I’m a self-help groupie.
There’s something about improving your life that’s addictive. Some collect pot plants while I collect life hacks.
In my notes apps I have a section for life hacks that was created 629 days ago. Here are the best ones I’ve found on the internet.
Use this mind control life hack to attract dream people into your life
I’ve been lucky enough to meet most of my idols.
But I’m a nobody and have never acted in a Hollywood movie. Early in my career I accidentally discovered this life hack…
Write about your heroes. Publish it online.
If you do it for long enough eventually someone you admire will read it. You’d be surprised how many influential people have google alerts on for mentions of their name.
Make use of “Cunningham’s Law”
I recently wrote “even Jesus committed sins.”
I’m not religious and don’t know if it’s true. I just assumed no one is perfect and he must have screwed up at least once, right?
Well, I got a hurricane of emails and comments. “He never committed any sins. Are you crazy, mate?!”
Cunningham’s law states the best way to get the right answer is to post the wrong answer online to see what happens.
Making people think is such an underrated life hack.
Otherwise we take everything as gospel and become corporate sheep that scream “baa baa” in agreeance to anything.
Use this Matt Gray matrix to solve almost any human problem
You gotta love simplicity.
This matrix caught my attention for how useful it is.
Unfocused → Run
Uninspired → Read
Upset → Breathe
Burnt out → Seek nature
Tired → Go for a walk
Lonely → Phone a friend
Create a “working with me” google doc
I stole this one off writer David Perell.
There’s an operating manual for everything. Why not one for how to work with you? When we don’t know how people work we risk pissing them off.
Here’s my operating manual:
- Respect my time
- Always use written communication where possible
- Expect DMs to have a long reply time
- Reduce the number of meetings
- Email is always the fastest
- Never pitch me outright
All you do is assemble these nice-to-haves into a google doc and send it to new people you work with.
Obviously don’t make it too blunt and show you’re flexible to other working styles (my doc isn’t touchy-feely though because I’m self-employed and I do what I want).
Get a “dumb phone” and make love to it
There’s a new trend: have two phones.
One phone is your supercomputer and second brain. The other phone is a dumb phone from the early 2000s (like a Nokia) that can only receive calls and send basic texts.
When you want to do something fun but have to take your phone in case of a family emergency, take the dumb phone.
Even better … see if you can spend more time with your dumb phone than your smartphone.
Learn to use your phone the smart way
This is the reverse of the last one.
You can still keep your smartphone and not have it destroy the dopamine reward system in your brain.
- Enter your phone’s setting menu
- Make the screen black and white
- Reduce the white point as far as it will go
Now instead of walking around with a phone that lights up like a Las Vegas slot machine wherever you go and makes you want to gamble your attention, your phone is as boring as your grandmother’s stories.
If you do it for long enough you’ll hate your phone. I’m 4 years into the black and white life and I’ll never go back.
Turn everything into a free trial
Making decisions is hard.
The risks often produce hidden fear that prevents action. Turn as many situations as you can into free trials.
- Need to join a gym? Insist on a free trial.
- Need to hire a virtual assistant? Choose one who does a free trial.
- Looking for a new romantic partner? Put them on a free trial. Or better yet, buy one piece of Ikea furniture and try to assemble it with them. If you can’t do it then you’ll never be a dream team.
Free trials force people and businesses to show their value to you before you commit. If they don’t offer them, they lack confidence in their offer.
Change books like you change underwear
I used to be romantic about books.
I’d hold them tight and read them bedtime stories. I’d put them on the best shelf in my house and think about her every day. Not anymore.
The point of a book isn’t to:
- Get to the end
- Read every word
- Keep reading if it’s terrible
A good book should give you one new idea you implement. If a book doesn’t make an impact after 5–20 minutes then skip to another chapter. If it still sucks then divorce the book and move on to the next one.
Single big ideas from books are better than hoarding tiny useless ideas.
Stop going to Barnes & Noble-type bookstores
Mainstream bookstores are miserable.
They’ve always got a fresh coat of paint and smell like a waiting room at the doctor’s office. Used bookstores are much cooler.
The walls are tainted. The isles are disheveled. None of the furniture or bookshelves match. This is where you find gems.
Because if you read the same Amazon Top 50 books as everyone else, you start to think and sound like everyone else.
Learn how to remove 99% of the conflict from life
Humans love to react. It’s why every social media app has a reaction button. We can’t resist.
I’ve written online for 9 years and people love to argue with me for sh*ts and giggles. I don’t have time. I’ve gotta 4 month old baby to take care of.
So I just use Keanu Reeves’ life hack: “If you say 1+1=5 you’re right.”
Just let stupid stubborn people on the internet looking for a fight win arguments. Your mental peace goes up by a factor of 1000x. And you’ll happily write online without worrying about what people think.
Schedule trips far in advance
Even if you’re a navy seal it’s still hard to stay motivated.
Having events to look forward to helps automate your motivation on those tough days. That’s why overseas trips or short holidays should be booked well in advance.
Whenever you’re having a sh*tty day you can just picture yourself on the beach chucking coconuts in your underwear at strangers and feel good again (warning: coconut throwing is dangerous).
Use this to cleverly bookmark parts of your life
It’s easy to cruise through life at 100 miles an hour and forget everything.
I’m guilty as charged your honor. A life hack I love is to have music playing for key moments in life.
A former work colleague used to make our team choose a Spotify playlist at the start of a new project to create vibes. What she was secretly doing was finding a way for us to remember our shared experience.
Years later I caught up with her and she said, “remember when we built that dumb app to Eminem’s Lose Yourself?”
I could remember it in detail because of the song. And everyone who worked in that team can teleport back through time to that moment when we’d turn on that lousy Eminem song.
Memory-making life hack #2
Writer Alice Lemée taught me to take a small flask of a new perfume with me when I travel. She says “We remember 1% of what we touch and 5% of what we see, but 35% of what we smell.”
Be in bed by 10 PM
Nothing worth paying attention to happens late at night, except murders and drunken debauchery.
Go to bed early and you’ll start the day before most people. Progress feels better than watching another useless late night tv show hosted by a fly-by-nighter Hollywood personality.
When you get a crazy email, do this
I run a successful online business.
People love to take a dump on me via email and ruin my fun. I ignore the bad emails.
But when they’re from customers and addressed to me, I can’t. Nine times out of ten if I sit on the email for 48 hours the problem goes away. Or people change their mind and take back whatever crazy thing they said.
Use the snooze button to solve problems automatically.
Don’t go all in. Experiment.
It’s popular online to announce you’re going all in.
That you’ve quit your job and you’re gonna make big moves. Screw that. That’s how you go broke and become the focus of everyone’s jokes.
I prefer to use the experimental mindset. When I wanted to quit my job and make money online I didn’t do it right away. No.
I did it as a side hustle. Then I cut my full-time job from 5 days to 4, then three (although I never told them), and then quit.
Experiment with the lifestyle you want to ensure it’s worth living.