.

4. Update your software
Like the time a loophole was discovered on the iOS, a series of updates were released. And now, this is a big threat to everyone, not just iOS users for instance. So, as soon as software updates are available, please update them. Not many operating systems were affected by this vulnerability, but nevertheless, apply updates as soon as they become available.

5. Turn off remote access on your router
Apparently, some internet routers can be accessed externally. The good news is, the ones that have this feature, also have the option to disable it. So if your router has this feature, you might want to disable it as well. If you’re not sure, have someone with some technical know how take a look and help you disable that feature if possible.

Reference: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/11/heartbleed-routers_n_5132306.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000042

Be safe everyone…

Mobile Data Saving Tips for Your Android Phone

When I moved from a BlackBerry Curve to an Android phone about 2 years ago, getting my Android (Samsung Galaxy Chat B5330) to consume mobile data like my BlackBerry, was a serious challenge. With my BlackBerry, I mainly used apps like Whatsapp, Viber, FourSquare, Facebook and Twitter, and in a month I would consume about or less than 250MB. This served me for a long time, much so that towards the end of the month I would start watching YouTube videos on my BlackBerry just to exhaust the unused data left.

Finally, in the last few months or so, I figured that I was consuming about 200MB of data per month. The 500MB monthly plan I got was now going to waste! So I’ve listed the 2 things that I do to keep my monthly data consumption as low as possible on my Android phone, because I believe other may have had the same challenge as I did.

1. Turn WiFi On

Using WiFi has saved me so much data, and the first tip is to use WiFi as MUCH as POSSIBLE! Unfortunately, not many people have this option, but if you do, then good for you. The Android OS has a feature where if a WiFi signal is available with internet, it switches to WiFi for internet instead of your mobile data.

2. Restrict Background Data

This is the main data saving tip, but still depends on WiFi in a way. What you should do is go to “Data Usage” under Settings, then scroll down and see which apps consume the most data. Once you fine one, tap to go in, and you will see which process consumes the most data… Foreground or Background.

Foreground data consumption means when you open the app and are using it, which Background data consumption means while the app is closed or not in use (like notifications, etc.).

What I do normally is that, if the Background data is more than the Foreground data, then I would check the “Restrict background data” option. What this does is that you will not get notifications while using mobile data. As soon as internet is available via WiFi, then you  would get notifications. However, if you open the app by yourself, you will get notifications.

If on the other hand, the Foreground data is more than the Background data, then I simply just don’t open the app until I have access to internet via WiFi, or I open the app ONLY when I need to.

3. Mobile Websites

Another trick I use is to access the mobile versions of the websites for apps that consume a lot of data. For instance, I noticed that Foursquare took a lot of MB, so I dropped the app and started doing my check-in’s through the Foursquare mobile website through my mobile browser. I did the same for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (except when uploading on Instagram) as well… saved me a lot.

4. Use a Computer!

If you have internet access on your computer, and if you do not NEED to be online all the time, then drop your mobile and use your computer, please! I never use Facebook on my mobile, and I only use Twitter a few times a month. Why? I have internet on my computer. Once I get off the computer, I do not have to be on facebook until the next time I’m on my computer (the next day or a couple of hours later). If you run a business and need access to say Facebook, all the time, then your business probably pays the bills and you don’t need this guide anyways, right?

So that’s it… It works for me and this is have I consume about 300MB (or less) of data monthly 🙂

 

If you have any mobile data saving tips, please do share in the comments section below. If you tried these tips and it worked for you, please let us know about your experience, and share it with friends.

How to Change the Starting Location of Windows Explorer

If you use Windows Vista and above, you must have used the little “Windows Explorer” icon on the Windows task bar. But if you’re like me, you don’t want to always open “Libraries” each time you click that icon.

For me, I usually, more often than not, want to go straight to “My Computer” upon clicking Windows Explorer. In this tutorial, I will show you how to set the starting location of windows explorer to the location of your choice.

Step 1: Right click on the Explorer icon at the task bar

 

Step 2: On the menu that pop’s up, right click on “Windows Explorer” and select “Properties”

 

Step 3: In the properties popup, change “Target” to the desired folder (explanation below picture)

As you can see, I have highlighted the default value. What you have to do is change the the target to the desired folder.

Option 1

To change the default location, simply replace “Target” with the location of the folder you want, for instance “D:\Games” or “C:\Windows” and that’s all!

Option 2
On the other hand, if you want it to open a system folder, you would have to replace Target with the CLSID of the folder you want. For instance, to open My Computer when you click the Explorer icon, change the default value to

%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,::{20d04fe0-3aea-1069-a2d8-08002b30309d}

Below is a list of common Windows OS CLSID‘s I found online

  • Administrative Tools
    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,::{d20ea4e1-3957-11d2-a40b-0c5020524153}
  • Briefcase
    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,::{85bbd92o-42a0-1o69-a2e4-08002b30309d}
  • Control Panel
    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,::{21ec2o2o-3aea-1o69-a2dd-08002b30309d}
  • Fonts
    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,::{d20ea4e1-3957-11d2-a40b-0c5020524152}
  • History
    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,::{ff393560-c2a7-11cf-bff4-444553540000}
  • Inbox
    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,::{00020d75-0000-0000-c000-000000000046}
  • Microsoft Network
    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,::{00028b00-0000-0000-c000-000000000046}
  • My Computer
    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,::{20d04fe0-3aea-1069-a2d8-08002b30309d}
  • My Documents
    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,::{450d8fba-ad25-11d0-98a8-0800361b1103}
  • My Network Places
    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,::{208d2c60-3aea-1069-a2d7-08002b30309d}
  • Network Computers
    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,::{1f4de370-d627-11d1-ba4f-00a0c91eedba}
  • Network Connections
    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,::{7007acc7-3202-11d1-aad2-00805fc1270e}
  • Printers and Faxes
    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,::{2227a280-3aea-1069-a2de-08002b30309d}
  • Programs Folder
    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,::{7be9d83c-a729-4d97-b5a7-1b7313c39e0a}
  • Recycle Bin
    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,::{645ff040-5081-101b-9f08-00aa002f954e}
  • Scanners and Cameras
    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,::{e211b736-43fd-11d1-9efb-0000f8757fcd}
  • Scheduled Tasks
    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,::{d6277990-4c6a-11cf-8d87-00aa0060f5bf}
  • Start Menu Folder
    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,::{48e7caab-b918-4e58-a94d-505519c795dc}
  • Temporary Internet Files
    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,::{7bd29e00-76c1-11cf-9dd0-00a0c9034933}
  • Web Folders
    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,::{bdeadf00-c265-11d0-bced-00a0c90ab50f}

Good Luck!

Something for the new year

I know it’s late for new years’s resolutions or whatever, but here are somethings you can do to make your new year better than the last.

 

Health

  1. Drink a glass of water at least 15 minutes before each meal
  2. Have a salad for supper every other day
  3. Drink a cup of tea after meals
  4. Do 30 push ups (or as much as you can) before each shower
  5. Have some red wine
  6. Eat until you’re about 80% full, then stop
  7. Eat fresh fruits between meals
  8. Move around the room at least once every hour
  9. Have a cup of tea before bed
  10. Eat only when you’re hungry

 

Well-being

  1. Arrive work a little earlier
  2. Write for 15 minutes a day (maybe start a blog)
  3. Listen to the radio while driving
  4. Read at least one article related to your field / career each day
  5. Listen to music while you work
  6. Talk to a stranger while commuting
  7. Take a light break from work every 30 minutes
  8. Help a colleague at work
  9. Tidy your desk at the end of each work day
  10. Spend some time in nature

7 Ways to Increase Your Twitter Followership

Here are 7 more ways you can increase your follower-ship (or active followers) on twitter…

1. Profile Photo
One of the reasons some people (like me, probably) would second guess following you may just be due to the fact that you have no profile photo. You leave the default photo of an egg there, and like someone said, you’re an “egghead”. Put a profile photo that gives people a first glance impression about you, without having to ask.

2. Bio
Your bio gives prospective followers a little more idea about who you are and what your deal is. You have just 160 characters for a bio… use it!!  The lack of a bio just might be keeping new followers away, because they’re not sure what to expect if or after they follow you. What do you do? What are your interests? What are your tweets about? Give them something (a bait), a reason to follow you.

3. Don’t Tweet Too Often!
When I visit people’s twitter and I see tweets like every second, or every other second, I stay away. It scares some people away. I’ve had annoying experiences like having my tweeter feed cluttered with such tweets, and not to talk of the never ending mobile notifications on my phone. Cut your tweets down with moderation and keep it relevant or thoughtful.

4. Don’t Tweet Too Seldom lol
Yes, that too lol When someone visit your twitter profile and see you’ve only posted 100 tweets, and the last tweet was in January 2014… chances are that they probably will NOT follow you (unless you’re really famous lol). Try to keep up with tweeting. Some recommend at least 2 to 5 times a day, or 5. If you have to tweet more than 5, keep it relevant.

5. You Follow Way Too Many People
Unless they’re looking for free followers (which you present yourself to be), following way too many people than are following you, is a kind of turn off for some. Try to maintain some kind of balance between those you follow and those following you. Imagine you’re following 2,300 people while you have 700 followers… it doesn’t seem likely that others will want to follow you. It’s normally recommended that you follow back those who follow you (if you feel the need to).

6. Don’t Be Ant-Social
On your profile, there are no mentions, retweets, replies or favorites; you come off as anti-social. People may assume you are only on twitter to tweet about yourself rather than also interact with your fellow human beings. Would you follow such person? I most probably wouldn’t. Interact a little, it get’s people talking with and about you, and more people see these interactions and would want to be a part of it.

7. Don’t Use (Free) Auto Direct Messaging Services
When you use some of those auto direct messaging services (especially the free ones), your followers will know that you’e too busy to even take the time to write them 140 characters of message. It’s even worse when message isn’t something personal, but more of a marketing pitch, with a link to your facebook or something lol. Just take the time to write a simple message, even as simple as “Thank you for following :)”