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Simple Hacks For A Happier Life

Simple Hacks For A Happier Life

Everyone wants to live a better life. Looking for ways to do that is what brings most readers to Lifehack. Whether it’s finding ways to improve your relationships with your family and friends, improve your productivity at work, live a healthier lifestyle, have more peace of mind, and so on, you can find advice on how to achieve all of those things right here.

But, what if you were just looking for a few basic tips and tricks for life in general? If that’s the case, here are the five best pieces of advice we can give you.

1. Eat less CRAP and eat more FOOD.

crap vs food

    That’s right– eat better. For our bodies and minds, it all begins with what we put in our mouths every day. You can work out all you want, but all the exercise in the world can’t overcome a bad diet. Everyone is always benefited by eating healthier.

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    2.  Pick an exercise routine you’re going to enjoy and not dread.

    Workout

      If you hate running on a treadmill, don’t force yourself to do it. You’re most likely going to eventually quit. If you enjoy playing tennis instead, then do that. Whatever form of exercise you enjoy the most (running, lifting weights, yoga, playing sports, mountain climbing, bicycling, etc.) just do it because as long as you’re doing some form of exercise, you’re improving your health and life in many ways.

      3. Develop positive habits.

      Habits

        To improve your life you need to develop positive habits that will override any negative ones you already have. So, how do you accomplish that? The answer is: you spend the next 66 days (or so) developing a new habit.

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        Science now says that it takes, on average, 66 days to develop a habit. How long it takes you to develop it depends on two factors — the complexity of the habit and your dedication. Drinking a glass of water every morning when you wake up is going to be easier to make as a habit than something that requires more physical effort.

        Still, scientists have offered suggestions on how to create habits. It’s basically a three-step process where the 66 days is broken down into thirds. The first 22 days is about loudly proclaiming your desire to create this habit and asking your friends and family to hold you accountable. The second 22 days is about looking inward and holding yourself accountable. The final 22 days is about making that final push and getting that extra motivation. After that, it’s about enjoying your success.

        4. Be in control of your responses to actions and words.

        marcus aurelius 2

          Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor and the last of the ancient Stoic philosophers. Stoics believed in mind over matter and to use logic and not emotions when dealing with what happens around them. Aurelius dealt with many issues in his reign, including his best friend attempting a coup against him. Through it all, Marcus chose to forgive those who betrayed him. In his collection of writings, Meditations, he also wrote that, “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” People say things based on how they perceive what’s around them. How you react to what people say and do to you is purely up to you.

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          Another way to put it is the quote from Dennis Kimbro, “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.” So, control your reactions… All of this brings us to our last tip.

          5. Love unconditionally.

          best-love-quotes-love-is-an-unconditional-commitment-to-an-imperfect-person

            Unconditional love is affection without limitations or boundaries. Conditional love is requiring someone else to earn your affection. Your family and loved ones should not have to earn your love. It should be given freely and without obligations. When you give unconditional love, you will receive it in return– maybe not by all– but you will. Conditional love, on the other hand, can lead to resentment because it requires some sort of exchange between individuals. Exchanges can be measured, and if one party feels their exchange is worth more than what they get in return, anger, resentment and jealousy will build up.

            If you love someone unconditionally, you accept their flaws, and you will still love them regardless.

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            Certainly, there are hundreds of more tips and tricks we could include here. You have an entire website here with Lifehack to help you uncover them. These five tips are meant to be the foundation you will use to build upon with all of the other tips and tricks available in the articles on this site. They are the building blocks for adding more success into your life.

            Featured photo credit: Pietro and Silvia via flickr.com

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            Last Updated on January 21, 2020

            How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

            How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

            We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

            So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

            While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

            Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

            What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

            How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

            But what does being productive actually entail?

            Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

            Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

            It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

            Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

            9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

            1. Avoid Multitasking

            Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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            Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

            If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

            2. Turn off Notifications

            According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

            Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

            The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

            Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

            3. Manage Interruptions

            There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

            Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

            If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

            By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

            4. Eat the Frog

            Mark Twain once famously said that:

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            “if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

            What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

            We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

            Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

            5. Cut Down on Meetings

            Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

            You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

            The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

            But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

            If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

            6. Utilize Tools

            Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

            If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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            And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

            Some examples of tools that could be used:

            Communication
            • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
            • Samepage for video conference software.
            • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
            Task Management
            • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
            • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
            • Wekan for an open source option.
            Database Management
            Time Tracking
            • Clockify for a free tracker.
            • TMetric for workspace integrations.
            • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

            You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

            7. Declutter and Organize

            Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

            Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

            Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

            Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

            8. Take Breaks

            Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

            As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

            Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

            Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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            9. Drink Water

            Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

            Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

            Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

            A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

            If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

            You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

            The Bottom Line

            The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

            After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

            In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

            A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

            Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

            More About Boosting Productivity

            Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

            Reference

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