Five little life hacks that made me just a little happier and more productive at home

Set up a dock for your phone somewhere away from arm’s reach, especially the bedroom

The more you can separate your phone from convenience the less you’ll pick it up and spin that hamster wheel of digital delight. Personally I’ve found it extra helpful to use my Apple Watch so I’m able to at least handle quick responses to texts, or control audio if need be. Oddly enough I’ve started to use Amazon’s Apple Watch app a lot more simply because it allows me to quickly “jot” down little household things I need. The more the phone sits on the dock, the less I feel dependent to it.

to an audiobook or podcast

Rather than mindlessly staring (or most likely barely listening while you swipe around on your phone) you’ll have a chance at actually tuning in to something meaningful. The bonus here is that you can perform chores that are otherwise dull and they just become white noise rather than annoyances. Turns out I actually enjoy the act of folding laundry and ironing now (WTF is wrong with me). With audiobooks you’ll knock out reads in no time that would have otherwise sat on your shelf without attention for months.

Absolutely no screens at bedtime

This one’s hard to adhere to, but the more you do it the happier you’ll be. Screens are notoriously problematic for our sleep cycles. But worse we’re all the more likely to pick up our phones and mindlessly use them as we try to wrestle our eyes awake in the morning. Instead keep your devices away from the bedroom, and use the allure of your digital crack as a reward of getting out of bed.

Make a “24 hour rule”

Try to stick to completing tasks that will otherwise have a high likelihood of procrastination. If a dish is in the sink, deal with it…either put it in the dishwasher (if you’ve got one), or clean it. I might let the dishwasher build up for a few days, but as soon as things are clean they’ve got to be put back within a day. Don’t let the laundry sit for more than 24 hours waiting to be folded…that’s a necessary task that’s going to be a constant till you take care of it. The more these easily accomplishable tasks sit without action, the more of a burden they’ll be in your mind.

Break down boxes from deliveries as soon as you’ve opened them

My brother told me this one and it took me forever to actually do it, but I finally understood the value in his tip: a stack of flat cardboard looks a lot less shitty and transports much more easily to the recycling. Simple as hell, but surprisingly useful.



Dad, Midwesterner, product designer, coffee snob, craft beer lover, GIF enthusiast.

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Matt Galligan

Matt Galligan

Dad, Midwesterner, product designer, coffee snob, craft beer lover, GIF enthusiast.