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Top 10 Greasemonkey scripts to improve your productivity

Top 10 Greasemonkey scripts to improve your productivity
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    Two weeks ago we covered the top 10 Firefox extensions to improve your productivity. Similarly, the powerful Greasemonkey extension (with the help of Stylish) can do wonders for your productivity, as well. You can accomplish many of the tasks that the Greasemonkey scripts below can do with various Firefox extensions. However, if you prefer to keep your list of extensions short (and to help conserve your computer memory) then give these scripts a try and watch your productivity soar! The following are 10 Greasemonkey scripts that are bound to improve your productivity and web browsing experience.

    If you’re unfamiliar with the Greasemonkey Firefox extension, here is the somewhat techy definition from Wikipedia:

    Greasemonkey is a Mozilla Firefox extension that allows users to install scripts that make on-the-fly changes to specific web pages. As the Greasemonkey scripts are persistent, the changes made to the web pages are executed every time the page is opened, making them effectively permanent for the user running the script.

    The first step is to install Greasemonkey like any other extension. For the purpose of this tutorial, also install Stylish exactly the same way you installed Greasemonkey. I have directly linked to the 10 Greasemonkey scripts below, so after you install Greasemonkey, all you need to do is click the links and the script will be installed.

    1. Gmail Conversation Preview

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      Gmail Conversation Preview lets you right click on your messages in Gmail and see a preview of the message. Furthermore, Gmail Conversation Preview allows you to mark your email message as unread, archive, or delete exactly as if you had the email message open. Using this script will reduce the amount of time it takes to get through your email tremendously.

      2. Stylish + Adblocking per Gozer
      This script was introduced two weeks ago in my list of Firefox extensions. Adblocker is extremely accurate and will block all Google Adsense and many other various advertisements on any site throughout the web. With the amount of distractions cut out, your can get some serious work done.

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      3. Google Reader + Gmail

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        If you use both the Gmail and the Google Reader suite of applications, you can integrate Google Reader into Gmail so that you can read your feeds right in your Gmail window. Google Reader + Gmail tucks your Google Reader feeds right into Gmail allowing you to read your favorite feeds without leaving your email.

        4. Invisibility cloak
        When you really need to hunker down and get some work done, the best alternative is to completely block those time wasting sites. To explain, you can create a list of the sites you find yourself sucked to, and schedule them to be blocked until after a certain time. For example if you keep getting sucked to Lifehack.org, or Digg.com, you can ban these sites until after 5pm. Lifehacker’s Gina Trapani wrote the Invisibility Cloak script and it blocks flickr.com and metafilter.com by default. If you want to add your own favorite time-sucking sites, right click the Greasemonkey logo in the bottom right corner of Firefox, choose “Manage User Scripts…” and add your Web sites to the list. The script is totally customizable and great for your productivity if you don’t mind going cold turkey on some of your favorite sites.

        5. Gmail Macros

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          “This excellent script extends the built-in Gmail keyboard shortcuts to let you mark an email as read, star it, move it, send it to the trash and a host of other added functionality” all with a couple quick key strokes. In order to see a list of all the keyboard shortcuts added by this script, open up Gmail and type ‘?’ and you will get an expanded view of the window I have shown.

          6. Google Image Relinker
          The Google Image relinking script redirects your Google Image search results directly to the full sized image so that you no longer have to click through the originating site to get to the full-sized image.

          7. Gmail Persistent Searches.

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            If you find that you are consistently searching Gmail for the same type of content, a persistent search would be for you. With this Greasemonkey script, you can create one-click searches of all of your email.

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            8. Add a second inbox to your Gmail account.
            If you’re sick and tired of fighting with your significant other about whose Gmail account is signed in, or if you manage more than one email account, rather than forwarding all your email to one account, with this Greasemonkey script you can add a second button to your Gmail account and quickly flip between two accounts. In order to use this script, you have to edit the .js file to include your second email account.

            9. RSS Quick Subscribe

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              If you use Google Reader, RSS Quick subscribe will show you links to the RSS feeds in the top right corner. Give the links a quick click and you will seamlessly be subcribed via Google Reader

              10. Gmail Attachment Reminder

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                Ever use the line “I have attached so and so” and then forget to actually attach the document? Of course you have, everybody has! However, with the attachment reminder, you will never forget again. If you use the words “attach” or “attached” and there is no attachment, the script will ask if you forgot the attachment. This script has come in handy for me tons of times!

                I know I must have missed tons of productivity-enhancing Greasemonkey scripts. Which of the above mentioned scripts can’t you live without? Please share your favorite Greasemonkey scripts in the comments.

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                Last Updated on July 9, 2019

                How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

                How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

                It is hardly a secret that the key to successfully accomplishing one goal after another is staying motivated. There are, of course, tasks which successful people may not like at all, yet they find motivation to complete them because they recognize how each particular task serves a greater goal.

                So how to stay motivated most of the time? Here are 5 simple yet effective ways on how to stay motivated and get what you want:

                1. Find the Good Reasons

                Anything you do, no matter how simple, has a number of good reasons behind it.

                You may not be able to find good reasons to do some tasks at first but, if you take just a few moments to analyze them, you will easily spot something good. We also have many tasks which don’t need any reasoning at all – we’ve been doing them for so long that they feel natural.

                If you’re ever stuck with some tasks you hate and there seems to be no motivation to complete it whatsoever, here’s what you need to do: find your good reasons.

                Even when you set goals, there needs to be reasons behind these goals. They may not be obvious, but stay at it until you see some, as this will bring your motivation back and will help you finish the task.

                Some ideas for what a good reason can be:

                • A material reward – quite often, you will get paid for doing something you normally don’t like doing at all.
                • Personal gain – you will learn something new or will perhaps improve yourself in a certain way.
                • A feeling of accomplishment – at least you’ll be able to walk away feeling great about finding the motivation and courage to complete such a tedious task.
                • A step closer to your bigger goal – even the biggest accomplishments in history have started small and relied on simple and far less pleasant tasks than you might be working on. Every task you complete brings you closer to the ultimate goal, and acknowledging this always feels good.

                2. Make It Fun

                When it comes to motivation, attitude is everything. Different people may have completely opposite feelings towards the same task: some will hate it, others will love it.

                Why do you think this happens? It’s simple: some of us find ways to make any task interesting and fun to do!

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                Take sports for example. Visiting your local gym daily for a half-an-hour workout session sounds rather boring to some. Yet many others love the idea!

                They like exercising not only because they recognize the good reasons behind it, but simply because it’s fun! At certain time of their daily schedule, they find going to gym to be the best thing to do, simply because nothing else will fit their time and lifestyle so perfectly.

                Depending on how you look at it, you can have fun doing just about anything! Just look for ways of having fun, and you’ll find them!

                A simple approach is to start working on any task by asking yourself a few questions:

                • How can I enjoy this task?
                • What can I do to make this task fun for myself and possibly for others?
                • How can I make this work the best part of my day?

                As long as you learn to have the definite expectation of any task being potentially enjoyable, you will start to feel motivated.

                Some of you will probably think of a thing or two which are valid exceptions from this statement, like something you always hate doing no matter how hard you try making it fun. You’re probably right, and that’s why I don’t claim everything to be fun.

                However, most tasks have a great potential of being enjoyable, and so looking for ways to have fun while working is definitely a good habit to acquire.

                3. Take a Different Approach

                When something doesn’t feel right, it’s always a good time to take a moment and look for a different approach for the task.

                You may be doing everything correctly and most efficiently, but such approach isn’t necessarily the most motivating one. Quite often, you can find a number of obvious tweaks to your current approach which will both change your experience and open up new possibilities.

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                That’s why saying “one way or another” is so common — if you really want to accomplish your goal, there is always a way; and most likely, there’s more than one way.

                If a certain approach doesn’t work for you, find another one, and keep trying until you find the one which will both keep you motivated and get you the desired results.

                Some people think that trying a different approach means giving up. They take pride in being really stubborn and refusing to try any other options on their way towards the goal.

                My opinion on this is that the power of focus is great, but you should be focusing on your goal, and not limiting your options by focusing on just one way to accomplish it it.

                4. Recognize Your Progress

                Everything you may be working on can be easily split into smaller parts and stages. For most goals, it is quite natural to split the process of accomplishing them into smaller tasks and milestones. There are a few reasons behind doing this, and one of them is tracking your progress.

                We track our progress automatically with most activities. But to stay motivated, you need to recognize your progress, not merely track it.

                Here’s how tracking and recognizing your progress is different:

                Tracking is merely taking a note of having reached a certain stage in your process. Recognizing is taking time to look at a bigger picture and realize where exactly you are, and how much more you have left to do.

                For example, if you’re going to read a book, always start by going through the contents table. Getting familiar with chapter titles and memorizing their total number will make it easier for you to recognize your progress as you read. Confirming how many pages your book has before starting it is also a good idea.

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                You see, reading any book you will be automatically looking at page numbers and chapter titles, but without knowing the total number of pages, this information will have little meaning.

                Somehow, it is human nature to always want things to happen in short term or even at once. Even though we split complex tasks into simpler actions, we don’t quite feel the satisfaction until all is done and the task is fully complete.

                For many scenarios though, the task is so vast that such approach will drain all the motivation out of you long before you have a chance to reach your goal. That’s why it is important to always take small steps and recognize the positive different and progress made. This is how your motivation can sustain in long term.

                5. Reward Yourself

                This is a trick everyone likes: rewarding yourself is always pleasant. This is also one of the easiest and at the same time most powerful ways to stay motivated!

                Feeling down about doing something? Dread the idea of working on some task? Hate the whole idea of working? You’re not alone.

                Right from the beginning, agree on some deliverables which will justify yourself getting rewarded. As soon as you get one of the agreed results, take time to reward yourself in some way.

                For some tasks, just taking a break and relaxing for a few minutes will do.

                For others, you may want to get a fresh cup of coffee and even treat yourself a dessert.

                For even bigger and more demanding tasks, reward yourself by doing something even more enjoyable, like going to a cinema or taking a trip to some place nice, or even buying yourself something.

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                Your progress may not seem to others like anything worth celebrating but, take time and do it anyway! It is your task and your reward, so any ways to stay motivated are good.

                The more you reward yourself for the honestly made progress, the more motivated you will feel about reaching new milestones, thus finally accomplishing your goal.

                Mix and Match

                Now that you have these five ways of staying motivated, it is a good moment to give you the key to them all: mix and match!

                Pick one of the techniques and apply it to your situation. If it doesn’t work, or if you simply want to get more motivated, try another technique right way. Mix different approaches and match them to your task for the best results.

                Just think about it: Finding good reasons to work on your task is bound to helping you feel better; and identifying ways to make it fun will help you enjoy the task even more.

                Or, if you plan a few points for easier tracking of your progress and on top of that, agree on rewarding yourself as you go; this will make you feel most motivated about anything you have to work through.

                More About Staying Motivated

                Featured photo credit: Lucas Lenzi via unsplash.com

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