These 25 Hacks Will Make Your Life Easier and More Efficient

Saving a few seconds here and there throughout the day may not seem like it makes that much of a difference, but consistently practicing time-saving habits can add up. The time you save with these 25 hacks can be put to practical, productivity-boosting use or serve as a bit of “me time” carved out of your day; either way, efficient habits can help you find a surplus of time in an otherwise hectic world.

  1. Hands Free for Time and Safety – While you’re driving, a headset leaves your hands free to manage the task of driving safely. After your commute, wearing a headset allows you to be productive with both hands while you’re on hold or conducting routine calls.
  2. Super-Charge Your Wake-Up Routine – Slapping the snooze button may be tempting, but you should jump out of bed and do ten brisk push-ups instead. When you stand up, you’ll be alert and ready to face the day.
  3. Keep Your Cables Tangle-Free – The same clips that keep large bundles of paper secure can keep your various cables from tangling, which takes forever to undo. Just clamp the clips along the edge of your desk, and feed cables through the holes in the handles.
  4. Jump-Start Your Breakfast Prep – Breakfast doesn’t have to be a cup of coffee and an energy bar on your way out the door. Preparing pancake batter and pouring it into an empty ketchup bottle at night allows you to take it out of the refrigerator and squeeze it directly on a hot griddle in the morning. No mixing, no clean-up!
  5. Open Blister Packs with Ease – Those plastic blister packs can take forever to open, shredding your fingers in the process. Before you start ripping into one, grab a manual can opener and run it along the edge. It’ll open the blister pack without pain or hassle.
  6. Refresh Your Collar Without Ironing – Setting up an ironing board and dealing with the tedium of ironing simply to refresh a shirt collar isn’t necessary. An electric hair straightening styling appliance will do the job just as well, with none of the time-consuming set-up.
  7. Keep Kids Safely in Their Beds – If you’re sacrificing valuable sleep because your child keeps rolling out of her big-girl bed, tuck a foam pool noodle into the fitted sheet along the edge of her bed. It creates a raised area that your child isn’t likely to roll over without waking herself up.
  8. Turn Your Takeout Container into a Plate – Chinese takeout is a delectable lunch, but eating straight out of the container can be a pain. If you have a relatively dry, sauce-free dish that won’t make a mess on a flat surface, just take the metal handle out of the box and let it collapse outward. Instant disposable plate!
  9. Skip the Fabric Softener On Towels – Fabric softener might make your towels more cuddly, but it cuts their absorbency significantly.
  10. Stave Off Boil-Overs – Juggling a dinnertime routine when you’re already rushed can lead to a huge mess, but resting a wooden spoon across the top of a pot of boiling water will at least prevent it from boiling over while your attention is elsewhere.
  11. Keep Takeout Warm En Route – If your car has seat warmers, flip the switch to the “on” position when you pick up takeout food. The warm seat will help to keep the food from getting cold on your way back.
  12. Take Garbage Out at Warp Speed – Suction issues can make it difficult to wrestle a garbage bag out of the pail. Drilling a couple of small holes on each side of the vertical edge along the bottom can eliminate that suction.
  13. Quick-Filter Email – A flooded inbox doesn’t have to be overwhelming. To target marketing mail, filter by the word “unsubscribe.”
  14. Dust Tiny Spaces in a Flash – Placing the conical cap of a cheap condiment bottle over the hose attachment of a vacuum cleaner creates in impromptu “tiny spaces” vacuum attachment.
  15. Ask For Directions Efficiently – If you’re lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood, the fastest and most efficient directions come from the staff of a pizza delivery restaurant.
  16. Shop for Groceries Sans List – If you don’t have time to make a comprehensive list, take pictures of the inside of your refrigerator and pantry with your smartphone. You can use these for reference while you’re at the store.
  17. Chill Bottled Beverages On the Double – If you’re craving a cold beverage and your entire stock is warm, wrap a bottle in a wet paper towel and leave it in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  18. Hull Strawberries in Seconds – Few things are as time-consuming as hulling strawberries, unless you insert a straw through the bottom so that it emerges at the stem, pushing the hull out along the way.
  19. Make Canvas Shoes Waterproof – Wet feet are irritating and create the need to change shoes while you’re out. To waterproof your favorite pair of canvas shoes, rub the entire outer surface with beeswax then heat with a hair dryer. When the wax cools, your shoes will be sealed from moisture.
  20. Boost Your Phone’s Speaker Power – If you need to boost the sound of your smartphone’s speakers for an impromptu conference call, drop it into a bowl to amplify the sound.
  21. Spread Cold Butter on Your Toast – Cold butter may eventually spread over warm toast, but it will probably tear it in the process. Using a cheese grater to shower the surface of your toast with slivers of butter will speed the melting process and preserve the wholeness of your perfectly toasted bread.
  22. No-Stove Grilled Cheese – Turning your toaster on its side and placing a piece of bread with cheese on it, cheese-side-up will melt the cheese while toasting the bread. Press the two together, and you have a no-stove grilled cheese in a fraction of the time. Watch it carefully though, so it doesn’t burn.
  23. Remove Chewing Gum from Fabrics – A wad of gum rubbed into your favorite scarf doesn’t have to spell the scarf’s end. Pop it in the freezer to let the gum harden, and you can usually break it off the fibers easily.
  24. Quick-Thaw a Frozen Lock – A frozen lock on your car door doesn’t have to make you late for an appointment. Just squirt an alcohol-based hand sanitizer on the key before you insert it, and the alcohol will melt the ice in a flash.
  25. Soap Sliver Time Saver – Don’t waste time fumbling with a tiny sliver of soap, just stick it to the back of a new bar. It’s not wasted and you’re not scrambling to keep in in your hands during a shower.

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