:bomb:1. Backup your laptop – You should do a full back-up of your laptop / desktop every month at a minimum. If not, do it now. Use rsnapshot for Unix and GFI free backup tool for Windows.
:bomb:2. Seriously! Don’t have a backup? Stop reading this article and backup you laptop now!
:bomb:3. De-clutter your laptop – Organize the files and directories in your laptop. If you have tons of sub-directories, it gets difficult to find the right sub-directory to store your file. I used to have tons of nested sub-directories before. Now, I have only 5 high level directory structure under my home directory. Use Windows Google Desktop on Linux Google Desktop software to search your files quickly.
:bomb:4. Social networking sites – Create an account for yourself on Linkedin, delicious, Stumble Upon, Facebook, Digg, Twitter. Even if you don’t post something on these sites, you can still browse their popular pages and read all the articles.
:bomb:5. Clear out all your emails. Process every email in your in-box and archive it. Don’t leave any emails unprocessed.
:bomb:6. Change passwords – When is the last time you’ve changed your on-line banking password (or) your primary email password? Make sure to create a yearly password routine and change all your online passwords to something unique and strong. Use multi-platformpassword manager to store all your password on your laptop securely. Follow the password best practices. Change passwords for at least few of your critical online accounts now!
:bomb:7. Plan your exercise schedule – If you are like me, you may be looking for motivation from all sources to exercise regularly. Create a simple exercise schedule (it could even be for 15 mins a day) and share it with your family and friends. Ask them to check on you regularly to make sure you are following your schedule on track. Explore sites like fitday, dailymile, anddailyplate will help you track and organize your fitness related stuff.
:bomb:8. Customize your home page portal. If you don’t have it, create one at either iGoogle ormyYahoo.
:bomb:9. Reconnect with friends and family – Send an email to an old friend, colleague, or family member with whom you might have lost touch.
:bomb:10. Pursue your dream job – If you are not happy with your current job, take time to think about what would be your dream job. Create a document and list down all the items that you don’t like about your current job and all the things that you would want in your dream job. Once you have a clear idea, search job sites like the ladders – where all the jobs are $100K+
:bomb:11. Read Wikipedia – Browse the Wikipedia technology portal for topics that interests you. Outline of computer science and list of information technology topics are a good place to start in Wikipedia. You can spend hours together reading these topics.
:bomb:12. Send a Thank You note to someone who did some nice things for you.
:bomb:13. Organize your photos online – Create an account for yourself on picasaweb, or flickrand organize all your pictures online.
:bomb:14. Browse YouTube – Go to youtube.com and search for linux, to view all linux related videos (or) Browse these technology channels on youtube — Google, Windows, TechCrunch.
:bomb:15. Explore a Technical Hobby – It may be tweaking the Linux OS by building custom kernels, exploring ethical hacking, exploring amateur ham radio (or) any technical stuff that you were always interested to explore, but never got the time to do.
:bomb:16. Set Goals – Jan 1st is not the only time to set goals for the year. Take some time to think through and list out all the major personal projects you would like to complete this year. Create actionable tasks to get those projects completed. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity is an excellent resource that will help you to get organized and be productive.
:bomb:17. Write - If you are bored and don’t know what to do, start writing. This doesn’t need to be technical writing. When is the last time you’ve written a well thought out letter to someone who you love? Take the time to write a letter and send it in an email to your loved ones.
:bomb:18. Get Personal Finance in Order – Take time to review your current financial status, review bank balance, consolidate credit cards, sign-up for online bill pay, move money from low interest bank account to high interest bank account, research re-financing your home mortgage for lower rate.
:bomb:19. Use online Word, Excel, Powerpoint – I’ve moved almost all my local documents toGoogle documents. I can access my personal documents from any computer. No need to worry about backing up local documents on your laptop on an on-going basis, if all your documents are online. You can also share selective documents with your friends and family.
:bomb:20. Add items to your shopping wishlist – Take time to research on the electronic gadgets, or technical books that you wanted to purchase. Read some review and collect as much as information you need about the item before your purchase. Most importantly, create a wish-list in your favorite online shopping site and populate it with your favorite items or books you would like to purchase some day. I use amazon amazon wish-list.
:bomb:21. Defrag your hard-drive. If you are using Windows OS, defarg your hard-drive. Since we all use *nix, call your Windows friends and brag about how *nix doesn’t need defrag.
:bomb:22. Browse firefox add-on repository and play around with any add-on that you find interesting.
:bomb:23. Create check-list and routines. List out all the repetitive tasks that you perform. Create a routine for those tasks. See whether you can automate or delegate some of those repetitive tasks.
:bomb:24. Flip through the unix man page. Even for the commands you are very familiar with, check out the man page. When you do ‘man ls’, you might be surprised that you didn’t know few of the capabilities, even on simple command like ls.
:bomb:25. Virus Scan. If you are using Windows OS, run a virus-scan on your laptop.
:bomb:26. Delete unwanted program. On Linux, see whether you are running any unwanted services and disable them. If you have any unwanted packages installed, remove them. On windows, go to Add/Remove program, and see whether you can delete any unwanted programs from the system. This might give you both additional disk space and performance.
:bomb:27. Create online book catalog for all your books. Library Things lets you add 200 books to your catalog for free.
:bomb:28. Watch Funny Videos. If you are really bored and doesn’t want to do any work that requires brain power, simply watch these funny videos.
:bomb:29. Learn keyboard shortcuts for your favorite application. For example, gmail keyboard shortcuts, firefox keyboard shortcuts, Ubuntu keyboard shortcuts.
:bomb:30. Read technical blogs – There are several technical blogs out there, that produce high quality content everyday.