5 Ultra-Simple Life Hacks

Some very easy ways to live a more productive and higher quality life in 2014

W. David Marx
Jan 9, 2014 · 3 min read

Productivity matters: It’s the difference between getting a few things done once in a while and a lot of things done all the time. With the New Year upon us and everyone looking for ways to “hack” their life, I wanted to pass on the following tips that can start you on the path to greater performance maximization.

  1. Use soap when washing nearly everything
    Soap — technically a “salt of fatty acid” — is a highly effective cleaning chemical that you’ll find at every major drug store or specialty shop. Soap breaks down fats and oils through a special process called saponification. You’ll want different soaps for different uses — pots, pans, clothing, even your hands — but this one-time investment will greatly maximize the effectiveness of the daily cleaning process.
  2. Dry off with a towel after you shower
    After getting soaked in your morning (or evening) shower, use a terry cloth material towel to wipe away excess water before stepping out of the bath area. What about the full-body, “natural” air drying that has recently been in vogue? Yes, it’s a low price option but will invariably track water all over the house and can take up to 30 minutes out of your day. Towels will instantly solve both of these problems, and they are available for only a few dollars at stores like Target in a variety of shapes and colors. (We recommend you start with the traditional rectangularly-shaped towels.)
  3. Plates are ideal for dining
    Plates and other dishware can be very efficient for transporting and distributing food from the cooking area to individual eaters. There is something fun about everyone eating over the same big pot, but have a few plates on hand to give yourself a new-found flexibility of eating whenever and wherever you want.
  4. Breathe in a mixture of nitrogen and oxygen
    Pure oxygen can be invigorating — especially after climbing mountains — but it’s very pricey and logistically complicated to set up a 100% oxygen atmosphere in your house, apartment, or summer cottage. The 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen mix contained within normal, natural air is actually much better suited for humans and less likely to cause uncontrollable fires.
  5. Read books right-side-up
    After years of research, scientists have found that humans around the world have no difficulty in reading texts upside down due to the “brain imprinting” of typographic forms that comes hand-in-hand with literacy. Yet despite this finding, reading a book right-side-up is ultimately much easier on the mind, leading to less headaches and a significantly faster reader speed. Right-side-up reading is especially recommended for those suffering from presbyopia — commonly known as “age-induced far-sightedness.”
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