As much as we are connoisseurs of life hacks here at Lifehacker, we don't all use every single tip every single day. We also tend to write about things that are fun to try, or that we're only excited about until the next great life hack comes along. So for the real inside scoop, I've surveyed our team about the tips that have stood the test of time. Here are our personal favourites.
Tagged With life hacks
Reddit, that bastion of human kindness and human depravity, is the perfect source for Evil Week. With anonymous handles and endless discussions taking place, people are more than happy to reveal some of their most devious behaviours. One particular thread of note highlighted some of the most 'unethical' and possibly illegal life hacks that you really shouldn't feel good about performing. Here are the best bits.
One of the cardinal rules of engagement on the internet is Don't Read the Comments. But if, like us, you spend the better part of your day scouring the internet for tips on the best way to eat a sandwich or which organisational tool will help you get your chores done, this sanity-saving tactic could be working against you.
Reader's Digest online lists 15 ways to maximise your lunch hour—aside from eating lunch—that could help you make the most of your midday break.Daydream for 15 minutes — and then eat, run errands, or return to work. "Creative daydreaming is not only a way to get out of the daily lunch hour grind, but also a way to put your creative juices to work," explains Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D. If you're feeling particularly stressed about a project, spend your 15 minutes mentally exploring ways you can tackle it. If you feel mentally stale and burned out, spend the 15 minutes in la-la land, on a mini vacation.Naturally there's something to be said about using your lunch break for just that, but since most of us take advantage of that hour to relax or get things done outside of the work context, why don't your share how you get the most from your lunch hour in the comments. Photo by Claudecf. 15 Ways to Maximize Your Lunch Hour
If you've ever forgotten the details of a recent conversation with a friend or family member, weblog Parent Hacks suggests taking notes during personal calls to improve your social brain. When I forget enough of these details, the next time I talk to that person it sounds a lot like I wasn't listening, or worse, don't care.... At first it seemed odd to rely on tools to remind me about details I thought I should just be able to just keep in mind. I felt slightly guilty about even needing reminding about the most important people in my life. But it's better than forgetting.If your brain is crammed to the point that you're forgetting important details from your personal life, taking notes could be the kick in the pants you need. It may seem a bit strange, but in the end you could end up with a better social brain than you've ever had. Take notes during phone calls with friends and family
If your everyday activities are not providing you with any value, skip them, says 43Folders blogger Merlin Mann. How do you determine what time is wasted and what time is valuable? Use tricks (life hacks) to take shortcuts through time consuming processes. When it comes to your online communications, disable email so that you can stay focused on the tasks at hand. Use email filters that enable you to promote only the most important messages to the top of your Inbox. Don't let people boss you around. What tips have you integrated into your routine to take back that precious time? Share your secrets in the comments. How to Take Back Your Time and Attention
Moving around and walking, even just as part of your normal daily routine, can make a big difference in your dietary goals and overall health, but far too many of us tend to stay still for hours at a time. The Dumb Little Man blog has a great list of suggestions on how to fit physical activity into the standard work day, just by doing things a little bit differently. One tip I can attest to:Walk while you talk on the phone: If your job involves talking on the phone a lot, then instead of doing this sitting at your desk, get into the habit of pacing while you talk. Motion creates emotion so you may even become a better speaker by doing this.Not everyone has a cordless phone at work, of course, but at home, you could probably burn more than a few calories during your average call from the parents. How do you stay active with a desk-oriented life? Share your tips in the comments. 14 Simple Ways to Convert Your Sedentary Lifestyle
The New York Times takes a look at the culture of perfectionism, suggesting that the tenets of the perfectionist—when applied to things like personal relationships or when taken too far at the workplace—can take a serious toll on your happiness. As part of a study at U.C. Davis, employee assistance counselor Alice Provost forced perfectionists to: Leave work on time. Don't arrive early. Take all the breaks allowed. Leave the desk a mess. Allow yourself a set number of tries to finish a job; then turn in what you have.
The results? Much to the surprise of the perfectionists, everything continued to function as usual, and much of their perfection-motivated worries weren't all that important. If you've got similar perfectionist inclinations—or you're just in the spirit of the holidays—give yourself a break and give this exercise a go. While you're at it, here are 10 other ways to defeat brain drain. Photo by ewitch.
Productivity blog Zen Habits has a good article on how to make your day better, including this little gem: no matter how stressed you are, if you can get just one important thing done, you'll have had a successful day. When I say important, I mean things that will have a huge impact on your life (personally or career wise) over the long run. Not things that need to be done today or else. Here's why: If you get something important done, something that will help you in the long run (even if it's only a step towards a major accomplishment, it's important), you will feel great! You'll feel a sense of accomplishment. That makes any day a great day. What's your "important thing"? Thoughts in the comments. 10 Simple, Sure-fire Ways to Make Today Your Best Day Ever
Newly-launched webapp Fuser fetches your email and social networking messages and displays them in a single place to simplify their management. Register at Fuser and then add your Facebook and/or MySpace login details, as well as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, AIM or any POP3/IMAP email accounts and see all your messages in Fuser. Fuser isn't an email client or backup service, mind you—if you delete a message from your Gmail account it will not appear on Fuser. It's just a single place to see all your stuff.
Remote Control Your Computer with Your iPhoneSt3v3 says: "I've been able to do all this for free on my Windows phone since over a year..."Yahoo Mail Innovates, Gmail StagnatesBillhelm says: "I still cannot figure out why Gmail can't add more to its contact manager..."Get 32 AA Batteries from a Single 6 Volt BatteryThe How-To Geek says: "That's one of the most useful tips ever featured on Lifehacker... heading to store..."Why You Shouldn't Send That Angry EmailDaveed says: "Another rather self-evident advice, do not send the angry drunk email."Top 10 Firefox Extension-free Tabbed Browsing TechniquesUltranoob says: "Yet another reason to love Firefox..."Check for Bad Neighbors Before You Move with RottenNeighborBelBivDevolkswagen says: "I'm actually rather surprised that my and my roommates and I didn't make this map...then again, there's plenty of time to be added."Laptop or Desktop Computer?ejcdke says: "I was desktop only for many many years. I was worried about getting a laptop... now that I have one, I would never go back.Send Documents as PDF Rather Than FaxMarksman7328 says: "Fax needs to die. Nobody uses a typewriter anymore, so why should anybody not have an e-mail."
One of the best productivity tips I've found—courtesy of David Allen's book, Getting Things Done—is keeping "buckets" for your ideas. In other words, you want to have reliable, fail-proof system to record your thoughts whenever or where ever you might find yourself. I've tried a number of different capture tools and methods: from the notepad "suckered" onto my windshield to the mini-digital recorder that took 7 key presses to record a message. Obviously, some worked better than others, so today I've got five simple-to-use capture devices that will make sure you're prepared when your next big idea strikes.
If you like to tinker around with web code, then tech site AjaxNinja's list of the best Firefox extensions for developers is just for you.
These are the ones that will help you streamline various processes; for instance, you can analyse your search engine optimization efforts with Seoquake, find Alexa stats with Alexa Sparky, debug with Extended Cookie Manager, etc. I've become a wee bit of a Firefox extension junkie so I'm trying to resist the goodies on this list, however, do feel free to cherry-pick what you find useful.
10 Awesome Firefox Plugins and Extensions for Developers and Bloggers
Finally some Apple news about products we can buy here in Australia! You will have read about the new iPods already today - if not, our mates at Gizmodo AU did a great job rounding up all the product announcements. (See here for their "5 things we love and 5 things we hate about the new iPods" post)
The thing we're most excited about here at Lifehacker - apart from the pretty sexy iPod Touch ($419) itself - was the iTunes Wi-Fi music store for iPod Touch and iPhone. You can browse and buy songs for your iPod or iPhone directly, without using a PC. Nice. Now bring on the damn iPhone already. :)