My Personal Life Hacks

Just a few little tricks I've picked up and use almost on a daily basis.
3 mins

So these are a few of those little things that I’ve built into my daily routine that I find I now couldn’t live without. Most of them are answers to some of my own personal weaknesses; so some may or may not be relevant to you. Either way, give me a shout though if you find any interesting or have some of your own to share.

Reflection

Quite often there’s some kind of the personal point I want to focus more on or further develop myself in. I’ll read a book or an article and find a little snippet that really makes sense to me.

To ensure I don’t forget it, and have time for it to “really sink in”; I have a series of recurring reflection notifications in my calendar. I have a 30min slot once a week (usually set to about the time I’m coming home on the train) where the interesting points/snippets are made in the notes field.

When my “reflection” reminder pops up, the points I wish to reflect on are also shown…. It gives me a good 15 or so minutes to sit and think about those points and how I could have better implemented those in the previous day(s). As one last little point, I’ve found setting four different reflection appointments set to, for example, 1st Monday of the month / 2nd Tuesday of the month and so on - works best.

This makes sure I’m not always skipping the same points as I may have a period where something’s regularly conflicting; and secondly I can spread the points across four different reminders allowing me to not always be focusing on the same topics.

Podcasts

I travel A LOT - public transport to work each day, and international travel most weeks. I really enjoy reading, but sometimes find after the end of a long day I just don’t have the energy to do it. I’ve found that for me there’re some really interesting podcasts available that can be automatically downloaded and on my phone ready when I want them. If you’re on Android I can really recommend Podcast Addict as it’s free and does everything you could ask for.

I would also strongly recommend the following podcasts to follow:

  • Aviation Week Check 6 - Great weekly source of aviation news
  • HBR IdeaCast - Topics coming from Harvard Business Review. A lot of it’s not for me - but there’s usually at least one or two casts that are really interesting. Worth having a look through every now and then.
  • Manager Tools - Can be a little long winded at times, but the general topics are usually interesting and helpful to reflect on how you would handle particular situations.
  • The Economist Editors Picks - Great weekly source of current affairs

Email Follow Up

I get flooded (I’m sure like everyone) with email each day and really find it next to impossible to manage without a solid system. What I’ve found is that setting the following folder structure allows me to quickly sort my mail for easier prioritisation and keep my inbox to a manageable level:

I then set up the following rule. This basically means that if I have an email that I want to remember and follow up on, then I add myself in the BCC field. It automatically adds a copy to the waiting folder and sets a task with a reminder for one week later. This is my absolute saviour, as it means I rarely forget to follow up on items.

I then also set up the following quick rules. For those who don’t use them it basically allows you to right-click on an item and automatically add it to one of my folders and add an action / reminder where appropriate. It makes sorting through emails even easier.

So again, I hope you found at least one of these little points interesting, and if you’ve got anything yourself then please drop me a line and share.

Cheers