#1 Rule for Being Productive

Focus on what is really important.

It is that simple. I was reminded this morning that a lot of people are not very productive and overwhelmed because they fail to focus on what is really important. Instead they waste a lot of time and effort on what is not important.

If you find yourself putting a lot of time and energy into something – ask yourself (sometimes multiple times) – “Is this what is really important?”

Example: people will get stuck in the “you said/I said” cycle and spend hours on that all while complaining that they have no time to do the actual task – they just get stuck talking about it. Know when to stop talking about something and actually do something about it.

The action is what is really important – not over talking about the action. Yes – this means you sometimes need to leave your ego at the door because at the end of the day your ego is never more important than what you actually do/accomplish.

How to Empty Trash with Google Drive

Over the last week – I have been trying to clean up my files and delete any non-essential email in order to tidy everything up. After deleting a number of files – I noticed my quota within Google Drive was still showing the same percent full before and after I deleted the files.

After waiting a few days and still not seeing any change in the size in the Google quota – I decided I needed to take some further action. I then realized – that when you delete files in your Google Drive – you then need to “empty the trash” before the files are actually gone.

How to empty the trash:

  1. Log into Google Drive
  2. Click on the trash icon in the left sidebar
  3. At the top of the page – you will now see a Trash menu. Click on that and then choose “Empty Trash”

After you are all done emptying the trash – check out your newly updated storage quota.

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Fix for Bluetooth Mouse with Apple Mac OS X Yosemite

“Yesterday I thought I was going to throw my Apple magic mouse out of the window, today we are best friends.”

I wanted to follow up on my recent post: Mac OS X 10.10.x Issues with Bluetooth/WiFi. After a few days of almost acceptable behavior – yesterday my mouse was losing connection, acting very slow, and I could not drag anything across my screen without having to take deep breaths out of frustration.

I thought I had tried everything. I was desperate for a solution and I finally found it. I read the Apple support article: Bluetooth: Unreliable wireless performance may occur when USB 3.0 external devices are close and after moving my Mac Mini away from my external USB 3.0 hard drive (just 6-9 inches instead of being on top of it) – my mouse has worked flawless.

If you still are having a jittery mouse or any problems with Bluetooth devices and have an external USB 3.0 hard drive – try moving it away!

Disable iPhone Calls Ringing in Mac OS X Yosemite

After upgrading one of the three computers in my office from Mac OS X 10.9 to Mac OS 10.10 (Yosemite) I thought to myself – wow – I like the option to answer my phone using my MacBook Pro. A few days later – when I had the other computers upgraded as well – any time I got a phone call – my office sounded like a call center (2 bluetooth cordless phones, 3 computers, and the actual iPhone itself were all ringing at the same time.


Thankfully – you can easily turn off this feature in the FaceTime app by simply unchecking one thing in the FaceTime preferences (see screenshot). So if you are like me – and do not need this or prefer to not use it – the fix is easy!

HOWTO: Change Filenames to be Lowercase Using Bash

I recently needed to convert all file names from something like this: IMG_3034.JPG to img_3034.jpg. I had a ton of these files and changing them manually was not something I wanted to do.

The solution was easy. I use Mac OS X – so in the terminal – I simply used:

for i in *; do mv "$i" "$(echo $i|tr A-Z a-z)"; done

That was it – all file names easily and quickly converted to using only lowercase letters. I hope this saves someone else time as well!

Find Largest Files (UNIX)

Ever need to find which files are taking up the most room on your server in a particular directory?
If so – you can easily find the largest files by running the following command:

find -type f | xargs -I{} du -s "{}" | sort -rn | head -10 | cut -f2 | xargs -I{} du -sh "{}"

* You set the number of files you want to see by changing the number where I used 10.

Install Memcache in Under 5 Minutes with Bitnami

The more I work with Bitnami, the more I absolutely love it. After migrating a number of applications over to my server – I realized I could benefit from using Memcache. I decided to do a quick look at the documentation for Bitnami and found exactly what I needed. Within 5 minutes I had Memcache up and running.

Of course after I did that – I also took a closer look to see what other PHP modules were available – and installed a few more. What I love most? The documentation is great and everything I try actually works – no exceptions – on the first attempt.

Still not sold? Not only are there a ton of PHP modules available, there are a ton of “stacks” available to download/use with ease. Example: Monit, PHP Frameworks like CodeIgniter, Apache Solr, Varnish, etc. Make sure you put this on your “to check out” list and then thank me later!

HOWTO: Kill the Dock in Mac OS X

Today I ran into a situation on my computer where the dock would not show after a restart. If this ever happens – you can easily fix it by opening up the Terminal application (Applications > Utilities > Terminal) and then type in the following code then hit the return button. Within a few minutes – your dock will then appear as expected.

killall Dock