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Search Google Faster: 3 Time-Saving Tips From A Search Addict

Search Google Faster: 3 Time-Saving Tips From A Search Addict

Google is a powerful search tool, that’s for sure. Google is super fast, while having an enormous index. So far it’s the best search tool out there.

While I depend on Google for all my searching needs, I love the flexibility that it’s giving me. I search Google all the time. It’s actually easier to find my bookmarks in Google than in my browser. I even search Google to find pages from my own site that I remember creating.

1. SITE: specific search

You are probably aware of Google’s SITE: command. It lets you limit any search to one (or more) domains. I find the feature very useful for two main reasons:

  • It lets me pull results from my favorite sites. I know my niche and really good blogs in it, but Google seems to be worse at recognizing that. So, whenever it won’t show good enough results, I force it to search within my trusted domains.
  • It lets me quickly search within any site, so I never have to care to look for a third-party built-in search box on a site. (Love it or hate it, Google can follow you around the web!)

SITE: is my daily search operator. I use it at least ten times a day! It turns out pretty handy for searching official (.gov) or educational (.edu) resources, too, because you can limit your search to a top-level domain, for example: [travel safety site:.gov]

What’s more important is that it’s an absolute time saver. As a workaholic and control freak, I am telling you, this is your most powerful productivity weapon.

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2. Create “Your favorite sites” search (Firefox search plugins)

If you find yourself searching within the same sites again and again, it makes sense to create a separate search plugin to quickly access them through Google’s SITE: operator.

First, search Google (substitute “favoritesiteX.com” with your required domain, below):

SITE:favoritesite1.com OR SITE:favoritesite2.com OR favoritesite3.com {searchTerms}

Now copy the search results page URL string.

Go to this page and submit the search engine name (e.g. “my favorite sites”), paste in the Google URL string you got above, select the GET method and you are almost done. The page will require you to use a favicon for your search engine, so I use any from Google search (I am only planning to use it for my personal use after all). You can also try this generator if you get too excited.

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Create your search plugin

    Ok, yes, that’s a couple of steps, but this should only have to be done once for you to then be able to access your favorite sites search with one click of a mouse!

    Test the plugin and submit it to the repository for others to use.

    Now whenever you need to quickly search Google and see results only from your favorite sites, type your search terms in the Firefox search box and you are there!

    Step 1: Type your search terms:

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    Search boc

      Step 2: See Google results limited to your favorite sites:

      Favarote sites

        3. Never Look for a Search Box: Search ANY Site Using Google

        Helpful tool: Goog All Sites is an absolutely amazing add-on for Firefox. It sits in your Add-ons Bar at the bottom of the screen and shows a little search box. If you land on any web page and feel like searching the current site for more information on anything, simply put your search terms in the add-on search field and click “Enter”.

        The add-on will open [site:currentdomain.com YOUR SEARCH TERM] search results in a new tab. How cool! And it takes seconds! (Well, all you need to do is to type the search phrase.)

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        Step one: Type your search term and click Enter:

        Search Google

          Step 2: Get Google search results from the current site

          Get results from the current site

            Bonus tip: Here is how you can quickly find what you’ve said on Google Plus using the tool above!

            I do realize the irony though: I claim being independent of any site search functionality while depending on Google so heavily. I have my own personal issues with Google, but they offer a great search tool—that’s something you can’t deny!

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            Trending in Productivity

            1 The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness 2 How to Stop Being Passive and Start Getting What You Want 3 How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement 4 5 Less-Known Reasons Why Less is More 5 10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

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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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