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January 2016

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Closets are great for storage. Here are a few hacks to use the space in a clever way.

1. If you have fixed shelves in a closet, remove the shelving and either drill holes for shelving supports from the bottom to the top, or install metal shelving strips to make all the shelves adjustable. Most of the wasted space in a closet can be attributed to the empty space between the top of items and the bottom of the next shelf. You might even be able to add a couple of shelves by going for an adjustable solution. (If you cannot match the old shelving, cover all the shelves with washable wallpaper.)

2. You can also convert existing shelves into pullout units so better access the items on the shelf. Cut off the edge of the shelves to accommodate the runners and add a narrow frame around the edges to prevent items from falling off. The frame will also give you a place to grip the shelf for pulling it out.

3. Install a slim bookcase in the center of a closet for racks and run rods between the bookcase and walls for hanging clothes. The rods will also help to stabilize the shelves.

4. If you need to store a lot of small items in a closet, group them together in boxes, baskets of plastic containers. Not only will you find things quickly, but your closet will look organized.

5. Create extra space in your closets by installing rods on the inside of the doors. Use these to scarves, ties, hats, belts or any other slim items.

Laundry rooms should be filled with clean smells, lots of light and with as many things as possible to make laundry day a breeze.

1. Build a closet next to or around your appliances. Use the closet to sort everything you might need in the laundry. Top shelves in the closet can also house extra linen for the house, tablecloths, napkins and even clothes that need mending.

2. If you are building a closet, make a list of all the items that need to be stored. Remember to create a thin, but tall space for the ironing board, broom and mops.

3. Attach magnets to the corners of a quilted ironing board cover and frappe it over your drier for a quick place to iron a shirt or dress before you go out. No need to lug out the ironing board.

4. Make your own reusable dryer sheets by combining 1/2 cup of vinegar and 8 drops tea tree or other essential oil. Cut up some old T-shirts or cotton cloth and sprinkle the mix over (do not soak). Store in an airtight mason jar. When needed remove from the jar, squeeze out over the jar and pop into the drier. When you are done, place at the bottom of the jar again.

5. Install a shelf over the drier. Not only is it a place for storage, but you can suspend a rod from the bottom of the shelf to store extra hangers, or to hang up clothes as you take them out of the drier.

6. A dirty washing machine cannot clean your clothes. Clean your washing machine by running a hot water cycle with 2 cups of vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda in the drum. Remember to remove the soap dispenser and give it a good scrub with an old toothbrush. While you are cleaning the machine check and clean all the filters as well. Repeat this at least twice a year to keep your machine running optimally.

7. Lift your front loading washing machine and dryer about 12 inches from the floor by building a sturdy wooden box for them to stand on. This will make loading and unloading easy on your back, and you can use the space below them for storage baskets to store any of the many things you need in a laundry.

8. Suspend an old single bed metal frame or even an old ladder from the ceiling to give you space to hook your hangers when removing clothes from the drier.

9. Wash soft toys in your machine by putting them in lingerie bags. Remember to check that the eyes and other parts are still secure after washing. Note: this works for plastic toys like Lego as well.

10. If you are spending a lot of time in the laundry, invest in a portable music player or radio to give yourself something to listen to other than the washer and drier.

11. We all appreciate nice and crisp clothes that can give us a professional look. However, most of us hate the ironing required in order to achieve that polished look. You don’t have to worry. Here are some tricks that can help you get the job done faster and more efficiently.

12. For the first trick, all you need is aluminum foil. First, remove the ironing protective board cover. Then, simply place a strip of foil on top of the table, and put the protector back on. Because of the heat reflection, you’ll be able to smooth out both sides of the clothing at once. This trick does wonders for fabrics like silk, wool, and rayon. If you are traveling, take note that you can use hair straighteners to iron the collar of your polo shirts.

13. Odor in clothes can make you feel like you are wearing something unclean. Food, cigarette smoke, and sweat can stick to your shirt, making you feel like you are untidy. Here are some tricks that you can use to ensure that your clothes are odor-free.

14. Those who go to the gym know how difficult it is to get rid of the stink of sweat and body odor. To make things easier for you, simply rinse the clothing at the gym itself to get rid of the sweat and odor as soon as possible. You can then wash them as usual once you get home. If the odor is strong, simply spray white vinegar on the underarm area before throwing it to the laundry. Vinegar is one of the most powerful solutions you can use to combat odor. This is guaranteed to keep your clothes smelling clean.

15. If you want to get rid of odor in shoes, the best way to do so is to simply stuff them with socks or with a teabag. They will absorb the unwanted odor that you want to get rid of.

16. Clothes require a lot of care and maintenance. You must exert extra effort if you want to keep your clothes presentable. Here are some tips that you can use to keep your clothes neat-looking.

17. If you get an unexpected ink stain on your clothes, simply rub it off with hand sanitizer and follow up with regular washing later on. If gum accidentally sticks to your child’s shirt, stuff the shirt in a plastic bag and put it in your freezer. It will be very easy to remove gum when it is in solid form. If you want to keep buttons in place, simply coat them with clear nail polish so that they won’t fall off.

Cleaning the kitchen can be such a difficult challenge. You’ll need to clean your sink, floor, and all the cabinets. On top of these, you also have to take care of the eating and cooking utensils. If you don’t use life hacks, it might take you forever to clean the kitchen. Here are some handy tips that you can use to keep your kitchen tidy.

Cleaning your stove top can really be difficult, because it is often prone to so many spills and stuck-on messes. You don’t have to buy expensive solutions to get the job done. With this life hack, cleaning your stove will be significantly easier! Combine one tablespoon of salt with one tablespoon of baking soda and one tablespoon of water. Mix the paste together. Use the mixture like an ordinary cleaner, and scrub away!

You can easily clean stains on coffee and tea mugs, by rubbing them with lemon peel and salt. This combination is powerful against dirt and stains.

If you use a blender or a food processor, you don’t need to scrub and wash the container. Simply “blend” or “process” a few drops of dishwashing liquid along with half a cup of water. Let the machine clean itself for you! You don’t need to exert effort anymore. All you have to do is press a button. 

A kitchen is the heart of any home. Most modern homes in cities have very small kitchens, so you have to really think about the space to optimize every available nook and cranny.

A lot of work gets done in the kitchen and it should be ready at any time of the day. Everything that you do to make your life a little easier in this room will save you heaps of time and effort. Cooking only becomes a drag if you have to fight your way around the kitchen.

Here are some simple and more involved things to make the kitchen a “healthy” heart of the home.

1. A fire blanket and/or fire extinguisher is a must in every kitchen. Make sure everybody in the house knows how to use them.

2. Because you are working with food and beverages the kitchen should always be clean. To make this possible, try to clear up as much counter space as possible. If an appliance is used only occasionally, pack it into the back of a cupboard or even in the pantry or attic.

3. Install electrical outlets under the top cupboards to get electrical cords out of the way.

4. You can change your kitchen as the seasons change – in the same way as you change your clothing cupboards. Replace the ice cream maker with the crockpot in winter, or swop your soup bowls for salad bowls in the summer. Most of the time it is just a matter of repacking a cupboard.

5. Invest in covers for all your appliances that stand in the open. It will keep them clean, and if you make a mess in the kitchen it is easier to put the covers in the wash than to clean every appliance.

6. Most of the action takes place around the oven, stove or hob. Make sure that all the utensils, pots and pans are within easy reach so that you do not have to run around looking for things.

7. If you are considering remodeling your kitchen, opt for drawer units for all the floor-standing units. It is very difficult to find a pack or clean things in floor cupboards. This is especially true for things that land up at the back. Drawers should pull out all the way so that you can see everything at once glance. The drawer units work well if the sizes of the drawers are not all the same. Use pot drawers at the bottom for pots, mixing bowls, appliances and tall food ingredients. Use medium drawers for crockery, dinner service, condiments, glasses and cooking utensils. Use shallow drawers for cutlery, spices and cups. If you like baking, install 7 or 8 shallow drawers in the counter for all your baking tools, cookie cutters, pans, icing bits and pieces as well as all the food coloring, essence, palette knives and cake boards. By having a lot of shallow drawers, nothing lies on top of each other and everything is visible when you need something.

8. Convert your kick plates under the cupboards to either drawers or boxes to stand on to reach the top cupboards.

9. Lift your dishwasher by 9 to 12 inches by placing it on a little cupboard with a single drawer. Store dishwashing soap, cleaning chemicals or rags in this drawer. By lifting the dishwasher, you will save your back when loading and unloading dishes. This is very important if you consider that the heaviest items are normally at the bottom of the appliance.

10. Some houses have a dining room next to the kitchen. If you hardly ever use your dining room, break out the wall between the kitchen and dining room and enlarge your kitchen. You might even have space for a colorful couch in your new kitchen for your guests to relax on while you are preparing food.

11. If your sink is clogged, you can use Alka-Seltzer tablets to unclog the drains. If you want to prevent glasses & silverware from breaking, use rubber bands to keep them in place. You can also put old newspapers at the bottom of the trash bag in the bin to absorb leftover food juices and keep your trash cans clean and dry. This will prevent any sort of liquid from creating a mess in your kitchen.

Your living room needs to look good because this is where you will entertain guests and visitors. Here are ideas that can help you be proud of our own living room.

As the name implies, a living room is a place for the family to share time together. Sometimes you watch a movie or a TV program, other times the room is used for board games or TV games. It is also a place for informal get-togethers with friends and family. So this is a versatile room and sees a lot of traffic.

Because of the diverse uses of this room it needs to be functional, properly spaced and have ample storage for everything that is needed in the room.

Quick hacks:

1. Remove the clutter. Get as much as possible off the floor to make cleaning fast and easy. Remember this room sees a lot of traffic.

2. Install castors or wheels to the coffee table, ottomans and pieces of furniture that you need to move around.

3. Install drawers or baskets into the coffee table to house items that you need every day, for example, remote controls, TV guides and coasters.

4. Install shelving for books, games, DVDs and other dust gathering items. Bonus points for installing doors to the shelves. Take time to sort the books and DVDs to find your favorites quickly! If guests arrive, close the doors and the room will be instantly neat.

5. Use baskets (in the coffee table or shelving) to group common things together. This could be a box of candles, platters for snacks, toys, extra batteries, globes, or even your knitting. Now you only need to take one container out and have everything ready for a specific function.

6. Instead of hanging a lot of pictures in frames, opt for very narrow floating shelves do display your photos. Use these to display other items as well.

7. Use old crates (similar or various sizes) as a wall mounted display shelves. To add extra depth to the room, install mirrors on the bottoms of the crates.

8. Lighting is very important in this room. Get rid of the single source of light in the center of the ceiling and install sets of low-voltage LED down-lighters. Wire them to switch them on in sets: Switch all of them on when hosting a get together, but only one set when you watch TV. Not only will you save money, but flush-mount down-lighters do not gather dust.

9. Use your wall space in a clever way. Install a large mirror on a wall to make the space look bigger. If you need extra light or lights that form part of the décor, cut an interesting shaped lamp in two and wall mount for both light and décor.

10. If you only use your TV occasionally, wall mount the unit and cover it with a framed picture that is hinged on one side. Neatly tie the cables together and hide them behind a vase, a box or freestanding photo frame.

11. Over the years, your walls might start to smell like food, cigarettes, or an “old house.” The problem could get even worse if you have a pet. It can be hard to get rid of the animal smell when it sticks to the wall. You don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive chemicals. Just wipe down walls and furniture with a mixture of one part white vinegar and eight parts water to remove bad odors from your home.

12. Carpets are beautiful and elegant. However, trying to maintain them involves a lot of work Here are a few hacks that could make your life significantly easier.

  1. Placing furniture on your carpet will cause them to have dents. Don’t stress about this! Simply rub the unsightly parts with a cube of ice. Finally, pat with a cloth, and your carpet or rug will be as good as new.
  2. Do you have pets or children who cause your rugs to move? In order to keep your rug or carpet in place, attach a Velcro strip on the carpet and a Velcro strip on the floor. This little trick will keep the rug in place.

13. You’ll be surprised to know that food and drinks can be used for furniture maintenance. Wooden furniture is beautiful, and it will give your living room a vintage look. However, you need to exert extra effort if you want your wooden furniture to look good.

  1. You can use flat beer to clean your furniture. All you have to do is pour beer on a soft cloth and simply wipe it down the wooden furniture. This simple process will help restore the color of your furniture.
  2. If your furniture has damages and scratches, you will find the unlikely solution to your problem in the form of a walnut. Simply rub a walnut on the surface of the furniture so that the walnut oil could help restore the flawless look of your wooden furniture.

I love organization hacks because it saves me time and saves me the stress of frantically trying to find something that is buried in a mess.  Minimalists teach that having an organized, clean home creates a more organized mind.  Let’s take a look at some organization tricks that will save you time, space and money.

An unorganized house, a stuffy room, or a cluttered environment not only decreases productivity and make things more difficult to find, but they also cause unnecessary stress. Everything in the world, alive or dead, has an energy. In a room that is full of clutter and not properly organized, the energy will weigh you down, stress you, decrease your quality of life, and may even cause depression. So, it is important to keep everything organized to simplify your life. Following are some life hacks that will help you get more organized.

1. Create Drawer Dividers.  

You can easily de-clutter a junk drawer by cutting up shoeboxes or cereal boxes and creating little compartments inside a drawer.  I measure my boxes out so that the depth of each box is slightly shorter than the depth of the drawer, then I cover the boxes with pretty, coordinating wrapping paper to spruce it up.

 I’ve de-cluttered junk drawers, organized my clothes in my dresser and have organized toiletries in the bathroom using this method.  I’ve often received compliments on where I “bought” my drawer dividers.  You can use this organization technique for categorizing makeup and crafts as well.

 2. Organize Your Jewelry.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve searched for a specific piece of jewelry last minute and couldn’t find it.  I developed a system that really works and that has prevented necklaces and bracelets from getting tangled. Take a couple of glass beer bottles and rinse them thoroughly and allow them to dry completely.  Cover each bottle with wrapping paper or craft paper (or don’t – it’s up to you!).  Stack your bracelets around the bottle for easy storage.  

If you don’t have any beer bottles, you can also use a paper towel holder.  For necklaces and dangle earrings, buy an inexpensive cork board and insert pins into the cork.  Hang your necklaces and dangle earrings from the pins.

 3. Make a Plastic Bag Dispenser.

 We all save our plastic bags from our trips from the grocery store.  I used to bunch them all up and toss them into one bag and shove them in the pantry.  Of course, it was always a pain to dig through the big bag of crumpled plastic bags when I needed one, so I created a bag dispenser.  Take a tissue box that is empty and neatly fold the plastic bags so they naturally “dispense” through the top of the tissue box when the one before is pulled out.  

 4. Use a Cloth Shoe Rack to Organize Cleaning Products.

 We’ve all had to go digging under our kitchen or bathroom sink looking for a specific cleaner to clean up a mess.  Instead of having to dig through the mess, hang a cloth shoe rack over the back of your laundry room door and store all your household cleaners in each compartment.  I like organizing my types of cleaners so I can easily find them.

 5. Build a Scarf Hanger.

 To easily consolidate all your scarves, keep them all on one hanger.  Take a sturdy hanger (preferably wood) and loop shower curtain rings through the bottom part of the hanger, so you have a line of rings along the bottom.  Put one scarf in each ring.  You should easily be able to fit 12-15 scarves on one hanger.

 6. Box Your Batteries.

 If rummaging through a junk drawer trying to locate the right battery size is not your idea of fun, organize all your batteries in a tackle box.  Store your batteries by size in their own compartments so the next time you need to find a battery quickly, it’s super easy.

 7. Keep Cords from Being Out of Control.

 We’ve all seen, and perhaps experienced in our own homes, the rat’s nest of cords behind the entertainment center.  You can keep the excess cord lengths in check by reusing the cardboard toilet tissue rolls as sleeves to contain neatly folded excess cord.  You can also use this method to keep extension cords neatly folded up and in the toilet roll sleeve.  If you don’t like using cardboard for your cords, fold them the same way, then fasten together with wire twist ties.

 8. Fashion Your Own Can Dispenser.

 Storing your canned goods in one place in your pantry will allow for better storage and utilization of space.  Take a few empty soda can holder/dispensers (the ones that usually hold 12 cans) and decorate them with craft paper or wrapping paper.  Categorize by soups, beans, canned protein, etc. and store in each box for easy storage and access.

9. You can use nail polish to mark your keys and keep them organized.

Assign each color to a room, or organize as you please.

10. To create more space in a drawer and to find your shirts more easily, instead of laying them over one another after folding them, place them vertically. This way you can easily see them all and pick the one you want, instead of pulling one out from under the bundle and messing the others up.

11. You can organize your plastic bags by putting them inside a tissue box; remove one as needed, just like pulling out a tissue.

12. The cut-off spot on sticky tapes is difficult to find. Instead of looking around the tape to find the cut-off spot each time you need to use the tape, use a paper clip to hold the cut-off spot instead.

13. The old door knobs can be installed in the bathroom or kitchen walls for hanging towels.

14. Paper towel holders can be used for hanging wristbands, watches, bracelets, and even rings.

15. You can use your old drawers and paint, modify, or decorate them, and use them as shelves.

16. You can install wine racks in the shower room to hold several towels at the same time.

17. The hanging shoe racks can also be used in the bathroom, kitchen, or office for storing supplies. The pockets can hold toiletries, office supplies, eatables, etc.

18. To save space in the room, you can hang your ironing board on coat hangers.

19. You can install an extra shower curtain rod in your bathroom to hang your loofahs and other bathroom items.

20. Use shower hooks to hang your pants, jeans, shorts, etc. in the closet. They will be easier to remove, browse through, and hang back.

21. A shoe rack can also be used for holding bottles and small containers in place.

22. Paper clips can be used for keeping the cables organized.

23. The tabs from soda cans can be used to offset hangers and create more space in the closet.

24. Use the empty toilet paper rolls to store wires, cords, and cables in them. It will make it easy for you to store them in a box without having to worry about them getting tangled or intertwined.

25. Hair clips can be used to organize headphones, earphones, and other long wires and cords.

26. To store the lids of Tupperware, use an old CD rack or tower.

27. Create more space in your room by using the back of your door. Use a door storage organizer, shoe holder, or a shelf to utilize the space.

28. Cereal boxes can be cut, wrapped, decorated, and used for organizing the drawers.

29. Use hidden drawers to utilize the extra space you have under your bed.

30. Reuse tin cans for storing your art or office supplies, like pens, colors, crayons, etc.

31. When storing boxes, label them. Though this does not seem important when storing them, it saves a lot of time when you need to retrieve them.

32. Use double sided sticky tapes and fix them on the edges of your coffee table. Stick the remotes on them, pull them off when you need them, and stick them back after use. Do this and you will never lose your remotes again.

33. Use a paint palette for your jewelry. Keep a pair in each section and they will always be organized and easy to find.

34. Attach a Velcro strip to your electronic machines and their cords, and stick the cords back on the machine after use.

35. Curtain rods can be installed under the sink for hanging bottles and creating more storage space.

36. Use a wine rack and add some tin cans or plastic containers to store art supplies in an organized way.

37. To label the cords of computer like mouse, keyboard, speakers, printer, scanner, etc., or the cords of TV, DVD, etc., use bread clips. It will make it easy for you to identify them if you need to switch or replace them.

38. Tackle boxes can be used to keep tiny miscellaneous items, like batteries, cells, pins, etc. organized.

Re-record voicemail

If you’re having a busy day returning phone calls or getting in touch with clients and get the ‘please record your message after the beep,’ but for some reason your speech fails you and the message doesn’t come out just right, you can re-record. By pressing the # symbol on your phone, you can erase your message and re-record.

Tired of overspending on coffee, but still want more?

Rather than ordering a medium in a medium cup, order a medium coffee in a large cup. Your barrister will more than likely get the measurements wrong and end up giving you an Extra Medium coffee.

Paper cuts don’t have to ruin your day

If you’re flipping through papers too fast and ended up with one of those really annoying and surprisingly excruciating paper cuts, get out your chap stick and offer yourself an immediate relief from the pain.

Bye-bye telemarketers

If your office phone is subject to an influx of telemarketer calls on a regular basis, hit the 9 while in the call and the phone number will be moved to the don’t call list.

More ink from no ink

In the middle of printing an important document and your computer tells you you’re out of ink? There’s no need to worry because there’s still more ink in your cartridge. To retrieve it, remove the cartridge, get a pointy item like a paperclip (when unfolded) or a pin, poke the reset button, plug your cartridge back in and you’ll notice that your ink wasn’t empty after all.

IPad for iPhone

If you’re in a hurry to get your phone charged and you’ve got both an iPhone and an iPad, use your iPad charger for your iPhone and charge up in rapid speed. It may sound a bit silly, but it really does work.

Good battery? Bad battery?

To check if your battery has still got some life in it, bounce it on the ground from about 6 inches. If it falls flat after a single bounce, it’ still good. More bounces mean that they’ve reached the end or are approaching the end.

Get more life out of your laptop battery

To increase the life of your laptop battery, rather than charging to 100%, charge to 80%.

Dropped you phone in water?

Fill a bowl with rice and submerge your phone in the bowl. Leave the phone in the rice for about a day to allow the rice to absorb the moisture from your phone.

Clean keyboard

Use tape or Blu-tack to get to those hard to reach spaces on your keyboard and get rid of all the crumbs and dust that your keyboard has been hoarding.

Headphone holder

Attach a paperclip to the side of your desk and wrap your headphones around it when not in use.

Health remedies have been around for years, often passed down to us by our elders.  When I was growing up, my grandmother would offer her advice on how to handle some of these problems, and thought she had no idea what she was talking about because the remedies seemed a bit silly.  I chalked them up to old wives’ tales, but as it turned out, she was quite right.  

Let’s take a look at some hacks that can solve every day, minor health issues.  Using these solutions will make your life so much easier!

 1. Cure a Headache Without a Pain Reliever.

 One of the most common reasons people get headaches is due to dehydration.  The next time you get a headache, instead of reaching for acetaminophen or ibuprofen, reach for Gatorade. 

 Consuming two glasses of Gatorade will stop your headache quickly, and will actually address the reason why you got a headache in the first place rather than just mask the pain. The electrolytes and carbohydrates in the Gatorade allow the fluid to be absorbed more efficiently in your body than just drinking water, instantly rehydrating you.     

2. Relieve Minor Sunburns Naturally.

 If you have a minor sunburn and don’t have any aloe vera, you can relieve your burn by applying tea bags to your skin.  Soak black tea bags in warm water.  Drain some of the excess water from the tea bags and place them in your freezer for 20 minutes.

 Apply the chilled tea bags directly to your sunburn. The tea’s tannins and anti-inflammatory properties will help soothe your skin and activate the healing process quickly.  If you don’t have black tea in your home, you can substitute chamomile tea.   

3. Sleep Smarter.

 We all know that getting quality sleep for 8 hours a night maximizes our effectiveness and mental state the following day.  Sometimes it’s hard to get the full 8 hours, but let’s look at the most effective ways you can get the best quality of sleep.

Stop drinking beverages with caffeine in them at least six hours before you go to bed.  Shut off your television and stop looking at “screens” (computer, phone, etc.) an hour before you go to bed.  The release of melatonin helps you fall asleep at night and it has been proven that looking at the light on our gadget screens actually suppresses that natural release. 

Avoid hitting your snooze button, as it causes your REM sleep to be disrupted, resulting in you feeling even more tired.  If you are tempted to hit the snooze button like I often am, move your alarm so you are forced to get out of bed and shut it off. 

4. Make Your Own Flexible Ice Pack.

 Instead of spending $10-$15 to purchase an ice pack at your local pharmacy, you can make one with ingredients you already have at home.  Simply take a gallon zip top bag and fill with three parts water to one part rubbing alcohol and place it in your freezer.

The alcohol will prevent the water from completely freezing and will allow the mixture to be flexible for better application.  Once you are ready to use it, take it out of your freezer and wrap in a towel and apply to the affected area. 

 5. Soothe a Sore Throat Naturally.

 If you have a sore throat or a persistent cough you can calm it down with items you have at home in your pantry.  Create a soothing syrup by combining a ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of honey and 2 tablespoons of water.  Mix together until you have a thin, smooth consistency and drink.

 6. Ease Bloating.

 We’ve all experienced the discomfort of bloating when eating more than we should have at a delicious meal.  When our body breaks down food, some carbohydrates cannot be digested in the small intestine, so it moves along to our large intestine in its undigested form.  This causes gas to build, resulting in the body feeling bloated.

Drinking a few cups of dandelion tea will help purge excess water in your body and will stimulate bile that will cause the undigested food in your large intestine to break down quickly, relieving the bloat.

 7. Banish Toenail Fungus.

 Fungal infections under your toenails can be treated effectively with Listerine.  You can soak your feet in Listerine twice a day until the infection clears up, or you can apply a small amount of Listerine directly to the affected area twice a day with a Q-Tip or a small brush. 

You can also mix one part Listerine and one part white vinegar and soak your feet in that mixture.  The antiseptic properties in Listerine will help disinfect your toenails and the white vinegar will make the environment too acidic for the fungi.  This acidic environment kills off the fungi.

 8. Stop Ice Cream Headaches.

Ice cream headaches, often called “brain freeze” occurs when we eat something cold too fast.  When the roof of our mouth feels the cold sensation, it causes a dilation of the blood vessels in our head, which causes a sharp cold headache. 

 When you feel the headache start, press your tongue on the roof of your mouth (this is where the nerve center is located that is causing your blood vessels to enlarge and cause the headache) this will soothe the nerves and the heat from your tongue will signal to the brain that it isn’t as cold.

Ever wake up thinking today will be the day you’d get a lot of work done, and then at the end of the day you realize you’ve “successfully” watched through all first 3 seasons of House of Cards? If your productivity level only extends to making coffee in the morning, then it’s time to kick it up a notch! Following are some life hacks that can make you do more and end the day with a smug “I’m the man” look on your face…

2 Minutes

The two minute rule simply states that if you are confronted with a task that takes only two minutes to finish, then do it right now and get it over with! Don’t leave it hanging because pretty soon, you’ll have a collection of 2-minute tasks that would take an hour to complete. Just finished your mug of coffee? Wash it immediately within 1 minute and you’ll never have to face a dirty sink again.

Create a priority list

Lists are a great way to get organized and the more organized you are, the more productive you’ll be. However, rather than just jotting down the things you need to get done, list your tasks by how important they are (with the most important task being at the top). You’ll realize that once you’ve gotten through the hard stuff, the simple ones will be much easier for you to check off the list.

Time your tasks

Yes, at times you’ll have the most tedious things to take care of and you’ll sit for hours procrastinating because you’re reluctant to star, dreading how long it will take until you’re through. The more you procrastinate, however, the less you get done. If the length of the task is what bothers you the most, allocate a certain amount of minutes (say 5) and when this time is up, move on to something else for another 5 minutes and then back to the ‘tedious’ task. In doing so, you won’t have to sit through the same thing for long stretches of time, but you’ll still be able to get it done.

Seinfeld Calls It!

Jerry Seinfeld is magic when it comes to stand up! But how exactly did he achieve such a high level of expertise? Practice, of course! He made sure that a few hours each day are dedicated to stand up practices. To boost his motivation, Seinfeld started putting an X mark on the calendar for every day he practiced. The satisfaction of seeing an unbroken line of X’s motivated him into NOT breaking the chain. Try it!

Procrastinate Productively

Now this sound like an oxymoron, but it actually makes sense. Notice how you are trying to distract yourself with practically anything just to avoid doing work that you hate? Instead of walking around burning precious time, you can try doing something else that you don’t “hate” as much. For example, procrastinate while cleaning up your inbox or perhaps start straightening out your desk to make it more work friendly. There are lots of productive procrastination steps that you can do, and each one would help you shift your focus from the task you don’t want to do with the task you can tolerate to do until you’re ready for the real thing.

Make a Playlist

Have you seen Inception where Leonardo DiCaprio uses a song to time his way into a dream? When it reaches the chorus, he knows it’s almost time to wake up from the dream. You can do this too (while awake, of course) by creating a playlist that tells you whether you’re on time or not. Try putting together a 30-minute playlist and start playing it the minute you wake up. The goal is to make sure that before the last song in the playlist ends, you’re already in your car and driving to work. You can also link the songs to the activity you’re supposed to be doing (breakfast while listening to Neil Young, The Black Keys while taking a bath, etc.), allowing you to easily judge whether you’re slacking or not.

Know your Optimum Productivity Hour

Every person has that time of the day where they’re positively brimming with energy. For most, it’s in the morning right after a dose of coffee while others are at their best after-lunch. No matter what your optimum time happens to be, identify it and make the most of it during your working hours.

Get the Temperature Right

Studies reveal that the right temperature can actually increase or decrease your productivity. According to Cornell research, the magic number is 77 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing you to be perfectly comfortable and focused on the job. You might want to let your boss know about this number and if the office isn’t just willing to pay the bill, you can also try to affect the temperature yourself. Bring a portable fan or layer your clothing, depending on the circumstances.

Make Your Breakfast Exciting

What can motivate you to wake up early? Excellent breakfast, of course! Just the thought of freshly made coffee can get you up and about within minutes. To make this happen, try getting a coffee maker with a timer, ensuring that you’ll wake up to the smell of freshly made coffee. Preparing breakfast food and ingredients at night would also make it easier for you to start cooking a healthy and delicious meal in the morning.

Cheese Works

This is a fun thing to try! So let’s say the room is too cold and your cheapskate boss won’t let you touch the thermostat. Try putting a block of cheese on top of the device and it will be fooled into thinking that the room is actually colder than it actually is. Hence, the temperature is automatically adjusted, giving you a warmer and more comfortable atmosphere.

Surround Yourself with Yellow

Ever wondered why Facebook is colored blue? Studies suggest that this color is the most relaxing for people so when using Facebook, you tend to relax and spend lots of time on the website. On the other side of the spectrum, there’s the color yellow that can help increase your productivity. The color closely resembles the brightness of the sun, which fools the body into producing melatonin. This basically stops you from being sleepy in the middle of the afternoon, allowing you to focus more on the job and less on the bed.

Baby Animals are the Answer

Now we know why the internet is littered with images of cute baby animals. It actually produces productivity – according to a study done by the Hiroshima University. Apparently, cute baby animals can give you a buzz that restores your energy and relaxes the mind, making you ready for work. With just one minute of scrolling through pictures of cats sitting in bowls, you’d be able to increase productivity by up to 44 percent…

Commute

Taking your car might be more convenient, but commuting to work actually makes it easier for you to face the day. Instead of driving, you can rearrange your schedule for the next 8 hours, making sure that all your papers are in order and answering emails through your phone. Simply put, commuting lets you focus on those “little things” that make you ready for the “big things” in the office.

Get to Work Early

Getting to work early won’t just impress the boss; it would also make your whole day more productive. First off, being early means you’ll miss the morning rush hour which can be—let’s face it—very annoying. Upon reaching the office, there would be zero colleagues around, letting you avoid the typical small talk in the morning. With zero stress and distractions, you’d be in a prime mindset to do whatever needs to be done and get the job finished ahead of schedule. Even better, that means you’d be finished earlier so you can get out of the office quickly and avoid the usual 5:30 PM rush.

Change Your Surroundings

Is it possible to bring your work somewhere else? Like the best coffee shop near you? Believe it or not, some people actually get a boost in productivity when around other people. The buzz of the noise and activity provides them with a burst of energy that you just can’t find in the stale surroundings of the office. Of course, this might not work for everyone so try experimenting on your surroundings to find out which setting gives you the most buzz.

Bribe Yourself

Do you need to finish reading a long and boring report? Put a (healthy) snack at the end of each page and eat it when you read that specific page. You’ll find yourself becoming more enthusiastic with the reading process.

Keep Plants Nearby

Even if it’s just a small pot of green, plants can actually work wonders for your concentration. This has been proven after two studies performed in 2011 and 2013. According to psychologists from the University of Michigan, plants are part of the “attention restoration theory” which basically means it restores your focus on the work with just one quick glimpse. Don’t forget that the green color of plants is also excellent for the eyes so you’re basically “refreshing” your mind and vision through a simple plant. With you practically rejuvenated, your work productivity should increase.

Nap a Little

Google’s main office actually has a nap room where employees can take a well-deserved snooze. Some might think this defeats productivity but studies reveal that a nap – when done at the right time – actually revitalizes your physical and mental energy bar. Ever taken a nap in the afternoon and woke up feeling like you can take over the world? That’s it! Of course, optimum napping time is different for everyone, although studies show that generally, it’s somewhere within the vicinity of 2PM. You’ll find that someone ingeniously crafted a nap wheel for this, letting you calculate your optimum napping time, depending on what time you sleep and what time you wake up. Of course, you can always follow what your body dictates and nap when you’re feeling drowsy.

Big Tasks in the Morning

Studies reveal that the morning is your most productive time yet. Maybe it has something to do with waking up from a long and satisfying rest. No matter the reason, try scheduling your biggest, worst and usually most important tasks in the morning. You’ll find that not only do you have more energy during the early hours, but your mind is also sharper and more creative. We’re not just talking about eight, nine, or ten in the morning, however. If you wake up around 6AM, you’ll notice that you’re practically bursting with energy around 6:30AM. Of course, this might not be true for everyone – but it’s certainly worth a try!

Binaural Beats

Ever heard of binaural beats? They’ve been proven to help with concentration, creating a more productive workplace for you. Try downloading one online and see if it works for you.

Any Music Works

Binaural beats are great – but the truth is that every type of music works in boosting your productivity. According to studies, listening to music you like helps you finish tasks faster. This is especially true if you’re not particularly fond of the job you’re doing. Music essentially helps “entertain” you while performing laborious or boring tasks, making the whole job seem easier.

Make a To-Do List (seriously)

Now, this one is up for debate so you might want to test each method out before making a decision. First off, create a to-do list for the day, scheduling the worst tasks in the morning when your energy is at its highest. Stick to this to-do list and apply the Seinfeld approach by putting a big fat red check beside every task you finish. Period.

Take a Computer Break

The problem with computers is that even though they increase productivity, they also decrease it. How many times have you browsed through your Facebook or Twitter account when you’re supposed to be doing work? With “fun” websites so easily accessible, it’s very common to have multiple tabs open in your window. Hence, if you’ve decided you need a “break” from work, try standing up from the desk and stretching your legs. This would help clear your head, give you the break you want, and even burn some calories along the way!

Anti-Distraction Software

Get some help from programs available for free. A good example is JDarkRoom, which basically obliterates all possible distractions from your monitor. Instead, the screen is filled by a completely white page where you can write your report. The taskbar, start icon and others are papered over by the document, allowing you to completely focus on what’s important.

Download Evernote

Evernote is an application that helps you stay organized. Most people only use it to take notes, but there’s actually so much more that can be done with this program. You can try creating lots of notebooks and notes, linking them together and creating a whole system of pages that help you keep track of information you need. Perhaps one of the best features of the program is the Web Clipper, which lets you save articles from the internet, add them to existing notes and even make notes of them so that you don’t forget anything! Have fun and explore with this program.

Meal Planning

Indecisiveness is one of the most common reasons for procrastination – so why not remove the option when you can? Plan your meals ahead of schedule so that you know exactly what you’re eating for the day. If you love to cook, this means having all the important ingredients in the pantry, removing the need for a time-wasting shopping expedition.

Carry a Notebook and Pen Around (All. The. Time.)

Do you get ideas in your head that constantly nag and distract you throughout the day? Ideas like these might be excellent, but they can push you to procrastinate, bumping out all the concentration you have for the job. Get rid of all these nagging by writing all those thoughts and “light bulbs” in a notebook you always keep handy. After writing them down, your subconscious should feel content so that you can focus on the work again. At the end of the day, you can visit the notebook again and get to work on your bright ideas!

Break the TV Habit

According to studies, the typical American spends around 9 years out of a 65-year life span watching television. This basically boil down to 4 hours each day – but imagine how long it really is when you look at the big picture. Turn off the TV now and start doing something else. Read a good book, for example. Not only will you become more productive, you’d also find yourself saving on electricity!

Blog It

Blog what you do, your goals, what you’ve been doing to achieve them, and how you’re faring so far. The incentive of being able to chronicle your “adventures” should be able to push you towards productivity. For some people, knowing that others are reading their work is an excellent inducer. Of course, this might not work for everyone and in some cases, you might consider it additional work rather than fun.

Sleep Well

Well, duh. Sleep has long been strongly advised to increase productivity and improve overall health. Unfortunately, a lot of people are still ignoring this fact, so please—try to get a good eight hours of sleep every night.

Clean Up!

OK, so opinions for this one are also divided. Basically, the idea is to get rid of any clutter on your desk before starting work. With a clean and orderly desk, there’s really nothing else for you to do but focus on the work. Of course, don’t forget the Einstein quote: ‘If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?’ So basically, what you can do is clean your desk but don’t leave it completely devoid of anything. For some people, a stack of paperwork on their desk helps to constantly remind them that there’s still work to be done. Hence, this is really a judgment call on your part. My advice – remove the clutter and see what happens.

The Email Reverse Psychology

Ever want someone to read your email immediately? Use the reverse psychology trick! After sending them the mail, follow it up with another mail bearing the subject: PLS DON’T READ PREVIOUS EMAIL. IT WAS SENT IN ERROR. Yup, do it in all caps to really get the reader’s attention. You’ll find that this would make them very curious about the email’s content.

Work in Sprints

Work shouldn’t be a marathon that keeps you sitting on your chair for six long hours at a time. Instead, you should approach it in sprints, perhaps spending two hours at a time and then taking a quick break to refresh yourself. Note, though, that your “refreshment” of choice should not be done by clicking through your social media account. Instead, stand up, walk around, stretch a little or even grab a cup of water. A few minutes away from the computer would give you that necessary recharge to keep on working.

Move Around and Workout

Studies reveal that exercise can help increase your productivity, increase concentration, and improve your energy. It probably has something to do with exercise improving blood flow and oxygen in the body. We’re not just talking about morning exercises, although that’s definitely a good thing. Instead, try to insert some workouts during your lunch hour or even the 15-minute break. Even just walking in place or light stretching can turn you into a whole new person.

Turn your Phone Off

OK, so maybe turning your phone off all the way is not necessary. However, you can try locking it up in the drawer (or just putting it into flight mode) to prevent yourself from checking it every few minutes.

Second Monitor

Now this might seem irrational, but a second monitor can actually make it easier for you to work. Employees notice that switching from one window to another actually makes it harder for them to concentrate on what they’re doing. With a second monitor, however, it seems as though the whole process has just become way easier, not to mention easier on the eyes. Also, monitors today have become cheaper so this shouldn’t dent your bank account too much.

Donuts Fix Everything

Running late and you just know everyone is going to welcome you with bad looks in the office? You can’t really blame them, especially since they’ve been ahead of you. You know what you can do, though? Donuts! A box of donuts may not completely wipe off the frown on their faces, but they shouldn’t give you a hard time with your lateness. After all, a happy office is a productive office. Don’t do it again, though – buying 54 donuts every day can be quite expensive.

Herbs are the Answer

Aside from sounds and visual elements, another factor that deeply affects work productivity is the smell. If you’re in an environment where the smell is far from pleasant, chances are you wouldn’t be in your full capacity when working. Don’t grab the air freshener, though. This will only make things worse because the slight chemical smell is an even bigger distraction. Instead, go to the local greenhouse and purchase an herb plant – preferably one with a strong smell. Put it beside the office desk and you should get that clean, fresh smell of the outdoors all day long. Some of the best plants for this job are mint, basil, rosemary and lavender.

Pomodoro Method

The Pomodoro technique is very simple to do and can increase your focus and productivity significantly during the day. Basically, just set a timer for 25 minutes and commit yourself to working during that time. You don’t have to finish the task within those 25 minutes; you just have to make sure that all those minutes are used productively. When you’re done, take a 5-minute break; you’ve earned it! Repeat the process over and over again until the day is done. You can also try giving yourself a longer 15-minute break after four or five 25-minute cycles.

Batch ‘Em Up

Try to batch up your tasks or work in chunks for the smaller jobs that necessitate a few minutes of your time. For example, schedule your email checks, messenger checks and updates together, allowing you to get those things out of the way immediately. With that gone, you can now focus on the biggest and most important tasks of the day.

Just Work Wednesdays

Some companies also call them “No Meeting Tuesdays” which basically means that there is zero chance of a meeting being called for in the company boardroom. This simple policy lets everyone know that the day is purely dedicated to work which means that they don’t have to worry about any distractions. Why Wednesday? Any day could work, but Wednesday is the optimum day because it is smack in the middle of the week when the employees are best primed for work.

Block Websites

So let’s say you just can’t help yourself from constantly checking your Facebook and Twitter account. There are ways to temporarily block these websites and stop you from procrastinating your day away. Some programs that can help include LeechBlock, Focus Booster, Self Control, Nanny for Google Chrome, Keep Me Out, and StayFocused.

Pareto’s Law

Pareto’s Law states that 20% of your inputs lead to 80% of the outputs. That means that for every 10 things that you do, even just doing 2 of those would give more than half of the results you want. Sound confusing? Alright, let’s keep it simple. Before the day starts, think about the top three things you need to do in order to reach your goals for the day. By staying focused on those three things, you’d find yourself reaching 100% productivity!

Walking Meetings

Have walking meetings! It not only saves time but the walk actually helps stimulate the mind, allowing you to come up with better ideas.

Give yourself a bedtime

A part of growing up was not having to listen to your parents say ‘lights out,’ when you can think of a million and one things that you’d rather be doing than sleeping. However, as we get older, we lose out on sleeping time, thinking about our workday and all the things that need to be done tomorrow. Of course, most of the time, rather than actually getting work done, we’re procrastinating. Setting a bedtime, will limit the amount of procrastination you get done and add to the amount of rejuvenating sleep you’re able to accomplish.

Skip the news until the important tasks have been taken care of

Most people like to check up on the world first thing in the morning. Friends on Facebook, happenings in the newspaper, stories on the radio, they’re often the first things that people turn to when they awake (outside of a cup of coffee).

This, unfortunately, leads to a buildup in interest. One fun post means that you’ve got to read another and one interesting story leads to you scouring the internet for more details.

Getting your important tasks done first and saving the news until lunch time will mean that you get a lot done early in the morning, before the day slowly but surely fades away. Plus, it gives you something to look forward to and the faster you work, the faster you get to see what happened in the hours the internet hadn’t been your main focus.

Plan meals ahead

The more time you take flipping through the internet for lunch ideas or comparing what you had last week for dinner, the more time you’ll waste just thinking about what you want to eat. Of course it may not seem like you’re putting that much time into deciding on meals, however, add this up over the course of a month and you’ll more than likely have wasted hours. Include your lunch and dinner plans on your calendar and never have to spend another minute (outside of calendar prep time) thinking about what you want to eat for lunch. The longer you keep up with this, the easier it will be to stick to what your calendar says.

Don’t be afraid to say ‘NO’

This can be an exceptionally hard one. If you’re the kind of person who pushes of important tasks to please others then you’re doing it all wrong. Always prioritize and think about how going to the movies, out for a drink after work or having a long lunch will affect your productivity. A nice let down is always better than being in a rut because you said ‘yes’ when you should have said ‘no’.

If you’re going to procrastinate, do so with a purpose

If you’re stuck on a task and procrastinating is inevitable, you’ll want to make sure that your procrastination counts. Rather than staring out the window, refreshing Facebook for the millionth time or finding new things to ‘Pin’, create a list of productive things you can do when you just can’t force yourself to work on the task you should be completed. This can include anything from cleaning out your inbox to replying to emails and from shredding unnecessary paperwork to creating your lunch list.

Trick yourself

Set deadlines a day or two earlier. This is something that works wonders. Even though in the beginning you’ll know that you still have a day or two to turn in ‘the paperwork’ or ‘project’, as you keep up with this hack, your brain will readjust and you’ll start believing in these deadlines and ensuring that you get the work done by the set deadline rather than the actual deadline.

No more multitasking

The more you multitask, the less focus you will have and the more time it will actually take you to get your work done. Instead, you want to dedicate all your focus to one project, and in doing so, you’ll work faster and more seamlessly.

Giving your all to one task at a time will definitely work to improve your productivity and eliminate unnecessary mistakes. Especially when working with something potentially dangerous, you’ll want to skip the multitasking and channel your focus in one direction.

Get to the point

When writing emails, rather than including lots of unnecessary mumbo jumbo, you want to get right to the point. Trying to get your point across in 5 sentences or less will save you lots of time to answer even more emails and complete other necessary tasks.

How do we tackle retaining more complicated information, then? Our visual sense is one of the most powerful tools in our memory bank, and most of its power lies in the fact that it is concrete.

Many of us are already naturally visual learners, so this method comes easily to us. Even if you are more confident using other learning methods, however, you can still sharpen and make use of your visual memory by using the Visualization and Association Method.

Visualization and Association are effective because images are concrete and easy to retain in our mind’s eye, whereas numbers and words are abstract. Think of 10 of your best friends that you’ve had throughout your life. Can you visualize their faces? It’s probably easier than trying to recall their phone numbers, right?

In the Visualization and Association technique, abstract information is assigned a visual image that is easier to file away into, and retrieve from, your long-term memory. Another reason Visualization and Association are effective is because it forces you to focus on and create Original Awareness of what you are memorizing, a concept created by Harry Lorayne, a notable memory guru. Original Awareness basically means your own original understanding of it. Only after you have actively engaged with something by focusing on it and approaching it from different angles to find your own meaning can you fully understand it. Then you are ready to turn it into an image that is meaningful, thus memorable, to you.

Visualization and Association also work because you are encouraged to repeat the image many times over when you are coming up with an image. Repetition, as we all know, cements things in our minds.

Say you are trying to remember what the Stegosaurus looked like. You might break the name up like this: Steg-o-sau-rus and start associating each section of the word to images that will help you visualize the beast in question, just as you would in Charades.

‘Steg’ sounds a little like steak, so imagine a juicy steak. The Stegosaurus actually has plates on its back that resemble steaks, so now you have a vivid image of a beast with steaks sticking out of its back. ‘o-sau-rus’ sounds like ‘Oh! Saw us!’ which is what a frightened caveman might exclaim to his friend, should this scary steak-laden beast turn towards them. It’s an absurd but powerful image that sticks in our minds like glue!

Tips on using Visualization and Association effectively:

  • Make the image very big, or very small – size does matter in this instance
  • Make the image as absurd as possible – the sillier, the better
  • Animate the image with actions
  • Create a little a story with the image, if possible

The concept of Visualization and Association is actually the basis of many of the other mnemonic devices as it is so powerful. It takes a little practice at first, but once you get the hang of it, it will become second nature to you.

Try It Out

Break up the following words and use V&A on them:

–          Brontosaurus

–          Methane

–          Chlorophyll

–          Romantic

Test yourself a few days later, no cheating!

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Trick Your Brain

We have to remember a lot of things by heart, like scientific processes or the position of musical notes on sheet music. How do we make it easier for our brains to retain all this information so that we can access it at the touch of our fingertips? Use fun tricks (mnemonics) to help ourselves along; because if it’s fun, we’ll probably remember it! In this post, we look at some simple mnemonics, and in the subsequent chapters we’ll discuss more involved memory tricks.

  1. Acronyms

Everybody loves shortcuts nowadays. That’s why acronyms are so popular. Acronyms help you remember simple lists, for example: MEGS for your shopping list of milk, eggs, garbage bags and sugar. They also help you remember a list of things that need to be in order, like the notes in the spaces of the treble clef stave: FACE.

Take the first letter of each word in the list you want to remember. Arrange them in a cute, memorable way that will stick in your brain. Voila! You’ve remembered the stages of cell division!

IPMAT: Interphase, Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telephase

Keep in mind, though, that memorizing it doesn’t mean understanding it. Also, sometimes the letters just won’t arrange themselves into something memorable.

How to remember things

  1. Acrostics

Silly sentences are even more fun than single words so they will stick better in your head. It’s also easier to arrange the initial letters of random words into a sentence. Take the space notes in the bass clef stave.

Is it easier to remember A, C, E, G, or that All Cows Eat Grass?

While acrostics are fun and easy, they sometimes take too much time to come up with until you’ve had some practice. And like acronyms they’re only suitable to remember things with, you still need to understand what you are memorizing first.

  1. Songs & Rhymes

Have you ever had an annoying tune stuck in your head, despite whatever you do to stop humming it? That’s because it’s catchy. Its rhythm and rhyme act like glue to adhere to your brain cells. What a useful and powerful memory tool!

Think of your childhood. How did you learn your alphabet – 26 letters that had to be arranged in the right order? You sang them to a popular tune, ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’. Fast forward to your Literature lecture in university. You’re wondering how on Earth those Greek storytellers of old remembered the whole of Homer’s Odyssey? They sang it! And then there’s the ever popular but slightly creepy rhyme that helps you remember the 6 queen consorts of King Henry VIII and how they came to their ends.

Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced beheaded survived.

  1. Chunking

If you need to remember numbers, say the telephone number that you just got off that cute guy, you chunk it. That is, you break it up into a few groups. So if the guy’s phone number is 7683-3359, you break it up into 76 83 33 59.

You can break things up in any way that works for you, some people are more comfortable grouping the same numbers together: 768 333 59. Most of the time, however, the rhythm you fall into when reciting pairs helps with memory, especially if you emphasize the second item in the pair: milk, EGGS, sugar, BUTTER, cheese, JAM. Yes, this technique can also be used for other things.

Try It Out

  • Make up an acronym for the list of mnemonics described here:

Acronyms, Acrostics, Songs, Chunking

  • Remember, the words in this list don’t have to be in order, but you can use this technique to remember things in order too.

Make up an acrostic with the same list.

  • Try singing it to a tune or rapping it. Yes, rap it. I recently watched the 206th episode of the popular forensics expert series ‘Bones’ during which they rapped out the major bones of the body. I can’t get it out of my head now!
  • Chunk up this sequence of numbers and see if you can commit them to memory:

4577468739914522

Test yourself on all these things you’ve tried out a few days later. No cheating!

Don’t forget the power of repetition. Even if you’ve come up with the most memorable of acronyms or songs, you still need to repeat them to yourself until they are cemented in your head.