We all want to get more done and have more free time. With limited time and energy, every trick we can use to potentially make life easier is worth trying at least once. There’s more than one way to catch a mouse, and there’s more than one way to approach our daily living.
Life hacks can save time, increase productivity, and make life easier:
1. Use a timer. A simple timer can greatly increase your focus and productivity. For example, the next time you need to clean the kitchen, determine how long it should take. Then set a timer for a couple of minutes less than your guess. See if you finish before the time runs out. You’ll be more focused and get more done.
- Use a timer at work. There are timers available for your computer and cell phone.
2. Take a 10-minute break every hour. Set your timer for 50 minutes and work hard. Then give yourself a 10-minute break. Productivity studies have shown this to be the best ration of work and rest for the average person.
- Use the 10 minutes to take a quick walk, do a few pushups, get a drink of water, or deal with personal email. You’ll get more done over a long day than you ever thought possible.
3. Fill up your gas tank before you get home from work. Avoid putting anything off until the morning if it can be done beforehand. You’re likely to forget, or something will go wrong. If you’re running late before you remember that you need gas or something else for work, you’re doomed.
4. Prepare to leave, then be idle. Imagine this: you have to be at a party in three hours. It will take 30 minutes to get ready and 30 minutes to drive there. If you’re like most people, you’ll wait two hours, then get ready, then drive to the party. This is a recipe for disaster.
- Instead, give yourself an hour to get ready. You’ll be ready in plenty of time. You can then spend any extra time doing whatever you were going to do if you had waited for two hours.
- If getting ready to leave is the last thing you do before leaving, you’ll frequently be late.
5. Start slowly. The key to adding any new behavior is to start slowly and gradually increase the amount of time spent doing the new behavior. This strategy works whether you’re starting a new exercise routine, learning to play tennis, starting a new language, or trying to implement any new habit.
- Changing too quickly has a tendency to derail your efforts. Be patient and enjoy how easy it is to be successful at maintaining your new behavior.
6. Sort your mail before it leaves your hand. You get home from work and grab the mail. Before you toss it on the kitchen counter, quickly sort through it. Put the junk mail in the trash and organize the rest. Keep your bills in one location, preferably where you sit while you pay them.
7. Get a toy, give up a toy. After a child has accumulated a certain number of toys, the clutter gets out of hand, and several toys never get used. Institute a rule that every new toy results in the loss of a toy. Donate the toy to charity, give it away to a friend, or sell it. It’s a good lesson and will keep the house tidier.
Life is fast and furious. It can be challenging to find time to do everything that needs to be done much less what you want to do. A couple of simple hacks can free up a little time for more important things. Life can be less stressful and more productive.