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Save time on Firefox with GreaseMonkey

Save time on Firefox with GreaseMonkey

Updated: 2005/07/22

Introduction to GreaseMonkey:
Sometimes when you use a web service, you thought wouldn’t be faster if the developer has added this button so that you don’t have to go thru all those navigations.

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Like me, I find it very harsh by not having a delete button in my Gmail account. Everytime I need to delete an email, I need to go to the pull down menu and select “Move to Trash”.

Recently I have discovered GreaseMonkey extension. It allows users to use customize scripts, or even code on your own (if you know javascript) and able to add/improve feature on website – especially on web site usability and its navigations.

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Instructions:

  1. Install GreaseMonkey Extension Updated: 2005/07/22
  2. After restarting firefox, come back to this page and right click on the script link below. You should able to see “Install User Script…” on the popup menu. Click that to install the script
  3. The script will then install into GreaseMonkey. By default, the script should be automatically included with one or more web pages.

Recommend scripts
For end user without programming experience, don’t worry. There are whole stack of scripts already available for you to just install.

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Here’s my top recommendations:

  1. Gmail Smart-Delete Button Modification: Enable to add a “Delete” button on Gmail interface! (more..) Updated: 2005/05/28
  2. Ta-Da List Enhancements: “This script will add your lists to the right hand side of the list page.” (more..) Updated: 2005/06/02
  3. CustomizeGoogle – enhance Google search results by adding links to other useful services.
  4. Webolodeon – keep you out of meaningless web surfing. (more..)
  5. Del.icio.us popularity: Sort listed entries by number of linkers! Very useful.
  6. Bloglines Sidebar Squeezer: If you have so many blogs in bloglines like me, you really want to see more sites on the sidebar. This script able to remove the extraneous header and squishes the text of the sidebar so you can see more feeds at once.
  7. Google Image Re-Linker: “It’s purpose is to make links in Google Image Search point directly to the image, instead of loading up a thumbnail in a frame.” (more..) Updated: 2005/05/28
  8. Hotmail Single Window: Remove the javascript wrapper around hotmail external links which spawn new windows.
  9. Del.icio.us Skinner: Able to beautify del.icio.us.

Link Resources for GreaseMonkey:
General and Scripts:

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Development on GreaseMonkey:

Blogs and News on GreaseMonkey:

More and more resource will be added. Stay tuned more on how to speed up your web broswering.

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder of Lifehack

Book summary: A Technique for Producing Ideas 10 Ways to Extend Laptop Battery Life Bob Parsons on His 16 Rules for Survival Free note taking templates and techniques Fifty Essential Topics on Economics

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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