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The 12 Days of Giveaways: Day 5 – TextExpander

The 12 Days of Giveaways: Day 5 – TextExpander

    Another day, another Lifehack Giveaway!

    Hopefully, over the past few days you have seen that we here at Lifehack aren’t screwing around this holiday season; we are hooking you up with some of the best productivity and lifestyle apps and tools to help you better yourself in the coming year. And, boy oh, boy is today’s giveaway no different with some productivity wares from Smile Software.

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    Before we get to the new stuff, let’s first congratulate yesterday’s winner of the NerdFitness Rebel Fitness Guides, Mark Eldridge, with this inspirational health goal for 2012:

    My goal is to run the Marine Marathon in October with my 21 year old daughter.  I had been running for several years.  A couple of years ago my 20 year old daughter picked up the running bug saying I was her inspiration.  Since then she’s lost 30 pounds and just completed her first marathon.  A year and a half ago, I herniated a disk in my back so I’ve had to stay on the sidelines for a while. Now I need to lose 30 pounds. I’m just starting back and look forward to running with my girl.

    Mark, you just picked yourself up the three-pack of NerdFitness Rebel Fitness Guides. Now, get to work on those fitness goals for 2012. Congratulations!

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    Today’s Giveaway

    Smile Software creates some of the best productivity apps around for the Mac including one of the apps that I could never live without; TextExpander. If you don’t know what TextExpander is let me break it down for you; if you type a lot of stuff over and over again, and you want to save time doing it, TextExpander helps you accomplish that goal.

    TextExpander brings you a way to create custom “snippets” that create large portions of text, run scripts, insert images and rich text, etc. You can enter these snippets system-wide on your Mac making TextExpander one of the most time-saving apps I have ever used. Here are just some of the things you can do:

    • Create commonly used text pieces like email signatures, responses to commonly sent emails, blocks of code, “boiler-plate” text, etc.
    • Automatically fix commonly misspelled words
    • Create snippets that allow you to reposition your cursor after expanding some text. This is great for inserting a ‘<a href=””></a>’ element and then positioning the cursor between the quotes or the chevrons.
    • Run custom scripts for all you hackers out there
    • Sync snippets library with Dropbox to use with TextExpander Touch on your iDevice
    • Many more things that you will come up with day in and day out

    I can’t live without TextExpander and two Lifehack readers can find out what I mean by winning one of the two free licenses to TextExpander from Smile Software. Remember, TextExpander is for Mac only.

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    By the way, why don’t you check out Smile on Facebook or follow them on Twitter?

    How to Enter

    In order to enter to win a license of TextExpander, you need to leave a comment below or on our Facebook fan page that answers the following:

    “What text expansion or automation from TextExpander will save you the most time and why?”

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    Leaving a comment on both our Facebook fan page and here at Lifehack.org will get you 2 entries, but you need to give us two TextExpander time-savers – no copying and pasting!

    The Fine Print

    Employees of Smile and of Stepcase (including current independent contractors of both) are not eligible for this contest. The two winning entries 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 the contest with a comment on Lifehack.org, 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!

    More by this author

    CM Smith

    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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    Last Updated on April 6, 2020

    15 Best Productivity Hacks for Procrastinators

    15 Best Productivity Hacks for Procrastinators

    Let me guess.

    You should be doing something else rather than reading this article. But due to some unknown force of nature, you decided to procrastinate by reading an article about how to hack procrastination. You deserve a pat on the back.

    Fortunately, procrastination is not a disease. It’s just a mindset that can be changed, however, here are some productivity tips you need to start getting work done:

    First, you need to acknowledge that procrastinating is an unhealthy habit. Not only you’re prioritizing unimportant things, basically, nothing gets done. Still unsure if you’re a procrastinator? Check out this article: Types of Procrastination (And How To Fix Procrastination And Start Doing)

    Second, your commitment to change is very important. You should be physically, emotionally, and mentally determined to change this habit. If not, then you’ll just succumb to the tempting lure of doing other things rather than your tasks or chores.

    Here are sthe best productivity hacks to improve productivity and keep yourself from procrastinating at work:

    1. Give (10+2)*5 a Try

    Let’s start with a classic but very effective hack called (10+2)*5 created by Merlin Mann,[1] author of 43Folders.com. Don’t worry. This is not a complicated Mathematical formula you need to solve.

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    The (10+2)*5 simply means 10 minutes work + 2 minutes break multiplied by 5, completing 1 hour. It is crucial to stick with the time limits and not skipping work and break schedules. The point of this is for you to create a jam-packed routine of work and break schedules. The result? You will eventually skip your break schedules.

    2. Use Red and Blue More Often

    Clean your desk and remove things that might distract you. According to a Science Daily study[2] about which colors improve brain performance, red was found out to increase attention to details while blue sparks creativity. Surrounding your workplace with these colors not only benefits your brain, it’s also pleasing to the eye.

    3. Create a Break Agenda

    List all the things you want to do on your break, be it surfing the web, checking your emails, snack time, taking selfies, Facebook/Twitter—everything.

    Like the (10+2)*5 hack, squeeze these in between work time but the difference is you schedule these activities for ONLY 20 minutes. Eventually, you’ll take your break minutes wisely. You’re finishing tasks while sidetracking to doing the things you enjoy.

    4. Set a Timetable for Your Tasks

    Like any other habits, procrastinating is a tough wall to break. Replace this habit with another habit. When you’re assigned a task, set a timetable for each step. Let’s say you have a big research task. Here’s a sample timetable:

    9:00 – 9:10 am – Set up all your tools, browser tabs, emails, coffee, etc..
    9:10 – 10:00 am – Internet research
    10:00 – 10:45 am – Look through existing files
    10:45 – 11:00 am – Break time!
    11:00 – 12:00 pm – Outline the research report

    Deadlines are the best hack for getting things done. Setting a specific time to finish a task creates time pressure even if the deadline has passed.

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    5. Take It Outside!

    Do yourself a favor and don’t ruin the comfy vibe of your home. If you need to work on a stressful project, do it in a library or coffee shop. You’ll never finish it anyway. Your cozy sofa and toasty bed will just lure you into napping yourself to doom.

    6. Become Productively Lazy

    Instead of finding all sorts of ways to unproductively procrastinate, use your habit to look for shortcuts and new ways to finish your tasks. Staple multiple papers at a time or master the 3-second t-shirt folding technique. A strong drive combined with laziness sometimes bring out the productive and creative side you never knew you have!

    7. Assign a ‘Task Deputy’

    It could be your colleague, your supervisor, or your significant other, anyone who has the unforgiving guts to reprimand you when you procrastinate. You could go the extra mile by paying up unfinished tasks or times you open your Facebook or watch a funny cat video on YouTube. Let’s see how five bucks every time you procrastinate will change you.

    8. Consider a Gadget-Free Desk

    According to a study by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, average users check on their phones 150 times per day and having your phone just an elbow away just creates sizzle to this habit.[3]

    Removing mobile devices and gadgets allows you to focus on your work without the constant interruption from notifications, calls, and text messages. It eliminates the very distracting ambiance and the urge to unlock your phone just because.

    9. Prepping the Night

    Before hitting the sack to oblivion, prepare everything you’ll need the next day. This will probably take you 15 minutes tops, saving you more time for coffee in the morning.

    Spin class at am? Pack up your gym clothes, shoes, socks, etc. or better, create a checklist so you don’t miss anything. You can also prep your food into containers and just grab one before leaving.

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    10. Do a 7-Minute Workout in the Morning

    Exercising is proven to increase productivity and stimulate release of endorphin or “Happy Hormones”.

    Take a jog outdoors and get warmed up for the day. Don’t feel like running outside? Hop on a treadmilli. It’s a great investment and there are a lot of ways you can use a treadmill like endurance running and metabolism training. On a budget? Here’s a 7 minute, no-equipment needed workout you can do at home:

    11. Set-up Mini Tasks

    If you’re given a big project, break it down into mini tasks. Create a checklist and start with the easy ones until you finish. Got an article to write? Just start with the title and the first sentence. Or perhaps you have a visual presentation to make?

    Spend 15 minutes on your outline, take five minutes coffee break, then finish the first two slides. Accomplishing something, no matter how tiny, still gives you that sense of fulfillment.

    12. Create an Inspirational Board or Reminder

    I found these mini desk chalkboards from Etsy you can use to write motivating quotes.

    Or you know what? Simply write “Do it now!” and stare at it for 10 seconds every time you feel like dropping by on Reddit.

    13. Redecorate Your Room

    Redecorating my room motivates me to maintain that ‘new’ look for some time until I get use to it and eventually stop. So I redecorate again and again, it became a monthly habit really. Here are some DIY ideas you can do to any room without spending much.

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    14. Ready Your Nibbles

    You know that trip to the pantry? It’s just seconds away but it took you several minutes just to get your fruit snacks in the fridge. Before starting a task, prepare your nibbles on your desk to avoid zoning out and losing yourself on the way to the pantry.

    Bonus productivity hacks you can do at home:

    15. Schedule Your Chores

    Write down your chores in a weekly basis with matching day and time when you should be doing these.

    For the artsy folks, you can create fun chore charts like these or simply stick the list somewhere visibly annoying e.g. mirrors, doors, TV. The trick is listing as many chores as you can for the week and including unfinished chores the following week. Who likes seeing a long list of chores first thing in the morning?

    More Tips to Overcome Procrastination

    Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

    Reference

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