I love a good hack.
A hack by definition is something that saves you time. Some hacks can save you a little bit of time and there are others that can completely change how you think or produce your work. I call these ‘Super Hacks’.
My definition of the super hack is “something that allows you to reduce input and accelerate output”.
One thing I love about hacks is that they are specific habitual actions you can take that have instant ROI.
Here are 5 of my favourite Super Hacks:
If there was a scale from 1 to 10 (10 being touch typist and one being thumb typist) how would you rate your ability? Personally I would sit at about 4. I’ve tried multiple times to learn how to touch type, but I really lacked the discipline or desire. Until I realised that I can talk faster than I can type. Now every single email, documents or article (including this one) I speak. What people don’t know is that most of this software is built into your computer. If you’re on MAC you can enable it through settings and dictation or if you’re PC you can turn on Windows Speech recognition. Stop typing and start speaking. It will seriously change your life 🙂
2. No email before 10 AM
Email is a necessary evil. Essentially it is an unorganised list of other people’s priorities for you. Although we have limited control as to whether someone sends us an email we do have control as to how we engage with our inbox. Instead of opening up your inbox first thing in the morning, try spending 60 to 90 minutes on important tasks. This will mean you’ll spend your best brainpower on the activity that matters most.
3. Text Expansion
This cool little hack expands information that you use most often. By using a program like Text Expander (MAC) or Phrase Express (PC) you can store specific shortcuts for information that you type often. For example you can have a shortcut for your email, website, signature, basically anything that you type over and over again. This little program not only saves me time but also releases me from the frustration of doing the same thing over and over again.
4. Block time (Sprint)
There is nothing like dedicating a short block of time to do awesome work. The idea of a Sprint originally came from the obsessive world of gaming. In this context, designers would work on short parts or stories of a program. When multiple sprints were completed the result would be completing an ‘Epic’. Reducing the size of your work down to small chunk sizes gives you a sense of progress and cadence. So instead of thinking about your day as one long “Epic”, think of it as short sprint intervals. I usually set a countdown timer for about 30-50 minutes to stay focused then have a short rest. Sprint away people!!
Jing is a free program by ScreenCast that enables you to record short recorded videos showing others how to do specific things. For example you may need to show someone how to use a specific program, but instead of showing them live or booking a meeting, you simply pre-record the Jing video and upload it to your account. Send them the link and they can watch it and learn how to do whatever you taught them. This tool is great for teaching steps, programs or even building systems in your business.
I personally use all of the previous five hacks.
They successfully leveraged my time, create more energy and enabled me to make greater impact.