1. Listen Faster. Save time by listening to podcasts at 1.5x or 2x. Do you listen to podcasts for learning purposes? You might want to speed up the podcast and zoom thru the learning process. After a few minutes of acclamation you’ll have no trouble understanding and you will be more focused on the content as it breezes into your ears. (It turns out that we lose focus because we can listen faster than most people talk.) This tip also works for YouTube, click the gear icon and choose up 1.25, 1.5, 1.75, or 2x speed!

2. Watch Smarter. I’m certain Google doesn’t need any more money, but the $10/month that I spend on YouTube Premium saves me a lot of time, aggravation, and embarrassment as the videos that I watch and the videos that I show to clients in training classes are never interrupted by annoying ads. For about thirty cents a day, I save myself a lot of time not watching ads. (YouTube Premium also has premium-only shows, but I don’t watch those, saving myself more time for fun hobbies and my life’s work.)

3. Browse Smarter. Safari, Firefox & Chrome all have extensions, add-ons, and plugins for ad blocking. If you feel that viewing ads is your moral obligation, then skip this tip, but if you saw how badly internet ads on magazines and other websites slows down your computer, eats your battery life and wastes your time, then you may reconsider and add one of these. Just set the Safari Preferences>Extensions, use the Firefox Add-on Store, or the Google chrome web store to find the ad-blocker that suits your needs.

4. Email Easier. Do you use Gmail? did you know there are keyboard shortcuts for nearly everything in Gmail? Go to your settings (the gear icon) and turn on “Use Keyboard Shortcuts” and then type a “?” for an onscreen cheat sheet to the keyboard shortcuts.

5. Clever Clipping. Are you saving bookmarks of the websites you like? How often do you go back and find those bookmarks? I thought so. A better way to clip information into a searchable, notebook is to use a free tool called Evernote. With Evernote web browser integration I can clip an image, a story, a screenshot, or even a whole scrolling page to a note that lives in a tagged, searchable, cloud-based notebook. What are you waiting for? Get yourself a free Evernote account. https://Evernote.com

6. Cloud Computing. Do you use a single laptop for your work? Do you back it up regularly? Do you have two backups in case one fails. I didn’t think so. That’s OK, because backing up takes time and effort. You really should do it, but the forst thing you should do is get a cloud-based disk service like Dropbox or Google Drive and start putting your daily work in the cloud. If you need to access your work from a coffee shop, or a train or a bus, or standing online at the store, you can do it with a cloud-based service. I sleep well at night knowing that my work is synced online and to all four of my laptops and my mobile device. Use this link to get a Dropbox account and get a bonus 500Mb of space: https://db.tt/t6pQKFR2

7. KISS Your Tasks Today. I keep my tasks organized in Apple’s Reminder system. Some folks use Evernote for reminders and others use Google Tasks because it integrates with their Gmail. Whatever your system is, Keep It Simple and in the cloud and you’ll enjoy the benefits of free up your attention on the tasks that are your most important. If you are a fan of David Allen’s Getting Things Done, you know that important tasks and urgent tasks are not always the same.