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9 Hacks That will Make Your Life Simpler and More Productive All Year Round

9 Hacks That will Make Your Life Simpler and More Productive All Year Round

Many people make resolutions to be more productive and to live simply, but these hopes often fizzle out over time, as it may become unclear as to what needs to happen in order to live in that way. Fortunately, huge life changes are not the only option—a handful of seemingly small life hacks can aid in keeping the momentum through the whole year.

Set Your Alarm for Earlier

Setting your alarm for 20 to 30 minutes earlier can make a huge impact on your day. So much can be done in this sliver of time. Make breakfast at home, take the time to style your hair, do the things that you normally do not have time to do or can’t enjoy because of rushing. If your morning routine is already pretty simple, use this time to read.

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Take Over Your E-Mail

Email can be one of those things that can suck the productivity right out of you. The average person has about 3,000 emails in their inbox, which is overwhelming to say the least. To reclaim your inbox, take the time to unsubscribe from lists that do not benefit you, aim to archive, label, and mute as necessary, and batch task your email.

Clean Your Bag Weekly

Throw out all of the extra mess like gum wrappers and old receipts. After the initial clean out, it will take less time weekly, and you will be able to easily find whatever it is that you normally spend 5 minutes digging for. Make this a habit to have healthy and smarter life.

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Make a Giveaway Box

This is the container that holds all of the things needed to give for donation. It prevents items from piling up in a closet while awaiting donation, while simply being a piece for storage. Make your donation run when the box gets filled up and then start all over.

Make Your Bed Every Morning

Yes, every morning. This is beneficial because you will look like you have your priorities straight if someone shows up unannounced. When you do this every morning, it helps to build on other small but productive tasks that should be done daily. It will transform from a single mundane task to just one part of a productive morning routine. Plus, if you are setting your alarm earlier you will have the time to do it.

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Shop and Meal Prep on Weekends

Take one day to buy and prepare food for the week. It will save time and money while reducing stress throughout the week. All meals can be made ahead, so that on any given day you can grab what you need and it’s ready to heat and eat.

Get a Key Holder and Never Misplace Your Keys Again

Hang up your little key holder in the entryway and never lose those keys again. Make it a routine to drop your belongings (keys, wallet, and cell phone) in there every day when you get home.

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Put Those Coins in a Jar

Get a piggy bank or coin jar to keep your coins. Make it a habit to collect them from your pocket, dresser, the sofa, and all over your car. This will help declutter your space while saving for miscellaneous items.

Get a Planner and Use It

Some sort of planner or calendar is essential for being successful and productive. It will store all of your daily commitments and activities. You will spend less time wondering about what your week looks like and more time working on tasks to make that week successful, as you will know what needs to be done to prepare.It is impossible to remember all the events and tasks, that is where the planner comes to the rescue.

Featured photo credit: nightwriterpoet via nightwriterpoet.com

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Brad Shugar

Business Development Consultant

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

Ditch Work Life Balance and Embrace Work Life Harmony

Ditch Work Life Balance and Embrace Work Life Harmony

How do you usually go about your day?

Do you wake up in the morning, get ready for work, and then spend the whole day looking forward to being at home and unwinding?

We often hear about work life balance – having a good balance between work and personal time. Whilst this may sound like a smart idea, it can also imply that we should dedicate at least half of our time to work–and sacrifice time for our “personal life”.

To me, that seems…off balance. Because, the truth is, it’s nearly impossible to split your time equally between the two. And, you may end up stressing out if you’re not able to meet that expectation of balance.

Instead, why not think of having work life harmony instead?

With this mindset, you can actually integrate work into your life in a way that feels more complete. This way, you don’t need to view work and having personal time as separate.

So, how do you achieve work life harmony?

Work Life Harmony Explained

The difference between work life balance and work life harmony is pretty simple.With the former, there is an implication that you have to sacrifice your “life” for work. But, this is the worst way to go about things! How can you truly be at peace in life if you dread 8 hours of your day?

Work life harmony on the other hand, allows your work to be a part of your life. This means that you can choose to be happy both at home, and at work! Work no longer needs to be seen as the ‘bad’ or un-fun activity.

Having work life harmony also ensures you’re truly present in whatever place you find yourself.

Just take a look at Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon for example.

He uses a non traditional approach to work by making time for breakfast every morning with his family, doesn’t set his alarm before going to bed, schedules surprisingly few meetings, and still puts aside a few minutes every day to wash his own dishes.

He believes that all his staff should stop trying to achieve a ‘balance’ in their work and personal lives as that implies a trade off. Instead, he envisions a more holistic relationship between the two.

As the world’s richest man, he must be doing something right!

Rethink Time Management

Now, when we think of striking a balance, we usually associate it with time, don’t we? How much time are we spending at work versus how much time are we spending in our personal lives?Are we taking enough time to be with our loved ones, to do meaningful activities with others or even for ourselves, or are we just dedicating all our time to work?

This is the so-called-balance that many struggle with.

With work life harmony, we learn to rethink time management. By re-assessing how you manage your time, you’ll have a lot more of it. It’s incredible how much time can get wasted over the period of a day–especially when you’re not accurately tracking it.

Unfortunately, unless you’re consciously making an effort, your brain is not always the best at making accurate judgement calls when it comes to prioritizing. It tends to have a bias towards short term benefits and short term costs.

As there are often many more options our brains link to short term benefit; when you’re trying to focus on a task that gives you a long term benefit, that task usually becomes low priority. This is otherwise known as Priority Chaos.

In order to overcome this and be in better control of your time, identify the tasks that need the most focus to get accomplished. If it’s a big task, then it’s good to break it down into smaller bite-sized actions that will provide you with a clearer short term benefit.

When setting up tasks, give yourself a time limit. The brain has a bias towards short term benefits, and your attention span is limited, so if your tasks are going to take ages to complete, you’ll end up losing focus… and wasting time.

Once you have all your tasks written down, it’s time to prioritize them. Since you have a time limit, your focus should be on the top priority tasks. By doing this, you will already be able to get more done in less time at work!

Have Passion for What You Do

Managing your time is important in achieving that work life harmony. But, perhaps of greater importance, is loving what you do in life.One of the most effective ways to achieve a work life harmony is to really enjoy, or find a purpose, in what you do for a living. Even though everyone isn’t always lucky enough to find a position that pays them for pursuing their passion, you can strive to find meaning in what you are already doing, or pursue something new entirely!

For example, say you work at an office that sells paper. While many people wouldn’t consider this a world changing pursuit, I beg to differ. Think of all the individuals in the world that rely on paper. From creative types to quantum physics experts, your role at your workplace brings incredible value to many many people all over the world. You will have, without a doubt, helped bring a new idea into existence. Several new ideas to be precise.

So have a think about what you’re doing now. Is it something that allows you to embrace your passion?

Or perhaps you might not even know what it is that you love or enjoy doing. Why not explore and reflect on what gives you joy and contentment? Is there an area or industry that you could see yourself exploring to experience that fulfillment?

Can you find a deeper purpose in what you’re already doing?

When you’re able to find meaning in your work, you’re that much closer to achieving work life harmony.

Don’t Be Intimidated By Obstacles and Limitations

Creating work life harmony is also about understanding yourself–which includes your limitations and past obstacles–as this allows you to become more resilient.

If you never had to experience struggles, challenges or setbacks, then you would never be forced to adapt and mature. So in theory, having to face obstacles in life is actually quite necessary.

Most of us think of setbacks and obstacles as negative. Though, if you’re able to maintain an optimistic attitude, you’ll almost always have a higher chance of success of overcoming those obstacles to reach your eventual goal.

Your attitude towards setbacks will define the outcome of whether you rise from the challenge or remain stuck in it. So, in order to achieve work life harmony, it’s important to have a resilient attitude as challenges will always come your way–especially when you strive to integrate work into your life, and not a separate or dominant part of life.

Delegate When You Need To

Of course, when you want to increase productivity and minimize the time or effort spent, a great way to do so is to delegate!

If you spend a lot of time doing tasks on your own that could be delegated to others (whether at work or at home) you’re losing a lot of precious free time that could otherwise be spent elsewhere.

At the end of the day, we all have a limited amount of time. So we should all be striving to create a harmonious work and living situation where we can find meaning in all that we do.

While an overall goal may be meaningful, not all of the milestones or tasks needed to get there may be meaningful. That’s because we have our strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Not every task is going to be enjoyable or easy to complete. That’s where delegation comes in.

Delegation simply allows you to leverage time from an external source, thus giving you opportunities to increase your own quality of time. Keep in mind that delegation should be done with deliberate attention, otherwise you may end up over relying on others.

If you find that you’re running into the problem of over delegating, then it may be time to re-evaluate your motivation for doing whatever it is that you’re doing.

Embrace the Circle and Become Happier and More Productive

Living in harmony is about feeling good about the ways in which you spend your time, despite how busy you may be.Your switch from work mode to a more personal mode should be effortless. It’s about integrating your personal life and the things you love into your busy work life!

It all begins with the shift in perspective. Understanding what your passions are, and learning to be resilient, before taking a different approach to the way you manage your time and everyday tasks.

These are steps that you can start taking to move away from balance to harmony. 

Featured photo credit: Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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