As the end of the year fast approaches, many of us are looking for new ways to save time and make our lives just a little bit easier. What better way to do that than with some simple—but fun—work and life hacks! From chilling your wine to getting control of your email, use these small hacks to see big results!
1) Avoid the premature email. How many times have you accidentally sent an email before it was ready for prime time? Avoid this potentially embarrassing mistake by leaving the To field blank until you’re ready to hit Send.
2) Schedule your email time. Did you know that Americans spend an average of 6.3 hours every day responding to emails! Add some time back into your workday by scheduling time specifically for checking and responding to emails—and use the rest of your time to focus on the work at hand.
3) Just say no to email notifications. How often do your eyes wander to that little envelope that appears at the bottom of the screen to alert you that a new email has arrived? Avoid the constant interruption of those pesky notifications by simply turning them off!
4) Stay positive. Want to start (and end) your day on the right foot? Set your positive intention, and then place an image or words about this intention as your computer or phone wallpaper. You’ll be reminded throughout the day to stay in that positive headspace.
5) Follow the two-minute rule. If something will take around two minutes to accomplish, don’t procrastinate! Just do it.
6) Schedule reminders. Don’t want something to fall off your radar? Schedule calendar reminders the day before something is due.
7) Stand up. Sitting down all day has been proven to shorten your life span! But those who have switched to an adjustable standing desk have seen a plethora of benefits, including less back pain, increased energy levels, and even higher productivity. And if you’re looking for a bigger change? Speed up your pace with a treadmill desk!
8) Write tomorrow’s to-do list today. At the end of each day, jot down the next day’s top five goals on a post-it that’s easy to spot (e.g., on your computer monitor). It's a quick and easy way to stay on course day after day. While you’re at it, take that time to list what you’ve accomplished that day—a simple way to take pride in what you’ve already achieved.
Personal Organization Hacks
9) Don’t forget it. How many times have you gotten to work only to realize that you forgot your lunch on the counter? Since many of us can’t leave the house without our keys, place them next to whatever you need to remember to take with you before you leave work or home.
10) Find what doesn’t belong (and pick it up). Every time you leave a room, look for something that doesn’t belong there, pick it up, and bring it with you. Even if it doesn’t get exactly where it belongs at that moment, it will get closer.
11) Declutter your closet. At the start of each season, turn all of your hangers and shoes backward. If you haven’t turned the hanger or shoe around by the season’s end, it means that it hasn’t been worn and is ready for a new home!
12) Just chill. Do you like your wine chilled but don’t want to water it down with ice cubes? Why not use frozen grapes instead? Or maybe freeze some wine in the ice trays to make wine cubes. Cheers!
13) Freeze it. Instead of tossing out greens like spinach and kale, and fruits that can overripen quickly, take stock every few days and freeze anything you don’t think you’ll eat before it spoils. You can use these items later for smoothies, ice creams, and other delicious recipes. Plus, you’ll reduce waste and save money.
14) Meal prep on Sundays. It can be hard to find the time and energy to cook dinner after a long day at work. Instead, spend a couple of hours on Sunday cooking two or three big meals to eat throughout the week while still giving yourself some variety. Double recipes and chop vegetables all at once. Build mason jar salads. Turn on some good music and make it happen. Bon appétit!
15) Avoid the mess. Love popsicles, but hate the mess? Try sticking the end of the stick through a muffin cup—perfect for catching those sticky popsicle drips.
16) Turn that dessert into a sandwich. Is there one right way to eat a cupcake? Some think so: Take the top half off (the part with the frosting), flip it over, and stack it on the bottom part. With the frosting in the middle, there’s no mess and you have a delicious cupcake sandwich!
What are some of your best life hacks? Do you have any time-saving or email best practices to add to our list? Please share your thoughts with us below.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in June 2016, but we've updated it to bring you more relevant and timely information.