Most bloggers, or rather, most people are plagued with a seeming lack of adequate time to accomplish all the tasks with which they are bombarded. Of course, the ideal and most practical solution would be that we all stop eating and sleeping. The time saved from these activities alone would add something like 6 to 10 hours per day giving us all more than enough time to get everything done. It would be something like the equivalent of having a 34 hour day.
Of course, an extensive study has been conducted that shows that this sleep and food deprivation may lead to behavior that resembles that of a wild chipmunk. I’ll embed an image below that illustrates the source of this highly reputable study.
If you’re not willing to throw away your comfortable sleeping and eating habits, then perhaps you will at least consider a few of the points below as you work to make the most of the miniscule amounts of time you have left each day after your nightly bout with the Sandman.
Move Your Taskbar
Before dismissing this point, take a moment to consider the raw math. All computer screens are wider than they are tall. Even the non-widescreen monitors sport at least a 4:3 aspect ratio. That means that you screen is 4px wide for every 3px tall. Most modern screens are even wider than that sporting a 16:9 aspect ratio. That means that the monitor is 16px wide for every 9px tall.
Practically speaking, you have much more screen real estate from side-to-side than you do from top-to-bottom. In fact, most websites are designed to be only a maximum of 900 to 1,000 pixels wide which means that you won’t be cutting off any of the websites with the taskbar on the right or left. You are, however, cutting out parts of the browser having it at the bottom which ultimately leads to a smaller visible browser area and increased scrolling.
It took me a little over a week to get used to this change, but the math made sense so I stuck with it. Now I’m never going back. Give it a try for at least a week and I think you’ll join me in my sentiments.
Use a Free Dropbox Account
Dropbox is by far the easiest, most effective way to share files across computers. It creates a folder in your Documents folder that remains perfectly synchronized across every computer you install it on. The best part? It’s free. At least the first 2GB are completely free.
I have Dropbox installed on my laptop, my desktop, and when I was on active duty, I had it installed on my work computer. You can also access and download your files from anywhere simply by logging into their website. I use that feature to access my design files when I’m at school using their computers.
Install A Better Web Browser
If you’re using Internet Explorer, it’s time to switch. It is by far the slowest, most out-of-date web browser available on the market today. In a recent article titled I Hate Internet Explorer and You Should Too!, I compared this shockingly inadequate piece of technology to the red-headed stepchild with down syndrome of web browsers.
Switch to Chrome, Safari, or Firefox (listed in order of my personal preference). Even if it takes a week to get used to, I guarantee that you’ll be amazed at how much more enjoyable and streamlined your online experience will be.
For more about this, be sure to check out Finer Browsing and join in our crusade against Internet Explorer.
Read Above Your Level of Understanding
If you’re only reading the blogs and articles of your peers, you’re missing out…big time. Every day that you spend reading fiction, beginner blogging articles, or just drivel is a day of reading that is wasted. I’m not encouraging you to completely avoid fiction and the blogs of your peers, but rather to find a healthy balance.
If you’re looking to be successful in a business venture, don’t just read my blog. Grab a copy of Fortune, Forbes or Money magazines and learn from folks who are light years ahead of us. If you want to improve your writing, find someone who is an expert at writing and study them like you’re back in school.
The point is simple: find someone who is far above you in an area that you hope to grow and learn from them. This is the fastest way to fill your mind with the information that you need to achieve real success in anything.
Expand the Way You Think
Most of you have heard the age-old cliché to think outside the box, but how many of you have any idea what that actually means?
Practical Exercise: Here’s a quick test to assess your understanding of this concept. Below, I’ve drawn an image with nothing more than 9 dots evenly placed into 3 rows of 3 dots each. Your challenge is to draw four lines that intersect all 9 dots.
Here are the rules: You may only use 4 lines. You may not pick up your pencil or pen (In other words, each line must begin where the previous line ends.) Your lines may not be curved in any way. They must be straight.
I use this example because it is the perfect illustration of our adage. Once you’ve given up, click here for an image of the solution and a simple lesson that you can take away from this exercise.
Practical Example: This week I saw an amazing example of this principle in action over at Nicole Cook’s recipes blog, The Daily Dish. She has taken the time to create a Google custom search widget in which she has manually selected thousands of recipe blogs and websites to be included in each search. It is the ultimate recipe search.
But she even went one step farther in that she’s truncated it all into two copy-and-paste lines of code that others can use to place the incredibly well-designed widget on their own blogs.
When you create something original you set yourself apart from the crowd, and that’s powerful. You establish yourself as both a thinker and as a provider of solutions to whatever problem you’re reaching out to solve with your creation. This will multiply your online efforts!
So take your pick. You can either give up eating and sleeping, or you can start working smarter and more efficiently in your daily workflow.
What’s it going to be?
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