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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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                                                              Last Updated on July 21, 2021

                                                              The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

                                                              The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

                                                              No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

                                                              Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

                                                              Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

                                                              A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

                                                              Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

                                                              In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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                                                              From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

                                                              A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

                                                              For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

                                                              This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

                                                              The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

                                                              That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

                                                              Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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                                                              The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

                                                              Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

                                                              But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

                                                              The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

                                                              The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

                                                              A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

                                                              For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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                                                              But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

                                                              If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

                                                              For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

                                                              These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

                                                              For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

                                                              How to Make a Reminder Works for You

                                                              Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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                                                              Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

                                                              Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

                                                              My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

                                                              Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

                                                              I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

                                                              More on Building Habits

                                                              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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                                                              Reference

                                                              [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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