A Few Tips, Tricks And Hacks That Will Make Your Life A Whole Lot Easier

July 13, 2017 | No Comments » | Topics: Useful

Think of every aspect of your being as a collection of muscles. The more you use them, the stronger they become.

Even when we’re doing nothing, we’re doing something. Even when you’re not working out, you’re working out.

If I do nothing all day, over time, I’ll get really good at doing nothing every day. If I eat 3 square meals a day, by the following month you’d expect me to be pretty decent at it. If I answer that call from my mum which I always ignore because it makes me feel anxious, and practice taking the plunge and just click ‘accept’ automatically whenever she calls, by next year I’d expect to be more able to handle difficult calls of any kind.

Whatever you do, but more importantly, whatever you’re NOT doing, becomes a muscle, which over time gets stronger. Be aware of what you’re getting good at, especially when it feels as though you’re not actually doing anything.


Let someone know you’re picking up the tab for a meal AFTER they’ve ordered. This allows a considerate friend to order what s/he wants freely and also prevents a colleague/acquaintance from taking advantage of your generosity.


 If your printer is out of black ink, and you need urgent printout please change the color of the font #010101, which is 99% grey, it will help you quite a lot.


If you are examining nursing homes to place a loved one, look at the fingernails of the residents living there at the moment. Long fingernails (especially on men) would likely indicate that the home is either understaffed or does not care enough to do such a small task.

Also stick around for awhile. Ask for an activity calendar and peek in on some activities. I’m an activity director and healthcare says very little about the quality of life offered. Of course being comfortable physically is very important, but if residents sit in their room all day, their risk of depression skyrockets, simply because they have no engagement. No matter cognitive or physical level, a decent activity program should offer engagement to each and every resident- social, sensory, intellectual, physical, and religious.


If your company offers 401k matching, do it. That’s an instant 100% return on investment. That’s better than any stock, bond, mutual fund, etc in existence.

What is a 401k?

The US government wants to encourage you to save for retirement. So they created the 401k as a special kind of savings account:

  1. You can deposit up to $18K/year. This is $18K in pre-tax dollars, so in a way you can consider it the same as if you put roughly $22K into a normal saving account.
  2. Lots of employers match up to a portion of salary. As a typical example, say you make $100K and your employer offers 100% match up to 3% of your salary. That’s an additional $3K you get, for free.
  3. You can keep the money in your 401k account in cash, or choose among several mutual and bond funds that your employer’s 401k brokerage offers. Very popular (and decent) right now are target year funds. These will have names like Fidelity 2040. The 2040 represents the year you hope to retire. They are considered safe, no-brainer funds because they are automatically balanced as you get older (less risk as you approach retirement). You can literally set and forget for the next 20 years.
  4. Your money grows in the 401k tax free.
  5. When you retire, you are taxed on whatever you withdraw each year. The thinking is that you will be in a much lower tax bracket at retirement, so 401ks provide a significant tax advantage (reduce your taxes in step 1, and money grows tax free in step 4).
  6. Even though you contribute through your employer, 401ks belong to you. So if you leave a job, the 401k stays with you. You could have a situation where you 10 jobs over your career with 10 different 401ks. Although most people just roll 401ks into their current job for ease of management (there’s a tax-free way of doing this).
  7. I don’t recommend this, but you can borrow from your 401k for special cases: first time home purchase or expensive illness. You can also borrow for other reasons, but you get hit with a decent penalty. I don’t recommend this because it’s easy to borrow, very hard to put back. And this is your retirement we’re talking about – it should be the ultimate “emergency fund”.
  8. In short, 401ks are the easiest, most surefire way that an average person can retire as a millionaire.


When you have no cell service (multiple bars of service but nothing works) at a crowded event, turn off LTE in cellular settings. Phone will revert to a slower, but less crowded, 3G signal.

Carriers use multiple completely different frequencies for different generations of cellular technology. Since the vast majority of people have phones that support LTE (the fastest available now) this network will get clogged first, but the legacy network on different spectrum is indifferent to congestion on the LTE network.


Even if you’re pretty sure a friend can’t go to an event, invite them anyway.

Your friend will greatly appreciate you thinking of them, and may also be able to clear their schedule to allow them to go.

This also prevents said friend from feeling left out, and they can’t be angry for not being invited, should someone post things on social media or them just find out in general.


Don’t buy a house near a school until you’ve visited the property at both 8am and 3pm on weekday

I live across the street from a elementary school. Literally where the bus line starts lining up 30 minutes before kids get out. Its a nightmare. The other side of the school is for parent pickup and by the time kids get out there are 50 cars running down the whole road that have been lined up for just as long blocking traffic. And this is on small side street city roads. You can’t get in or out. And it’s not just buses & parking. There are hours of screaming children at lunches and recess. Imagine groups of 50 in shifts running wide open and venting like a tea pot. It’s not a place to buy if you work a 3rd shift job or want retire in quiet. And I would extend that time to 5pm. After school care & sports programs.


If you find someone’s identification card you can simply place it in your mail box and the post office will make sure it is returned. Free of charge no envelope just put it in mailbox! (I know this is the case for the U.S. not sure about elsewhere.)



A single flower given unexpectedly, goes a lot further than expensive arrangements on expected holidays.


 If you are buying headphones/speakers, test them with Bohemian Rhapsody. It has the complete set of highs and lows in instruments and vocals.


When meeting someone for the first time, try and use their name as early as possible; eg, ‘Nice to meet you, [Name]’. You’ll have a greater chance at recalling their name and will feel more confident in addressing them, thereby earning their respect.

 The only thing worse than saying ‘I’m sorry, what was your name again?’ is having someone say it to you. People like hearing their own name, especially from someone they’ve just met. Make a habit of saying their name in subsequent sentences and you won’t go wrong.


With Liquid Damaged Electronics, DON’T Use Rice, Instead Use A Fan

I’ve spent nearly 20 years repairing liquid/water damaged electronics. More specifically, cell phones. In the old days, we’d open the phones up, clean the corrosion, resolder, etc. Recently, they’ve (the manufacturers) moved away from local repairs and moved more towards warranty replacements, swap outs (FRU = factory replacement units) & insurance. Now if you want your electronics repaired locally, you have to visit 3rd party independent people since you can no longer have it done in a corporate-ran store.

I know rice is the go-to recommendation for water damaged phones and other electronics, and it works, to an extent. It will passively absorb moisture. Unfortunately, you don’t want to passively absorb the moisture, you want to actively remove the moisture as quickly as possible. The longer the moisture is sitting on those circuit boards, the higher the risk of corrosion. And corrosion on electrical components can happen within just a few short hours. If the damage isn’t severe, we’d take contact cleaner (essentially 92% or better rubbing alcohol, the higher the percentage, the quicker it will evaporate) and scrub the white or green powder (the corrosion that formed) with a toothbrush to remove it. If that corrosion crosses contacts, it can cause the electronics to act up, fail or short out. The liquid itself almost never is directly responsible for failed consumer electronics, it’s the corrosion that takes place after the fact (or the liquid damaging the battery, a new battery fixes this issue obviously).

Every time I see someone recommend rice I kinda twinge a little inside because while it does dry a phone out slightly better than just sitting on a counter, it really doesn’t do much to prevent the corrosion that’s going to be taking place due to the length of time the liquid has had to fester inside the phone or whatever.

What you want to do is set the item in front of a fan with constant airflow. Take the device apart as much as you can without ruining it (remove the battery, etc) so that the insides can get as much airflow as possible. Even if it’s not in direct contact with the air, the steady air blowing over the device will create a mini vacuum effect and pull air from inside. It’s just a small amount but it’s significantly better than just allowing the rice to passively absorb the evaporated moisture. True, rice can act as a desiccant, but a fan blowing over whatever is orders of magnitude faster.

I personally will take apart a piece of electronics completely, and put those items in front of a fan, and if you have the relevant knowledge, I highly recommend doing so as well. But if you don’t, it’s not that big of an issue. What you want to avoid at all costs, however, is heat. Do not put your phone inside an oven or hot blow dryer, heat can damage electronics just as bad as liquid, sometimes more so. Heat, extreme cold and liquid are bad for electronics & cell phones. A fan (lots of airflow) is 99 out of 100 times better at removing moisture quickly than rice. I would say 100 out of 100 but I’m sure there’s going to be some crazy situation or exception I haven’t thought of that someone will come in and point out. I’d like to remind people that exceptions are just that, they don’t invalidate the rule.

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUpon0Email this to someone

0 0