Advertising
Advertising

The Lifehack Last-Minute Gift-Giving Guide

The Lifehack Last-Minute Gift-Giving Guide

20091217-gift

    Christmas is just over a week away, and no matter how organized you are, I bet there are a few people on your list that you just can’t figure out a gift for. In the spirit of giving, then, I offer these suggestion – each of which is, as of 12/16, available to ship in time for Christmas. (All prices are in US dollars.)

    Advertising


    Advertising


    kindle
      Kindle
      It’s no secret that we’re fond of the Kindle ‘round the Lifehack halls. A single device that can carry a library of books, magazines, newspapers, and blog content? What’s not to love – and what could be more Lifehack-y? This year, the Kindle got improved battery life, PC and iPhone companion apps (with a Mac app on its way), native PDF support, and a big brother in the form of the Kindle DX. If you really love someone, you’ll get them a Kindle! (You reading this, dad?) ($259; $489 for the DX)
      image
        Flip MinoHD
        Shoot incredible-looking high-def video with this camera that’s so tiny you’ll never have a reason not to carry it along with you. With 8GB of built-in memory, you can shoot up to 2 hours of video; downloading to your PC is as easy as plugging in the flip-out USB jack. ($229 list; on sale for $199 at Amazon right now)
        image
          Lilliput Mini USB Monitor
          This 7” monitor is so cool I can’t even stand it. Powered entirely by USB, the monitor sits next to your main monitor to hold… well, whatever you want. Photoshop tools, Windows gadgets (or widgets, or whatever they’re called these days), your todo list, notes, your media player controls – I’m sure your loved ones can think of something to do with the extra real estate. Works with Windows PCs or Intel Macs. ($79.99)
          image
            D-Link DIR-685 Xtreme N Storage Router
            You know what’s ugly? A wireless router, that’s what. Who wants that thing sitting on their bookshelf or entertainment center? Well, this router solves that problem with a built-in 3.2” digital picture frame, showing off your favorite photos as it serves up your web pages and print jobs. Oh, by the way – you can also add a 2.5” hard drive, making it into a network-attached storage drive that can backup files from all the computers on your network, or act as a media server sending music and video to any PC, Xbox, PS3, or other plug-n-play device on your network. You’re forgiven if by now you’ve forgotten that it’s still a router. ($249.99 list; $214.17 at Amazon)
            image
              Logitech V550 Cordless Laser Mouse for Notebooks
              I’ve been using one of these for about 6 months now, and I’m absolutely in love with it. It’s on the large side for a notebook mouse (which is good, since I’m on the large side for a person) but still quite a bit smaller than a typical desktop mouse. The USB dongle is literally a USB plug and about 1/4” of electronics, so it doesn’t stick out of the side of my notebook and get in my way. The scroll wheel is a hefty metal job which you can press down on (hard) to release a clutch that lets it roll freely – so you can shoot up and down long documents with the flick of a finger. The scroll wheel also tilts left and right (which I have set to go “back” and “forward”, which is AWESOME for web surfing) and a little button behind the scroll wheel can be set to your choice of about a dozen different functions. Some kind of secret Santa’s elves technology allows it to go for a year on a single change of batteries, which ain’t half bad! ($39.95)
              image
                OGIO Hip Hop Messenger Bag
                I’ve been lusting over this bag at my local Best Buy for a while (‘cause I’m fly like that!) but can’t convince myself I need yet another shoulder bag. (Yet. I’m weak, I’ll cave eventually). Made to hold a 15” laptop (and I just happen to have a 15” laptop…) this messenger-style bag has about a million pockets and sleeves to hold just abut everything – pens and pencils, airplane tickets, your media player, a water bottle, a kazoo (what, you don’t carry one?), a Yeti, tractor tires – everything! (OK, maybe not quite all of that; still, it’s impressive.) Available in a bunch of colors (there are several listings, you might have to click around to find the one that has the perfect color for your geek sweetie). ($45.99)
                image
                  Powermat
                  The dream is here – wireless charging! Just set an iPhone, Blackberry, or other device on the Powermat and it charges wirelessly, using the power of children’s dreams (I assume – I’m a little fuzzy on the science). Of course, you also need receivers for each device, so here’s the deal: get this for your spouse with a receiver for their phone, and you know, just happen to order an extra one that fits your phone, and it’s like a double-Christmas just for you! ($99.99, plus $30/receiver)
                  image
                    Swiss+Tech Utili-Key
                    The perfect stocking stuffer, this key-shaped (and key-sized) multi-tool opens to expose a Phillips-head and flat-head screwdriver, a super-tiny glasses screwdriver, a bottle opener, and plain and serrated cutting surfaces. Naturally, it slides onto your key-ring so you have everything you need, any time you need it. I bought a stack of them for all my family members who scoff at the idea of carrying a Swiss army knife. ($7.95)
                    image
                      Crush It, by Gary Vaynerchuk
                      Gary Vaynerchuk of WineLibraryTV shares the secrets of his success in this slim, accessible volume. In two words: CRUSH IT! Find your passion and just go for it, all out, no excuses. Of course there’s a little more to it than that, or it would just be an inspirational poster. Perfect for anyone in your life facing the consequences of the economic downturn, or just looking for a little more meaning in their lives than pushing papers for the next 30 years. ($19.99 list; $11.69 at Amazon)
                      Underwear Repair Kit
                        Men’s Underwear Repair Kit
                        What could be more productive than getting every last bit of use out of your underwear? The Men’s Underwear Repair Kit contains iron-on patches, replacement elastic, safety pins, white-out, and 32 pages of instructions – everything you need to get years and years of wear out of your tighty-whities. ($10.95)

                        Got any special gift ideas of your own? Share them with us last-minute shoppers in the comments!

                        Advertising

                        Advertising

                        More by this author

                        How to Become an Expert (And Spot out One Nearby) The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works) Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed Back to Basics: Your Calendar Learn Something New Every Day

                        Trending in Featured

                        1 How to Motivate Yourself: 13 Simple Ways You Can Try Right Now 2 15 Ways to Cultivate Lifelong Learning for a Sharper Brain 3 How to Overcome Procrastination and Start Doing What Truly Matters 4 10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur 5 Why Do I Have Bad Luck? 2 Simple Things to Change Your Destiny

                        Read Next

                        Advertising
                        Advertising

                        Last Updated on October 30, 2018

                        How to Motivate Yourself: 13 Simple Ways You Can Try Right Now

                        How to Motivate Yourself: 13 Simple Ways You Can Try Right Now

                        Who needs Tony Robbins when you can motivate yourself? Overcoming the emotional hurdle to get stuff done when you’d rather sit on the couch isn’t always easy. But unless calling in sick and waking up at noon have no consequences for you, it’s often a must.

                        For those of you who never procrastinate, distract yourself or drag your feet when you should be doing something important, well done so far! But for the rest of you, it’s good to have a library of motivational boosters to move along.

                        Whether you’re starting a buisiness, trying to los weight or breaking a bad habit, you’ll learn how to motivate yourself with different techniques in this article.

                        13 Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself Right Now

                        Despite your best efforts, passion, habits and a flow-producing environment can fail. In that case, it’s time to find whatever emotional pump-up you can use to get started:

                        1. Go back to “why”

                        Focusing on a dull task doesn’t make it any more attractive. Zooming out and asking yourself why you are bothering in the first place will make it more appealing.

                        If you can’t figure out why, then there’s a good chance you shouldn’t bother with it in the first place.

                        2. Go for five

                        Start working for five minutes. Often that little push will be enough to get you going.

                        3. Move around

                        Get your body moving as you would if you were extremely motivated to do something. This ‘faking it’ approach to motivation may seem silly or crude but it works.

                        Advertising

                        4. Find the next step

                        If it seems impossible to work on a project for you, you can try to focus on the next immediate step.

                        Fighting an amorphous blob of work will only cause procrastination. Chunk it up so that it becomes manageable. Learn how to stop procrastinating in this guide.

                        5. Find your itch

                        What is keeping you from working? Don’t let the itch continue without isolating it and removing the problem.

                        Are you unmotivated because you feel overwhelmed, tired, afraid, bored, restless or angry? Maybe it is because you aren’t sure you have time or delegated tasks haven’t been finished yet?

                        6. Deconstruct your fears

                        I’m sure you don’t have a phobia about getting stuff done. But at the same time, hidden fears or anxieties can keep you from getting real work completed.

                        Isolate the unknowns and make yourself confident, you can handle the worst case scenario.

                        7. Get a partner

                        Find someone who will motivate you when you’re feeling lazy. I have a friend I go to the gym with. Besides spotting weight, having a friend can help motivate you to work hard when you’d normally quit.

                        8. Kickstart your day

                        Plan out tomorrow. Get up early and place all the important things early in the morning. Building momentum early in the day can usually carry you forward far later.

                        Advertising

                        Having a morning routine is a good idea for you to stay motivated!

                        9. Read books

                        Read not just self-help or motivational books but any book that has new ideas. New ideas get your mental gears turning and can build motivation. Here’re more reasons to read every day.

                        Learning new ideas puts your brain in motion so it requires less time to speed up to your tasks.

                        10. Get the right tools

                        Your environment can have a profound effect on your enthusiasm. Computers that are too slow, inefficient applications or a vehicle that breaks down constantly can kill your motivation.

                        Building motivation is almost as important as avoiding the traps that can stop it.

                        11. Be careful with the small problems

                        The worst killer of motivation is facing a seemingly small problem that creates endless frustration.

                        Reframe little problems that must be fixed as bigger ones or they will kill any drive you have.

                        12. Develop a mantra

                        Find a few statements that focus your mind and motivate you. It doesn’t matter whether they are pulled from a tacky motivational poster or just a few words to tell you what to do.

                        Advertising

                        If you aren’t sure where to start, a good personal mantra is “Do it now!” You can find more here too: 7 Empowering Affirmations That Will Help You Be Mentally Strong

                        13. Build on success

                        Success creates success. When you’ve just won, it is easy to feel motivated about almost anything. Emotions tend not to be situation specific, so a small win, whether it is a compliment from a colleague or finishing two thirds of your tasks before noon can turn you into a juggernaut.

                        There are many ways you can place small successes earlier on to spur motivation later. Structuring your to-do lists, placing straightforward tasks such as exercising early in the day or giving yourself an affirmation can do the trick.

                        How to Stay Motivated Forever (Without Motivation Tricks)

                        The best way to motivate yourself is to organize your life so you don’t have to. If work is a constant battle for you, perhaps it is time to start thinking about a new job. The idea is that explicit motivational techniques should be a backup, not your regular routine.

                        Here are some other things to consider making work flow more naturally:

                        Passion

                        Do things you have a passion for. We all have to do things we don’t want to. But if life has become a chronic source of dull chores, you’ve got a big problem that needs fixing.

                        Not sure what your passion is to get you motivated? This will help you:

                        How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

                        Advertising

                        Habits

                        You can’t put everything on autopilot. I’ve found putting a few core habits in place creates a structure for the day.

                        Waking up at the same time, working at the same times and having a similar productive routine makes it easier to do the next day.

                        This guide will be useful for you if you’re looking to build good habits:

                        Understand Your Habits to Control Them 100%

                        Flow

                        Flow is the state where your mind is completely focused on the task at hand. While there are many factors that go into producing this state, having the right challenge level is a big part.

                        Find ways to tweak your tasks so they hover in that sweet spot between boredom and maddening frustration.

                        Easily distracted and hard to focus? Here’s your solution.

                        Final Thoughts

                        With all these tips I’ve shared with you, now you know what to do when you’re feeling unmotivated.

                        Find your passion and develop a positive mantra so when the next time negativity hits you again, you know how to stay positive and motivated!

                        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                        Read Next