50+ Life Hacks That’ll Make You Smarter!

Most of us think that we know it all until one day you find someone else doing it better. And you think “wait, how did he do that?”. This is the funda of life. I don’t believe there is a right and wrong of doing things. There is always more than one way of doing things. It’s just that most of the times we don’t look at other ways and settle with just one way. As for me, life is an on-going lesson. You’re only done when you’re through. Everyday is a new learning, every body is a teacher. And quite honestly, there’s something new you can learn from the most insignificant person you thought you met. Below are a list of best life hacks I’ve gathered over the years as a part of my pursuit to doing things better, smarter! Hope you find it useful!

1. How To Jump Start Your Morning, Fresh & Healthy Even When You're on Your Own
Many of us have the habit of drinking tea, coffee in the morning. Sure, it gives you the kick you want. But tea, coffee not only gives you the kick, it makes your body dependent on them. If you don’t get coffee one day, your whole day is gone.

Try switching to plain water. One full glass of water first thing in the morning when you wake up. It will help your body to flush out toxins, and jump start your day fresh and healthy. (Proof)

The biggest advantage is, when you’re alone or when you don’t have tea of coffee with you. Even if there was a Zombie Apocalypse tomorrow and the world was under attack, you would start your day alive and fresh! 😉 (Okay, Zombie apocalypse was going too far, but you get the idea.)

2. How To Stay in Shape Without Gym Membership
You probably already know that staying in shape and active is the key to keeping your body healthy and safe. If you can hit the gym, great! But a goof life hack to generally keep your body active and kicking is to make it do small activities through out the day. Make them a part of your life.

So instead of taking elevators, switch to stairs. That one/two floors of climbing up stairs will give you enough exercise to your body to warm it up!
When you’re in the shower, use the time you get while waiting for the shower to warm up to do simple exercises, like push ups or sit ups. Just 5-10 can make a good boost to your body and mood!

3. How To Stay Focused & Improve Your Memory
Staying focused is key to getting things done and productivity. If you could pay the most attention to whatever it is that you’re doing, it will improve your performance drastically. But staying focused doesn’t just mean doing one thing. It means putting all your focus on it.

To stay focused, start doing simple “10 second black outs”! By 10 second black outs I mean, when ever you feel like it, just close your eyes and rest! yes, just close your eyes. At work, waiting in line, in the bathroom…wherever! Close your eyes and count from 10 to 1. I won’t ask you to think of nothing or to keep your mind free from thoughts. No, that’s not going to happen unless you’re a meditation ninja or something! In fact, you’ll get a rush of thoughts when you close your eyes. That’s ok. Just keep practicing it and rest. That is all.

You’ll be surprised how it helps you daily if you keep doing it. It’s like instant, power boost for your mind!

4. Stop Multitasking - Get Double Productive
I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t multitasking for increasing productivity? Well, I don’t agree. Would you ask your Doctor who’s doing a surgery on you to multitask? Of course not. Multitasking is ok, but it defeats the purpose. It makes you less efficient. Essentially, it’s a compromise.

Stop multitasking by focusing on one thing. Do one thing at a time and put all your efforts in to it. You’ll see the results are double!

5. Stretch Before Going To Bed - You'll Sleep Better
Before going to bed daily. Do a simple stretching exercise sitting on the bed.

Touch your toes, slide sideways, arch your back and stretch, massage your temple and close your eyes! You’ll sleep better and wake up refreshed.

6. Go To Bed Thinking About The Most Important Thing To Do Tomorrow
Make a mental note of the most important thing you have to do tomorrow, before going to bed. That should be the last thing you should remember when going to bed.

When you wake up in the morning, your brain would automatically be focused on it, and it’ll be easier for you to finish it.

7. Listen To Podcasts When Driving - They'll Make You Smarter
Stop listening to radio. Nothing wrong about them, but radio is supposed to entertain you, not educate. Same goes with music. They help you to ease out your stress. So may be when you’re driving back from work, it’s ok.

But try to switch to Podcasts when you drive to work. Especially in the morning. They will make you smarter and educate you about something new that you already didn’t know.

8. How To Make Someone Remember You After The First Meeting - Tip 1
Stop asking “How are you”. That’s what everyone does.

Well, you can ask it but follow it up quickly with something more deep and relevant. For example, if you are meeting a Doctor, ask him “How has your day been so far? Are there many patients waiting?” or something similar that they will care about. The secret is to think from their perspective, rather than being flossy and irrelevant.

9. How To Make Someone Remember You After The First Meeting - Tip 2
Another trick to make someone remember you after the first meeting is to offer a genuine compliment to them.

Find out something unique about them, like their shoes, or tie or mobile phone model…something. And compliment about it without being fake. Think of something subtle yet relevant. For example, “Hey I like your T-Shirt, Nice color!”

I can guarantee that they will never forget it. Of course, you will have to follow it up with a good conversation. That goes without saying!

10. Don't Say Sorry Ever Again! Instead, Say This!
Can you think of 2 people who said sorry to you lately? I’m sure you will but you’ll most likely be wrong.

Reason is that many people say sorry all the time that it becomes irrelevant. So instead of saying sorry, say “I apologize”. It’s more genuine and will calm down the person you are apologizing to in a genuine way.

11. Read a Book When You Can - It'll Make You Smarter
I know it’s tough carrying books around and everything. But they’re amazing!

Reading a book will only make you smarter. Period. Get a book for a month, and read parts of it every day, perhaps a few pages. That’s it! You’ll see that in no time, you have read more than you thought you would.

12. Don't Sit For Too Long At Your Desk - Do This Instead!
Sitting for a long time in the same position is bad for your body. (Proof) It’ll increase your chances to get obese and disrupt your metabolism rate.

Unfortunately, all of us have jobs that require you to sit for hours together at the chair. So, while you’re at it, take small breaks. And stand up. Yes!

Standing up after a while, say every one hour gives you the body the break it needs. Stand up for couple of minutes, if possible half an hour or so. It will always help you to boost your productivity, posture and mental balance.

13. Practice Gratefulness - It'll Make You Happier
The secret to being happy is to know how blessed you are. If you’re going to be just counting all the things you need and want, you will forever be frustrated about why you’re not able to get them. But instead, if you know how to count your blessings, you will have a sense of accomplishment and gratitude.

Create a list of things that you’re grateful about. And add one thing to the list, every week. You will be happy just looking at the list every time.

14. Keep a Running List of Things You Did - It'll Make You Feel Satisfied & Accomplished
I have a Google document that has a long list of bullet points. No categories, nothing! Just a long list of things I did. I write them down as I complete them.

After a few days, when you look at it, it’ll make you feel good! Also, you can cross check what you’ve accomplished.

15. Balance Between Things you Produce and Consume
There are essentially two type of things we all do. One, consume what others have made and two, produce content for others. Watching TV, Reading book, Playing video game are all consuming.

Writing something new, drawing, singing etc are all production. Try not to stick to either one too much. Try to balance out and do the other set of things every day. For example, draw something or write something on a piece of paper randomly! It’ll keep your creative juices active!

16. Remove Clutter On Your Computer - Keep It Simple
Keeping things to a minimum is the secret to doing more. Less is the new more.

Ensure you clean up unused apps and unwanted files on your computer once a while. Not only will it help you make your computer fast, it’ll also help you practice minimalism and focus on what is really important.

17. Do Something Out of Your Comfort Zone
Remember, Diamonds are shinier when they’re rubbed up on.

All of us love it cozy when we’re in our comfort zone. Get out of it once a while, purposefully. Do something you’re scared of. If you’re scared of heights, climb on a roller coaster. If you’re an introvert, make an effort to talk to a stranger and get to know him.

The more attempts you make, the shinier you get.

18. Stop Taking Hot Showers, Instead Try Cold Showers - They'll Charge You Up
Hot showers are warm and cozy for sure. They’ll make you relax. But they also make you lazy afterwards.

Chilly water increases blood circulation, releases endorphins, and could make you a more productive human—if you can handle it. (Proof)

19. Eat Less From Outside - Cook Your Own Meals At Home & Stay Healthy!
Eating out more will make you sick! Period. (Proof)

Buy your stuff (grow them, even better!) and cook meals at home avoiding any kind of chemicals. You’ll be a lot healthier.

20. Smile More Often - It'll Make You (And The Other Person) Feel Better
Scientific studies have proved that if you purposefully smile more often, you’ll feel better! (Proof)

And of course, the person you’re smiling at too will feel better.

21. Set Up Automatic Money Transfers From Your Salary Deposits to Savings Account - You'll Save A Lot!
Say Rs.10,000 automatically every month from your salary to your savings account. It might not mean a lot but before you realize, it’d be a big amount, nicely tucked away.
22. Say No More Often - It'll Make You Happier
You’ll think that saying “Yes” to everyone will make them feel happy. Not really. Saying “Yes” appears to be easy and it is. But when you do it all the time, you’re taking a lot of unnecessary burden on yourself.

Limit saying Yes! Think twice before saying Yes, and say No, more often. It’ll save you a lot of pressure.

23. Listen to natural sounds while working. It'll help you concentrate and be productive!
Instead of listening to music with lyrics (which can cause focus issues), try listening to ambient music, possibly ones with natural sounds or even natural sounds itself. Like these. Listening to natural sounds will help improve your mood and be productive!(Proof)
24. Switch Of Your Mobile Phone One Hour Every Day
You’d think that there are important things you can’t miss. Not really.

Try switching off your mobile phone for one hour every day, perhaps in the afternoon. You’ll be surprised how much stress free you’ll feel with none of those annoying notifications.

25. Drink Just Enough Water Every Day - It'll Keep You Healthy
Many websites and experts are quoted saying that you should drink lots of water everyday. But there’s no consensus on how much is too much. Some say drink 1 Liter, some say don’t drink too much but drink when you’re thirsty.

The trick is to drink just enough so that you stay hydrated. (Proof)

26. Plan Your Shopping - Buy Things When They're Priced Best or In The Right Month
Did you know that buying things randomly or on impulse will only lose you money? There have been studies done on when is the best time to buy things, based on their prices and the best prices for certain categories are always during the same months in a year. (Proof)

For example, electronics are always priced low during January, Video games during November etc.

27. Go Silent for 10 Minutes Every Day - Improve Your Mind Alertness & Go Stress Free
It’s like meditation, but easier. Whenever you can, at work or when in bed or at home watching TV, pause for a second and close your eyes. Go silent and reflect on yourself. Try to focus on your breathing.

The trick is to keep your thoughts minimal, and relax by focusing on one thing at a time. Once you’re comfortable with this, you can extend the time and make it more intense (meditations). You’ll be a lot more focused and happy! (Proof)

28. Have A Never Ending Growth Mindset - Be A Student For Life
If you haven’t noticed yet, almost all successful people in life have a common thing. They never consider themselves to be a master at anything. They’re learners and they never get tired learning nor do they stop at something.

Having a growth mindset, learning something new every time you get a chance will only take you to bigger heights.

29. Get Over Procrastination with The Count Down Trick
You know, all of us have our fears and resistances. You’re lying down on the sofa watching TV but you have things to do like cleaning up. You know you have to do it, but you’re thinking “may be later”.

One way to get over this is to thee count down trick. Just like the rocket launch sequence, start counting in your mind 10, 9, 8…. down to 1 and go do the task before it hits 1. If there’s someone else with you, even better, because it will put the pressure on you. At the end of it, you might feel bad, but the task would be complete.

30. Do One Meaningful Thing A Day.
We’re all always on the run to do the most number of things, as much as possible. Do as many things as possible. And what happens then? You end up doing few things and a lot of frustration.

Instead, do one thing meaningful, a day. Just one thing. When you wake up, think of what that meaningful thing is and focus your efforts on finishing it. You might do other small things but you will feel so much more accomplished doing that one meaningful thing.

Wake up asking yourself this question “What is the most important and meaningful thing I’ll do today?”

31. Visualize Success - It Will Be Real One Day
All of us have success goals in life. To win an award, to get rich, to start a business..whatever it might be.. visualize it. Imagine you doing things after you’ve achieved your goal.

Chances are that the more you visualize, the more likely they are to materialize. (Proof)

32. Don't Check Notifications All The Time. Instead Do It A Particular Time, Everyday
One of the most common bad habits for most of us, is checking our email notifications, facebook notifications all the time. Stop doing it. Instead, keep a designated time to check them. Perhaps first thing in the morning or afternoon during break, or before going to bed, how ever convenient it is for you. The trick is to find something that works for you and not suck up your time all the time, distracting you from important work.
33. Ask Why
“Why” is the most difficult question to answer. Because it always addresses the most profound and important things. Many leaders and successful people make it a part of their habit to ask “Why” instead of “What” and “How”, which are comparatively easier to answer.

When you ask “Why”, it might offer bigger challenges but it will always find you the right solution. (Proof)

34. Declutter Your E-Mail. Unsubscribe From All Unwanted Emails in One Click Using This Service.
There are times when you subscribe to email newsletters thinking that they’re great, only to realize that you don’t read them later. And you end up wasting your email space with all those newsletters.

Well, there’s a free service that will let you unsubscribe from all such unwanted newsletters in one click. Find it here – Unroll.me

35. WiFi Not Working? Don't Be Frustrated. Play a Game!
Whenever the WiFi goes out, don’t worry. Instead of getting frustrated, press the spacebar on Chrome and the Dinosaur jump game will pop up. Play it while your WiFi comes back!
36. Forgot Your Phone Charger? Don't Worry. Use This Hack for Emergency Charging
Find a USB port on any device near you. Let’s say you have a smart TV around. It should have a USB port behind (most smart TVs these days do). Remove the USB on your phone charger from the main dock and plug it in the TV (or laptop). You will get some charge to get by.
37. Freeze Beer Faster With This Trick
Ever been to that situation where you need a cold beer but you forgot to refrigerate it?

Take a paper towel/tissue, wrap it around the bottle and put it in the fridge (not the freezer). In about 5-10 minutes, the beer would be ice cold! 😉

38. Too Many Options When Calling Customer Service? This Trick Will Get To a Human Faster
Remember that time you called up customer service but couldn’t get to a human to talk but were confused with too many options?

Just keep pressing # couple of times no matter what the options are. Most automated voice systems are made to skip the options and transfer it to a representative with # press. Try it next time!

39. Looking For Authority Articles on a Topic? Stop Using Google. Use This
Let’s say you are researching a topic like “health benefits of XYZ”. Instead of using Google.com, use http://scholar.google.com

It’ll find you authority articles, research papers etc that are more scientific and accurate.

40. Charge Your Mobile Phone Faster With This Trick
Close all your apps. Then turn on Airplane mode. Now plug in for charging.

You’ll notice your mobile phone charges faster!

41. Cleaning Tricky Corners On Your Keyboard Is Easy With This Way
See those dust and dirt around un-reachable corners of your keyboard?

Use a sticky notes  sticky side to insert between the cracks and clean. Works all the time!

42. Confused What To Buy At Grocery Store? Here's The Trick
Most of us buy things with guess work. Guessing what’s in the fridge and what not. Most often, you end up buying things you already have and in surplus.

Next time you go out for grocery shopping, take a picture of your fridge, so you can see what stuff you already have and you won’t buy anything more than what you need.

43. Avoid Carrying That Mess of Business Cards
Every body ends up getting business cards but no one uses them. Just take a photo of the business card and throw away the card, they’re just a waste of space anyways. Better yet, use a software like Camcard – They can scan contacts from business cards directly to your contact list.
44. Keep A Record Of Your Emergency Contacts In Your Wallet
Keep a small piece of card or paper with all your emergency contacts written on it tucked in neatly in to your wallet. You never know when you will need it.
45. Avoid Microwaving Food As Much As Possible
Microwave is associated with cancer. Some studies say that there are direct correlation of microwaves and cancer. Some say not.

It is however a good idea to avoid Microwaving as much as possible. Instead heat your food. It’s healthier! (Proof)

46. If An App Forces You To Share on Facebook, Do This Instead!
You know how sometimes, certain apps forces you to share on Facebook to continue using the app? They obviously want your friends to know about the app by forcing you to share with them. Here’s what you can do in such circumstances (assuming you don’t want to share it with them)

Click share. When the sharing window shows up, change the privacy settings from your friends or public to “Only Me”. This way, not only will you share the update, which will allow you to continue using the app, but it’ll also not show it to your friends!

47. Broke A Glass - Having Tough Time Picking Up The Pieces? Use This Hack
Take a piece of bread in your hand (the full bread). Wipe the area with it. All the small pieces of bread will get stuck to the bread piece.

Far better than picking them up by hand.

48. Hack To Get The Best Price When Buying A New Car
Never rush. Never buy for the first quote. Lock in on the model you will buy first. Then go online and get the exact quote from the best apps and car selling vendors. Then take a print out of all the best quotes with you, possibly in a tabular format. Do an additional hack and lower the prices on the quotes when you print out!

Then go approach each vendor physically. Keep a mental note of the best price so far. Negotiate showing the price you have. Tell the dealer that your prices are non-declared prices from the “other dealer”. Don’t show emergency. Leave when you don’t get the price you have in mind. You will get a good discount if you can wait. Guaranteed!

49. Buy Airline Tickets At These Times To Get The Best Price
When booking an air ticket, do not buy it randomly. According to studies, buying tickets 7-12 weeks ahead of actual travel is the best time. (Proof)
50. Use a count down watch for every task you do - It'll Make You Work More Effective
Keep a time for every task. Say, you have a task going on in office. Mentally, think about how much time you will give for it. Say one hour. Now when you start the task, click the start button.

You will work more efficiently and sticking to time will let you do more stuff.

All the best! I hope you liked (and use) them.


About the author

Mani Karthik

Hi, Mani Karthik here. Having lived in USA, India & Middle East, and worked for big MNC’s to startups, I have a lot to share with you. My aim is to help people, by sharing everything I’ve learned in life. This blog is read today, by more than 150K people world over! I currently live in LA, California and visit India occasionally. Here’s my full story. Connect with me on FacebookInstagram, Twitter or WhatsApp (+001-408-489-4785). Happy to help! :)

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