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Reach Your Goals Faster By Prioritizing Your Activities

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Reach Your Goals Faster By Prioritizing Your Activities
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    Work smarter not harder – Repeating the phrase innumerable times has not resulted in people being able to understand the meaning, importance and technique of doing so. Somehow we fall into this trap of slogging away and in that process we do not realize that working hard does not always mean that we are doing the right things.

    You may realize after continuing to do hard work for a month that you still miss deadlines, get caught with surprises that you have not planned for and forever find yourself creating excuses for being later. Sure, you are a fast worker and complete you tasks quickly and faster than anyone could imagine but still find yourself struggling to manage time in your life. The fact of the matter is that when you are so busy running and rushing through all the work in your life, you do not realize that you are probably running in circles.

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    Only by changing your working style to become more effective can help you realize your goals on schedule. This will ensure that every action of yours has a purpose. Unwanted interruptions will no longer distract you while you are focused. And you may suddenly find that your life seems to be under your control. You meet deadlines, complete things on time, are never later for meetings or anything for that matter and you are not caught surprised with unexpected events that disrupt your plans, eventually leading to a state where your life is planned, tension free and in control.

    Being able to be in control does not come by magic. It comes from planning and acting on it. In a day there are many tasks and chores that you need to complete. What you need to do is to segregate these activities into a priority list – ‘must dos’ and ‘should dos’. The essential ones or ‘must dos’ are those that if not attended immediately, would result in more time and energy to deal with later. Paying the insurance premium of your car, taking an appointment with the dentist for a long standing tooth problem, repair the leaking roof, show up on time for the departmental meeting would occupy this list. Attending the sports day of your child or taking your family out for a dinner should also come in this category as they are no less important to your success and sense of values.

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    ‘Should dos’ are those activities that can be postponed by a couple of days. However, that doesn’t mean they should be done on the third day itself! The key here is to devote 80% of your time in doing the ‘must dos’ activities and the 20% of your time in finishing the ‘should dos’ ones.

    If you are a natural planner then prioritizing your activities can be done mentally and does not need you to sit down with a physical list. But if you have had an issue with time management all your life, it is highly recommended to start with a pen and paper and jot down your activities for the day. When such a practice turns into a habit, you will soon realize that you do no longer need to jot them down and can prioritize your work on your way to office or while taking a bath.

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    Not all the activities in the ‘must dos’ list will contribute towards accomplishment of your goals, but ignoring them would eventually cause more stress and time later, thereby affecting your overall efficiency. For example, if you keep postponing taking an appointment with the dentist, it may manifest into a grave problem later, requiring more time and resources. Also if there are many such unfinished tasks, they may keep bothering you every now and then, preventing you from thinking clearly on your main goals.

    Vishal P. Rao share his insights and tips on holistic living at Relishing Life

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    Leon Ho

    Founder of Lifehack

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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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