One of the primary traits that drew me into becoming a programmer my interest in laziness efficiency.   Even as a kid I was always interested in finding the best way of doing a particular task.  I think it probably ocassionally drove my dad crazy because I’d happily spend twice the time the task would take trying to think of a better way to do it.  That being said, given the sheer amount of  interesting things there are to do and see in the world I want to maximize my available free time, which means cutting down on time spent doing the boring parts.

That leads me to two related questions the first is directed to people who work in software:

How do you set up your development machine/ Desk area to maximize your useful time.  Personally I work in .NET on Win32 but more generally what tools and techniques help you maximize your use of time and hence productivity at work.

The second is more general.  What are “life hacking” things you do to maximize your free time?

I feel like this is the kind of soft knowledge that everyone develops through experience but as mentioned about I like being lazy efficient and so I’d like to collect what I can by absorbing other people’s hard earned experience.  I know one of mine is that I all my bills online via my  bank rather than individually mailing checks which cuts down both on the amount of time it takes to pay them but also saves me time balancing my checkbook at the end of the month.  This feels like something that should be collected somewhere in an easily referenced wiki style website…

(and yes, I recognize the irony of taking the time to write on the internet about how not to waste time.  At least I’m improving my writing skills right?)