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Year in Review: The 70 Best Lifehacks of 2007

Year in Review: The 70 Best Lifehacks of 2007
The 70 Best Lifehacks of 2007

2007 was a great year for personal productivity at lifehack.org! We’ve added more than a dozen new writers, who have brought new perspectives, new topics, and most importantly new hacks and tips to our virtual pages. 

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If you want to be more productive in the New Year, take a look at these 70 best lifehacks of 2007 now, and subscribe to our feed so you don’t miss any of the great advice and information to come in the year ahead. These were the most popular posts of the last year, based on their popularity, your comments, and links from other sites. As 2007 winds down, invest some of your time and read them all. Or bookmark this page and make reading them one of your New Year resolutions.

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Networking and Communication

  1. How Not To Suck At Socializing – Do’s & Don’ts
  2. How To Initiate Conversation
  3. Using Compliments To Control Communication
  4. How To Exit A Conversation
  5. How to Cut Crutch Words When Giving a Speech

Writing and Studying

  1. Advice for Students: 10 Steps Toward Better Research
  2. Advice for students: Beware of thesaurus
  3. Advice for Students: How to Write Research Papers that Rock!
  4. Advice for Students: Taking Notes that Work
  5. How To Study
  6. How to study with a full-time job
  7. How to Take Notes like Thomas Edison
  8. Improve Your Writing with these Editing Tips
  9. Design Better with CRAP
  10. How to punctuate a sentence

Productivity, Creativity, and Motivation

  1. 11 Tips for Nuking Laziness Without Becoming a Workaholic
  2. 20 Productive Ways to Use Your Free Time
  3. 50 Ways To Increase Your Productivity
  4. 6 Rules to Work Less and Get More Accomplished
  5. How to Become a Creative Genius
  6. How to Boost Your Creative Output
  7. How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone
  8. Simple Productivity: 10 Ways to Do More by Focusing on the Essentials
  9. The Top 4 Misapplications of the 80/20 Rule
  10. Thirteen Tricks to Motivate Yourself

Leadership, Work, and Money

  1. Hack Your Boss
  2. Lead, Follow, and Get Out of the Way
  3. Bringing More Efficiency When You Work from Home
  4. Why One Partner Needs to Go Out and Work
  5. How to Live on a Tight Budget

Body and Mind

  1. 10 Unconventional Diet Tips: How to lose 50 pounds in three months
  2. 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)
  3. The Secret to a Healthy Body
  4. 13 Tips to Actually Enjoy Exercising
  5. Power Napping: How To Fall Asleep Anywhere
  6. 7 Stupid Thinking Errors You Probably Make
  7. Your Brain is Not Your Friend
  8. Three More Reasons Why Your Brain is Not Your Friend
  9. Nine Brain Quirks You Didn’t Realize You Had
  10. Writing and Remembering: Why We Remember What We Write

Software and Technology

  1. 10 Free Ways to Track All Your Passwords
  2. 10 Smart Hacks for Google Reader
  3. 5 Ways to Use Twitter for Good
  4. Beginner’s Guide: Run Linux like any other program in Windows
  5. Beginner’s Guide: Start a blog, get 100,000 page views and make over $100 your first month
  6. How to Survive as the Family Tech Support Guy (or Gal)
  7. Top 10 Firefox Extensions to Improve your Productivity
  8. Top 10 Greasemonkey scripts to improve your productivity
  9. Top 10 Ways to Use del.icio.us
  10. 9 Ways to Get More Out of Windows Live Writer

Family, Home, and Life

  1. Things I wish I’d known when I was younger
  2. Getting Rid of Yesterday: How to Start Your Day Fresh
  3. Hacking Church: How to attend service 52 weeks in a row
  4. How to raise the odds that it’s going to be a fantastic day
  5. My 7 Year-Old Son’s Life List
  6. The 7 Energy Sinkholes (and How to Avoid Them)
  7. The Seven Essential “Stations” Every Home Should Have
  8. Throw a lifeline to your future.
  9. Why being yourself matters
  10. Why Your Free Time is Boring

Success

  1. Success Lessons Most People Know But Too Few Follow
  2. The Ten Videos to Change How You View the World
  3. 10 Reasons You Aren’t Achieving Success
  4. How to Find Your Passion
  5. To Be Motivated and Successful, First Forget How You Feel
  6. 10 MORE ways to create a breakthrough in your life.
  7. 10 simple ways to save yourself from messing up your life
  8. 10 virtually instant ways to improve your life
  9. 18 Tricks to Make New Habits Stick
  10. How to Set an Appointment With Yourself

Were there any other posts that you enjoyed which haven’t mentioned here? Was there anything you learned here that changed your approach to work, family, or life in general? Let us know in the comments!

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Finally, let’s take a moment to recognize all the contributors whose incredible work in 2007 made lifehack.org a must-read resource for personal development:

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  • Lifehack.org Staff: Leon Ho, Scott Young, Craig Childs, and Dustin Wax
  • Contributors: Reginald Adkins, Marco Adragna, Brian Armstrong, Leo Babauta, Chris Brogan, Lawrence Cheok, Tony Clark, Rob Crawford, Raj Dash, Jonathan Fields, Lisa Gates, Brett Kelly, Donald Latumahina, Michael Leddy, Shane Magee, Rowan Manahan, Rory Marinich, Lorie Marrero, Tatsuya Nakagawa, Tom O’Leary, Tejvan Pettinger, Kyle Pott, Vishal Rao, Gleb Reys, Kim Roach, Susan Sabo, Adrian Savage, Rosa Say, Nick Senzee, Alex Shalman, Pamela Skillings, Mike St. Pierre , K. Stone, George Tee, Bob Walsh, and Rob Witham

Thanks to all of them, and to all the lifehack.org readers who have made lifehack.org successful.  We wish you all a happy, healthy, and productive 2008!

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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