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6 Tips to Get More Time on Your Side

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6 Tips to Get More Time on Your Side


    While it’s true that we all have the same amount of time in each day, there are ways we can better use the time we have to make it feel like we have more of it. That’s why others are able to get more out of their day than others.

    But there’s no reason why we all can’t have the appearance of more hours and minutes in our day. It just takes implementing a few simple tips each and every day to see that it happens. Here are 6 tips that you cna use to get more time out of your day – and get more time on your side as a result.

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    1. Check email less

    Email is one of the greatest time sucks that we have coming at us every day of the week. If we treated it more like the mail it was meant to replace (snail mail) and not like a command or an order, we’d be able to save tons of time sticking to the task at hand and not diverting our attention to our inboxes.

    Create a rule for yourself – and everyone that corresponds with you via email – that you are going to limit the amount of times you check email per day. Be ruthless about it. If someone really needs to get a hold of you, there’s always instant messaging or the telephone. Set some standards to live by with your email management and you’ll find you’ll more hours to live with in the end.

    2. Plan the night before

    Take some time the night before – or even at the end of your work day – to map out what you plan to do the next day. Doing this will accomplish two things:

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    • It will remove the mental clutter from your head so you can leave all of your work for the day behind until the following day.
    • It will allow you to come in the next day and know exactly where to start; no more slow starts to the day…just action.

    3. Don’t fight your body clock

    If you’re an early riser, great. If you’re a night owl, that’s fine. Just don’t try to change that unless you absolutely have to for reasons that can’t be avoided.

    Night owls and early risers are equally productive; they just produce the results at different times of the day. For example, I’m writing this piece at nearly midnight, just as my creative juices are beginning to wind down for the night. Other writers may have already gone to bed well before this time and are up at the crack of dawn to tackle their next work. I’ve tried to fight my body clock more times than I’d like to recall – and it isn’t worth the battle. go with the flow on this one – you’ll be better off for it and so will your work.

    4. Eat less and eat well – but eat more frequently

    Breakfast, lunch and dinner are key meals to have every day, but they aren’t enough if you want to keep the energy going. You need to eat a little bit less during those pre-ordained meals and at 2-3 more eating periods during your day.

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    Of course, you need to eat well. Try to limit your sugar and caffeine intake. I have found that a small amount of almonds and some cucumber at the ready always makes for a good snack to keep me going. Don’t sacrifice your health for more time – because doing that will have the opposite effect.

    5. Stay hydrated

    Drink plenty of water. Keep a water bottle nearby and try to drink water that isn’t ice cold – the body has an easier time dealing with it that way.

    Tea is also great if you need a break from the mundane. But remember to limit the caffeine intake – some teas are chock full of the stuff.

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    6. Do the hard work up front

    Get the tough stuff out of the way early on. Whether that’s setting up a system so that you can be more productive or whether it is a task that is going to take more mental and physical energy to complete, do those things off the top.

    Setting up an app like Evernote, Hazel or whatever task manager you choose takes some doing in the beginning, but if you spend the time doing the hard work up front it will pay off in spades over the long haul.

    Conclusion

    These 6 tips may seem simple enough, but they are not so simple to maintain. But if you keep at it and keep your eyes on the prize – which is more time for you to do what you really want – then you’ll find that sticking to them is time well spent.

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    (Photo credit: Man Turning Back Clock with Finger via Shutterstock)

    More by this author

    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

    4 Simple Steps to Brain Dump for a Smarter Brain What Everyone Is Wrong About Achieving Inbox Zero 35 Quick and Simple Tips for Better Productivity Get What Matters Done by Scheduling Time Blocks Why Is Productivity Important? 10 Reasons to Become More Productive

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    Last Updated on November 25, 2021

    Protecting Your Online Life With Secure Passwords

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    Protecting Your Online Life With Secure Passwords

    With all of the recent online services and companies falling under attack to hackers in the past few months, it seems only fitting to talk about password creation and management. There are a lot of resources out there discussing this, but it never hurts to revisit this topic time and again because of its importance.

    Password management isn’t necessarily a difficult thing to do, yet it does seem like a bit of an annoyance to most people. When it comes to password management, you will hear the famous line, “I don’t really care about changing my passwords regularly. I have nothing important online anyways.” Let’s see if you have nothing important online when your PayPal account gets taken over because you thought the password “password” was good enough.

    In my opinion, it is an “internet user’s” responsibility to make sure that they keep secure passwords and update them on a regular basis. In this article we will discuss how to make your online presence more secure and keep it secure.

    The easy fundamentals

    First thing is first; creating a strong password.

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    A strong password is a mixture of alpha-numeric characters and symbols, has a good length (hopefully 15 characters or longer), and doesn’t necessarily represent some word or phrase. If the service you are signing up for doesn’t allow passwords over a certain length, like 8 characters, always use the maximum length.

    Here are some examples of strong passwords:
    * i1?,2,2\1′(:-%Y
    * ZQ5t0466VC44PmJ
    * mp]K{ dCFKVplGe]PBm1mKdinLSOoa (30 characters)

    And not so good examples
    * sammy1234
    * password123
    * christopher

    You can check out PC Tools Password Generator here. This is a great way to make up some very strong passwords. Of course the more random passwords are harder to remember, but that is where password management comes into play.

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    Managing your passwords

    I know some people that keep their passwords in an unencrypted text file. That’s not a good idea. I suppose that if you aren’t doing much online and are decent at avoiding viruses and such, it could be OK, but I would never recommend it.

    So, where do you keep your strong passwords for all the services that you visit on a daily basis?

    There are a ton of password safes out there including KeePass, RoboForm, Passpack, Password Safe, LastPass, and 1Password. If and when I recommend any of these I always count on LastPass and 1Password.

    Both LastPass and 1Password offer different entry types for online services logins (PayPal, Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, etc.), credit cards and bank accounts, online identities, and other types of sensitive information. Both have excellent reviews and only differ in a few subtle ways. One of the ways that is more notable is that LastPass keeps your encrypted password Vault online where 1Password allows you to keep it locally or shared through Dropbox. Either way, you are the holder of the encryption keys and both ways are very secure.

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    LastPass and 1Password both offer cross-platform support as well as support for Android and iOS (LastPass even has BlackBerry support). 1Password is a little pricey ($39.99 for either Windows or Mac) where LastPass has free options as well as premium upgrades that allow for mobile syncing.

    Upkeep

    You should probably change your passwords for your “important” accounts at least every 6 weeks. When I say “important” accounts I am referring to ones that you just couldn’t imagine losing access to. For me that would be Gmail, PayPal, eBay, Amazon, all my FTP accounts and hosting accounts, Namecheap, etc. Basically these include any account where financial information could be lost or accessed as well as accounts that could be totally screwed up (like my webserver).

    There is no hard and fast rule to how often you should change your passwords, but 6 to 8 weeks should be pretty good.

    Alternatives

    You may think that all of this is just too much to manage on a daily basis. I will admit it is kind of annoying to have to change your passwords and use a password manager on a daily basis. For those people out there that don’t want to go through all of the hub-bub of super-secure, encrypted, password management, here are a few tips to keep you safe:

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    1. Create a unique and hard to guess “base password” and then a pattern to use for each site you logon onto. For instance a base password could be “Ih2BaSwAa” (this stands for “I have two brothers and sisters who are annoying”). Then you would add something “site specific” to the end of it. For Twitter Ih2BaSwAaTWTTR, Facebook Ih2BaSwAaFCBK, etc. This is sort of unsecure, but probably more secure than 99% of the passwords out there.
    2. Don’t write your passwords down in public places. If you want to keep track of passwords on something written, keep it on you at least. The problem is that if you get your wallet stolen you are still out of luck.
    3. Don’t use the same passwords for every service. I’m not even going to explain this; just don’t do it.

    These are just a few things that can be done rather than keeping your passwords in a management system. Personally, with over 100 entries in my password management system, I couldn’t even dream of doing any other way. But those out there with only a few passwords, having a simpler system may be beneficial.

    So, if you want to be a “responsible internet citizen” or you just don’t want to lose your precious account data, then creating and maintaining strong passwords for your online accounts is a must.

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