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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
    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.

    Good luck!

    (Photo credit: A Perfect White Cup from Shutterstock)

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    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 March 23, 2021

    Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

    Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

    One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

    The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

    You need more than time management. You need energy management

    1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

    How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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    I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

    I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

    2. Determine your “peak hours”

    Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

    Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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    My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

    In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

    Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

    3. Block those high-energy hours

    Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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    Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

    If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

    That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

    There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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    Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

    Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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