Thursday, July 21, 2011

How To Stop Time

I know we can't technically stop time (yet), but if you can figure out ways to accomplish your tasks quicker without sacrificing quality, that's really the same thing, isn't it?

Assume you have a task that takes 10 minutes.  What's the difference between stopping time for a minute (thereby completing it in 9 minutes) or figuring out how to get that task done in 9 minutes?  Answer: No difference.  Just as good as stopping time.

Just like compounding interest creates huge gains over time, saving small amounts of time every day adds up huge over the long run.

That's where one of my favorite programs, Texter, comes in.  Texter is a free text expander from LifeHacker that lets you create key phrases (called hotstrings) that - when you type them - automatically expand into more text.

If you have anything repetitive that you find yourself typing over and over, you need to check this out.  For example, without getting too specific, at work I'll frequently get all kinds of financial files and I'll review the investments for suitability.  Once reviewed, I'll shoot an email to the necessary parties with instructions for what to do next.  As you can probably imagine, there's a lot of the same words being typed again and again.  So I set up a shortcut in Texter...whenever I type "529email" it will instantly type out my entire email (about 4 paragraphs) and I just have to fill in a few specifics (account numbers mostly) and click send.

I've been using it for a few months now and according to the stats, I've saved myself from typing 58,877 characters.  I'd say that's definitely worth the 2 minute install and maybe a half hour to get used to it, wouldn't you?

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