8 Life Hacks To Make This Year The Best Year Ever
Posted in: Lifestyle
Resolutions: Made! Champagne: Drank! Now what?
Well, turns out shaping up your life to be even awesomer than it already is isn't the easiest thing in the world. But! That doesn't mean that going the extra mile this year is out of the question; especially not with these hacks. The New Year had better watch out because you're coming for it and you're coming for it hard and fast.
1. Break it Outside
Getting through the workday is definitely a marathon; not a sprint. Most people are productive in short bursts interspersed with moments of break-time, especially when accomplishing difficult thought-intensive tasks. Rather than allow that break-time to go to waste down the Facebook hole, take yourself outside for a change.
Breathe the air, get some much-needed vitamin D, and even go for a power-walk. Getting your body moving is a sure-fire way to reset your mind, help you focus, and (if you do it frequently enough) will even jump-start you on the way to your fitness goals this year. Walk outside = increased productivity, increased mobility, and everybody basically wins.
2. Plan Ahead
A little bit of pre-planning will keep you from the last minute scramble. Make lists your best friend this year; grocery lists, task lists, whatever it is that hangs you up. Crank this hack to 11 by completing the ultimate planning test: prep for Monday on Friday! Spend the last twenty minutes or so of your workday on Friday generating your task list for Monday. This way, you can put your busy week to bed for the weekend, get it out of your head, and clear your mind without worrying that you'll forget something you really needed when you were in the thick of things.
It also decreases your "upload" time when you get back to your desk on Monday; rather than spending precious moments trying to put yourself back in the game, you can hit the ground running with your task list. Think of it as a love letter to your future self. Future you will thank past you.
3. Click "Unsubscribe"
Everyone gets them; those junk emails that seem to inevitably fill up your inbox with things you'll never do, buy or see. If you have a few minutes, do a search through your mailbox for the word "unsubscribe." This way, you can hit all of the major mailing lists that you might just be spot-deleting repeatedly anyway. It will save you time in the long run, and it will keep you from getting distracted by an incoming junk email when you're in the zone and really don't want to leave it.
4. Boil it Down
If you get caught in a lot of meetings, you know that a great amount of time can be devoted to talking around an issue rather than actually solving it. To ensure that every meeting, whether professional or personal, remains productive, ask these three easy questions before walking away: What are our next steps? Who is responsible for completing them? In what timeframe must they be completed? In one simple and easy step, you've just managed to encapsulate the point of all that chit-chat. It also ensures that everyone walks away from the meeting on the same exact page which will solve communication issues before they even happen.
5. Looks Can be Deceiving
While everyone knows that visual impressions are extremely important to interpersonal relationships, did you know that studies show certain clothing colors, fabrics, and cuts affect the way others see you? Psychologists have found that dark colors (such as navy blue, black, and dark gray) convey the message of "power." Straight lines, and heavy fabrics which keep those straight lines straight, also enforce this message of authority. So, if you need a little backup, consider wearing dark clothing cut in long straight lines for subliminal messaging sure to get (and hold) attention.
6. Trim it Down
Having more stuff than you need at your desk, in your wardrobe, or just ambient in your living space creates demoralizing and distracting clutter. To make yourself more productive, you need a sleek environment. Consider trimming down on unnecessary items (such as desk knick knacks, excess papers, or clothing you simply don't wear anymore). A good rule is the six-month rule: if you haven't touched, moved, or interacted with an item in six months, it’s time to get rid of it. One way to clear your space of clutter (that won't leave you feeling wasteful) is to donate your things to goodwill. After all, why throw something away when you can give it to someone who will really use it? Plus, if you get a receipt, you can get a donation-based tax deduction, so purge your space and keep it simple!
7. Get some Binder Clips
Yes, they hold large stacks of paper together, but these little beauties are also the life-Macgyver's best friend. They can pretty much do anything. Legs on your keyboard break? Fix with a binder clip! Tired of messy, impossible-to-find, spaghetti swathes of electrical cabling at your desk? Attach a series of binder clips to the side of your desk and use their handles to hold the heads of your cables in an easy-to-reach space. Want to prop up your smart phone? Take two binder clips and clip them on either end of a business card. Voila! Easy, breezy, docking station. And this is only the beginning; binder clips are essentially the one gizmo you'd want to take to a desert island… provided the island was equipped with a standard office setup.
8. Picture This
That smartphone device you carry constantly in your pocket isn't just your ticket to Instagram fame. Taking pictures can hack you through a long list of life problems with ease. Love loaning things to friends, but hate tracking them down to get back? Take a picture of your friend with the object you loaned on the day you loaned it. This will help you know what you loaned, to whom, and when (with irrefutable proof if you or your friend experience sudden acute memory loss).
Want to ensure you stay in touch with a contact but terrible at holding onto paper? Take a picture of their business card to guarantee that you’ll always have their contact information in your pocket. Have trouble remembering where you parked? Snap a photo of your vehicle and a landmark that it's nearby or the cross street signs near your spot. Want to know what's in your fridge so you can figure out what to grab from the market on the way home? Take a shot of the open refrigerator to remind yourself of all the ingredients you have on hand.
And just like that, you're ready to take on the world. Bring it on. You've got this.