Efficiency Hacks: Intro

Life's Too Good Efficiency Hacks

Super-quick to read & understand. Big impact.

Sound good?

Welcome to our Efficiency Hacks.

It occurred to me that something I love, am obsessed with, am crazy about… is when someone gives me a really good tip off about something that is going to save me lots of time or money or just get me a really great return for little investment.

In fact – that’s kind of what this site is all about (as you know) but usually with some explanation of the problem we’re discussing, the theory, the philosophy or the science behind something (for example everything we’ve written on mindfulness. You can probably find everything you’d ever want to know about mindfulness on this site along with some pretty cool links to some other sites on the subject too).

Sometimes though, we just want a quick hit. A ‘hack’ – a tool, a technique or an idea which is really cool and gives you quick results for minimal effort (e.g. this short article I wrote about cleaning up your social media profiles which I found out about from Ana Hofman).

As I said, I love this stuff and because I’m so into efficiency and getting the most out of life we can, I’m doing things every day which make me more efficient. So I thought I’d share some of these here – no frills, nothing too fancy – just, well, efficiency hacks.

I’m not going to reinvent the wheel either. I’ll tell you what it is so you can find out more, explain it a little if it’s my thing, or just link to the article, vid or person in question if I got it from someone else.

Cool? OK then… keep watching this space and you’ll see the latest below:

Use a Bottle To Drink More Water (Efficiency Hack #1)

OK, a really easy one. We all know we should be drinking more water. We also know that what gets measured gets improved. We also tend to find any old excuse not to do stuff (such as drinking enough water) so the trick is to make things really easy. To make sure you drink enough water, use a bottle with a measurement on it. Either buy a purpose made bottle with a measuring scale on the side of it (yes, you can easily get these) or just buy a large bottle of water and refill it first thing each morning. … Read The Full Article …

Reclaim Your Down-Time (Efficiency Hack #2)

Efficiency Hack #1: Re-claim Your Down-Time

This has been HUGE for me. Huge huge huge. Do you drive a car? Walk a dog? Commute to work? What are you doing during this time? These activities are what I’m talking about when I say downtime. If you drive the car and don’t care too much about listening to the radio or the same old CDs, why not listen to an audio book or podcast that teaches you something instead? Use that time to learn a new language, learn more about a certain subject or catch up on something. If you’re sitting on a train, are you just … Read The Full Article …

Consume Information Quicker (Efficiency Hack #3)

Efficiency Hack #2: Consume Information Quicker

Last week I introduced the first efficiency hack: reclaim your downtime. As I said, this has been huge for me. To take that even further, combine it with this. This hack is about consuming information faster (whether you’re reclaiming your downtime or for any other time too). I have heard several times in the past about speed reading, watching movies faster and listening to audio at x2 or x3 speed, but never really tried any thinking it wouldn’t read, sound or look right. But guess what? It really works well. I haven’t really explored the speed reading or watching videos … Read The Full Article …

Resources Master (Efficiency Hack #4)

Efficiency Hack #3: Resources Master

Keep a resources master for all work you’re doing. For example, if you are in a business where you need to prepare lots of slide-based presentations, keep a separate document in which you store all of the useful graphics, symbols, contents page/agenda, title formats, diagrams etc etc, even animations which you could re-use in future presentations. Every time you come across a useful symbol, graphic, technique or piece of formatting either in your own or in someone elses presentation, update your resource master with this for possible future re-use. Then every time you need to prepare a new presentation you … Read The Full Article …

Tiny Decisions (Efficiency Hack #5: Make Tiny Decisions)

Efficiency Hack #4: Make Tiny Decisions

These posts I’m calling ‘Efficiency Hacks’ are very much like tiny decisions… They follow the same principle. They’re very quick and very easy to write, and intended to put an idea across as quickly as possible, no frills but great high impact concepts. That’s the idea anyway. They don’t sit around in draft format for ages, I never procrastinate about writing them or publishing. I just do it and Bang – publish right away. Why Make Tiny Decisions? So on to this particular hack then – Tiny Decisions. Tiny decisions are easy to make. They are motivating. They empower you … Read The Full Article …

Ask Someone Who Knows (Efficiency Hack #6)

Ask Someone Who Knows

Has it ever taken you far longer than it should to learn or understand something? I know I’ve experienced this on several occasions. Because as I said in my last post (‘Change is not as easy as you make it sound‘) I like to learn things for myself. But if you want to be Efficient then that’s often not the best way. So the next simple efficiency tip, and this one is so simple it’s scary – just ask someone who knows. It’s so simple that this is almost not worth writing. Like I’m telling you anything significant here… But … Read The Full Article …

Time-Boxing (Efficiency Hack #7)

Efficiency Hack #8: Use Time-Boxing

If you want to be really efficient and get things done, then use time-boxing. Set aside a fixed amount of time to work on something and then don’t stray outside of the boundaries. Work in blocks of time like this to recognize the fact that you can’t do everything at once (as Isabelle explains very well with research and guidance on this weeks article on multitasking). If you want a specific and more detailed example of time-boxing then read the article I wrote about the Pomodoro Technique. It’s a great technique to get things done and remove distractions and it … Read The Full Article …

Easy Minimalism (Efficiency Hack #9)

Efficiency Hack #11: Easy Minimalism

So here’s the dilemna… You do like the idea of minimalism and de-cluttering …but… you also like to re-use things and make the most of everything you have …so… you don‘t like getting rid of things when it actually comes to de-cluttering because you see it as a waste if this is you then this stupidly simple efficiency hack is for you. When we moved to the countryside from our big house in London, we had too much stuff to fit into our smaller surroundings. For example we had too many mugs for our little kitchen (did I tell you … Read The Full Article …

Eat More Green Stuff (Efficiency Hack #10)

Efficiency Hack #12: Eat More Greens

Another really easy one… Over the course of a day, check out the color of your food. Not too long ago I shared a very simple thought that’s helping me be more healthy – basically to choose to eat healthier. Well, an easy way to take any thinking out of it is just to look for one color: green. Use this super simple trick to look at what you eat over the course of the day or even better: each time you’re about to consume some food. Is there any green in it? Make sure that there is plenty of … Read The Full Article …

Automation (Efficiency Hack #12)

Efficiency Hack #9: Automation

Why are you wasting your time if you can find a system, tool or robot to do it for you – and perhaps do it even better? Automation is obviously a huge topic. … and the whole point of these efficiency hacks are that they’re supposed to be quick and effective – quick for you AND quick for me to tell you about. So let’s stick to that principle and I’ll tell you more about Automation (pros & cons, theory, creating repeatable systems, how to automate, tools & techniques, resources etc etc etc) later. For now, the hack is just … Read The Full Article …

Use A Smaller Plate (Efficiency Hack #13)

Efficiency Hack #7: Use A Smaller Plate

So, through experimenting with the 4-hour body diet and looking at diets and my health in general, there are a couple of things that I’ve done which have helped along the way. One which I told you about last week is using a bottle to make sure I drink enough water. Another, which I wrote about previously is making the decision that if I’m going to be restricting so much what I put into my body, then I may as well make it as good as it can be (A Simple Thought That’s Helping Me Be More Healthy), but another … Read The Full Article …

Automation II (aka Efficiency Hack #14: How to Supercharge your Efficiency with If This Then That)

Efficiency Hack #10: Automation with If This Then That

This Efficiency Hack is going to be a little longer than normal because I want to tell you a story… If you want to skip to the usual brief overview without my little story then click here: How To Automate Your Internet Based Tasks Before Picture: Anti-Automation OK, so I’m exaggerating a little to call it anti-automation, but here is my true story of someone (well, many people actually) doing things manually to a ridiculous extent and me automating all of that…