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100 Practical Tips to Help You Save Money Effectively

100 Practical Tips to Help You Save Money Effectively

How often do you think about where your money goes? Usually it’s only when we fall on hard times that we start to question how much money we could save. Just by changing some daily habits we can effectively save quite a bit.

The Benefits of Adopting Good Spending Habits

Whether or not you need to save money or just be more mindful of how you spend it, changing your mindset and the daily ways in which you hand over money can seriously help your bank balance.

We may believe we’re buying things for our greater good, but we could be wasting some hard-earned money. Getting into these habits will help you not only understand where money is being wasted, but improve your mindset about what’s important.

100 Ways to Save Yourself Some Cash

There are so many ways to develop money-saving habits in day-to-day life. Here is a list of 100 things you can do. Not all of them will apply to you but just by following some of them you will save a good amount.

1. Turn off the TV.

Ads are very influential. Switching off your TV will significantly decrease your exposure to ads as well as lower your electricity bill and free up time to focus on activities that will create growth in your life.

2. Stick to a pre-written shopping list.

Write out what you need to buy before going and make a conscious effort to buy only what’s on the list. This stops unnecessary buying.

3. Make your own gifts.

Making your own gifts is not only cheaper but also more personal. Friends and family will appreciate it. Get some inspiration here.

4. Sell unwanted stuff.

This is a no-brainer. Cupboards and spaces can be full of stuff we don’t want or need anymore. Gather it together and start putting it on eBay or Craigslist.

5. Stay in instead of going out.

Nights out can get hugely expensive, so consider inviting friends over for a fun night in. Ask everyone to bring something to eat and drink or an activity to do and you’ll be happily entertained without spending as much.

6. Repair clothes instead of replacing them.

Get out that sewing kit and repair any rips in clothing and replace any missing buttons rather than tossing out and replacing items. This may be a new skill for you to learn and feel accomplished about acquiring.

7. Sign up for customer reward schemes.

Find out about as many customer reward schemes as you can and sign up for them. You can save a significant amount through accumulating store points and participating in cash-back offers especially if it’s somewhere you shop regularly.

8. Wait 30 days before making a big purchase.

If you’re thinking of buying something expensive (or even small purchases) give yourself a month to think about it. Sometimes after 30 days we change our minds or find a better deal. Making rash decisions can cost a lot.

9. Consider changing banks or bank accounts.

Interest rates change all the time. Research to see if there are better banks or accounts with better interest rates — especially if it’s a savings account. Consider doing this once a year to avoid the low-interest trap.

10. Sell collections.

Some of us are collectors believing that it will one day pay off. Think about selling it now if you feel it won’t go up in price any time soon.

11. Drink more water.

There are several reasons to do this. It’s healthy; it keeps you fuller for longer meaning less chance of overeating; and carrying a refillable bottle will stop you from buying expensive sodas and other drinks that gobble up cash.

12. Don’t splurge on take aways or fast foods.

When we’re in a rush it can be tempting to call the nearest Subway or Burger King. Not only is this an unhealthy habit, it’s an expensive one if you do it often. Opt for home-cooked.

13. Entertain children on the cheap.

Children (especially younger ones) don’t need a lot to be entertained. Remember the days of endless fun in a cardboard box? Kids are no different today. Turn a box into a car or a plane. It’s simple and they’ll love it.

14. Consider credit card advantages.

Discuss with your bank a better credit card to use. Interest rates can go up without you noticing and if you’re paying it off in stages this can be costly. By doing this you could save money you weren’t even aware you were spending.

15. Cook large batches and freeze them.

When cooking meals such as casseroles and stews, make a massive batch and freeze it. Not only does this save you money and cut down on waste, it also saves you time after work when you don’t want to cook.

16. Turn off lights around the house.

We can get into the habit of keeping on the lights but making a conscious effort to switch them off when you leave a room will cut down on the electricity bill.

17. Invest in energy-efficient lightbulbs.

On the same note, investing in economic lightbulbs will save much money over time. They’re a bit more expensive but you’ll get a good return from investing in them.

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18. Shop at charity shops or yard sales.

Charity shops aren’t the stuffy, smelly places of yore. You can find good-quality clothes, books, and other treasures so don’t ignore them. You will find great bargains there and at yard sales.

19. Do book swaps with friends.

Instead of buying new books, create a book swap with friends. This way you can get some good reading in without paying for it.

20. Stop smoking.

If you’re lighting up, it really might be time to consider stopping. The price of cigarettes is not easy to justify. If you can’t quit altogether, cut down or invest in e-cigarettes.

21. Invest in low-energy, quality appliances.

Replace energy-guzzling appliances with energy-efficient ones. It may be an expense initially but over time it will cut back on your bills. Sell your old ones to get some money back instead of throwing them out.

22. Buy a time-programmable thermostat.

Buying a thermostat that is programmable to come on and off at particular times will reduce utility bills. It is not necessary to heat or cool your house when you’re not even home! Some come with apps that allow you to control them remotely.

23. Make your own bread.

Some of us go through a lot of bread. Save money by making your own. There are tons of great recipes. Invest in a bread maker that’ll bake it overnight and wake up to freshly-baked bread in the morning!

24. Plan recipes around foods on sale.

Note what foods are on sale in the supermarket and sit down to plan meals around them. There are hundreds of ways you can use a tin of tomatoes, so get creative.

25. Find a cheaper supermarket.

We can get into the habit of shopping at the same place, but consider swapping to a cheaper supermarket even if it’s only for certain food items. Shopping smart will save you money.

26. Cancel memberships.

Do you only go to the gym once a week? Be honest with yourself and cancel the membership.

27. Take up running if possible.

Running is a cost-free way of getting exercise. If weight-training is what you’re after, find different household items to use. You don’t need a gym to get a good workout.

28. Shop for food on a full stomach.

Never shop for food on an empty stomach. You are likely to buy 20% more than you intended to. Unhealthy snacks are also more likely to be purchased so save your health and your money by shopping after you’ve eaten.

29. Avoid stress spending.

It’s quite common to spend money to feel better when stressed. Find alternate ways to de-stress such as exercise, meditation, or chatting with a friend.

30. Consider throwing away your credit card.

It can be too easy to get out the credit card. Getting rid of it could be a good way of stopping yourself from spending as much. If it’s not there to use then you can’t use it. It’s as simple as that.

31. Give your appliances a spring cleaning.

Good maintenance for household appliances means they’ll be less likely to break down and leave you with a hefty repair bill.

32. Declutter every room.

Make an effort to visit every room and find two or three items you don’t need anymore. Decluttering not only helps your mind and creates more space in your home, it’s an opportunity to sell unwanted stuff. Make this a habit every six months instead of letting things pile up.

33. Give your help as a gift to others.

Offering your help to others is an idea for a present to them. Create IOU slips and put them inside a card for someone’s birthday. It’s an excuse to spend time with them instead of buying expensive presents.

34. Volunteer.

Giving your time to make a difference can be good for you and for others, and it keeps you from spending money.

35. Buy store brands.

Tests show that store brands of food are of no less quality than well-known brands. In numerous blind taste tests, many people didn’t know the difference. Pay nearly half the price for essentially the same product.

36. Make more home-cooked meals.

Opt for cooking at home instead of going out. Experimenting in the kitchen can be fun, especially if you do it with friends or your partner. Cooking by yourself can be therapeutic.

37. Make your lunch at home.

Buying lunch every day adds up. For a fraction of the cost, you can make your own and take it to work. Eat leftovers from the day before to eliminate waste.

38. Consider buying a more economic car.

If you have car that guzzles gas then buying a more economic vehicle will really cut costs.

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39. Before buying something, pause for ten seconds.

When you’ve picked up an item and are about to head to the till, stop for ten seconds and carefully consider whether you can justify buying it. You know if it’s something you really need or if it’s a fanciful purchase. Your gut can play a part here. Listen to it.

40. Go for a walk.

If you’re bored, it can be easy to visit the mall. Consider going for a walk or run, or making something for your friends.

41. Re-evaluate your life insurance.

Re-evaluate your life insurance or any type of insurance for that matter. The policy you bought ten years ago may not be serving you anymore. Think about going for a cheaper term insurance rather than long-term or whole-life policies that eat up your money unnecessarily.

42. Eat breakfast every day.

Eating a good breakfast every morning will curb snacking or mid-morning eating which can add up if we’re visiting the vending machine at work.

43. Cancel unneeded subscriptions.

If you have magazine subscriptions you don’t need, now’s the time to cancel them.

44. Rent out an empty bedroom.

This is not for everyone, but if you have an empty room you could make extra income renting it out. Joining Airbnb is the safest way to allow tourists or visitors to stay, or consider renting it out long-term if you know someone who may benefit from it.

45. Make the most of leftovers.

It’s tempting to throw out leftovers but hold on! They can make a good lunch the next day or could be added to the next day’s evening meal. If there’s a lot, freeze it.

46. Reorganise your wardrobe.

Sometimes we forget what’s in there. Reorganising our clothes can make us feel like we have more selection instead of buying more. Rediscover that top from six months ago that will go great with the jeans you got the other day.

47. Cut down on expensive childcare.

Contact other parents in your area and swap babysitting duties. It’s a win-win.

48. Be smart with clothes shopping.

If you do need to buy clothes, purchase items that can be teamed up with multiple others to create more variety of outfits. Don’t buy tops that can only be worn with certain bottoms or vice versa. Have ideas in mind when you’re at the clothes rack.

49. Fix things yourself.

Obviously don’t re-wire your home unless you’re an expert, but if something small breaks don’t immediately call a professional. Youtube is an interactive manual and you can find most directions on there. If not, get a handy friend to have a go. Either way you can learn new skills and grow confidence by repairing things yourself.

50. Ask others for money-saving suggestions.

Ask around to see if anyone else has any money-saving hacks. You might be surprised with what you find out!

51. Consider finding a cheaper place to live.

If your rent is sky-high, look around to see if there’s a cheaper option. You will never know what’s out there if you don’t do some research.

52. Buy a deep freeze.

It must be emphasised that freezing is a god-send and will save you much money. Buy in bulk and freeze it for six months- sometimes longer. Store leftovers and bulk-cooked meals to prevent wasting money by throwing out food.

53. Have a handy notebook to write down ideas and plans.

Forgetfulness costs money. How many times have you had a good idea and it’s gone straight out of your head? These ideas could be cost-effective, so jot them down.

54. Grow your own food.

Gardening is great exercise and nothing is more rewarding than growing your own food. Even if it’s chili peppers in a window box, get sowing or ask to use a corner of a friend’s yard to grow herbs, fruit, and vegetables.

55. Research free things to do in your area.

Be a tourist in your own area and find out what free things there are to do. It will help you explore more and it’s free.

56. Stop speeding.

Driving at fast speeds not only uses more gasoline, but puts you at risk of getting fines and increasing your insurance costs if you have an accident. Don’t do it.

57. Spend more time reading.

Our imaginations are fascinating sources of entertainment. Make more time to get lost in a good book. It’s inexpensive and can be done anywhere.

58. Follow retailers on social media.

Big retailers usually announce sales and discounts through social media such as Facebook and Twitter, so sign up with them to know when to get the best deals.

59. Switch off the air conditioning.

It may be hot but try to switch off the air conditioner during cooler hours as it eats up your electricity. It also eats up the petrol in your car when you have it on. Don’t overheat in the interest of saving a bit of money, but question if you really need it on.

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60. Make full use of the local library.

Libraries aren’t just for borrowing books. You can also use the internet, read newspapers, check out films and CDs, find out about community events, and meet people.

61. Inflate your tyres properly.

By properly inflating your tyres you can improve gas mileage by up to 5%. This is because most people’s tyre pressure is under the recommended level if not regularly checked. This will make your fuel consumption more efficient.

62. Consider different routes to stop temptation.

Do you always stop off for a cup of your favourite coffee on your route to work? As much of a treat as it may be, this can add up so consider going a different route to avoid temptation.

63. Question your mobile phone service provider.

A lot of mobile phone providers create good deals for new customers while their old customers are left paying higher monthly prices. Research what they’re offering, ring them, and question it. Usually they would rather give you a better deal than lose your business.

64. Wear more layers.

If it’s cold, cranking up the radiators seems like the easiest way but it’s costing you. Try layering up if you feel a bit chilly or get out your hot water bottle and blanket to keep warm.

65. Take shorter showers.

Do you really need that 20 minute shower? Try cutting down. Once you’re clean, standing there longer is wasting money.

66. Wash clothes at 30 degrees.

Wash your clothes at 30 degrees. Not only will it save money, but it’ll look after your clothes and cause them to last longer.

67. Consider car sharing to work.

Organise a car share scheme with work colleagues. This will cut down on petrol.

68. Walk or bike to work.

If you don’t have a long commute, try walking or cycling instead.

69. Take public transport to work.

Taking public transport if you have a reliable network may be much cheaper, especially with monthly or yearly tickets.

70. If buying a car, go used.

It may be tempting to buy a new car but used is always going to be cheaper in the long run. The value of a new car drops significantly as soon as you drive it away from the dealer and each year afterwards.

71. Research consolidating loans.

If you have several loans, especially student loans, look into finding low-interest consolidation packages. This will save you money in the long run. If you’re paying off a student loan, it’s advised to set up a regular payment scheme to avoid long-term interest rates. The quicker you pay it off, the less added interest you’ll pay.

72. Buy a slow cooker/crock pot.

This is one of the best items you can buy. This will not only allow you to make meals in bulk but do so with minimal effort.

73. Make use of your company’s benefits.

We’re all guilty of being at a company for years and not taking advantage of the benefits they offer. Investments, free tickets, eye tests — you could be missing out on some great things. Make time to talk to your HR person to see if there’s anything you’re missing out on.

74. Cut your own hair.

This is only for people with simple haircuts, but if you’re paying a lot of money for trims, consider doing it yourself. Invest in clippers if you have a shaved head or get a friend to cut off your split ends.

75. Don’t spend money on unnecessary, expensive hygiene products.

We can get seduced by nicely-scented hygiene products but they come with a high price. The simple stuff is just as good.

76. Make use of coupons.

You can save a lot of money if you’re savvy with coupons. Only use them on products that you already use, otherwise you’re unnecessarily spending which is what the stores are trying to get you to do.

77. Get thrifty with homemade cleaning products.

There are a lot of natural products that you can use as a substitute for expensive cleaning products such as vinegar for windows and lemon water heated in the microwave to dissolve grease. There’s a world of ideas out there.

78. Buy in bulk.

When you see toilet paper on offer, buy as much as you can. Same with toothpaste, shampoo, washing up liquid — anything you use a lot. You’re guaranteed to need this stuff, so get it while it’s cheap.

79. Before buying anything, see if you can get it for free.

If you’re looking for a new table, sofa, or anything, check out online community groups. These sites allow people to offer up any unwanted goods. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

80. Spend time researching holiday deals.

If you spend time researching holiday destinations and package deals you can get them for quite cheap, especially if you’re willing to go last minute. You could save a lot of money by spending time looking at different hotels and talking with different travel agents or searching online websites.

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81. Cut down on holiday spending.

Take a certain amount of money with you in cash and stick to it. It can be easy to splash out on holiday but it can add up quickly. Try to go for all-inclusive holiday deals that include food and drinks so it’s already paid for.

82. You don’t need fancy razors to shave.

A razor is a razor. We don’t need fancy innovative ones to get rid of unsightly hairs. Don’t be seduced by silly advertising.

83. Exercise more.

Running or following yoga classes on Youtube are cheap ways to keep fit and keep medical bills at bay.

84. Pack lunches for long journeys.

We can forget to think about eating on long journeys and usually grab something at the train station, airport, or garage along the way. This is usually an unhealthy, expensive option. Pack lunches for the trip instead.

85. Check unit prices when shopping for groceries.

It’s always a good habit to check the unit prices on price labels. We tend to forget to do this as it’s usually small to see, but sometimes the cheaper item is not as cheap after all.

86. If you’re a house owner, consider downsizing.

It is a big decision but if your mortgage is draining you of money it might be a good idea to downsize. Moving is a good opportunity to sell more stuff, too.

87. Do cheap activities with friends.

If you’re in the habit of going out for meals or getting manicures as a social activity with friends, suggest finding a great place to hike, bike, or attend free events. Some might take some persuading but make this a habit and people will adapt to cheaper, fun ways to spend time together.

88. Make your own beer.

Alcohol can be an expensive habit especially if you like to kick back at the weekends with a cold beer. Why not try making it? Much cheaper and fun, too. You may even find a talent you never knew you had.

89. Eat meals on smaller plates.

The problem with large plates is that we can tend to make portions unnecessarily bigger resulting in eating more than we need to. Using smaller plates will help keep the portions smaller and reduce expenditures on food.

90. Stop trying to keep up with others.

A need to “keep up” with other people’s lifestyles can cause us to buy more than we need. Stop the need to get the latest phones, TVs, or gadgets and keep the money instead.

91. Leave your wallet at home or the office.

If you go for a walk, make sure to leave your wallet or purse at home or at the office. This will stop temptations of popping into a shop to buy something along the way.

92. Food shop at the end of the day.

Shopping at the end of the day, preferably after you’ve eaten, is the best time to save money. You’re full from dinner and this is usually the time that supermarkets put their fresher items on sale, so shop later for a bargain.

93. Do the sniff test.

Do your clothes really need a wash after every wear? Give your clothes a sniff to evaluate whether you really need to do another load of washing. This will cut down on utilities and soap, and stop your clothes from wearing out as quickly.

94. Eat less meat. Eat more vegetables.

Meat can be expensive, so cut down on the amount you eat. There are some tasty vegetarian/vegan recipes that are so bulked up you won’t notice the lack of meat.

95. Hang washing to dry.

If you usually tumble dry your laundry, consider hanging it up to dry instead. This will save a huge amount of electricity and your clothes will be nice and aired too!

96. Shop at ethnic food stores.

Don’t limit yourself to supermarkets. Ethnic shops are great for cheaper items and you can usually find unusual ingredients to make your meals more interesting.

97. Buy online.

Buying products online can be cheaper than in-store because there are likely to be discounts. Also look around for discount codes as these can knock a bit off the price.

98. Track your progress.

Writing down how much you’ve been saving can give you motivation or let you know where you need to focus. Create weekly or monthly goals to motivate you.

99. Don’t worry if progress is slow.

Every penny counts, so don’t beat yourself up if you feel you haven’t been saving a lot. Just keep focused and keep going.

100. Keep positive.

It can be hard when you feel money is tight but remember that it’s only a temporary situation. There are many people in the same boat as you so don’t be afraid to talk it out if you feel stressed or worried. Keep a good network of people around you to keep you feeling positive.

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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1 5 Values of an Effective Leader 2 How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them 3 The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work) 4 30 Practical Ideas to Create Your Best Morning Routine 5 Is People Management the Right Career Path for You?

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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