9 Insanely Simple Life Hacks to Help You Get More Done, Faster
BY ALLISON TANENHAUS AND MANDY DONOVAN
If you watch the video, you’ll see several examples of what not to do when hacking your life. But, thankfully, there are hundreds of efficient and genius ways to hack familiar things and get tasks done more quickly. Here are a few of our favorites:
1. THE DRY TOWEL HACK
Whether you’re lucky enough to have a washer/dryer in your building or are doomed to spend 2 hours and 47 quarters at the laundromat, this laundry trick will make you shocked that you never thought of it. (Or maybe you did, in which case, give yourself a dry, high five.)
To dry your clothes faster, put a dry (and clean!) towel in with your wet clothes. The towel will absorb a lot of the extra moisture, but only for about 15 minutes…at which point, it becomes more wet laundry that needs drying, which will extend your drying time. (Whoops.) So keep an eye on the time, and your duds will be dryer, sooner.
2. THE BAR OF SOAP HACK
Laundry hacks aren’t exclusive to actually doing laundry. They’re also good for when you haven’t managed to get the laundry done yet. Keep a bar of scented soap in your dirty laundry bag while you’re traveling. No, it won’t magically clean your garments, but it will keep your backpack from smelling too, well, backpacker-y.
3. THE DOUBLE DUTY IRON HACK
Speaking of your wardrobe, here’s a way to get your ironing done in double-time. (Perfect for when you’re late for something important enough to require crisp, wrinkle-free slacks—you VIP, you.)
All you do is place a sheet of aluminum foil under your ironing board cover to reflect heat when ironing, so you don’t need to iron the other side of your wearables, too. Yup, it works. See? Science class was good for something after all.
4. THE PHONE CHARGING HACK
Want to juice up your phone faster? (No, thanks, Zipcar. I like charging my phone low and slow, letting it simmer like a good barbecue sauce.) Well, to make it charge faster, start by wearing it out slower while it’s fuelin’. Like by putting your phone in airplane mode (so it’s not gobbling up data searching for signal when you’re not even using it). Then charge up your phone via wall outlet, vs. plugged into your laptop, to maximize charging speed. (Yes, one phone should have all that power.)
5. THE ILLUMINATION HACK
Make your phone even more illuminating by placing it underneath a water bottle to magnify the light source. Particularly handy for when you’re out off the grid and not really using your phone anyway. Brightness. Level. Maximized.
6. THE SOUS CHEF HACK
Prepare your food quicker with some clever shortcuts. For example, to slice a bunch of cherry tomatoes in half, simply sandwich them between two plates, and slide a knife right through the open slit to cut them all at once. (No worries about sliced fingers, either!)
7. THE ZAP-FRY HACK
If you want to microwave your food faster, try placing your food at the edge of the turntable for even, quicker heating. Because sometimes, express heating by microwave still isn’t fast enough. We know.
8. THE TALL COLD ONE HACK
On the flipside, if you want to chill out a not-so-frosty beverage, wrap a wet paper towel around it and put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Voila—ice-cold (but not ice-frozen) refreshment. Productivity does make us thirsty.
9. THE KITCHEN TOOLS HACK
Kitchen items aren’t just for the kitchen. Use a can opener to open up an impossible-to-bust-open blister pack, use a piece of uncooked spaghetti to light candles with low wicks, utilize a bread-bag tab to keep your place at the end of a roll of tape, and freeze a saturated sponge (in a Ziploc) to create an icepack that won’t drip as it melts. Yup, pretty much everything in the kitchen has a second use—except maybe the kitchen sink.
Got a good tip to boost your to-do’s? Share your life hack knacks below.