Mahirap talaga ang buhay.
Or so they say. Every day, each of us has to juggle multiple roles in life.
We’re not just workers, we’re also sons and daughters to our parents, partners to our significant others–and for those who already have kids, parents to our children.
Despite our busy life, we still want to be on top of things.
No wonder a lot of us are looking for easier and more efficient ways to do things. And that’s where life hacking comes in handy.
Life hacking can improve your productivity, finances, physical and mental health, and more. You just have to find which ones will work for you.
Also be warned that as with all things in the internet, not all life hacks are true. Some of them may actually be made up and fake.
So consider that before believing or trying any of them. Although for most hacks whether effective or not, the fun is in trying. Just make sure that you won’t put yours or anyone’s safety at risk when trying.
What is a Life Hack?
A life hack is a unique idea, technique or shortcut that enables you to be more productive and accomplish more things in a shorter amount of time.
YouTube star Wengie or Wendy Huang who has created around 80 videos discussing life hacks on her channel describes the concept as “any method of doing something that either simplifies or makes your life easier in some way.”
In this article, we’ve compiled a number of smart and easy-to-do life hacks that’s perfect for busy FIlipinos. Hopefully these tips do improve some aspects of your life or at least make them more bearable.
1. Always keep a small piece of card like with your identification, person to contact in case of emergency, and allergies inside your wallet.
It will come in handy especially when the emergency responder can’t figure out your phone’s top secret passcode. There’s no telling what can happen to you during a trip.
2. Don’t you just hate how your luggage and the rest of your clothes tend to smell halfway along your vacation? This hack should take care of that.
Just make sure to dry your soiled clothes before trying this technique.
3. Keep your money away from prying eyes by placing them inside an empty lip balm tube.
It’s the last place people would think you’ll keep your money in. Its small size also allows you to bring your emergency money around with you without being found out.
4. Create a place for keeping small documents when traveling. If you have access to a ziplock bag, you can follow the hack below. If you don’t, you can apply the same hack to the compact-sized plastic envelopes you can find at bookstores.
5. Score budget-friendly flights by browsing incognito
There’s more to going incognito than not leaving a trace of your browsing history. According to seasoned travelers, you can actually use it to get lower prices on plane tickets. Try it!
6. When packing, roll your clothes instead of stacking
A popular space-saving hack is to roll your clothes instead of folding. Rolling also eliminates crease, reducing your need to iron your clothes before wearing.
7. Charge your phone using the hotel TV when you can’t find a compatible power outlet overseas.
Source: Natalie Pham
It can be awkward having to leave the TV on while you charge your phone, but it works.
8. Maximize the use of your powerbank
Need we say more?
9. Make electronic copies of your important travel documents, most especially your passport. Then upload them to your cloud device or send them to your email.
Source: Philippines Lifestyle
10. Use a binder clip to prevent accidentally cutting yourself with your packed razor
Via I Creative Ideas
11. Get your luggage faster out onto the conveyor belt by marking it as fragile
12. Only take out what you need from your luggage. Resist the urge to transfer everything to the cabinets in the room you are staying in.
13. Just returned from a country with a different time zone? Go for a run to shake off jet lag.
14. Use travel apps to help you find the best deals when DIY-ing your itinerary
15. Put your rechargeable batteries in the fridge to keep its charge longer
16. Have two wallets. One that you can bring out in public and use to pay for small transactions. And a real one to keep all your cash in, that you will hide for safe-keeping.
17. In case of overbooked flights, agree to give up your seat. The benefits you’ll get in exchange may vary. But if you’re lucky, they might even give you a ticket to the same destination redeemable by a certain period for free!
18. Download Google Maps to find your way around your destination. It’s particularly helpful when traveling to places where language barrier is a possibility.
Source: Girl with a Saddlebag
19. Bring multiple pens with you and stash one at each pocket you can think of. This way, you’ll always have a pen within reach when you need it.
20. Ask the locals for the best spots to go. Chances are you’ll get to experience the place’s culture better vs. relying on printed and online guides.
21. Make a list of what you’ll buy and for whom so you won’t go overboard and over budget with the souvenirs.
22. When it comes to food, go local. It’s not only cheaper but will give you a glimpse of the place’s culture and history as well.
23. Got leftovers from yesterday’s party food? Carve out a hole in the middle of the dish with a spoon or fork before heating them in the microwave.
Reheating rice or noodles using the microwave can be tricky. Some parts absorb heat more quickly, so you end up with a dish that’s half warm, half cold. But you should be able to get more evenly heated food with this hack.
24. So it’s a “Netflix and chill” kind of evening but your beer is not yet chilled to your liking? Wrap a wet paper towel around the beer bottle, put it in the fridge for about 15 minutes more, take it out and enjoy!
25. If you’re more of a wine person, you can try this hack instead. Freeze a bunch of grapes a few hours before, and use it to keep your white wine cold instead of ice.
26. On a budget, but still want to make the most out of your palaman? Try this hack. You’re welcome.
27. Trying to go zero waste but can’t bring yourself to purchase those 16-hour cold water bottles? Fill half of your plastic water bottle with water then freeze sideways. Once frozen, you can fill it with water and have a cold drink to bring with you. Perfect for super hot days!
28. Looking for another way to use that clip that comes with your loaf of sliced bread? Here you go. Instant reinforcement for your trusty flip flops.
29. Cleaning a blender doesn’t get easier than this.
30. An easier way to wipe off those hard-to-remove stains. Just make sure to unplug your microwave before cleaning.
31. For those hard-to-remove “pentel pen” stains
32. Another way to use your wife’s hair straightener. It’s an iron too, after all.
33. As first aid for a minor burn, use cloth to apply vinegar to the area until the pain goes away.
34. Catch toenail clippings by attaching tape in between the “the teeth” of your nail cutter.
35. Got small kids who don’t know how to unlock the door yet? Prevent them from accidentally getting locked inside a room during playtime by holding the lock open with a rubber band.
Source: Kids Activities Blog
36. Snip off a small part of your child’s pacifier to get her to wean off it. Just remember to keep the scissors and the pacifier itself sterilized in the process.
37. Afraid to lose your kid when going out in large crowds? Write your contact info on the arm of your little boy or girl so whoever finds him or her can get in touch with you.
38. If you’re a working parent and have a lot of kids, keep track of their whereabouts, grades, and the documents you need to sign for them by setting up one board for each of them. This way you’ll always be updated.
39. Pick-up a lint roller from the hardware store and use it to clean up glitter left on the floor from your kid’s art projects.
40. Tie rubber bands around the pump nozzle of your hand soap and lotion to avoid getting too much and wasting product.
41. Training your kid to wear his shoes on the correct sides of his feet? Cut a sticker in half and place it on the insides of their shoes. That should be a fun way of doing it.
42. Pick out splinters (almost) painlessly by using a baking soda and water paste on them before removal.
43. Erase crayon marks on the wall with WD-40. They should come off effortlessly.
44. To teach your child the ideal way to hold a pencil, tuck a bit of tissue behind their last two fingers, requesting them to keep it in place while the rest of their fingers hold the pencil in the same way below:
45. An oldie but a goodie: sprinkle salt and a bit of water to your apples before packing them to keep it looking fresh all day.
46. Reuse pizza boxes as a canvass for your child to practice painting on. It doesn’t cost a cent and can easily be thrown away (or keep, if you’re a doting parent!)
Business and Office Hacks
47. If you tend to lose business cards that people you meet at work hand you, taking a picture of them until you’re ready to add them to you phone contacts is a good backup strategy.
Also works great if you need to retrieve someone’s contact information when you’re on the road.
48. Accidentally broke off the leg of your computer keyboard? Use binder clips to fix it.
49. If you still haven’t memorized your keyboard shortcuts for symbols yet, print out this guide to speed up your typing.
50. Before throwing out that sticky note, run the adhesive part over your keyboard first to pick up dust and other particles.
51. Hang your headphones using a binder clip
Source: New Sanctuary
52. If cleaning your keyboard with a sticky note isn’t enough, use clear tape to remove dirt.
Source: Office Desk
53. Use a glue gun to put the sides of the mason jars together. Tip sideways and you’ve got yourself a handy pen and clip organizer.
54. If you have to pack something at work, make doing it more efficient by marking the end of the tape with a paperclip.
Source: Office Desk
This will also save you time in the future.
55. If you have a small team at work, save time and resources by using a whiteboard wall to keep track of important notes and announcements.
56. Here’s yet another way to improvise with a binder clip. Organize your desk’s messy wires and cables by clipping the clips to the table and threading each wire through the handles.
57. Adjust your monitor’s brightness level to reduce eye strain at work
58. If you work from home and have your own office, attach a basket underneath your desk to keep your extension cord in place.
59. Tuck your office keycard into the back of your phone case so you won’t lose it. You might need a roomier phone case for this though.
60. Note what time the coffee was made. We get so engrossed in work sometimes that we tend to lose track of time. And there’s nothing worse than a stressful day at work than having bad coffee to go with it.
So make sure to keep track of how freshly brewed it is.
61. Know what each cord is for using colorful tapes and color-coding them. This will save you time from trying to figure out which is which.
62. Drink lemon water
In case you still haven’t heard about it, lemon water has a lot of benefits for your health. So if you want to be healthier, more energetic, and lose weight faster, drinking lemon water could help.
63. Make sure that every egg you’ll be having is fresh. All you need to do is drop the egg in a bowl of water, and observe. A good one will sink and a bad one will float. Easy, right?
Source: Food Hacks
Source: Me Me
Setting aside time to sit still and do nothing even just for five minutes a day helps a lot in managing stress and decompressing. You can even do this to keep zen when stuck in crazy Manila traffic.
Just make sure you’re not the one driving.
65. Use baking soda to clean your fruits and veggies
Cleanse off pesticides and any harmful chemicals from your fruits and vegetables by scrubbing them with baking soda. Just be careful not to rub too hard or you might bruise them in the process.
66. DIY your own “timed water bottle” to up your water intake.
Source: Jewel Pie
This will force you to drink 200 ml every hour. Refill the bottle at noon and you should be able to hit the required water intake of eight glasses by the end of the day.
67. Bring your own lunchbox
Source: Cat Lumayaga
If you’re not used to spending time in the kitchen, this might take some getting used to. But the effort spent in preparing your own food will be worth it because you’ll know what exactly goes into your food.
This is also ideal if you are trying to lose weight or avoid certain ingredients due to health issues.
Plus, imagine how much lunch money you’ll save!
68. Squeeze in exercise at work
We all know how busy work can get. But there are ways you can sneakily exercise while slaving away at the office.
You can either do a simple stretch like interlacing your fingers and reaching up high or turn your 10-15 breaks into a walk break.
69. Maximize your Netflix time
You can also exercise while watching Netflix or tuning into your favorite primetime drama. Whichever works for you.
70. Switch to natural cleaning agents
Lately, essential oils have been gaining traction among millennials due to their healing and relaxing properties. But do you know you can also use essential oils to clean your home?
Just a few drops mixed with common household items like olive oil, vinegar, or baking soda can do the trick.
71. Enjoy your fresh bananas longer by putting wrapping the stems in cling wrap. Just pick one off the bunch as needed.
72. Hungry all the time? Chew a piece of gum to get rid of cravings.
Source: Confectionery News
73. Schedule meetings sparingly to avoid wasting time on unnecessary conversations.
74. Stop trying to get everything perfect. Decide on a standard that you consider good. Once you reach that point, consider your task completed and move on.
75. Don’t be afraid to delegate. Chances are there’s someone out there who’s skilled and knowledgeable enough to do some of your work.
76. Always be learning. It can be through classes, webinars, or books that are relevant to your chosen field.
77. Don’t check your communication devices and minimize interruptions when trying to get some work done. If your work requires you to be on-call, then it’s best to maintain a separate work phone from your personal phone to help you focus.
78. Unless you’re skilled at multitasking, do one task at a time. Single-tasking keeps your productivity high and stress levels low.
79. Do the most difficult task during the first few hours of your day. This prevents you from spiraling into procrastination.
80. Try working in sprints, 25 minutes of focused work then 5 minutes break. See how this works out for you.
81. Make the most out of your lunch break by listening to motivational and educational podcasts or audio books.
82. Create templates that you can use and refer to for your commonly performed tasks. Having templates to dig into saves you time in the long run because it gives you a solid base to start with.
83. Automate when you can. Certain tasks can be made easier when you use the right system.
84. Make time to unwind. Do the things you want to do so you’ll come back recharged and ready to take on next day’s challenges.
85. Learn how to say no when your schedule can’t accommodate a task anymore.
86. Use dual monitors to save time from switching back and forth different applications.
Random Life Hacks
87. Make the most out of your bar of soap by sticking it to a new bar before it’s totally used up.
88. Tipid hits? Create your own LED light by combining water and bleach in an empty 1.5 Coke bottle, then letting sunlight illuminate it.
89. For those nights when you can’t be bothered to even hold your favorite chips with one hand.
90. If your phone’s battery is almost out, switch it to airplane mode for faster charging.
91. Use toothpaste to clean and polish your car’s headlights
92. For more natural looking selfies, squint your eyes a bit when smiling.
93. Save up your toilet paper core to organize your stash of cords.
94. Secure a rubber band around an open paint to help you wipe off excess paint from your paintbrush painlessly.
95. You won’t forget who borrowed what from you from now on.
96. When you need to clean your shower head, but you’re too tired to do the actual work.
97. When you’re thirsty for good wine, but can’t afford a corkscrew. You’ll make do.
98. The lengths we go through to enjoy our favorite soft drink.
99. Make your password extra difficult to guess by including “ñ” an other accented letters.
100. Never lose tiny screws and bolts when taking apart gadgets and appliances again.
101. Now here’s the ultimate life hack for us busy Filipinos. If you don’t have time to type up a grocery list, just take a picture of what’s in your refrigerator (and kitchen cabinets, if applicable).
By looking at these pictures, you’ll know what you still have and what you need to restock on. And hopefully, you’ll remember the rest of the items that you need to buy at the grocery as well.