It's fun watching the Mad Lifers introducing us to some cool kitchen lifehacks -- I am totally going to try that strawberry-straw one. These little hints to use while cooking, cleaning, or just parenting are great to tuck away and try one of these days.
But I've found that sometimes the best lifehacks are ones that aren't really gadgets or whatnot, but actions we can do to shine a little more happiness into our lives. What should you do to boost your mood, increase your productivity at home or work, get that budget on track, or just plain feel a little better on a daily basis? Try one (or all) of these mental lifehacks!
-- Abide by the "5% rule." Let's say you're in the middle of your day, and you're not feeling great about what you've accomplished. Say to yourself, "If I want to feel 5% better about my day, I would ______." Maybe it's running up and down the stairs 10 times to feel like you got a mini-workout, or maybe it's that you would finally take those overdue library books to the library. Do that one 5% thing and feel about 50% better about your day!
-- Ask yourself one question to make decisions faster. Could be a big purchase or just deciding what to wear, when faced with one of those decisions that you just aren't sure about, ask yourself, "How will I feel about this 10 minutes from now? 10 days? 10 months? 10 years?" It gives you a little perspective on the issue at hand and usually points you to a clearer path to make that choice a little faster.
-- Do the thing you least want to do first. Sometimes having that not-so-fun task hanging over you can cause a lower mood and slow you down while doing the other 51 things you have to do. By getting that one icky thing out of the way first, it lifts your spirits and makes the whole day run along in a better groove.
-- Learn to say no. This is a biggie. We all tend to say yes when we know we should say no -- doesn't matter what it is: to the bake sale, to our kids, to your co-worker. We get overstretched and overextended in energy, time, and emotions, which then affects every other part of our life. Learning to say no, and that it is okay to say no and you don't have to feel guilty when you say no, is such a powerful trait. Say no, protect your time, and you will see the good repercussions in your mood and your life.
-- Smile. This has been proven by science, folks: if you smile, you will feel happier. Force those muscles to turn up if you have to, but put a smile on, and see how it affects your day.
-- Learn what you can do in 5 minutes or 15 minutes. Often we waste little pockets of the day because we are overwhelmed by all that we have to do. If you realize you have 5 minutes, maybe read over that article you've been meaning to read or unload the dishwasher or wipe down the bathroom sink. Figure out that, in 15 minutes, you can find the photos you need for your kid's family history project or you can do those arm exercises. Not only will you feel more accomplished, you will be energized to keep going with the day.
What mental or productivty tricks do you use to make your life happier?