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Life hacks, as defined by Urban Dictionary, are, "A tool or technique that makes some aspect of one's life easier or more efficient."

But how many of us actually use life hacks? It's a big question. They've been a popular topic of discussion on the internet for the better part of a decade. They make a lot of sense when you read them, but following through on them? That's the challenge. Fortunately, people on Reddit love talking about the best life hacks they know of to make their lives easier, so maybe those are worth some serious consideration.
Reddit user, u/synthesezia, wanted to hear how to speed things up when they asked:
Reddit, what are your best lifehacks?

Most life hacks are meant to make things smoother in your daily routine, ensuring you are never caught with your pants down.

Turns out sometimes it's also making sure you straight up just have pants.

Keeping An Extra Set Handy

"Back when I was 18-26, I always had one full bag packed in my car. It generally had clean underwear, a t-shirt or two, jeans, shorts, flops, and toothbrush/deodorant. I can't tell you how many times I'd just meet up with some friends and next thing you know it was 2AM and I needed a place to sleep. Having everything with me was awesome."


"Slightly different structure to mine, but I do something similar. Under the back seat of each of my trucks I have a roll of clothes. T-shirt, pair of jeans, socks, and undies. The difference is, instead of a bag, I have it tightly wrapped up in stretch wrap. Its like kitchen saran wrap but we use it in receiving to wrap bundles / pallets. The benefits are it keeps it super compact and effectively watertight. The times I've had to crack one open often have been because my current clothes got either soaked or dirty working, so nice and dry was a huge benefit."vetteboy

Having It All Ready The Night Before

"Make lunch for work the night before."

  1. Groceries are way cheaper than eating out every day -- screw anyone who thinks you're lame because you don't have a Timmyho bagel or BK for lunch everyday. I'm saving 4-5$ per meal
  2. Not making lunch the morning makes the morning that much smoother.

"Also, putting socks on before pants. I believe the quote from the OP was something like socks are pant lubricants. Believe it."


Stomping Along The Work Of Others

"Here is a lifehack for all of the students out there. If you are charged with writing a lengthy research paper, find one very solid source that directly pertains to your thesis, and then you can use that source's bibliography to back into locating new sources."


"One of my professors calls this "raping the bibliography" and says that it's perfectly acceptable and done all the time in academia. Furthermore, you're under no obligation to credit the source you used to find the bibliography unless you use something directly in that article. Last, but not least, they have already written out the bibliography entry for you!"


Never Have Bad Smelling Trash Ever Again

"Put a scented dryer sheet in the bottom of your garbage cans and change them every time you replace your garbage bags. Your garbage can will smell a lot nicer for a lot longer."


A big swath of life hacks are all about speeding things along, with the intention of making your day go smoothly thus leaving you more free time for your hobbies and interests.

Keep The Closet Clear

"Putting my clothes in my closet with the hangers reversed once a year. As I pull clothes out, I reverse the hanger. Every year I give away any clothes that I never took out."


"I do something similar. I put all the clothes I hang up each week on the left side of the closet, with each week sliding everything right to make room. Eventually the stuff I dont wear makes its way to the right. thats the stuff I ditch."


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Can't Leave Home Without It

"When you need to remember to bring something with you, put your car keys on it the night before..."


Get Used To Turning People Down

"No" is in the pocket. Interpretation: If you don't ask for something you have already received the answer "no." If you ask, you have a chance at getting "yes." Best advice I've ever received. I'm much more outgoing and willing to approach situations I would normally be nervous of dealing with."


Here's A List!

  1. If there's something I need to do but am procrastinating, I find something else I also need to do that's even more of a chore. I can then put off doing the second thing by doing the first.
  2. I set up automatic bill payment for everything. I don't remember precisely when those payments will go out. The fear of a bounced check or declined payment keeps me from getting too close to a zero balance.
  3. Anything I need to remember, I write down.
  4. Anything I need to take with me goes near the keys or the shoes.
  5. I used to have my computer set up to start playing a specific iTunes playlist on the stereo at a certain time. The playlist was exactly as long as I had in the morning and went from chill songs to more energetic. Throughout my morning routine, I could always tell how I was doing on time by the currently playing song.
  6. Celebrate my successes. I don't have a lot of self-discipline, so when I do actually exert some, I try to reward myself to encourage me to do it more.
  7. If there's something big I want to get done, I tell all my friends I'm going to do it. The fear of looking like an @ss helps keep me motivated.

"That last one (#7) is how I quit smoking. In addition to telling all my friends and family, I put on my whiteboard at the office the number of days I went without a cigarette in addition to the last time I had one."

"Last Cigarette: October 17th 2008 6:30 AM Time Since Then: <some value>

"Every time I increased the number, I felt a small victory. At some point changing the value everyday just became a habit and somewhat trivial."

"At 100 days or so, I started putting weeks instead of days."

"Not only did it keep me accountable, people would occasionally see it while in my office and tell me "good job!". While I knew they had no idea how incredibly hard it was to quit, knowing that people recognized my effort fueled me even further."

"At some point, I finally stopped remember to change the number every Friday (70+ weeks)."

"Currently, I do not know how long it has been since I have had a cigarette, but I can tell you the exact time I had my last one."


Let's Get Deep, Shall We?

"Accepting regret."

"Originally meant as advice on getting rid of book clutter (from an old MeFi thread), I read this whenever I start worrying (purging belongings, fretting over relationships, etc.):"

"De-cluttering involves recognizing that regret is part of life, and being OK with that. Yes, I've given away books that I now often wish I still owned. But I've also screwed up relationships, made iffy career choices, etc. — you suck it up and move on. If you try to cling to every single thing (material, spiritual, or emotional) that you might need one day in the totally hypothetical future, you're going to end up bogged down in a lot of stuff."


Let's be honest with ourselves: The real reason we'd like a functioning life hack is because we want to, at some point, save money or make more money. Turns out there's a few ways to keep those dimes.

Keeping It Separate

"I keep separate bank accounts from my wife. We have my account, her account, and our account. Any shared cost (savings, house, insurance, utilities, etc...) gets deducted from our joint account and we contribute an agreed amount to it from every paycheck. We maintain total responsibility and independence for our personal expenses. It has saved us a TON of headache and I would have it no other way. If she's not working, fine, I contribute her share to the joint account, and give her an agreed upon upon allowance. If I'm not working, it goes the other way. This allows us to surprise each other with gifts and eliminates any possible financial resentment."

"Edit: This is about accountability and personal freedom. When one party makes less than the other, the contribution amounts are adjusted proportionately - this is key."


Not Falling Prey To The System

"Never owe money on a car and never carry a Credit Card balance. It makes my life way easier and it is my way of saying F-ck You to the debt encouraging system we live in."


"While I'd argue that the car angle is largely improbably for most of us, I can't agree enough with the credit card thing."

"About 5 years out of college I had roughly 15k of credit card debt. I'd pay double the minimum and slowly work them down, only to run them up again when I wanted/needed something. It took me three years, but I finally got it all paid off and haven't run up anything higher than a thousand or so since then."

"The trick is to consolidate. Put all your bills on one card. Make sure to call around and get the best possible balance transfer rate for the longest. (I lucked out at something like 1% until it was paid off). Then, take all the money you were paying on all the separate cards, plus a little extra, and hit it hard."

"(For the geeky among you, imagine it as using a super-powerful attack month after month to reduce the health bar of your debt.)"

"It took about $500 a month, which made things tight, but doable. The best part was that once the debt is paid, you've gotten accustomed to living in that -$500 a month fashion, and find yourself with an extra $500 in your pocket (or savings) each month. So when you do want/need to spend, you've got the cash on hand."


Doing It On The Company Dime

"Poop at work. You'll be using less of your own tp and more of your company's time. I started going into the john to play games on my cell phone for 5-10 minutes just to take a break; while I was in there I'd pinch one out. After a few weeks I realized that I hadn't replaced my own tp at my apartment in a while."


Make active choices, be conscious about the decisions you're following through on, and most of all, be forgiving of yourself. You're not going to get these all right on the first try. It'll take a few attempts to make these part of your day to day, but it'll all be worth it in the long run.

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