Friday, June 28, 2013

Tips for making life easier and (hopefully) becoming more efficient

Some of these are simple things, some require more forehtought and behavior changes. I'll update them over time.

1) Learn to use keyboard shortcuts for all your software. Mousing may be more intuitive, but it always takes longer.

2) Setup "repositories" for things you use repeatedly like your personal information, key phrases or descriptions that you share with people a lot, code snippets that you often use. You don't have to automate anything, just save them somewhere you know you can find them when you need them.

3) Start using voice recognition software. A lot of people remember when its performance was spotty, but even the built-in Windows VR software works really well now. Speaking is quicker than typing for anything more than a few words.

4) Spend the time to develop an organizational system. I prefer GTD ( but others probably work well too.

5) As part of 4, develop good work and organizational habits. Easier said than done, but having things in their place and some grounding routines makes life simpler and smoother (more on this in David Allen's GTD book).

6) Keep project logs for every project (personal or professional) you're committed to seeing through to completion. A few minutes taking a note each day or each time you work on the project can be a lifesaver when you have to come back to the project days, weeks, or months later. You'll certainly spend more than a few minutes trying to remember and find what you did if you don't have those notes.

Any other pointers to share?

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