22 October 2020

20 tips and hacks that will make your life better


Get more done in 2018.Tran Mau Tri Tam/Unsplash

Whether its science-backed strategies or feel-good platitudes, we all need some extra motivation sometimes.

To help you easier navigate life, we combed through popular Reddit and Quora threads to create this list of hacks that people swear by, along with a few of our own.

From life-changing habits to simple tricks for your iPhone, here are 20 tips that could help you improve and transform your life.

Complete your hardest task first.

This strategy is also known as “eating the frog.”Jared Evans/Unsplash

Procrastination is a hard habit to kick, but learning how to “front-load your pain,” as Reddit user ParallaxBrew puts it, can be a great place to start: “That thing you feel crappy about? That thing you’re dreading? That is exactly the thing you need to do […] You know you’re going to end up feeling like s— if you procrastinate anyway […] [so] you might as well take the action that will improve your life.”

As Reddit user  RevMen suggests, “practice choosing discomfort” whenever you’re faced with a daunting task or tough decision, and it’ll become easier over time.

Set up this emergency feature on your iPhone — even if you think you’ll never use it.

Better safe than sorry. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Apple added “Emergency SOS” to iOS 11 in September. The feature lets you quickly and discreetly call 911 by rapidly pressing your iPhone’s Sleep/Wake button five times.

To set it up, head to Settings > Emergency SOS on your iPhone. Tap the toggle labeled “Auto Call” to enable the feature. You can also tap the toggle labeled “Countdown Sound” to hear a warning alarm in case you ever accidentally trigger a call to emergency services.

For more useful tips, check out this roundup of the best hidden iPhone features.


If you’re trying to eat healthier, try this simple trick.

Start with the snacks you choose.Cecilia Par/Unsplash

“Bring a healthy snack to work,” Reddit user jumamillion suggests. “If you’re looking for a snack but don’t feel like eating the one you brought, you’re not hungry, you’re bored.” You might also just be thirsty, in which case you can try drinking a cup of water and waiting five minutes to see if you still want a snack.

That said, healthy eating plans are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Studies suggest that the most important factor to look for in a diet is a routine you can actually enjoy and maintain. That means you may need to try a few different eating plans before you find one that works for you.

Turn comparison inward.

A new way of thinking about success.Matthew Kane/Unsplash

Instead of comparing yourself to others, Reddit user Henniferlopez87 suggests, compare yourself to where you were one or two years ago: “Whether it’s fitness or finance, use that as motivation for your own goals.”

“It’s not about making a comparison and always feeling good,” Reddit user StoppedLurking_ZoeQ clarifies. “It’s more a tool that you use throughout your life which is much better than looking at successful happy people and comparing yourself to them.”


Immediately do any task that could be completed in one minute.

Hang up your coat, for example. Paramount Pictures

This “one-minute rule” can help you become more productive, author Gretchen Rubin told Business Insider. She explained: “Accomplishing all those small, nagging tasks makes us feel both calmer and more energetic because we’re not dragged down by the accumulated weight of a mass of tiny, insignificant tasks.”

Check out 10 more productivity tips from experts here.

Trying to wake up earlier? Do something you enjoy when you first wake up.

Night owls might want to give this a shot.Kinga Cichewicz/Unsplash

Whether its watching an episode of your favorite TV show or whipping together a delicious breakfast, this tip can help you develop a habit of waking up early, Reddit user tlst9999 suggests.

Try this classic productivity hack.

Get more done in 2018.Tran Mau Tri Tam/Unsplash

Created by Italian entrepreneur Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro technique is a time-management strategy designed to help increase your productivity. The method, which has drawn a huge following since the early ’90s, is based on the premise that you work more efficiently when your time is broken down into intervals of “intense, distraction-free work” followed by short breaks.

Or use a free app to help you stay focused.

Make the most of your commutes.Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

Tide, for example, is an app based on the Pomodoro technique. It lets you set a timer, so you can work in brief, efficient intervals. If nature sounds help you focus, you can also choose from one of five options (ocean, rain, forest, meditation, and coffee) or customize a mix of music and white noise.

Check out 16 other useful productivity apps here.

Start everything by asking yourself, “Why?”

This simple habit can help you make better decisions. Shutterstock

Quora user Charles Faraone suggests asking yourself “Why?” before making any decision that could affect your life, health, and happiness. “Ask yourself why you’re eating foods that might not be healthy for you,” Faraone writes. “Why you’re doing things the way you’re doing them. Why you’re avoiding doing what you know you should be doing. It’s an amazingly simple approach with huge potential payoffs.”

If you don’t work out at all, start with an easy routine that takes five minutes or less.

It can go a long way. Peter Bernik/Shutterstock

As Reddit user nonosnusnu puts it: “There is a visible difference between not working out at all and doing 15 push-ups every day. Make 15 push-ups your new ‘not working out’ […] Don’t think working out only works if you spend 3 days a week in the gym. There is a wide gap between not working out at all and doing 5-10 minutes every day. You can see that difference and you can feel it.”

Write down three things you’re grateful for every morning.

It only takes a few minutes to complete.Matheus Ferrero/Unsplash

This habit can help make you more relaxed, healthy, and happy, Reddit user HaveAGrandDay says. In fact, research has shown that the practice of gratitude can change your brain for the better, increase your goodwill toward others, help reduce depression, and more.

Put a quarter in a cup of frozen water during natural disasters and emergencies.

It sounds silly, but it might save your life. BravissimoS/Shutterstock

As INSIDER’s  Joanna Fantozzi wrote in September, this trick helps you figure out if the food in your fridge is still safe to eat. Just fill a cup with water, freeze it, place a quarter on top, and stick the cup back in your freezer. If the quarter is still at the top of the cup when you return to your home after an evacuation, your food is still safe to eat. If the quarter sank, it means your house lost power for a while, and you should probably throw your food out.

Put aside an “emergency fund.”

Every penny counts.OTA Photos/Flickr

“I save up all of my $5 bills and deposit them quarterly into my savings account, which I do not touch at all,” Reddit user zotopia says. “When I need the money really bad, I will use the $5 bills I have not deposited. But once the bills go into my savings, they are no longer an option.”

Take five minutes out of your day to meditate.

Make your mental health a priority.Lena Bell/Unsplash

Just sitting for a few minutes every day, focusing on your breathing, and drawing your attention to the present can dramatically improve your life. It sounds too good to be true, but research has shown that meditation can help reduce stress and negative emotions, improve your memory and emotional control, and literally change your brain for the better.

Use these tips to find a lost dog.

An important PSA for all dog owners.Christal Yuen/Unsplash

Reddit user a_little_pixie once ran into a group of hunters who shared the following advice for finding a lost dog. First, if you’re the dog’s owner, take an article of clothing you’ve worn “at least all day, the longer the better,” and place it where you last saw your dog. Research has shown that dogs have a powerful sense of smell that allows them to detect “minute odor discriminations.”

You should also bring a crate, a familiar toy, and a bowl of water, along with a note asking people not to move the items. But make sure you don’t bring food — this could attract other animals your dog might avoid. After that, check this location intermittently; hopefully, your dog will come back and be waiting there.

Set up airfare alerts for every flight you want to take.

Take a vacation without breaking the bank in 2018. Scanrail1/Shutterstock

From KAYAK to Hopper, most flight deal services now let you create custom notifications for price drops. If you’re not already doing so, you could be missing out on a ton of savings. To learn more, check out this handy guide on airfare alerts here.

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