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25 Hacks That Make Your Life More Organised and Productive

25 Hacks That Make Your Life More Organised and Productive

Are you always on the lookout for tips and tricks to help make your life more productive and organised? Make your life easier with these useful hacks!

Hack #1

If you’ve started a new roll of wrapping paper and you have some left over, simply slot an old toilet roll around the wrapping paper to keep it from crumpling or tearing.

    Hack #2

    Try tying a piece of luggage to your suitcase when you travel, so it is easy to find when you are collecting baggage at the airport.

      Hack #3

      To make taking the bins out less messy, try lining the bottom of your bin with newspaper, as it helps to soak up any liquids.

        Hack #4

        Try this nifty trick so you don’t get food on your cookbooks whenever you are cooking.

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          Hack #5

          Put a bar of scented soap with your dirty clothes in your luggage, to help disguise the smell while you’re on the move.

            Hack #6

            If you don’t want to spend money on a watering can, try poking holes in the lid of an old milk carton to make your own cheap and effective watering can.

              Hack #7

              Hate taking more than one trip to the car when you’re unpacking shopping? Keep a washing-up basket in your boot to save you time!

                Hack #8

                If you love ice lollies, try pushing a cupcake wrapper underneath the lolly to catch any sticky mess.

                  Hack #9

                  If you have candles with wicks that are hard to reach, this hack is perfect for you. Light the end of a piece of spaghetti and use it to light the candle.

                    Hack #10

                    Try using a piece of paper from a sticky pad to clean crumbs and dirt from your keyboard.

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                      Hack #11

                      If you are re-heating food in the microwave, push a hole into the middle of the food so the food heats up much faster!

                        Hack #12

                        This tip is great for anyone who is struggling to find room in their wardrobe. Try hooking a ring-pull onto a coat-hanger so you can attach a second coat-hanger below.

                          Hack #13

                          Save time by painting your keys different colors, so you can always find the one you need quickly.

                            Hack #14

                            If you’re throwing a barbecue or party, serve up the condiments in a muffin tray to save yourself extra washing up!

                              Hack #15

                              Use a paperclip to help you if you have any jewelry that is difficult to put on.

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                                Hack #16

                                Shape your eggs beautifully by cooking them in either a slice of onion or pepper.

                                  Hack #17

                                  To save on mess, hang your spoon through the end of your pan while you’re cooking.

                                    Hack #19

                                    If you love chilled white wine, try using frozen grapes instead of ice in your drink. Grapes are much tastier, and won’t dilute your drink.

                                      Hack #20

                                      If you are in a hotel and you can’t find somewhere to charge your phone, check the back of the television. They often have USB ports many phone chargers fit into!

                                        Hack #21

                                        Cut up a tennis ball for a fun, quirky and cheap way to store your keys and letters.

                                          Hack #22

                                          If you don’t have a roasting tray, this hack using spoons ensures your dinner is still cooked perfectly.

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                                            Hack #23

                                            If you have lots of cables, use old toilet rolls to individually store them. This trick makes the cables easy to find and stops them tangling together.

                                              Hack #24

                                              Use non-flavored dental floss to cut cakes perfectly, without creating any mess.

                                                Hack #25

                                                Tired of your snacks going stale? Use an old coat-hanger as a thrifty way to keep your food fresh.

                                                  Do you have any hacks that help you keep your life organised and productive? Comment with your ideas!

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                                                  Amy Johnson

                                                  Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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                                                  The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

                                                  The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

                                                  It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

                                                  Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

                                                  “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

                                                  In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

                                                  New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

                                                  There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

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                                                  So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

                                                  What is the productivity paradox?

                                                  There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

                                                  In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

                                                  He wrote in his conclusion:

                                                  “Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

                                                  Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

                                                  How do we measure productivity anyway?

                                                  And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

                                                  In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

                                                  But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

                                                  In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

                                                  But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

                                                  Possible causes of the productivity paradox

                                                  Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

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                                                  • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
                                                  • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
                                                  • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
                                                  • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

                                                  There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

                                                  According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

                                                  Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

                                                  The paradox and the recession

                                                  The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

                                                  “Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

                                                  This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

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                                                  According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

                                                  Looking forward

                                                  A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

                                                  “Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

                                                  Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

                                                  “Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

                                                  On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

                                                  Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

                                                  Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                                  Reference

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