Who among us is not always running low on time? In the fast-paced, hectic and chaotic world we live in today, there are always too many things to do, too many places to be and too little time to do it all in. Fortunately, there exist life hacks that can make the ride a little bit smoother, by saving you little pockets of time on days when pulling off the balancing act between professional, personal and health commitments successfully can seem like an impossible dream. Here are nine life hacks that can help you in little ways every single day.
Learn to say 'no'
Far too many of us struggle with saying no to people, as a result of which we're saddled with time and energy-draining tasks and responsibilities we really didn't need to add to our already stretched schedules. Learning how to say no - politely, but firmly - is the single most important life skill to save time and be able to prioritise what's truly important
Buy a portable charger, already
It's a pain in the posterior when your phone decides to blink with the annoying sign of a low battery at the precise minute you're supposed to be on your way to keep an appointment. Save yourself some serious heartache by investing in a powerful battery pack for your phone.
Flip your mattress every three months
Unless you're using a one-sided mattress, that is. Flipping your mattress every few months will even it out and prevent it from sagging, which, in turn, will save you from a world of pain in the form of poor posture and backaches. Flipping your mattress will take a couple of minutes, but a hurting back will take a whole lot longer to deal with.
Don't wait till you're starving to put food in your body. If you take very long breaks between meals, your body will start tiring due to lack of glucose and productivity will dip. Snacking every couple of hours is not only good for your metabolism, but will also keep your energy levels high, enabling you to work at your optimum. Plus, it will prevent you from bingeing on unhealthy food due to extreme hunger.
Keep salt, pepper, etc. in your drawer at work
Despite our best intentions, most of us end up eating a lot of our meals at the desk. Since that is almost an inevitability now, keep essentials like disposable forks and spoons, and little sachets of salt, pepper, chili flakes, ketchup, herbs, etc. in your drawer at work. You never know when you might need them and there's nothing that can sour one's mood faster than having to eat a bland meal because there was no time to run to the cafeteria for basic supplies.
Don't incessantly check emails
Unless you work in an industry that requires instant responses and action to emails, limit your email tracking to a couple of times a day. Stopping what you're doing to check every new email can distract you and make you lose focus on the current task. So allot specific times in the day to check and respond to emails - perhaps once when you start work, once before lunch and one before you wrap up for the day.
Unsubscribe from useless lists
While on the subject of emails, take 10 minutes every fortnight or so to unsubscribe from mailing lists you have no use for, especially e-commerce websites. They'll draw you in with a product you never intended to buy and before you know it, you will have spent a lot of easily-saved time and money on the site.
Park your car a few lanes away
While you should ideally be spending 30 minutes each day getting some form of exercise, we all know that for many of us, that's not actually going to happen. So force yourself to walk at least a little by parking your car a few lanes away from work. In addition to giving your body some physical exercise, it will give you time to think, which in turn increases productivity.
Keep wrist/ankle weights in your drawer at work
You may not have the time to go to the gym and do weight training, but there's really nothing that is stopping you from stocking up from ankle and wrist weights at work and using them to tone and stretch your muscles a little. Use them while taking calls or during a brain-storming session with your peers to relax stiff muscles and get the blood flowing.
What are your go-to life hacks? Tell us in the comments below.