Productivity hacks that might actually make you happier

In today’s hustle-and-bustle world, it can easily feel as though there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. Between trying to handle all of the important things in your life (such as your job, your family, and your health), the little things can easily slip underneath the radar. And to make it even more challenging for us, we aren’t as fortunate as the humble octopus, which has somehow managed to finagle eight arms to get all of its work done. If you’re looking to boost your productivity – and, in turn, your mood! – then you need to take a closer look at these four life hacks.

Set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier

There’s an old saying out there: “The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.” Does that sound like something you’d say? If the thought of waking up a half-hour earlier than planned makes you want to roll over and pull your blanket over your head, then you’re definitely the type of person who would benefit from waking up a touch earlier than usual. Imagine all of the things you could accomplish with those extra thirty minutes! You could go on a jog around the block. You could cuddle with your kids. You could whip up a healthy smoothie for breakfast. See? The possibilities are endless.

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Crawl into bed a half hour earlier, too

See, we can be fair. We wouldn’t ask you to wake up a half-hour earlier without offering you a little something in exchange. And who’s going to say no to folding for the night sooner than planned? Of course, that’s easier said than done. To help prepare you for an earlier bedtime, use that extra time you gained this morning to help streamline your day. By the time your clock says it’s time to conk out, you’ll have no excuse but to slip into your pajamas and call it a night! (Hey, by the way…if you wanted to sneak off to bed a whole hour earlier, nobody here is gonna tell you no. Everyone can benefit from their beauty sleep, right? Right!)

Prep your fruits and veggies in advance

Everyone and their mother says that you need to eat your fruits and vegetables. And the thing is, you know better. However, the siren call of that bag of chips from your pantry simply can’t be ignored. You know what, though? If you prepare your fruits and veggies when you bring them home from the store, you’ll be more likely to reach for them when you have a snack attack. Clean your carrots, chop your celery, and slice your apples. (Just douse them in a splash of lemon juice before storing them in your fridge to keep them from browning!) Over time, you’ll grow to crave them and will actually choose them over that bag of fun-sized chocolates in the kitchen.

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Know when to say yes and when to say no

Some people are the classic “yes” type. Boss says you need to work overtime, but you wanted to go home and unwind? Too late, your mouth already said yes before you could stop it. For those of you who say “yes” to all of the wrong things, you need to learn how to start saying “no” every once in a while. But what about the naysayers out there, those of you who always turn things down? Sure, it’s a fantastic idea to set healthy boundaries, but if you’re always nixing things, you’ll miss out on numerous opportunities and novel experiences. Maybe your “yes” will introduce you to a new type of cuisine, or lead you to friendship you never knew was out there. Yep, a little “yes” here and there really can be a good thing!

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Making the most of your life

We’re all given the same twenty-four hours every day. Nobody’s lucked out and managed to score a few extra minutes that you didn’t get. If you’re trying to maximize your productivity, why not try these four productivity hacks? Testing them out won’t cost you a thing. Even better, they’re a breeze to pull off. Even if you’re not ready to dive in and do all four at once, maybe you can try just one or two for now. Once you see how much better your life is, you can always decide to do more later. The thing is, it’s your life. You deserve to live your happiest and healthiest version of it. And if these life hacks will help get you there, then they’re absolutely worth the effort!

Photo: Getty Images

More about Jamie Levi

“I’m a mom who loves a good movie and keeping up with pop culture. I also like to create and share some of the Internet’s most fascinating stories.”