Browsing: Lifehacks

For my entire life I’ve struggled with reading. In high school doctors and counselors would chalk my painfully slow reading to a hearing deficiency, without so much as a prescriptive solution. Later in life it seems like my struggle might be more easily described by some of the symptoms experienced by those diagnosed with ADD. Nevertheless reading has continued to be a difficult exercise for me. Staying informed beyond the headlines was tough, concentrating through a 10,000 word think-piece has been painful, and attempting to read Game of Thrones (aren’t the books always better?) a near-impossibility. It’s probably unsurprising then that I co-founded a news company that was defined by its to-the-point coverage and quick reading. In light of the recent election I’ve found myself in a likely similar position to many others—one of dismay, confusion, and voraciously seeking information. But once again I struggled to stay focused throughout my…

Between my digital addiction and penchant for procrastination I’ve struggled for a very long time to feel like I spend my downtime meaningfully and productively. Over the last few weeks and months though I’ve started to do just a couple simple things that have turned out to be pretty dramatic improvements to my otherwise horrendous non-routine. Some will be obvious and leave you with a “are you serious, Matt?” statement in your head. Others may be just plain bollocks. But at least for me, they’ve been helpful. Here’s five little things I’ve done lately that have helped me: 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…

A little Dropbox trick for making sure I never misplace an orphan file Most of us now have at least two computing devices that we use on a regular basis. For some it’s their laptop and mobile phone. For others like me it’s my iMac, MacBook, iPhone, and iPad. They all have their purpose and are used regularly. With the exception of my iPad everything is used regularly, which means the likelihood that a file is on one of those devices and not others is high. I needed a trick. Something foolproof that would ensure that my files wouldn’t be trapped on a device I didn’t have access to at a certain time. Dropbox is just the start While some would immediately jump to saying “just save stuff in Dropbox,” I would say in return: what about my Desktop, what about the Downloads folder? Something more was needed. The best part? It’s…

A little while back, I realized just how often my iPhone’s lock screen was lighting up for email alone. It would go something like this: Marketing email! Non-urgent work email! LinkedIn request! Millions of dollars from a prince in the UAE! It never stopped. Ever. It was a continuous flash of typically unactionable information that provided me with permanent anxiety. First I did what any sane person would do and turned off sounds so that at least it wasn’t buzzing in my pocket with no end in sight. Then I realized that the screen lighting up was just as bad when I’d have it out on a table. The next step was to get rid of notifications on the lock screen. Months passed. Each time I unlocked my phone, I’d see the barrage of most recent emails scroll through on the top of my phone. But just about a week…

Mailbox.app – Inbox Zero With the use of a handful of helpful tools and techniques, I’m able to ensure that no email can slip through the cracks. Email is awful. It’s a beast of a technology that’s thirty years old and definitely doesn’t conform to most of how the world operates today. But no matter how much we decry its antiquity, unfortunately it’s still the primary way that business communication happens. Unsatisfied by the way that my own email was getting accomplished, I wanted to make a dramatic change. Every morning I’m presented with a seemingly endless amount of stuff to reply to, and it never felt like I was getting anywhere – just swimming against a neverending torrent. But over the course of the last few months, I’ve developed a workflow for myself that finally makes me feel like I’m able to get out in front of the insanity. Something that…