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10 Car Hacks to Make Your Life Easier

10 Car Hacks to Make Your Life Easier

As someone who drives a lot, you have probably noticed that there are all kinds of little problems that can crop up, from having a cluttered and messy vehicle to windows that fog up all the time to the need for toilet paper in an emergency.

So, with this in mind, we have compiled a list of 10 great car hacks that will make your life a lot easier when you are on the road, whether you are driving a junker or the best luxury SUV.

1. Keep Your Steering Wheel Cool

Instead of touching a hot steering wheel that has been in the sun, when exiting your vehicle, turn the wheel 180 degrees. That way, the part you normally touch will be shaded and not as hot when you want to start driving again.

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2. Prevent Windows from Fogging

You need to have good visibility, and that doesn’t happen when the windows are fogged. To prevent this, cut a potato in half, and rub it on the inside of your vehicle windows.

3. Ask for Directions

When you are lost, the best places to ask for directions are at fast food restaurants. There will likely always be someone there who can tell you where you need to be, and how to get there. Gas stations and convenience stores are other great places to get directions, and they often sell road maps.

4. Use Dryer Sheets

Instead of spending money on car air fresheners, simply use dryer sheets that you already have. Just place an open box of dryer sheets in the car, and they will keep the air smelling fresh and clean. You can also stick dryer sheets into the vents for a few minutes to really get the scent throughout the vehicle.

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5. Use Shower Organizers

Driving with kids can be an adventure, and often, a messy adventure for you to clean. One way to keep the back seat more organized is to hang shower organizers on the back of the front seats. Then, use the pockets for baby wipes, bottles, diapers, games, and more. Shoe organizers can also be used for this.

6. Make a Phone Holder

If your vehicle didn’t come with a built-in mobile phone holder, you can easily make one with an elastic band. Simply slip the elastic between the slats of one of the vents, and then wrap it around the phone. Now, you have a hands-free phone system without having to spend any extra money.

7. Carry an Air Pump and a Pool Mattress

You never know when you are going to end up sleeping in your vehicle (breakdowns, impromptu camping trips, etc.), so be prepared. Keep an air pump and an inflatable pool mattress in the trunk, and you will always have a bed to sleep on instead of the uncomfortable seats.

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8. Have an Emergency Kit

Everyone should have an emergency kit in their vehicle, because you never know what can happen. The kit should include such things as water, snacks, a first-aid kit, blankets, toilet paper, and an inexpensive mobile phone. If you do a lot of winter driving, also include a bag of kitty litter (in case you get stuck and need traction), a candle, and a tin can (to create light and heat to melt snow around tires).

9. Use a Shower Caddy

It is important to keep oil, windshield washer fluid, brake fluid, etc. in your vehicle at all times. Keep all of the vehicle fluids organized by putting the smaller bottles inside a shower caddy. That way, nothing is going to roll around and end up leaking all over the trunk.

10. Use a Mesh Bungee

If you are traveling with clothing that you don’t want to pack because you don’t want wrinkles, hang them. All you need to do is hang a mesh bungee on the ceiling of the vehicle, and then hang the clothing from it. Make sure that you do this in the back seat, and that the rear-view window is not obstructed so you can see clearly.

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Featured photo credit: jaymantri.com via pexels.com

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Jane Hurst

Writer, editor

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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