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The 12 Days of Giveaways: Day 1 – Knock Knock

The 12 Days of Giveaways: Day 1 – Knock Knock
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    On the first day of giveaways...

    Today marks the beginning of our 12 Days of Giveaways promo, and up to bat first is a company that makes productivity really, really fun: Knock Knock.

    If you haven’t heard of Knock Knock, they are a company that has a fantastic philosophy when it comes to putting together stuff to help you get things done. Whether you’re looking for general productivity items or paper products that cater to a specific theme, Knock Knock breathes life into what can be a very dry area of your life.

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    If laughter is considered to be the best medicine, then Knock Knock is the prescription you need to improve your overall productivity.

    For the first day of our holiday promotion, Knock Knock has generously offered the chance for one lucky Lifehack.org reader to win a “Hack Your Way to a Fresh 2012” gift basket.

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    So, what’s in the basket? The included items (as described by the folks Knock Knock themselves) are:

    • Pro/Con Journal – The Pro/Con Journal represents decision-making technology at its finest! This efficient journal will help you make the right choice, and track the outcome of future (and better informed!) decisions.
    • Idea Log – The Idea Life Log taps into today’s list-making, self-improvement zeitgeist by providing a clear, organized format in which to catalogue genius in all its forms. Containing a tracking grid for inspiration, brainstorming, and projects, it provides both breadth and depth in a compact, portable format.
    • Pep Talks & Picker-Uppers for All Occasions – Everyone needs a little encouragement from time to time. Unfortunately, as our near and dear look to us for reassurance and wisdom, we often find ourselves at a loss for words. Pep Talks & Picker-Uppers for All Occasions provides verbatim lines to spread well-timed cheer and reality checks. With this pocket-sized prompter, your feel-good— or at least brilliant — advice is sure to give everyone, including yourself, a whole new outlook.
    • High-Five Nifty Note – What could be more satisfying than congratulating someone with a classic high five? Unfortunately, this tried-and-true greeting is depressingly short-lived. Maximize avowals of approval with our High Five Nifty Note—guaranteed to outlast even the most overzealous verbal praise.
    • Great Job On Sticky Note – Positive vibes for friends & coworkers alike. With these ultra-witty yet oh-so-useful Cubicle Notes, office communication has finally caught up with the sticky revolution. Express yourself the fill-in-the-blank way, then make it stick.
    • Cook This Pad – For people to try/share new recipes. Cooking may be an art, but just like painting a masterpiece, creativity isn’t always enough. Making a tasty meal not only requires passion—it downright depends on planning. Forgo trial and error altogether and ensure every dish is a chef d’oeuvre!

     

      Knock Knock's "Hack Your Way to a Fresh 2012" gift basket

       

      How to Enter

      In order to enter to win this Knock Knock prize pack, leave a comment below or on our Facebook fan page telling us the following:

      “What item in the “Hack Your Way to a Fresh 2012” gift basket appeals to you the most…and why?”

      Leaving a comment on both our Facebook fan page and here at Lifehack.org will get you 2 entries, so but you need to give us two items that you like the most – no copying and pasting!

      The Fine Print

      Employees of Knock Knock and of Stepcase (including current independent contractors of both) are not eligible for this contest. The prize can only be shipped to addresses within the continental United States (in other words, Alaska and Hawaii don’t count), so keep that in mind when entering. The winning entry will be judged by the Stepcase Lifehack editing team and winners will be notified on the platform in which their winning entry was placed (either on the Lifehack.org Facebook wall or by email through our commenting system here at Lifehack.org). Please note that by submitting an entry, Knock Knock and/or Stepcase may use your comments for promotional purposes, although neither entity will use your name without permission. Entries must be submitted by 10 am Eastern the following weekday and winners will be chosen by 12 pm Eastern time on the same day. The winner will be announced the same day on Lifehack.org, and will be notified beforehand.

      Good luck!

      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 July 21, 2021

      The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

      The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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      No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

      Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

      Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

      A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

      Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

      In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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      From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

      A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

      For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

      This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

      The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

      That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

      Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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      The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

      Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

      But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

      The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

      The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

      A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

      For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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      But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

      If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

      For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

      These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

      For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

      How to Make a Reminder Works for You

      Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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      Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

      Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

      My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

      Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

      I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

      More on Building Habits

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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      Reference

      [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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