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The 12 Days of Giveaways: Day 3 – Idea Cafe and Ethical Coffee Chain

The 12 Days of Giveaways: Day 3 – Idea Cafe and Ethical Coffee Chain
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    Aah...coffee

    Our 12 Days of Giveaways promo continues with a great prize package combo that aims to start up your week with both organization and energy. Idea Cafe and Ethical Coffee Chain have given us quite the packages to offer one lucky Lifehack.org reader!

    But before we get to that, we had 10 Lifehack.org readers who won ToodleDo licenses from the second day of our 12 Days of Giveaways promo. We’ve left comments on the post highlighting our winners, as well as on our Facebook wall to indicate who won – check them out when you’ve got a moment.

    Now…on to today’s giveaway!

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    About Idea Cafe

    Idea Cafe is a great-looking shop and website that offers high quality paper products such as notebooks, notepads and sketchbooks – among other paper-based creativity and productivity tools. Here’s the reason behind Idea Cafe’s creation from its founder, Chris Bowler:

    “In this age of digital communication, smart phones, and touch computing, there is still a yearning for the simple. Despite the blood curdling pace at which technology inexorably advances, many people prefer to capture ideas and thoughts on an age old device — paper.”

    Idea Cafe has offered one of its beundles called The Espresso, which consists of the following:

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    • 1 Action Book
    • 1 Rhodia Classic 4 Colors notebook
    • 1 Large square Moleskine notebook

    This package is ideal for those who are either just getting into productivity or are already well into it and simply need a new set of tools to keep it up.

    About Ethical Coffee Chain

    I’ve just started using the services provided by Ethical Coffee Chain, and I’m not only drinking good – I’m feeling good while doing so.

    Ethical Coffee Chain helps you out by delivering coffee to your door, but also helps a Central American coffee farm out by giving them a chance at a better life in their homeland. But the folks behind ECC explain their story far better on the company’s website:

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    “In 2008, Adam King and Yoani Kuiper travelled to Nicaragua on a mission to find out the truth about the coffee industry. There they saw things they couldn’t understand. All for the sake of a few cents spared for our cup of coffee, they saw coffee worker families packed like animals in tiny stalls; preventable disease rampant because workers couldn’t afford the simplest of medicines; malnourished kids; poor sanitation; child labour; depression; addictions; and needless tragedy. They came back knowing that if they could buy farmers’ coffee directly, they could take all the profits wasted on middlemen and instead, both, give coffee workers a better future and coffee drinkers greater value. They knew that if only they could create a system to connect you to the people on these farms, you would feel the same way they do. It’s been a long, hard journey since then, but finally, with the help of many, it’s becoming reality.”

    The winner of today’s 12 Days of Giveaways will receive a 3-month subscription to Ethical Coffee Chain (the Occasional Drinker’s package – 1 lb per month), which, like all their subscriptions, includes a share of ownership in the company.

    How to Enter

    In order to enter to win this joint prize pack, you need to leave a comment below or on our Facebook fan page that answers the following:

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    “What is your drink of choice – coffee or otherwise – 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 Idea Cafe, Ethical Coffee Chain 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 and Canada (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 the website). For those entering contest with a comment on our site, in order to be considered eligible, you MUST leave a contact email when leaving a comment (it’s the only way we’ll know how to contact you). 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.

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    Good luck!

    (Photo credit: A Perfect White Cup from 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 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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