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Christmas Lifehacks: Essentials for a 21st Century Santa Claus

Christmas Lifehacks: Essentials for a 21st Century Santa Claus

Jolly old St. Nicholas has been around for years. After watching a recent live-action redux of “The Year Without a Santa Claus” where Santa has shifted into the new millennium, I started to think about what the 21st century Santa would have in his toolkit in order to make his rounds on Christmas Eve in a more efficient and effective way.

    It turns out he may have some of the same tools we’re using today in order to get more done. Let’s break down what Santa Claus of the 21st century could (and should) be using this holiday season.

    The Naughty/Nice List

    Traditionally, this has been written down by Santa on what appears to be a never-ending scroll of paper. This is a problem for the following reasons:

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    1. What if the child was nice at first, then turned naughty? That means a whole lot of crossing out of names.
    2. Where does he keep this monstrous list? He’d need a pretty big file folder. And for archival purposes, he’d need a really big file cabinet.
    3. How does he remember that list anyway? Santa’s not getting any younger, and the chances of him missing a house or two during his Christmas Eve run is becoming more likely every year. Even saints aren’t perfect.

    So what Santa needs in this day and age is some sort of application htat can be easily modified, doesn’t take up a ton of space and is portable.

    Sounds like a job for an app like Evernote.

    Evernote is available on a ton of platforms, is mobile and can be used to keep trck of both those who are naughty and nice. Santa could have a Naughty notebook and a Nice notebook, and could even use location-awareness if he saw fit.

    With Evernote’s ubiquitous nature, he has a wide variety of devices he could choose from to run it on – and it syncs so there’d be no real need to “check it twice”.

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    As for the device he’d use to run it, I’m sure his elves could make him one that could run an OS that Evernote supports.

    The Wardrobe and Equipment

    Santa’s sack is massive – and magical. There’s likely no replacing it with anything manmade…yet.

    But that doesn’t mean he can’t update his wardrobe to fit a few more things in. Perhaps a pair of pants from Scott-E-Vest would be ideal for him to hold the keys to his sleigh, his Evernote-equipped mobile device and all those cookies he gathers during his travels would be a good, er…fit.

    Mind you, they don’t come in red.

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    The North Pole Inventory

    It’s tough to keep track of inventory of any store or warehouse, but one can only imagine how much Santa’s got on his shelves in his workshop. If he wants to keep his stock levels lean and mean, then he’s got a number of choices to help him do just that.

    Delicious Library 2 for the Mac would let him keep tabs on what he has for personal stock, and Bento would allow him to keep a deeper inventory available for quick reference on the Mac, iPad and iPhone. Even Google Docs would work to keep tabs on what he has on hand – and it’s cross-platform.

    How to offload some of that stuff during the Christmas season is an entirely other matter, but Santa can pinpoint who might want what with an iOS app called Gift Plan. Evernote can also work in a pinch since he’s already using it for his naughty and nice list.

    Santa 2.0

    So with all of this technology at his side, Santa can head out on Christmas Eve and do his thing faster and better. That should give him some time to work on shedding a few of those unwanted pounds during his down time, right?

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    You know, I think there’s an app for that…

    Speaking of apps, if you have other suggestions of applications that would be great for Santa Claus (or yourself) to help you get the kind of stuff Santa does done, leave them in the comments.

    (Photo credit: Santa Claus with Laptop via Shutterstock)

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    Mike Vardy

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

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    Last Updated on September 28, 2020

    How To Study Effectively: 7 Simple Tips

    How To Study Effectively: 7 Simple Tips

    The brain is a tangled web of information. We don’t remember single facts, but instead we interlink everything by association. Anytime we experience a new event, our brains tie the sights, smells, sounds and our own impressions together into a new relationship.

    Our brain remembers things by repetition, association, visual imagery, and all five senses. By knowing a bit about how the brain works, we can become better learners, absorbing new information faster than ever.

    Here are some study tips to help get you started:

    1. Use Flashcards

    Our brains create engrained memories through repetition. The more times we hear, see, or repeat something to ourselves, the more likely we are to remember it.

    Flashcards can help you learn new subjects quickly and efficiently. Flashcards allow you to study anywhere at any time. Their portable nature lends them to quick study sessions on the bus, in traffic, at lunch, or in the doctor’s office. You can always whip out your flashcards for a quick 2 to 3 minute study session.

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    To create effective flashcards, you need to put one point on each flashcard. Don’t load up the entire card with information. That’s just overload. Instead, you should dedicate one concept to each card.

    One of the best ways to make flashcards is to put 1 question on the front and one answer on the back. This way, you can repeatedly quiz yourself into you have mastered any topic of your choice.

    Commit to reading through your flash cards at least 3 times a day and you will be amazed at how quickly you pick up new information.

    As Tony Robbins says,

    “Repetition is the mother of skill”.

    2. Create the Right Environment

    Often times, where you study can be just as important as how you study. For an optimum learning environment, you’ll want to find a nice spot that is fairly peaceful. Some people can’t stand a deafening silence, but you certainly don’t want to study near constant distractions.

    Find a spot that you can call your own, with plenty of room to spread out your stuff. Go there each time you study and you will find yourself adapting to a productive study schedule. When you study in the same place each time, you become more productive in that spot because you associate it with studying.

    3. Use Acronyms to Remember Information

    In your quest for knowledge, you may have once heard of an odd term called “mnemonics”. However, even if you haven’t heard of this word, you have certainly heard of its many applications. One of the most popular mnemonic examples is “Every Good Boy Does Fine”. This is an acronym used to help musicians and students to remember the notes on a treble clef stave.

    An acronym is simply an abbreviation formed using the intial letters of a word. These types of memory aids can help you to learn large quantities of information in a short period of time.

    4. Listen to Music

    Research has long shown that certain types of music help you to recall information. Information learned while listening to a particular song can often be remembered simply by “playing” the songs mentally in your head.

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    5. Rewrite Your Notes

    This can be done by hand or on the computer. However, you should keep in mind that writing by hand can often stimulate more neural activity than when writing on the computer.

    Everyone should study their notes at home but often times, simply re-reading them is too passive. Re-reading your notes can cause you to become disengaged and distracted.

    To get the most out of your study time, make sure that it is active. Rewriting your notes turns a passive study time into an active and engaging learning tool. You can begin using this technique by buying two notebooks for each of your classes. Dedicate one of the notebooks for making notes during each class. Dedicate the other notebook to rewriting your notes outside of class.

    6. Engage Your Emotions

    Emotions play a very important part in your memory. Think about it. The last time you went to a party, which people did you remember? The lady who made you laugh, the man who hurt your feelings, and the kid who went screaming through the halls are the ones you will remember. They are the ones who had an emotional impact.

    Fortunately, you can use the power of emotion in your own study sessions. Enhance your memory by using your five senses. Don’t just memorize facts. Don’t just see and hear the words in your mind. Create a vivid visual picture of what you are trying to learn.

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    For example, if you are trying to learn the many parts of a human cell, begin physically rotating the cell in your minds eye. Imagine what each part might feel like. Begin to take the cell apart piece by piece and then reconstruct it. Paint the human cell with vivid colors. Enlarge the cell in your mind’s eye so that it is now six feet tall and putting on your own personal comedy show. This visual and emotional mind play will help deeply encode information into your memory.

    7. Make Associations

    One of the best ways to learn new things is to relate what you want to learn with something you already know. This is known as association, and it is the mental glue that drives your brain.

    Have you ever listened to a song and been flooded by memories that were connected to it? Have you ever seen an old friend that triggered memories from childhood? This is the power of association.

    To maximize our mental powers, we must constantly be looking for ways to relate new information with old ideas and concepts that we are already familiar with.

    You can do this with the use of mindmapping. A mind map is used to diagram words, pictures, thoughts, and ideas into a an interconnected web of information. This simple practice will help you to connect everything you learn into a global network of knowledge that can be pulled from at any moment.

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    Learn more about mindmapping here: How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

    Featured photo credit: Alissa De Leva via unsplash.com

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