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30 Best Random Lifehacks of the Week

30 Best Random Lifehacks of the Week

Making your life easier in at least one little way might be just what you need to get through the week intact. You never know when a stale cake will be the last straw in your lengthy list of frustrations! Save yourself some trouble and check out these thirty solutions for life’s little dilemmas:

1. The taste and smell of gum you chewed while studying will help your brain remember information if you chew the same gum during a test.

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    2. Freeze grapes and use them to keep white wine chilled without watering it down.

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      3. Drink grape juice to help reduce headaches.

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        4. When you have a cold, tape your first empty box of tissues to a full one. Easily contain your used tissues without a mess.

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          5. Rings turning your fingers green? Paint the inside of costume jewellery with clear nail polish.

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            6. Drill a couple holes in the bottom of your garbage bin to get rid of annoying suction.

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              7. Never have a messy, difficult time opening a freezer pop again.

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                8. DIY keyboard vacuum.

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                  9. Put a marshmallow in the bottom of your ice cream cone to prevent leakage.

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                    10. Assuming you live in an area that doesn’t use accented letters, they make perfect additions to passwords.

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                      11. Re-purpose that plastic pants hanger from the store and use the clips for chip bags!

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                        12. Instantly know which ear-bud is left or right

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                          13. Pin pieces of bread to the open parts of a cake using toothpicks to keep it from going stale

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                            14. Already sealed and stamped an envelope but forgot something or put in the wrong thing? Stick it in the freezer to undo the envelope glue.

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                              15. The perfect way to have ice cold water to bring with you:

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                                16. A Nutella jar lid is great for keeping opened canned food sealed.

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                                  17. Use a sticky note to clean between your keys (hint: use the sticky side).

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                                    18. Tired of people stealing your pens?

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                                      19. Put your laptop on top of a cardboard drink holder to let it air out and keep from overheating.

                                      If your laptop is overheating on your lap, flip one of these over and set the laptop on top.

                                        20. If you forget your phone charger, many hotel TVs have a USB plug that you can use instead.

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                                          21. Make a drip-free freezer pack:

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                                            22. Stuffed-up nose? Put a few drops of eucalyptus or peppermint oil in your tissue box, it’ll help clear your sinuses when you use a tissue

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                                              23. Trick your brain into thinking you’re eating more to help stop over-eating:

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                                                24. Bring a power-strip to the airport, become a hero

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                                                  25. A laser pointer lens can turn your smartphone camera into a macro lens.

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                                                    26. Get rid of annoying cereal dust:

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                                                      27. Avoid wasting soap bars by sticking the sliver of leftover soap onto a new bar.

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                                                        28. Cut an old pool noodle and use it to keep leather boots upright and avoid creases.

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                                                          29. Transport pizza like a pro:

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                                                            30. Not good at keeping up on current events? Go to Wikipedia and search [month] [year] for the time period you missed.

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                                                              Featured photo credit: cardboard drink holder/G&A Packaging & Catering Supplies Ltd via delisupplies.co.uk

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                                                              1 The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Critical (And How to Strike a Balance) 2 How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day 3 How to Start Delegating Tasks Effectively (Step-by-Step Guide) 4 How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators 5 8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

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                                                              Last Updated on October 22, 2020

                                                              How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

                                                              How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

                                                              Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed, and exhausted. Therefore, if you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, it’s time to do something about it.

                                                              Here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm, leaving you calmer, in control, and a lot less stressed at work.

                                                              1. Write Everything Down to Offload Your Mind

                                                              The first thing you can do when work feels overwhelming is to write everything down that is on your mind.

                                                              Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s occupying your thoughts[1].

                                                              For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind, write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind.”

                                                              The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will help you stop feeling overwhelmed at work. Writing things down can really change your life.

                                                              2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

                                                              Once you have emptied your head, go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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                                                              As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

                                                              Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. You can learn how to create a more meaningful to-do list here.

                                                              3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

                                                              Here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago to help when work feels overwhelming. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and we humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take[2]:

                                                              When feeling overwhelmed at work, use Parkinson's Law.

                                                                This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad. It’s more wishful thinking than bad judgment.

                                                                We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage when we’re feeling overwhelmed at work. If you have estimated that to write five important emails will take ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

                                                                Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is that you put yourself under a little time pressure, and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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                                                                When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time, so it plays tricks on us, and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our team members to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

                                                                Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening, and we get more focused and more work done. This will help when work feels overwhelming.

                                                                4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

                                                                Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos to avoid getting overwhelmed at work. Schedule time for each task, especially high priority tasks, while also grouping together similar tasks. This will help relieve stress and anxiety in your daily work life.

                                                                For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

                                                                Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done, and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer, and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

                                                                5. Make Decisions

                                                                For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one[3]. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

                                                                If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend, or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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                                                                If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss or a colleague and get advice.

                                                                Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away and will only make you feel more overwhelmed at work. You need to make a decision to deal with it, and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved.

                                                                I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed, and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend about the problem.

                                                                He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem, and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I pay a smaller amount for a couple of months.

                                                                This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

                                                                The first was: don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second: there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

                                                                6. Take Some Form of Action

                                                                Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we are feeling overwhelmed at work (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

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                                                                The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

                                                                It also means that, rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible, and you can make decisions about what to do about them.

                                                                Often, it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be that you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

                                                                When work feels overwhelming, it’s not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work. It can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

                                                                The Bottom Line

                                                                It’s easy to feel like you have too much on your plate, but there are things you do to make it more manageable. 

                                                                Make a decision, even if it’s just talking to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution.

                                                                When you follow these strategies, you can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

                                                                More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

                                                                Featured photo credit: Josefa nDiaz via unsplash.com

                                                                Reference

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