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Work_Smart_3_-_341_shadowI really like getting the most out of things.

I especially like it when I learn a new way to use something, anything, then I show it to someone else and they’re amazed. I like being that guy who knows interesting and useful information.

Seth Godin would call someone like me a sneezer. Are you one too?

Some of the hacks I’ve learned over the years that have helped me during my business travels include:

  • Tag your luggage as FRAGILE to give it the best chance of being treated well
  • I keep a travel-size package of lemon-scented Wet Ones in my travel bag and in my car. I wipe my face with one and feel instantly refreshed during a day of travel or between meetings
  • Always be kind to airline and hotel staff, then always ask if an upgrade might be possible because they’ll often say yes
  • When possible, book non-U.S. airlines when traveling abroad; they tend to have better amenities
  • Choose flights on a Boeing 767 when it’s an option; there are fewer bad/middle seats
  • Load up on sleep before an international flight in order to minimize jet lag; also stay well hydrated and eat plenty of protein en route
  • Order a special meal ahead of time (e.g. kosher, vegetarian), because you’ll typically be served first so you can either get to work or get to sleep sooner
  • Catch a cab in the Departures section of your terminal; no cab queue to endure

Also, and this isn’t a hack per se, but I also encourage you to begin doing something I was encouraged to do by a colleague years ago. When you’re leaving a country and have extra coins and small bills in foreign currency, make it a habit to give it to a homeless person if you encounter one before you head to the airport.

It’s an easy way to do some good for someone else, but it’s also an excellent way to reset your perspective and priorities. No matter how the final meeting went, you have a job and an income. That’s more than many other people have.

There are a lot of people who are figuring out things for us every day. If we get in the habit of learning one new and helpful hack every day, we’ll become quite the sneezer.

I read a very useful blog post the other day by Ginny Soskey (@gsosk). She’s Manager of Content Marketing Strategy at @HubSpot. The title of the post is: 16 Google Calendar Hacks That Will Make You More Productive.”

Typically, I write posts with broad appeal, but this post today is for those of you who either already use Google Calendar, or may someday switch to use it. These tips really do make life easier, giving you back more selling time (and that’s important).

The big idea of Soskey’s post simply is this:

“… there are some cool hacks and under-the-radar features that you can use to make your life in Google Calendar much easier to organize.”

What I really liked about this resource were all of the A-ha! moments I experienced. I didn’t know how much I was underutilizing this important tool in my online toolbox.

Granted, I already knew about some of these, but by beginning to use a couple of these features that are new to me, the experience of how I use Google Calendar will improve my efficiency and effectiveness. It can do the same for you.

Some of my favorites include:

  • Set up a world clock with multiple cities
  • Arrange appointment slots
  • Browse interesting calendars
  • Use keyboard shortcuts (here’s a full list)

Get the most out of the tools you use in your career. There are a lot of articles and blog posts out there to help you better utilize the tools you use regularly, and this is just one of them. Check out Soskey’s full post now.

BONUS LINK: Related to Google Calendar is Google’s Gmail tool. Here’s an excellent resource, by ace marketer @NeilPatel, to read and bookmark (22 Gmail Plugins That All Content Marketers Need to Know About)

Now, go ahead and be a sneezer by sending the link to this post, my post, to your friends. They’ll appreciate it.

[Reading Time For Soskey’s Post: 8:30 minutes]

QUESTION ::: What’s one of your favorite hacks in your professional life to help you be more productive, more effective or improve your life in some other way?

Let’s talk about it…

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