Life Hacking

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55 Replies - 4668 Views - Last Post: 02 October 2012 - 01:02 PM

#1 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Life Hacking

Posted 28 September 2012 - 12:37 PM

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I've been doing some experimenting with life hacking lately, I've found a few things worth sharing, and I thought I'd ask y'all what works for you.

quick note, I think this will work better if we break it into 'stuff' and 'actions', and those can probably both be broken up by timing (all the time / regularly / intermittantly / as needed) and necessity (gives me an extra XX%, gets me up in the morning, picks me up when I'm down, I'm fucked if I don't have or do this), and desirability (I hate this, I don't care about this, sometimes is OK, I love this).

Meditation
(action- regularly, extra 10%, sometimes is OK).

I got into meditation because of youtube, of all things. I started with short five to ten minute segments like this, I'd listen to them first and skip through to make sure they weren't, eg, trying to take control of my mind (fundamentalist Christian upbringing ftw!), and I poked around a bit and found better ones. there are a few noteworthy categories (self hypnosis, guided meditations, mindfulness, ASMR, a handful of others) that have different methods and goals. Self-hypnosis things take a lot of practice but also targets useful or desirable goals, mindfulness is the easiest place to start, and ASMRis the most relaxing- and the most bizarre, and probably the most difficult to explain if someone walks in on you.

If you've never done anything like this, check out the mindfulness link. It's from a Google talk, it really clearly explains what to do, and it gets rid of a lot of the myths people worry about when attempting to meditate (eg, "I can't make my mind silent", or "I get distracted" or "I fall asleep").

"The Great Dictator" speech
(stuff - as needed, picks me up, I love this)
This speech is the only speech I've ever found that I've been moved by. when you've been up for two days , your head is pounding and your eyes burning, do the normal stuff- get a cup of coffee/tea, stretch, breathe, relax, wash your face, whatever- and then watch this. After this, I don't feel tired. I don't feel the headache. I don't care about the obstacles. This sets my soul on fire; nothing can stop me.

The Pomodoro Method
(action- regularly, I'm fucked when I don't do this, don't care)
I found this one on another thread here, actually! It's useful enough to mention it again. Essentially, you break work into short manageable chunks of 20-30 minutes, only work on one thing in that time, use a timer, and when the time is over you take a short (5-10 minute) break. every 4 or so work segments, you take a longer break, ~20-30 minutes.

There are two benefits to this. First, it does help you concentrate on one thing, rather than get mixed up in a mess of different tasks, and second, you know exactly what you've been working on at the end of the day, and how well you did. A physical windup timer is recommended a lot of places because of the ticking, but this program keeps track of your pomos, how many times you've worked on a task, how many tasks you've completed, *and* it plays a ticking sound if you want it to.

Speed Reading
(action- all the time, gives me an extra 25%, I love it)
I found this site the other day and have been going nuts with it; I'm up to 700 words per minute, and I've been copying chapters out of books I want to read (using things like this as a source) and going through them. Yesterday I read the Grand Inquisitor chapter from The Brothers Karamazof. Earlier this evening I read the first chapter of The Great Gatsby. Both took about ten minutes, with about 70%+ comprehension, and I can go through either of them again in a few minutes.

So: what do you use?

This post has been edited by Choscura: 28 September 2012 - 12:40 PM


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Replies To: Life Hacking

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Life Hacking

Posted 28 September 2012 - 01:47 PM

I used to look heavily into life hacks but ultimately just gave up on the whole mess (probably dialed in the microscope too much) and just sort of probably take bits and pieces here or there.

Ultimately shit gets done or I am doodling in my notebook... heh.


Some sites for folks:

http://lifehacker.com/

http://www.huffingto...s_n_951059.html

http://hackaday.com/...gory/lifehacks/

Posted Image

Others

This post has been edited by modi123_1: 28 September 2012 - 02:06 PM

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#3 creativecoding  Icon User is offline

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Re: Life Hacking

Posted 28 September 2012 - 03:54 PM

I learned this recently. Keep a glass of water (best if it's cold) by your bedside. Right as you wake up, drink it all. Your body just went through a 9-hour fast and this should wake you right up.
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#4 AVReidy  Icon User is offline

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Re: Life Hacking

Posted 28 September 2012 - 05:28 PM

I had to read a 700-page summer reading book in under a day, so I tried to learn how to speed read. God that would be helpful on the SAT, and everywhere for that matter. It seems too difficult, though. I hardly comprehend what I read at 20 words per minute :blink:
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#5 CharlieMay  Icon User is offline

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Re: Life Hacking

Posted 28 September 2012 - 06:51 PM

View Postcreativecoding, on 28 September 2012 - 06:54 PM, said:

I learned this recently. Keep a glass of water (best if it's cold) by your bedside. Right as you wake up, drink it all. Your body just went through a 9-hour fast and this should wake you right up.

This is something I need to try, but how to keep it cold 9 hours later?
Time to invest in a bedside mini-fridge

As far as speed reading, I would love to master it myself. No matter what system I try, I find that my mind wanders and the comprehension stops. I did however try a method where it started out with posturing yourself with how to sit and basically showed a relaxation technique that, even though didn't help me with speed reading, seemed to relieve a lot of the daily tension that your body builds up. I've literally been able to focus on the posture and get to sleep faster at night leaving me feeling more refreshed in the morning.

This post has been edited by CharlieMay: 28 September 2012 - 06:56 PM

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#6 creativecoding  Icon User is offline

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Re: Life Hacking

Posted 28 September 2012 - 08:18 PM

Fill your glass with ice. In the morning it'll all be melted and still cold (hopefully).
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#7 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Re: Life Hacking

Posted 29 September 2012 - 01:34 AM

View PostAVReidy, on 28 September 2012 - 05:28 PM, said:

I had to read a 700-page summer reading book in under a day, so I tried to learn how to speed read. God that would be helpful on the SAT, and everywhere for that matter. It seems too difficult, though. I hardly comprehend what I read at 20 words per minute :blink:


Try the fucking link I posted. It's a web browser app that teaches you how by doing it for you. Copy/paste your text in, set the speed, and away you go.

edit: striking enthusiasm that might have come across wrong (if it did, sorry! my bad!)

This post has been edited by Choscura: 29 September 2012 - 07:22 AM

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#8 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Re: Life Hacking

Posted 29 September 2012 - 08:52 PM

UPDATE:

I did some digging and found a good speed-reading program on Sourceforge (link), since so many people here have mentioned it as well. Basically, the way this (and the other link I gave) works is that you look at a certain point on your screen and it cycles through all words in a text and displays them right where you're looking. The idea is that you stop 'reading out loud', internally or otherwise, and process the words, not the sounds. The site linked above has a better explanation of this.

This program has some nice extras, however. For example, when it hits punctuation (like a period, comma, etc), it will show the word just a second longer than normal, which really helps make sense of things faster.

Give this a try this and see how much text you can burn through. It's not a good idea to read code with it, but it's really helping me move through code documentation, and I bet it would help a lot of people here do the same thing.
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#9 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Life Hacking

Posted 29 September 2012 - 10:45 PM

I love the "playlist" hack in the set modi posted. People who dither so much they can't get out the door in the morning are going to be able to finalize a playlist to get out the door with? You just added half an hour of tinkering with the playlist to their get out the door time...
...which was already extended because they couldn't find their shoes, 'cause someone piled a bunch of crap on top of them...
...and then you have to add three minutes for cooling off a glass of water... and ten minutes for cleaning up the damned glass of water that was sitting by the bed, which they knocked over while they were groping for their alarm...
...and then they have to go back to the house 'cause they forgot the important stuff they were supposed to bring because they put it to one side while they put their shoes on and forgot to pick it up
(why didn't they just put it in their bag, like a normal person? What sort of person leaves the house without their bag?)

This "life hacking" seems like it's a bum deal, honestly.
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#10 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Life Hacking

Posted 29 September 2012 - 10:58 PM

I'm glad someone else said it first so I didn't have to be the bad guy. It sounds like a lot of bullshit to me.

It kind of reminds me of... life, really. If you want to change something, you'll change it. With or without a "life hack".

Personally, I've found the best way to find all my stuff every morning is to put it away in the first place. My sneakers are always by the door. My slippers are always next to the bed. My other shoes are always put away neatly in the closet. If one day I can't find them because there's crap piled on top of them, I don't need a life hack. I need to get off my ass and clean my house.

And as Jon said, if you put your stuff IN your bag, you don't have to worry about forgetting it on the table. My bag hangs on a hook on the back of the door so it's always the last thing I see as I'm headed out of the house... I grab it, toss it over my shoulder, and head out.

It's really not that hard.
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#11 Ytry  Icon User is offline

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Re: Life Hacking

Posted 29 September 2012 - 11:28 PM

I think the playlist idea is meant to be set up the night before. Basically from what I can tell if you spend about an hour getting ready to leave in the morning you would make an hour long playlist then just hit play in the morning when you wake up, it would make it really easy to keep track of time. Though I do agree some of the "life hacks" out there are crap, I have found that others can also be quite helpful. For example speed reading techniques they are considered to be a "life hack" but I find them to be extremely helpful.

This post has been edited by Ytry: 29 September 2012 - 11:32 PM

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#12 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Life Hacking

Posted 29 September 2012 - 11:57 PM

The problem is the people who can't get out of the house in the morning don't have a knowing-what-time-it-is problem, they have a dithering problem. Giving them one more thing to dither with is idiotic. Now they're thinking "oh wait, I know the perfect tune to go in there...." and there goes fifteen minutes while they tweak their playlist.


And as long as I'm on a grumpy-old-man rampage:

Quote

As far as speed reading, I would love to master it myself. No matter what system I try, I find that my mind wanders and the comprehension stops.


Here's a system: fucking pay attention to what you're reading. Ditch the distractions and read. If you're still losing focus, take notes. Fill up a spiral notebook on the next book you read, and see if you don't learn to concentrate on the task at hand.

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 29 September 2012 - 11:57 PM

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#13 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Life Hacking

Posted 30 September 2012 - 12:00 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 30 September 2012 - 01:45 AM, said:

cleaning up the damned glass of water that was sitting by the bed, which they knocked over while they were groping for their alarm


This would be me. Guaranteed.
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#14 Ytry  Icon User is offline

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Re: Life Hacking

Posted 30 September 2012 - 12:10 AM

@jon.kiparsky so you disagree with speed reading techniques?
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#15 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Life Hacking

Posted 30 September 2012 - 12:23 AM

Let me put it this way: if your system is about anything other than concentrating on what you're doing and doing it every day, it sounds to me like a load of codwallop. If you want to read books, read books. If you don't want to read books, do something else. Simple enough, no?
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