Five fast things.
Overwhelmed? Don’t know where to begin? Depressed even?
Just do 5 things.
Pick up those socks, return that cup to the kitchen, water your plant, make the bed, respond to one message…
Half the time, you’ll get on a roll, and it turns into 20 things. Get in a groove and play some music. Magic happens.
Just do 5 things. Doesn’t matter what they are, don’t write a list. Nothing major.
Live fast die old, no regrets.
”Just 10 minutes”. Put on a timer, and start doing what needs to be done in the house. Folding the laundry, washing dishes, putting away clutter, etc. When the timer goes off, you can stop. But far more often I’ll just keep going untill everything is done.
The OP’s thread made quite a splash on Reddit. At the time of writing, u/angelicasibs’ post got 10k upvotes and a couple of awards. But the real victory was the discussion that they sparked!
Members of the r/LifeProTips subreddit were happy to share their top hacks, in the hope that they’ll be useful to anyone reading the thread. There’s a lot of knowledge condensed here, whether you’re looking to save a bit of cash or want to improve the quality of your life a little bit. It’s also a ton of fun to consider which hacks are the most worth trying out when you’ve got a spare moment.
Learned this LPT from the most awful woman I’ve ever had the displeasure of dating, which just goes to show you can learn something from everyone, folks
When my kids started school, I set an alarm in my phone for about 10 minutes before we had to leave. That way, it was only the clock/alarm telling them to hurry up, not their mother. Theyre in their final years of schooling now, I still have the alarm and in those 13 years, Ive only had to yell to get ready maybe 5 times and my kids have only been late for real reasons (car trouble etc). It really helped us.
Having saving accounts for expenses that are expected in the coming year like car registration and repairs, house repairs, and gifts. I pay into those accounts each month like theyre bills. And when I get a car repair bill, I move money over from that savings account for it because Ive prepaid it.
Additionally, no matter how much money I make, I give myself a fixed weekly allowance that transfers to a debit card that I use for gas, haircuts, groceries, eating out and other discretionary spending. This helps me stay on a spending plan without over thinking it.
These disciplines have helped me save thousands of dollars in overspending or debt servicing because I wasnt prepared for the expense. Ive also been able to save more for my emergency fund and retirement as a result.
One of the best things about the internet is that if you’ve got an open mind, you can learn a ton of useful hacks. It’s also a lot of fun to teach others what’s worked for you. And many of these tips aren’t ground-breaking: they’re common sense stuff that many of us know… but may need to be reminded of.
For instance, in our experience, our day goes smoother if when we have a couple of glasses of water first thing after getting up. We also delay our first cup of coffee until around an hour after waking up. This way, we’re more alert and feel like we’re less dependent on caffeine.
When clothes shopping, I don’t look at the price tag until I get to the dressing room. I try on the piece and then make up a price that I would feel comfortable paying for it. If it is below that price, I’ll buy it. If it’s above it, back on the rack it goes.
Also, if you don’t absolutely love it, don’t buy it. If you only *like* it, don’t buy it.
Something else that works wonders for us is walking more. Whether it’s a mid-morning stroll, doing a few laps around the office at lunch, or going for a longer hike out in nature after work, our mood is far better when we move more. These strolls also help reduce stress and anxiety and get you away from the computer, phone, and TV. We aim for getting at least 10k steps per day.
The CDC recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic physical activity per week. They can substitute this with 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity or aim for a combination of both. Meanwhile, kids and teens ought to be physically active for at least an hour each day. This way, everyone stays healthier, happier, and reduces their risks of contracting serious diseases.
“Kill it before it grows,” lol. Tackle all those little things that can turn into bigger problems before they have a chance to get worse. That annoying drip you just noticed in the kitchen? Go fix it before it turns into a $400 water bill. Loose piece of siding? Nail that sucker down before it blows off and hits your car. Random mint plant growing in the yard? Pull it up before it takes over.
Learning to be helpful at my job. About 15 years ago I simply decided that I would be helpful. If someone asked for help I would always volunteer. If someone was struggling I would offer to help. If someone needed a technical email drafted Id write it and ask for no credit. My goal was simple. I want to help those around me be the best they can be and I want us all to go home on time.
Since making that decision Ive only benefitted. People look out for me, help me find work, and if I really need help I know someone will step up.
Which of these tips did you find the most useful, Pandas? Were there any that you’ve tried before? What life hacks have made your own day-to-day grinds easier, whether saving you time, energy, or money? Scroll down to the bottom of the article to share your thoughts in the comment section. In the meantime, for some more life hacks, check out Bored Panda’s earlier feature right over here.
Mine is “Might as Well” when walking past laundry on the floor, might as well take it to the bin if I am heading that way. Walking past trash on the floor, I Might as well pick it up and put it in the bin. Going downstairs Might as Well take a cup and put it in the sink. Trying to compress multiple activities into one when it is convenient.
Batch cook lunches. It takes an hour out of your Sunday but is so much cheaper and ensures you don’t just eat junk food because it’s easier.
Before you throw a towel into the washing basket (to go into the washing machine later) – use that sucker to wipe down any and all dirt or grime you can find in the room it’s from. THEN throw it in the laundry.
You guys are all about the self improvement. I am lazy-girling it over here but: Automatic bill pay.
Every bill. Automatic. Set credit cards to pay off in full every month if you’re a points ranger.It’s how I have an 820 FICO. I thought that would never happen.
Also, try to get enough sleep but if you can’t, get as far away from your sleep space as possible in the morning and don’t go back until you are 100 % awake. I put my clothes for the next day in the front bathroom, don’t even shower in the master bath because the temptation to slither back into that bed like some kind of homing flounder is so strong.
If theres something I want/need to do but dont feel like it (run, chore, work project, etc), Ill mentally say OK. Im not going to complete it, but Ill just start and do a tiny bit, no pressure. Most of the time I get into the flow after starting.
Setting out a full outfit the night before, for whatever activity I have planned for tomorrow. I don’t have to go searching for socks and appropriate undergarments, it dumps a mental load, and when I’m running behind schedule I know it’s the last thing I have to do before I bolt out.
Marry someone with similar values and priorities to you, those become important later in life as you begin to have to make tradeoffs with time and money
Eat before going shopping for groceries. You’ll be less likely to buy snacks and stuff. Also make a list and buy just what’s on the list.
When buying something in the sale and thinking you are saving money because it has “x” amount off.
You are not saving money, you are spending money.
Turn all your clothes hangers around at the start of the year, if theyre still the wrong way around the following year, ditch the clothes, either sell them on vinted or donate
I wash as I cook. A lot of cooking is standing waiting for something to heat up or mix. I rinse off the stir spoon or scraper right away and put it back. Use a measuring cup, same thing. My wife doesn’t and she has a whole dishwasher full of cooking bowls, cups, and utensils at the end that take way more time to take care of. If you rinse off everything right away it doesn’t dry on and you can quickly dry it and put it back.
Im an elementary teacher, and I wear pretty much the same thing to work every day. I have 5 North Face brand pants and 5 school shirts. This makes my life such much easier, and I dont have to worry about what to wear to work.
When making any purchase, think of it as hours of your time you’ve had to give away.
For example, if you earn $10 an hour for round figures and that BBQ you want to buy is $600 is it worth 60 hours of your time?
Also if you find yourself making a lot of impulse purchases online, put the item in your online basket and wait a minimum of 24 hours, most of the time you’ll forget about what you wanted.
Keep your place clean. A clean place leads to a clean mind that leads to more happiness, higher income, more time for fun things.
It takes effort to build that habit, after 2 months it will be a habit and you will never want to go back.
Organise your rooms based on how you use them, not how you think they should be. Find out how you behave and go with the flow.
E.g. if your room is always messy because you leave your books on your bed, thats because you read in bed. Put your shelf next to your bed or make your nightstand the designated book spot.
If you use a chair for clothes that are too clean to go in the hamper but too dirty to be in the closet, thats because you dont have a designated space for it. Have two hampers. One for dirty, one for not so dirty.
Ethnic market for cheaper meat and produce. At my Mexican market, produce is a bit less cosmetic, but a lot cheaper. Chicken is often on sale for $.69 a pound for leg/thigh quarters. Spices are super cheap.
At stores or anywhere that has a membership connected to a phone# I always use whatever area code Im in + 867-5309, usually someone has it set up to that number and you get the discount
Stop caring if things go well or not. Literally revolutionized my life and how I enjoy the world. Being frustrated by circumstances out of your control will drive you insane. And if you look closely, basically everything in your life is out of your control. Its just raining circumstances on you every day.
Im not sure if this is handy or not but I put all my forks, knives, etc into their own cubby in the dishwasher so when it comes to unloading I dont have to sort through anything.
When cooking, time is your friend. It has the ability to make less expensive food delicious. Braising a cheap cut of meat in the oven or crockpot will make it amazing. Learn a half dozen recipes that use cheap ingredients, are delicious and healthy.
Dont drink your calories. A small glass of orange juice is 130 calories. A can of soda is 140. A bottle of beer is 160. Swap those out for water/tea/black coffee and thats 430 calories you didnt consume each day.
I’m actually responding twice because my first post reminded me of to do lists.
Option 1) Three tasks only: commit to only 3 important things rather than too much.
Option 2) Run a To Do list and a Done list. Write down everything you accomplish even if it wasn’t on the agenda.
Making my own lunch for work. I work downtown and theres a ton of places to buy food but overall its expensive and feel my energy levels go down after eating out too much.
A side perk is I also got good at cooking!
Take your favorite shredded meat recipe, whether its slow cooked, pressure cooked, whatever. Make a large batch, then put the remainder in a muffin tin and pop in the freezer. Once theyve frozen put in a freezer bag. Now you have tasty, individually portioned meals for months.
Ive got half a dozen different varieties going most of the time if not more. Pulled pork, chicken, asian-styled beef or pork, carnitas, machaca beef, the list goes on. Easy to make, easy to store, easy to turn into a meal with a veggie or just defrost and put one on nachos.
The best muffin tin for this Ive found was one made of silicone with a support in it to make the tray rigid but the cups still flexible. That way it is easy to lay flat in the freezer but you can easily pop out the pucks.
For the broke & hungry uni / college students: the admin staff on campus probably have catered training/etc events at least once a month. Find the room(s) where they do it. My uni would put up a poster for the staff with the time & dates of these events, so I would walk by the room when an event ended and eat the remaining food.
1. When moving from room to room, always take something that needs moving. There’s always something!
2. The five minute rule – if something takes less than five minutes, just do it.
3. A water flosser (yes I know not as good as real floss but I have a fixed retainer and I realistically am never going to use that fiddly superfloss stuff twice a day).
4. Portable travel steamer in my bedroom (instead of taking something downstairs to be ironed). EDIT: I should have noted that I’m a woman so I’m usually steaming silk, light cottons, cashmere, etc. (The steamer is also great for refreshing fabrics such as wool, silk and cashmere which are naturally self-cleaning.) If you’re trying to get the results of an iron on, for example, a smart shirt, you’re going to be disappointed. 🙁
5. Set days of the week for changing sheets, washing towels etc.
If you have an infant that attends childcare, remove their clothes as soon as they get home. Change their outfit.
The viruses and bacteria linger on clothes and the longer the child is immersed in them, the more likely they are to get sick.
My daughter was constantly getting sick – covid, flus, RSV, often more than once. It was putting enormous strain on us as we both work and had to use up all our time off caring for her.
The moment we switched we went from every second week her being out sick, to maybe one week out of every two to three months.
Weekly menu planning combined with meal prep.
Once a week, my fiance and I go through our pantry and freezer, and plan out a menu for our evening meal. This allows us to grocery shop once a week for only the items we need for said meals that we don’t already have in the house.
When we make those meals, we make enough to have a couple leftover containers for the next day’s lunch, or put in the freezer for a future meal. (Lunches at work, or those nights where you’re schedule gets busy)
We also take a week to 2 weeks every few months where we only eat what’s in the house. We especially concentrate on planning meals around things that are older in the freezer or pantry. (We will go buy basic things like milk or produce as needed)
Hopping in the shower immediately after my partner. Saves time and money by not waiting on the water to warm up.
Never leave a room empty handed. Heading downstairs to switch laundry over? Bring the drill that’s been sitting in the kitchen. Heading to the kitchen? Grab the water bottle that’s sitting on the side table. There is almost always something that’s in the wrong place.
For dealing with emails: The Four Fs – Finish it (read and reply), Forward it, File it, F it (delete it)
Use the reminder app in my iPhone. I set repeated reminders for credit card payment, bedclothes laundry, birthdays, even haircuts. Also very helpful for chores/random events. By doing this I can keep them from occupying my mind and focus on the things at hand.
When you book a hotel and its a pay at hotel reservation, keep checking the hotel rates for your same reserved dates. The price will fluctuate. When the price dips, contact the hotel and ask them to change the rate on your reservation to match. I saved a lot of money thanks do this with a reservation at Turtle Bay resort in Oahu, and now its the only way I operate. Same principle works for rental cars too, but many agencies suck so in those cases you just book a new reservation at the cheaper cost and then cancel the original one. Remember, this is only a good method for when you have paid nothing toward the reservation and youre still in the cancellation period!
I learned how to put a duvet cover on in aabout 1 minute.
Step 1)flip duvet or comforter inside out
Step 2) put your hands inside the now inside out duvet and pinch the far corners. The duvet is sort of draped over your arms and upper body.
Step 3) with your hands inside the duvet sheets, grasp the actual comforter at the corner
Step 4) roll let the sheets naturally roll down your arms and cover the comforter.
minimalism and going low waste. Both saves a ton of money, minimalism saves a lot of time as well (managing and cleaning a household becomes way easier and faster)
When my 3 kids were little, and there were lots of taco Tuesdays and spaghetti dinners, I would buy hamburger meat in bulk and go ahead and cook it and then freeze the cooked burger crumbles in 1-2 cups freezer bags. Easy to pull out, defrost and reheat.
Always schedule your next appointment at the end of an appointment. Even if you’ve never had a problem getting an appointment on short notice, or it’s a year away, or your schedule might change, etc. At most you might have to change it closer to the date, but I’ve found places are more likely to work with you if it’s a reschedule rather than a new appointment.
Get a poop stool Lifting your legs up while s******g makes it easier and greatly diminishes your chance of getting hemorrhoid later on.
This will get buried but we put the silverware in the dishwasher silverware holder thing grouped by type. So all the forks go on one side, and the spoons all go together and the knives all go together on the other side. Makes putting them away a smidge easier. Also have a squeezey bottle for laundry detergent instead of the little cup thing that makes a damn mess. Let’s see what else… Cat food bowls are all ceramic now so they can be sanitized in the dishwasher vs those stupid plastic ones that fell apart.
Alarms for everything. It annoys my spouse, but it’s how I do things.
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