Life Hacks

Small things I do that make a difference in my life. Sometimes just a very small difference, but a difference nonetheless. I'll add to it over time and may occasionally change the date on it to bump it to the top. I hope it serves not only as a source of inspiration for others but, also, a reminder to myself of the good habits I may have developed once upon a time but lost in a season of laziness.

  • Take the time to find the fastest way home

    You're going to be driving from the same A to the same B hundreds if not thousands of times. Take the time to try alternoute routes and invest in knowing which is fastest. Life is best spent with only enough time in the car to wind down and no more.
  • Alt+click

    You select rows of text by click and drag but you can also select columns by Alt+click and drag. Hugely helpful when altering lists, especially in code.
  • Gas indicator on dashboard

    You know your car will tell you when you're low on gas. But it also tells you which side of the car the tank is on. Check out the error right next to the gas symbol on the dashboard. Helpful when driving a rental car.
  • Ctrl+Shift+V in Visual Studio

    You copy some code. You go to where you need to paste it end up copying a value there as well. Shoot! Now you have to go back and copy the first bit of code again! But, you don't. Visual Studio remembers your last 20 copies. Just use Ctrl+Shift+V to cycle through them.
  • Be aware that gas has debris in it

    Two implications here. First, don't wait till you're running on empty. You're forcing your car to pull from the bottom of the tank where dirt and other debris settles. Second, don't fill up at a gas station that is having it's tank refilled by a tanker truck that day. Everything is getting stirred up in the tanks and you'll end up with more debris in your own tank.
  • Use the time change to become an early riser

    Ever wanted to be an early riser but inevitably give in to the tempting snooze button each time you try? Next time the clock falls back (first Sunday in November), simply don't observe the time change. You'll now be getting up an hour earlier without your body feeling a thing.
  • College kids: use an external mouse!

    You're a college kid. You got a new MacBook Pro and you're feeling hip chilling on the quad and updating your Facebook status. Well, if you want get any real work done, use an external mouse. You'll work much faster than using that trackpad. All the more time for tweeting your friends about the sick Beta party on Friday night.
  • Drink water, not coffee

    Water is to your body as oil is to your car. Drink lots of it. I have a reminder on my phone for 10am and 1pm to drink water. Coffee at best is a net-zero. You get water but also caffeine, a diuretic. Skip the junk and go straight for the stuff your body needs: water.
  • Have a child 6 months after your friends

    Free stuff is awesome. We had our first six months after four other couples in our lives had their first. We have a constant stream of clothes and diapers as each of their kids outgrows stuff and we get to use it for few months. When our son outgrows it, we return it to them to use for their next kid. This significantly reduces the amount we have to spend on our lil guy.
  • Mind dump

    Send yourself an email at the end of each day. Recap the status of anything in progress and give yourself any applicable action items. Drastically reduces the time needed to get productive the next morning.
  • Power pose

    This has literally changed my life. A must watch. Here is the link.
  • Hands up, defenses down

    I read once how a lawyer helped his witnesses not get defensive when getting deposed: hold their hands palms up on their knees under the table. This is in line with the previous life hack on power posing; body position can influence mental state. I've used it at work when having a difficult conversations and it works.
  • Alarm in separate room

    Snooze buttons are a crutch. Remove the temptation and put your alarm/cell phone in an adjoining room, forcing you to get out of bed. Bonus incentive: have an infant who will wake up and start crying if you don't turn it off fast enough.
  • Hot/Cold shower

    I heard once that you should end every shower with 30 seconds of cold water, 30 seconds of hot water, 30 seconds of cold water. Supposed to boost your immune system. I can't prove the immune system bit, but it definitely helps me wake up and feel more energetic in the morning.

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About Scott

I am a software engineer from Bozeman, MT enjoying the slightly warmer climate of Colorado. I think code can change lives. I think lives are worth changing. I write code.

You can find me on Twitter, LinkedIn, , and Github.