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20 Kitchen Hacks You Need In Your Life Right Now

20 Kitchen Hacks You Need In Your Life Right Now

Still crying when you chop onions? Not sure what else you can do with that crazy kitchen gadget you got for Christmas? How about maximizing the refrigerator life of your fresh produce? If you can’t answer any of these questions, then Lifehack.org’s top 20 kitchen hacks isn’t just an necessity in your life—it’s a requirement.

1. Use your blender to aerate red wine.

If you’ve been pouring your red wine straight into the glass, then you’re missing a trick for ultimate drinking deliciousness. Exposing red wine to the air can open up the bouquet, as well as the flavor. Though this may look a bit odd, it’s the quickest way to ensure your vino is perfect.

2. Chop an onion without crying like a little girl.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i55IzJ0YXI0

You’ve probably heard all the hacks for preventing the tears from flowing when it comes to chopping onions. Stop looking like a chump and line up this method for the ultimate foodie satisfaction.

3. Give your eggs some radar love.

Everyone loves a hot, cooked breakfast. But who has the time anymore? Check out these quick hacks to have you scrambling, poaching and even making omelets with a little help from your microwave—all in under three minutes.

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4. Ripen bananas in a flash with your radiator.

When you buy bananas at the store, chances are that they’re just not quite ready yet. While this may work in the store’s favor, should you really have to wait a week to chow down? Of course not.

5. Get the right knife for the job.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKgGlpe45T0

You probably, like most people, have a drawer full of knives but only end up using a couple of favorites. However, did you know that by using the right knife for the job you can seriously save time and hassle? Expert Alton Brown gives his top tips on what knife you should be using when in this handy video.

6. Chop those fiddly little cherry tomatoes in no time.

Cherry tomatoes are yummy, that’s for sure. But chopping them for your salads or sauces is a massive pain. Use this quick tip to slice fistfuls of the little suckers in no time flat.

7. Chop a watermelon up for salad in under a minute.

While obviously getting as quick as this chap is going to take some practice, we’re still intrigued. Whip up a quick summer salad without all the hassle with the help of a big knife and an even bigger sense of swagger.

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8. Open a bottle of wine with a shoe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ajCWI5q6iQ

Ever shown up to an event and there’s no corkscrew for that great bottle of wine you brought with you? Mastering this hack could, quite literally, make you the most popular guy at the party.

9. Seed a squash like a pro.

Stop bending spoons and hacking up your hand with a knife when you attempt to seed a pumpkin or butternut squash. That often neglected ice cream scoop can come riding to the rescue, making it quick and easy to clean your veggies.

10. Peel garlic quicker than you can say the word “garlic.”

Where has this hack been all of our life? Forget smelly fingers and fiddling with little bits of paper. With a few quick shakes, you can peel an entire head of garlic in seconds.

11. Chicken wings: you’re eating them wrong.

12. Whip up your own buttermilk.

Buttermilk is great for making pancakes and creating the perfect fried chicken, but who really keeps this stuff on hand? Save your cash by making your own at home using just a few simple ingredients you’re sure to have around.

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13. Clean your kitchen in about 10 minutes.

Cleaning your kitchen, particularly after a huge cooking session, is a drag. So how can you do it quickly and without using harsh chemicals? These ladies have got your number on how to get the grime out of your microwave and make your countertops sparkle.

14. The last mayo recipe you’ll ever need.

If you’re a cooking geek, chances are you’ve tried to make your own mayonnaise. Additionally, chances are fairly high that you’ve screwed it up once or twice. This kitchen hack produces top-quality mayo with no effort or room for screw ups.

15. Cut your avocados without making a huge, mushy mess.

Still trying to peel your avocados? Why? Doing so only results in a great big green mess. Check out this professional tip for the sexiest slices and cuts of avocado with very little hassle.

16. Freeze your meat the right way.

You probably already know that buying meat in bulk is a great way to save cash. However, most people aren’t maximizing their freezer space or ability to quickly thaw that meat once they’ve stored it in the freezer. Go flat, says this smart kitchen hack.

17. Get the maximum juice out of your lemons and limes.

Microwave them, squeeze them or cut them on an angle—you’re simply not going to get all the juice out of that lemon or lime. Throw down like a professional chef by turning to your old friend, the humble fork, for juicing satisfaction.

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18. Extend the life of your dairy products with the flip of a wrist.

Do you buy sour cream, cottage cheese or yogurts on a regular basis, only to have them go bad just a few days later? Stop storing them right-side up. It may look ridiculous, but it helps extend the life of your dairy products by several days.

19. Make the best roasted chicken with a bundt pan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsNGCvXSGJ0

You know those pans you bought for a particular recipe that you’ve never used again? The bundt pan is the king of these. However, you’ll be pulling it out a lot more for your roast chicken with this quick and simple hack.

20. Achieve dog nirvana on your barbecue.

With warm weather quickly approaching, it’s time to drag out that barbecue, and where there’s a grill there’s hot dogs. Give your plain old dogs a twist, as well as a delicious edge, with this quick tip. Not only will the fit in your bun better, but they’ll also be more receptive to toppings.

Featured photo credit: batterjob32 via flickr.com

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Last Updated on October 13, 2020

How to Spot a Burnout And Overcome It Fast

How to Spot a Burnout And Overcome It Fast

Burnout at work is an issue that most people who suffer from it, suffer unknowingly.

Have you ever felt that you can’t start an assignment, have an immense urge to Netflix binge, or couldn’t get yourself to wake up on time even though you have a lot on your plate? The cause for these might be burnout.

According to Deloitte’s report, “many companies may not be doing enough to minimize burnout.” This is to say that the responsibility is not only on the employee. According to that report, nearly 70 percent of professionals feel their employers are not doing enough to prevent or alleviate burnout within their organization, and they definitely should.[1]

Too many companies don’t invest enough in creating a positive environment. One out of five (21%) said that their company does not offer any programs or initiatives to prevent or alleviate burnout. It is the culture, not the fancy well-being programs that would probably do the best work.

This is a significant problem for individuals and companies, and it’s also an issue on a macro level. A Stanford University research found that more than 120,000 deaths per year, and approximately 5%–8% of annual healthcare costs, are associated with the way U.S. companies manage their workforces.[2]

It is both the employee and the employer’s responsibility—and the latter can certainly take more responsibility.

In this article, I’ll guide you on how to know if you suffer from burnout and, more importantly, what you can do about it.

Who Are Prone to Burning Out?

For starters, it is a good thing to know that you’re in good company. According to a Gallup poll, 23% (of 7,500 surveyed) expressed burnout more often than not. Additionally, 44% felt it sometimes. Nearly 50% of social entrepreneurs who attended the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in 2018 reported having struggled with burnout and depression at some point.[3]

According to Statista (2017), 13% of adults reported having problems unwinding in the evenings and weekends. According to a Deloitte survey (consisting of 1,000 full-time U.S. employees), 77% of respondents said that they have experienced employee burnout at their current job.[4]

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Burnout is not only an issue of the spoiled first-world. Rather, it is a serious matter that must be taken care of appropriately. It affects so many people, and its impacts are just too significant to be ignored.

Some occupations are more prone to burnout, such as people who deeply care about their jobs more than others. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Passion-driven and caregiving roles such as doctors and nurses are some of the most susceptible to burnout.”

The consequences can have life or death ramifications as “suicide rates among caregivers are dramatically higher than that of the general public—40% higher for men and 130% higher for women”. It is also the case for teachers, non-profit workers, and leaders of all kinds.[5]

Deloitte’s survey also found that 91% say that they have an unmanageable amount of stress or frustration. Heck, 83% even say that it can negatively impact their relationships. Millennials are slightly more impacted by burnout (84% of Gen Y vs. 77% in other generations).

What Is Burnout Syndrome?

So, what is it, exactly? Burnout was officially included in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) and is an occupational phenomenon.

According to the World Health Organization, burnout includes three dimensions:[6]

  1. Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
  2. Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job;
  3. Reduced professional efficacy.

The 5 Stages of Burnout

At this point, you must have a clue if you’re at risk of burnout. There are different methods for understanding where you are on the burnout syndrome scale, and one of the most common ones is the “five stages method.”

1. Honeymoon Phase

As you may remember If you’ve gotten married, there’s always the honeymoon phase. You’re so happy and feel almost invincible. You love your spouse and at this stage, you’re very excited about everything. It’s the same when it comes to taking on a new job or role or starting a new business.

At first, most of the time, you’re hyper-motivated. Although you might be able to notice signs of potential future burnout, in most cases, you might ignore them. You’re highly productive, super motivated, creative, and accept (and take) responsibility.

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The honeymoon phase is critical because if you plant the seeds of good mental health and coping strategies, you can stay at this phase for extended periods.

2. Onset of Stress

Let’s continue with the wedding metaphor. Now that you’re happily married for some time, you might start noticing certain issues with your spouse that you don’t like. You might have seen them before, but now they take up more space in your life.

You might be less optimistic and feel signs of stress or minor symptoms of physical or emotional fatigue at work. Your productivity reduces, and you think that your motivation is lower.

3. Chronic Stress

Let’s hope you don’t get there in your marriage, but unfortunately, some people get there. At this stage, your stress level is consistently high, and the other symptoms of stage 2 persist.

At this point, you start missing deadlines, your sleep quality is low, and you’re resentful and cynical. Your caffeine consumption might be higher, and you’re increasingly unsatisfied.

4. Burnout

This is the point where you can’t go on unless there is a significant change in your workspace environment. You have a strong desire to move to another place, and clinical intervention is sometimes required.

You feel neglected, your physical symptoms are increasing, and you get to a place where your stomach hurts daily. You might obsess over problems in your life or work and, generally speaking, you should treat yourself.

5. Habitual Burnout

This is the phase in which burnout is embedded in your life. You might experience chest pains or difficulty breathing, outbursts of anger or apathy, and physical symptoms of chronic fatigue.

The Causes of Burnout

So, now that we know how to identify our stage of burnout, we can move on to tackling its leading causes. According to the Gallup survey, the top burnout reasons are:[7]

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  1. Getting unfair treatment at work – This is not always something that you can fully control. At the same time, you should remember that even if you’re not calling the shots, it doesn’t mean that you have to accept unfair treatment. The consequences mentioned above are just not worth it in most cases.
  2. Workload – Another leading cause of stress according to dozens of interviews conducted before writing the article. According to Statista, in 2017, 39% of workers said a heavy workload was their leading cause of stress. We live in a busy work environment, and we will share some tips on how to manage that.
  3. Not knowing your role – While not something you can fully control, you can, and probably should, take action to better define it with your boss.
  4. Inadequate communication and support from your manager – Like the others above, you can’t fully control that, but as we’ll soon share, you can take action to be in better control.
  5. Time pressure – As mentioned, motivated, passionate workers are more in danger of experiencing burnout. One of the reasons is that they’re pressuring themselves to do more, sometimes at the expense of their mental health. We’ll address how to work on that as well.

How to Overcome a Burnout

After going over the stages of burnout and the leading causes of becoming burned out, it might be a good time to let you know that there is a lot you can do to fight it head-on.

However, let’s start with what you should not do. Burnout cannot be fixed by going on a vacation. It should be a long-term solution, implemented daily.

According to Clockify (2019), these are the popular ways to avoid burnout:

  1. Focus on your family life – 60% of adults said that stable family life is key to avoiding burnout. Maintaining meaningful relationships in your life is proven to reduce stress (instead of having many unmeaningful relationships).
  2. Exercising comes in second, with 58% reporting that jogging, running, or doing any exercise significantly relieves stress. Even a relatively short walk might improve your body’s resilience to stress.
  3. Seek professional advice – 55% say they would turn to a professional. There are online websites where you can speak with professionals at reduced costs.

Aside from the three most popular ways of avoiding burnout, you can also try the following:

1. Improve Time Management

Try understanding how you can use your time better and leave more time for relaxation. That’s easy to say (or write) but more challenging to implement. It would help if you started by prioritizing yourself. Understanding the connection between your values and your everyday tasks is a tremendous help. You can use proven methods to improve the relationship between your vision and goals to your daily life tasks’ lists. Check out the Horizons of Focus or V2MOM methods to get started.

2. Use the P.L.E.A.S.E. Method

The P.L.E.A.S.E. is a combination of things you should do to be at your best physically. It means Physical Illness (P.L.) prevention, Eat healthy (E), Avoid mood-altering drugs (A), Sleep well (S), and Exercise (E).

3. Prioritize

You don’t have to say yes to everything that comes across your way at work (or in other aspects of life). You’d be surprised how easy it can become once you start saying no. Some might even describe it as exhilarating.

4. Let Your Brain rest

Culturally, most of us are already wired to think that hard work is essential, and while that’s true in most cases, we sometimes forget that our brain needs to rest for it to recharge. Seven hours of sleep are essential (depending on your age). Meditation might be helpful, too.

5. Pay Attention to Positive Events

According to Therapistaid.com, we tend to focus on the bad things in our lives. However, by focusing on positive things, we can change our mindset. One way to practice this daily is by writing three good things about your life every morning or evening. It’s been scientifically proven that doing so for a few months can help rewire your brain.

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6. Take Some “You” Time

A Netflix binge is not always good for you, but it might be in some cases. The better the leisure time is, the better you’ll feel in the long term. It’s usually better to read a book or start a new hobby that requires more cognitive skills than just lying on the couch. But as long as you feel good watching a movie, that might be a good start.

7. New Technologies Might Be Helpful

There are tons of self-help apps such as Fabulous, Headspace (meditation), Noom (diet and exercise), and others. They’re good to use, but you should also be careful not to run away from your problems only to watch social media for hours. It’s not real, and no one’s life is perfect (even if their Facebook or Instagram feeds might seem so). You should also be aware not to be in an “always-on” mindset.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re at the first or the fifth stage of the burnout phases, the goal of this article is to show you that there are always ways to fight it. The first thing is self-awareness—knowing that there’s a problem. The second step is to decide what to do about it.

You can also consider using Lifehack’s community. You’re more than welcome to share your burnout story on our Facebook page.

Bonus: Rebound from Burnout in 8 Hours

Watch what you can do to rebound from burnout quickly in this episode of The Lifehack Show:

https://youtu.be/MNnyqQWK_zg

Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

Reference

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