Life-hacking is ridiculously fun when you see what it can do for you.
I was never much of an ‘experimenter’ — more of a go with the flow kind of guy. This strategy didn’t work for me. I fell in love with money and alcohol and that led to a larger than life mental illness. The mind can ruin you if you let it. But the mind can do even more good for you.
All of that has changed. I’m now a life-hacker and get off on experiments. These tiny little experiments have helped me have an unconventional career, write thousands of blog posts on the internet, meet some extraordinary people, and earn enough passive income to be comfortable.
People often call me unstoppable. They see my work ethic as crazy. It’s not really. What looks crazy is nothing more than the positive effects of these life hacks that other people taught me. Here are the best life hacks you can steal.
Place your alarm on the other side of your bedroom
This was one of the first life hacks I ever learned. My problem was that I would always sleep in and couldn’t break the habit. This problem robbed me of hours per day that could have been used to create.
Then a podcast (can’t remember which one) told me to place my alarm clock (phone) on the other side of my bedroom. So I did. I started doing that simple life hack about five years ago and have never looked back.
When the alarm clock is on the other side of your bedroom and it’s set to a loud, annoying sound, you have no option but to wake up and turn it off. Once you’re out of your warm bed, it’s easier not to go back.
By automating the decision to wake up, you start your day with a difficult decision that you win by default. The rest of the decisions for the day will be easier as a result. Plus you get a lot of extra time to create.
Do one form of content creation each day
Choose your poison: video, writing, photography, audio.
Create one piece of content each day in the format you find easiest to use. If people only knew the power of content creation, then everyone would be doing it. We’d have millions of people canceling their TV streaming subscriptions to create content when they finish work at the end of each day.
Content equals freedom.
Content helps you find what you’re looking for in life. Content helps you narrow your thoughts. Content helps you clarify and see your ideas in a new light. Content helps you meet people. Content helps you create conversations. Content helps you find work you enjoy. Content helps you validate a business idea. Content helps you find customers. Content helps you change your life.
Content, content, content….will hack your life in your favor.
Join a Mastermind
I am a freaking idiot. I dismissed masterminds as a scam for years. How wrong I was. Since joining one not long ago, everything changed.
I joined a blogger’s mastermind full of people just like me. Some bloggers had achieved a helluva lot more than me. And some bloggers were just getting started. I get to help the newbie bloggers (by seeing a bit of myself in their goals), and I get to learn from the pros who make me look stupid.
One of the biggest challenges I’ve had over the years is finding people to help me with web development and mailing lists. It has been a real pain point. The mastermind has allowed me to find people who have already solved this exact problem for themselves. Now I have several people that have been introduced to me who can help.
The journey of being a creator (rather than a consumer) is a lonely one. Mastermind groups can help you feel a little less lonely, so you can learn about or find the skills you’re missing, to make your goals a reality.
Tidy your office space before starting work
I thought I was in love with Marie Kondo and we were going to have a family together. Then I saw her terrible TV show and my “spark joy” dreams were burned to the ground. Her TV show put me to sleep. But her advice didn’t.
There is one life hack that Maria left me in the book she wrote about minimalism. It’s the power of working in a space that is free from clutter.
Clutter is stress.
You can’t reach your creative potential when you’re stressed.
It’s for this reason why many people report to have their most creative ideas when they are having a warm shower or washing the dishes. During these times your mind is relaxed and your creativity is cranked up.
Sprinkle some joy in your life by removing clutter before you start the day’s work. The work will be better for it.
‘Like’ the comments of trolls
A troll is a person who leaves you a terrible comment or sends you a nasty email for no reason. It could also be a person who criticizes you at work just to upset you so they can feel better.
My friend Oleg taught me this life hack. All you need to do is ‘like’ and leave a nice comment for trolls. The next time Karen at work says “your presentation sucked today and public speaking is a skill you don’t have,” say “thanks Karen you’re the best.” Karen won’t know what to do. You will have silenced the troll.
Why is this life hack so effective? Being kind to people who dislike or criticize you saves you time and stops you feeling frustrated.
The mental energy wasted by replying to comments clearly designed to upset you is not worth it. Think of it this way: every unnecessary, hurtful comment you get is a person just like you who is having a bad day.
Why should their bad day sabotage your day?
Save your time and like the harsh comments and opinions of people who seek to tear you down.
Go to your settings app and do this
Notifications on your phone are really ads.
A notification is an ad to go to the app of a tech company. Once that app captures you attention, they can get you to take the actions that support their business model. Liking a comment supports their business model; sending a direct message from their app supports their business model; selling your old stuff for cash supports their business model.
Every notification is subtracting from the business model of your life.
Take the currency of attention that you siphon off to app notifications and redistribute that attention back into your life’s work.
Operate your life on zero notifications.
Visit apps when you need them, not when they need you.
Another quick life hack is this: when your phone is out of sight, it’s out of mind. Even if your phone is switched off, if it’s right in front of you on your desk while you work, you’ll be distracted. You’ll have hidden FOMO daydreams about what might be happening inside your phone.
Step away from the phone and surrender to the muse. Place your phone in the other room where you can’t see it.
Choose one daily form of exercise
I am skinny guy from Australia. When I workout, I look like a discombobulated rag doll. Exercising for muscle growth or good looks, for me, is pointless.
A life hack that changed how I thought about exercise was endorphins. Endorphins are released when you exercise. Endorphins make you feel good. Therefore, exercise to release endorphins so you feel good. When you feel good you become unstoppable.
Thanks to lockdown, I choose walking. Choose a form of exercise that works for you and do it every day. Don’t Rocky Balboa it either. Have fun with exercise. Exercise is just movement after all.
Do your work with binaural beats
Binaural beats are like music for aliens. It’s a series of tones that go up and down and never seem to complete. They won’t make you boogie on the dance floor but they will help produce the best flow states of your entire life.
By cutting out all the background noise, your mind can see clearly. A clear mind is free to create.
Binaural beats act as an anchor for your attention.
Once your mind is focused all you have to do is point it at something and it will produce the most productive work of your life.
Read a book a week
I spent most of my life never reading a book. The best I’d ever do was watch a two-hour movie. Books seemed like too much of a time commitment so I opted out. What a huge mistake.
If I said books were a life hack, you’d probably laugh. Every self-help dude on the planet in a cheap suit talks about books and says “read more and all your dreams will come true.”
I always say — the most powerful habits are the one’s you underestimate. It’s the small, obvious tasks that you dismiss that hold your hidden potential. Any monkey can read, but most people don’t — or read far too little.
Books are better than Netflix.
You learn more when you read words on a page than you do binge-watching endless TV shows.
There is something about reading. It plants the ideas from the book deep in your subconscious. When you need those ideas, strategies and skills, your mind serves them to you.
Take up the challenge and try to read more books. With all of us spending more time at home, there are more chances to read. Take what you read and let it inspire you to write — if you really want an experiment that will blow your mind.
I have conducted many experiments over the last six years to try and find the best life hacks. Many have failed. This is my go-to list of heavily curated life hacks and they have helped me feel unstoppable. If they can work for me, then they can work for you.
Don’t let people talk you out of your goals. With the right life hacks, you can find ways to be productive that you could never have previously imagined. Use these life hacks to do the best work of your life.
Squeeze the juices of meaning and fulfillment into your life’s cup, so you can see the cup as half full, not half empty.