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The 100 Best Lifehacks of 2011: The Year in Review

The 100 Best Lifehacks of 2011: The Year in Review

    Another year is coming to a close this weekend, and it’s been a banner one here at Lifehack.

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    As you’ll see below, one of our most popular posts of 2011 was our 100 Best Lifehacks of 2010 article, which flows nicely into this post which will outline the 100 Best Lifehack of 2011. Unlike last year’s list, there’s a few changes we put into place before delivering this list to our readers.

    First off, the overall top 10 posts are determined by overall traffic during the past year, as well as engagement on social networks. The articles come from a wide variety of our website’s categories, whereas the remaining 90 articles are divided up into the primary categories that we write about at Lifehack: Communication, Lifestyle, Management, Money, Productivity and Technology.

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    Those 90 posts were decided on based on visits to each article, social media interaction, comments and then were finally curated by the Lifehack editorial team. Each category has 15 articles that made the cut for this year’s list as well.

    You’ve got a lot of reading to do here, os let’s get started…

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    Top 10 Most Popular Posts in 2011

    Communication

    1. Why You & Your Business Need to be Involved in Social Media
    2. How to Work Through Blog Burn Out
    3. How to Deal with Criticism in One Single Step
    4. 7 Ways to Build Your Network Without Using People
    5. 5 Simple And Obvious Tips For Better Communication
    6. Simplify Family Life With A Communication Station
    7. How to Write Better and Faster
    8. Start a Conversation with a Stranger without Sounding Desperate
    9. Do You Unnecessarily Point Out Flaws?
    10. Getting NaNoWriMo Done: How to Write a Novel in 30 Days
    11. How to Hack Language Learning
    12. How to Get a Book Contract in 6 Months (with a Blog)
    13. Mind Hack: The Philosophy of One
    14. 3 Ruthless Email Responses to Achieve Inbox Zero
    15. Starting A Blog in 2012? Avoid These 7 New Blogger Blunders

    Lifestyle

    1. What a Karate Weapon Taught Me About Achieving Big Goals
    2. 6 Easy Tips for Living with 100 Items or Less
    3. 10 Ways Improve Your Memory & Boost Brainpower
    4. Instant De-stress Tips: 7 Foods You Should be Eating Right Now
    5. Why Fear is Your Friend
    6. 10 Insanely Awesome Inspirational Manifestos
    7. 7 Benefits of Exercise (and Why Weight Loss Isn’t One of Them)
    8. Breaking Bad Habits in 28 Days
    9. Eating Ancestrally: How To Start Eating and Living Like A Human
    10. From Nag To Shag – The Ultimate Marriage Hack For Men
    11. The Best Decision You Can Make for Your Business — That Has Nothing to do With Money
    12. Enrich Your Life By Making it a Story to Tell
    13. How to Get Your Husband (or Wife) to Help Out More
    14. 7 Morning Hacks to Jumpstart Your Day
    15. 10 Wise Lessons: What I Wish I Knew When I Was Younger

    Management

    1. Virtual Assistants: Worth It?
    2. Today’s Career Challenge: Start Networking Like a Pro
    3. 4 Famous Workaholics (And The Secrets of Their Success)
    4. Improve Your Professional Credibility – Write a Book
    5. How to Make a Plan That Will Help Your Business Thrive
    6. How Logging Your Day Can Lead To Higher Effectiveness
    7. 7 Simple Steps to Resolve Any Problem
    8. The Art of Stress-Free Work
    9. How to Get a Do-It-Yourself MBA
    10. Beating the Meeting Monster
    11. Sensors and Intuitives: How to Bridge the Communication Gap
    12. 35 Reasons You Should Work With a Coach
    13. Living With Your Deadlines
    14. Ten Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Start Your Own Business
    15. The Absolute WORST Day to Take a Vacation (It’s Not When You Think!)

    Money

    1. 7 Tips for Reducing Your Overhead Costs
    2. Real Ways to Make Money Working from Home
    3. 26 Personal Finance Tips from Famous People
    4. Why I’ll NEVER Cut Up My Credit Cards
    5. Take Control of Meal Times With A Meal Planner
    6. 6 Luxurious Timesaving Services That Are Cheaper Than You Think
    7. Unexpected Ways The Library Can Save You Money
    8. Five Cost-Cutting Features of the Future Small Business You Can Embrace Today
    9. How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt
    10. 8 Tips for Raising Moneysmart Kids
    11. 100 Questions to Help You Write, Publish, and Sell Your Ebook
    12. The Black Friday Bucket List: 25 Things to Do on Black Friday (Shopping Not Included)
    13. Helping Japan: How to Make Sure Your Money Goes to the Right Place
    14. How to Negotiate with Car Salesmen and Get the Best Deal
    15. 3 Things You Can Do Now to Improve Your Finances in the New Year

    Productivity

    1. The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right For You?
    2. Productivity with Tablets: Paradox or Reality?
    3. How to Stay Productive When You’re Sick
    4. 7 Ways You Shouldn’t Be Using Your Calendar
    5. The 5 Fundamental Rules Of Working From Home
    6. 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Gen Y
    7. How Steve Jobs Changed My Productivity
    8. Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time
    9. Get the Most Out of Your Week by Starting it on Sunday
    10. How I Learned 5 Habits in 30 Days
    11. How to Slow Down
    12. How to Practice the Art of Detached Focus to Achieve Your Goals
    13. 6 Effective Ways to Become Persistent
    14. Simplify Your Productivity Tools To Get More Done
    15. What Yoga Can Teach Us About Productivity

    Technology

    1. 5 Tips for Effective Digital Note Taking
    2. 10 Android Apps to Help Save You Time & Money
    3. 7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Habits and Goals
    4. Kindle, Nook or iPad? How to Choose the Right eBook Reader for You
    5. Stop Wasting Time – How to Search Like a Pro
    6. Protecting Your Online Life With Secure Passwords
    7. 5 Things You May Learn From Google+ Launch
    8. 7 Tools For Writing On Your iPhone
    9. Focus on Art, Not on Features: Simple Online Tools for Writers
    10. To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System
    11. How to Stop Fiddling With Productivity Tools To Get More Done
    12. Goodbye Google Reader! (Or the Best RSS Reader Alternatives)
    13. Get Over Your Smartphone Addiction
    14. Lifehack’s iOS 5 Tips and Tricks Guide
    15. The Perfect Productivity Tool

    Thanks to all of the Lifehack contributors, without whom this list would not have been possible. And thanks to you, our Lifehack readers. We hope that the articles that we offered up in 2011 — both those that made this list and those that did not — have helped you make waves in 2011. We’ve got more in store for you in the coming year, and we hope you’ll stick with us for the ride.

    (Photo credit: 2011 on the beach of sunrise via Shutterstock)

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    More by this author

    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

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    Last Updated on August 19, 2019

    How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

    How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

    We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

    When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

    In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

    Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

    If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

    According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

    No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

    When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

    Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

    1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

    When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

    Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

    When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

    Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

    In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

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    It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

    You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

    Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

    What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

    You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

    That’s where we all should be.

    So, answer me this:

    How are you, really?

    And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

    Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

    Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

    Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

    Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

    It’s taking control.

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    2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

    You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

    You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

    In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

    Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

    You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

    Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

    But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

    It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

    In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

    It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

    Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

    Change will happen.

    Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

    You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

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    And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

    You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

    That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

    You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

    When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

    There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

    3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

    Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

    In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

    If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

    Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

    Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

    How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

    Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

    “Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

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    Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

    Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

    It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

    Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

    “If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

    What would you do if you felt you were enough?

    By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

    So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

    Final Thoughts

    By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

    Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

    When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

    You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

    More About Living Your True Self

    Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

    Reference

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