Categories
VF VF_HACKS VF_KNOWLEDGE

7 Ways To Fully Utilize Your Free Time

1. Create A Time Journal

Spend a week detailing what you do with your time hour by hour, including work and what you do whilst there. This will help you keep track of when you exercise and do chores and other activities that need to be done but you don’t necessarily consider your free time. Once you can see how you structure your week, you can see how much time you have to yourself and when and if you can maybe rearrange your week or combine activities to make the most of what you’ve got and give you the opportunity to find the time for new things.

 

2. Limit Your Screen Time

There’s no problem with watching a boxset or going on social media but the problem is that they just swallow up whole chunks of time in one, large gulp and you just have another day of achieving very little. Limit your screen time and set yourself a certain period of time for watching shows or updating your profile so that you can then use the free time for more productive means.

 

3. Sort Your Life Out!

That wasn’t an insult but rather a solid piece of advice.Seriously, think about how much time you spend looking for keys or files, folders etc. Just have a place for everything and always put it back in that place and you will have so much more spare time. Organization is key!

 

4. Plan Chores Ahead

No one likes doing chores but if you plan ahead and give everything a set place then you can half tie by eliminating faff. In cooking, for example, if you cook all your meals on a single day and then freeze or store appropriately, you then save time deciding what to have every day. If you clean as you go and keep things neat and tidy for a few minutes a day it will save you hours of cleaning or sorting at a later date.

 

5. Set Boundaries

It is good to help others and make time for them but when it starts impacting on your own projects it can also be a curse. If you receive a phone call from a friend in need, it’s probably best to help them out but if you know it is just a catch up over the same old things, then it is okay to ask them to speak later. There’s nothing wrong with hanging a do not disturb sign on your office door if you need to do something. Focus on you for a bit and now your limits.

 

6. Limit Unnecessary Communications

Following on from the previous point, think of all the time you spend responding to texts and emails about pointless and inane things. If they are pointless and inane then just don’t bother, of course, it pays to be polite but sometimes you need to give yourself the space to get things done before responding to others. Explain that you had an important thing to deal with and most will understand.

 

7. Preparation

By preparing what you are doing for the next day, you save time procrastinating and trying to organize your thoughts. It is a good habit to set goals for the day ahead and thus know what you need to d before doing so freeing up time and also allowing you to know how to utilize before you’ve even stepped out of the door for the day.

Categories
VF VF_HACKS VF_KNOWLEDGE

10 Ways To Lose Weight Without Ever Going To The Gym

The good news, however, is that you can gain the same benefits as any regular gym-goer without ever setting foot in one. Here are ten simple ways.

1. Make sleep your best friend

It can be hard to turn in early when you really want to read another chapter of that page-turning novel or tune into another spellbinding episode of Game of Thrones, but research shows that a lack of sleep is correlated with an increase in weight.

In fact, Michael Breus, PhD and author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan: Lose Weight Through Better Sleep, believes the loss of only 30 minutes sleep can lead to a fluctuation in weight due to an increase in the stress hormone, cortisol, which can cause a person’s appetite to rocket.

2. Eat foods high in protein and rich in fibre

Carbohydrates are great energy boosters but are slow to digest. Protein, on the other hand. is practically fat-free and not only promotes muscle growth but also keeps you full and away from gorging on weight gaining foods.

Even a juicy burger or a grilled kebab is a better option than carb-heavy foods such as pizza and pasta. The fibre found in fruits is also another great option due to its ability to speed up your digestive system.

3. Don’t let your body get too hungry

While your weight may be high because of excessive eating, eating too little just to save yourself for a feast later can be much worse.

In fact, your blood levels will lower if you do so and your body will go into starvation mode, meaning it will slow the metabolism down for as long as it can to preserve every ounce of fat.

4. Always keep on the move

If you don’t want to burn those calories off in the gym, then you’re going to have to be prepared to do a whole lot of walking. It could just involve choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Or, if you work in an office, make sure you at least stand up and walk around once every two hours. If you want to buy some milk in town, walk it. These are small changes but in time, you’ll be surprised how bigger change they’ll bring to your body.

5. Make sure portions aren’t excessive 

It may be somewhat obvious, but a big portion for one person might be tiny for another.

To avoid confusion, make sure you take out snacks from the bag and put them onto a plate so you can visually see how much you’re consuming. Buying smaller plates will help with this.

6. Eat a piece of dark chocolate for desert 

While dark chocolate can taste incredibly bitter, your digestive system will soon get used to it.

So instead of raiding the cookie jar, try eating a bar of dark chocolate after every meal. The healthy fats contained in dark chocolate have been known to fasten the metabolism.

7. Get into the habit of drinking at least 2 litres of water a day

Just one whole glass of water can make you feel instantly refreshed and even fill you up for a few hours, preventing your body from overindulging in snacks.

8, Swap certain condiments and dressings

While salads are healthy options, the dressings drizzled on them can be quite the opposite.

So instead of a creamy dressing, which will no doubt be laden with carbohydrates and sugars, go for a vinaigrette or lemon oil option.

9. Avoid certain drinks

Many diet followers usually focus on foods without giving much thought to the drinks they are consuming. A glass of wine, for instance, contains more calories than most beers, while a cheeky soda now and then should be out of the question. Water, water, water is the way forward.

And for those needing a bit of help at weaning their way off sugary drinks, try flavoured waters.

10. Workout at home

Okay, so you probably weren’t expecting this one. But don’t despair!

If you invest in just a few simple dumbells and an abdominal roller, you can do many exercises within the comforts of your home. Even if it’s for only 20 mins two times a week, your body will begin to tone. After all, when losing weight, no diet comes close to the physical benefits that come from regular exercise.

Categories
VF VF_HACKS VF_KNOWLEDGE

10 Safe Ways You Can Get A Natural Tan Without Damaging Your Skin

So to help you achieve that lusted summer tan, we’ve listed ten safe ways you can build- and even enhance= your tan without harming your skin.

1. Tanning lotion and oil can expedite the tanning process

If your skin isn’t too fair a tanning oil or lotion can be a great way to speed up the tanning process and allow you not to spend all day roasting yourself under the sun’s merciless UV rays. Make sure you put an adequate amount all over your body, from your legs and arms to your front, and back.

You’ll want to massage the lotion in a circular motion so that the pores absorb the properties.

2. Sunscreen is your best friend (not your enemy)

Applying sunscreen and reaping its full protective properties is best achieved by applying it 10 or 20 minutes after the oil has soaked into your skin. Depending on the strength of your sunscreen and your natural skin tone, it’ advised that you don’t spend any longer than 2 hours in the sun. Doing so for longer will cause nothing but damage to the skin, as well as increase your chances of skin cancer.

3. Always apply lip balm

It may sound somewhat redundant when it comes to getting a tan, but lip care often gets untreated in the quest for glowing skin, causing them to dry and chap. To avoid this, apply a lip balm the moment you make contact with the sun. That way, your tan will be enhanced by a bright and healthy pair of lips.

For more effective protection, apply lip balm every 20 minutes.

4. Avoid certain times 

The sun is strongest between the hours of 10am-3pm, meaning you should avoid the sun at these times at all costs if you don’t want to look like a roasted tomato. As the old Spanish proverb goes, Only mad dogs and Englishmenn go out in the midday sun.”

5. Hat and sunglasses should always be worn

While many people believe that wearing sunglasses will obstruct the face from an all-round tan, but that just isn’t the case. While tanning, remove your shades by all means, but once the tanning period is over, put them straight on again. Our eyes are one of our most sensitive body parts, and they are easily prone to sun damage and ageing.

A hat is equally important, especially for bald men, so it’s imperative you keep your scalp protected as well.

6. Rotate that body!

Like a hog on a spitting roast fire, you want to treat your body the same way. By doing so, not only are you providing equal sun coverage to both your front and back, but you are also decreasing the chances of sunburns. We recommend turning your body once every 20 minutes.

7. Shower after

Once tanning yourself for a reasonable period (preferably no longer than 2 hours), it can often be a good idea to water off the sweat with a refreshing, lukewarm shower. Doing this will keep your skin hydrated and thereby eliminate the risk of your skin drying out and flaking.

8. Remember to exfoliate

Exfoliation can help bolster your tan and prolong it once those rays disappear. While it is not necessary to exfoliate right after tanning, a one or two day gap should be sufficient to remove the dead skin cells and revitalise your skin

9. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize, and  moisturize some more

We can’t stress this enough. If you want your skin to have an effortless-looking smoothness to it then moisturizer really is your best friend- and that includes you too, men!

After exfoliating, applying a moisturizer regulalry will prevent flaking, peeling, and dryness and will only add even more appeal to your golden skin.

10. Always carry a bottle of water

Water intake is key anytime of year, but the summer months require us to drink more water than we normally would. Not only is it healthy for our bodily functions, but water also promotes healthy, supine skin, which will only add to your skin’s radiant, tanned complexion post-sunbathing.

Categories
VF VF_FOOD VF_HACKS VF_HOME VF_KNOWLEDGE

15 Self-Help Books That Will Help You Achieve Your Goals

Admittedly, some may sound nauseatingly cliched, but on the whole, we think the pros of reading a couple of these excellent books far outweigh the cons.

1. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Avoiding the very things self-help books get accused of most, Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman’s book on the power of human thought is backed up by years of individual research on topics like happiness and cognitive bias as opposed to the subjective opinions of the author.

While in-depth, Kahneman’s book centres around two systems of thought; with system 1 being the more reactive and 2 being of a more logical and patient mindset. But rather than dismantle one system and favour the other, the author, through numerous tested studies, examines the benefits and weaknesses of both, leaving the reader with a better understanding of how the mind operates and most importantly how we should think in certain situations.

2.  The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

Kahneman’s academic book may have set out to cast a shadow on books like Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking, but one thing you can’t take away from books like Peale’s is its high-octane prose that, while not substantiated with academic studies, almost doesn’t need to be as long as the reader embraces it in the way Peale believes you should.

Teaching the reader to focus on things that are in their control as opposed to things that aren’t, the book’s samey prose can at times be exhaustive, but with such a simple message,  you could very well put it down after reading the last page and feel ready to take on all those dream-stopping obstacles.

3. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams by Deepak Chopra

The message conveyed in many self-help books is that the individual achieves one’s pursuits by putting themselves first, but Deepak Chopra’s book believes the well-being of others is equally as important. Detailing some of his core Hindu beliefs, Chopra lists 7 spiritual laws that are essential to achieving a zen-like happiness, all of which are listed below.

-The Law of Pure Potentiality
-The Law of Giving
-The Law of Karma
-The Law of Least Effort
-The Law of Intention and Desire
-The Law of Detachment
-The Law of Dharma

Not only does the book explain how you go about abiding by these laws, but it also stresses that life is like a boomerang and that your actions, both good and bad, will always come around again. A perfect read for those guilty of being too caught up in themselves.

4.  The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

The way we think and how different thought processes can help mould an all-conquering mindset has been written about countless times, but one of the first to cover it was a book published in 1959. Written by David Schwartz, The Magic of Thinking Big stresses how important it is to love yourself in a world that almost requires a mild form of arrogance to succeed.

Not only this but Schwartz thinks that those who think big often attain bigger things further down the line. Of course, having lofty goals and ambitions without a backup plan is never advised, but by visualizing your success and even telling people about your dreams, the drive and determination to achieve them coupled with the hard work itself will be enough to achieve, or at least come close to reaching your goals

5. Feel the Fear and do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers

Written by Susan Jeffers, otherwise known as ‘The Queen of Self-help’, this book has many celebrity admirers including the co-founder of the designer shoe brand, Chimmy Choo. It’s premise, which as the title suggests, covers the theme of fear and how it stifles our dreams and productivity, suggests that only by stepping outside our comfort zone are we actually embracing our potential.

Selling over 15m copies, since its release, Susan Jeffers, who holds a PhD in psychology from Columbia University, is a regular guest on Oprah, and if you face a career dilemma or find your hopes and aspirations paralysed by fear, then this book is a must-read.

6. There is Nothing Wrong With You; Going Beyond Self-Hate by Cheri Huber

Not only does Huber’s book offer practical and everyday advice, but it also sets out to erode the negative image many have of themselves by analyzing the definition of self-hate and how it proliferates into our way of thinking.

As well as detailing how negative thoughts sometimes lead to vices and life-crippling disorders, the book’s central premise is that meditation can help overcome these thoughts, with Huber stressing that once we embrace meditation, we can see life in a new light. A simple message, but a life-enhancing one nonetheless.

7. Starting Strength, 3rd Edition by Mark Rippetoe

Top of many people’s New Year’s resolutions is going to the gym, yet as we’ve explained in past articles, only 8% of people follow through with their resolutions which is why this easy-to-follow book about barbell training should be an essential read for gym newbies.

Of course, various online forums and websites detail similar exercises, but Mark Rippetoe’s step-by-step account of different exercises is worth the money. Better still, exercise, as you probably know, releases a wave of endorphins to the brain, so buying a book that helps you look and feel good makes this title one of our favourites on the list.

8. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

While New Age spirituality is a whole genre in itself, Tolle’s book, which uses the teachings of established religions and pseudo-science to explain his philosophies, is a favourite of Hollywood celebrities because the book’s central premise teaches us to let go of our ego-driven nature by entertaining the idea of spiritual enlightenment.

The book verges on the melodramatic at times and some of the chapters are unnecessarily long, but if you embrace Tolle’s message the way he tells you to, you may discover a new form of serenity.

9. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

The New Yorker journalist and bestselling author hit the big time when his book about what brings people success became a worldwide bestseller. Based largely on the 10,000 rule that Gladwell came up with,  (anyone can achieve success if they practice their craft for over 10,00 hours, he argues) Outliers: The Story of Success takes a sociological approach when analysing the primary determinants of inequality and interviews successful people across a broad range of industries.

Gladwell also throws a lot of statistical research into the book and attempts to back up his 10,000 theory by analysing the early practices of successful people like Bill Gates and the iconic British band, The Beatles.

10. When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner

Written after the death of his 11-year-old son, Harold S. Kushner wanted to tackle a question many critics have of religion: Why do bad things happen to good people?

Yes, it is a book that defends religion, but even non-believers can gain solace and inspiration from this read, which details various coping mechanisms to help deal with life’s most brutal moments and thus take on life in a fashion befitting of an immortal warrior.

11. Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life by Martin Seligman

Having everything you want in life isn’t an easy thing to accomplish, but that isn’t because the dreams many have aren’t doable. They are, but according to Seligman’s book, our pessimism leads us into a negative spiral of thought were everything becomes blocked and in our minds at least, unachievable.

To counter this problem, the book encourages the reader to pursue a fight with its inner voice, which in time, will gradually deplete the pessimism. Referred to as ‘learned optimism’, it may sound like a simple premise to centre a book on, but with various aspects of life covered, including love, sports and parenting, the book is highly relatable and can turn even the most pessimistic people into full-on go-getters.

12. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

We could all do with improving our social skills and get better acquainted with pitching our ideas and persuading people to give us a chance. Thankfully, Carnegie’s book has you covered, with tips and advice on how better people-skills can lead to a better life.

A favourite with many high-profile figures and celebrities including the likes of Warren Buffet and Eminem, Dale Carnegie’s book, whose own story came from humble beginnings as a farmhand, has sold over 15 million copies and is synonymous with the Self-help genre.

13. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

Cameron’s book is more like a textbook but takes you on a journey that is almost novel-like. As the title suggests, the book is for anyone wanting to tap into that artistic creativity that many have, but few tap into because of time constraints or an innate fear of failure.

But it isn’t only adults that suffer from this. Children and teens do too, and while they appear to have more free time, the reality is most don’t and are flooded with homework instead. Because of this, Cameron’s belief that everyone should hang on to one’s artistic license is highly relevant for people of any age, and especially those who wish to one day make a living as an artist.

14. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Consumed by over 65 million readers, the Brazilian author Paulo Coelho’s narrative is one which offers hope to people who believe in the beauty of their dreams. And, with a beautifully written spiritual prose, you may just finish the book feeling your life can be whatever you want it to be.

Technically, Coelho’s books is a novel, albeit a short one. Nonetheless, it’s as inspiring as any self-help book and one which has the power to encourage people to not let circumstance or ill thoughts determine their future.

15. When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron

Not to be confused with the famous Chinua Achebe novel, ‘Things Fall Apart’, Pema Chodron’s book of an almost identical title explores the precarious nature of life and the cracks that always seem to reappear, no matter how hard you try to conceal them.

But such cracks can often feel like they never want to leave which is why the wisdom in the book, eloquently expressed by the Tibetan Buddhist nun, may just help you overcome life’s everyday problems and help you live a life free from the worries and insecurities that plague us.

Categories
VF VF_HACKS VF_HOME

5 Ways To Learn New Skills Quickly

1. Find the Right Method For You

When it comes to learning absolutely anything, there are going to be many, many methods available to you and no matter how committed you are to the subject, you need to find the best learning method that suits you. Some people are kinetic learners which means they are better by practically trying things out over say, visual learners who prefer to see things in practice. Do the research into the different ways of learning your chosen task and pick what suits you best. If you have a method that suits your thinking you are far more likely to succeed and in a better time frame as well.

 

2. Obey Pareto’s Law

Pareto’s Law is a concept developed by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto that explains that roughly 80% of your desired outputs will come from just 20% input. In layman’s terms, this means you will get your best results from focussing on a specific thing, so 80% of your income from your shop will come from 20% of your customers i.e. the high spending regulars. This can also apply to learning where 80% of your desired success will come from 20% of the work needed to be done. For example, if learning a language for conversational practices then it’s best to focus on speaking it and not dedicate too much time to writing or reading it. Of course, they are important but if you just need it for holiday, you won’t need these two practices as much as the other one.

3. Learn by Doing

Practical application of any knowledge always helps cement it in the brain. It’s all well and good having a theoretical knowledge of something but if you can’t do it, what’s the point. Think about learning a new sport or riding a bike, you can’t learn those things by watching tutorial videos and having an extensive knowledge of the rules, you have to pick up and play and just get on with it. 

4. Get A Teacher

Having someone coach you through things is far more advantageous than being an autodidact. By having someone impart their wisdom you know what you need to do to keep learning and have someone else observing your blind spots and telling you what to focus on which you might miss if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

 

5. Focus On The Process Before Refining It

Too many people fail at learning new things because they are obsessed with perfection and quite often spend time trying to perfect minor niggles rather than getting the basics down. Once you have got the practicalities you can then focus on mastering the art but you need to know what you’re doing first. Just sit down and get the work done and you’ll see results.

Categories
VF VF_FOOD VF_HACKS

Here’s Why You Never Get A Second Date

Though after finally securing a date with this seemingly perfect person, you’ve probably been baffled to discover on more than one occasion that they want nothing more to do with you after the date has finished because the spark just wasn’t there. It’s a cruel world, but you only get one shot in this game so to help you on your quest, we’ve come up with 10 plausible theories as to why your first dates aren’t leading to anything more.

1. You are too loud

There are many reasons why people’s dating advice often involves the words, ‘take it easy’, the main one being you don’t want to come across as a raving loon. Not that there’s anything wrong with being excitable. People love extroverts, and if you are one yourself then great!

However, there’s a time and a place for outlandish jokes and extravagant compliments before it leads to verbal diarrhoea. The person sitting opposite you doesn’t really know you, and if you overwhelm them with your personality, they’ll probably feel unable to connect with you.

2. You speak too much

Following on from our first point, being too loud on first dates can often equate to speaking gibberish. It’s important to be composed and relaxed, and if you aren’t letting the person speak they’re going to find you annoying.

Everyone likes a bit of mystery, so think carefully what it is you want to say and make sure you do more listening than talking. That way, you’re demonstrating that you’re thoughtful and courteous rather than a ball of nerves who keeps waffling on.

3. You don’t speak enough

On the other hand, you might be overwhelmed with the sheer beauty of your date that you don’t say anything at all! It happens to the best of us, but more often than not, once you start going on a few dates, you begin to get the hang of it, and no matter how nervous you feel, the conversations begin to flow.

However, if you’re still at a loss for words after countless dates, practice conversation starters with a friend or read this article on first date conversation starters our team wrote last year by clicking here. 

4. You didn’t make an effort with your appearance

It’s never a good idea to go on a date straight after work. In an ideal scenario, you want to give yourself time to prepare.

If you arrive straight in your work clothes, with unkempt hair, smelly armpits, and shoes that are pointy and black like the ones you were forced to wear in school, your date’s first impression of you won’t be that strong. Worst of all, you might not look like your pretty profile picture if you haven’t made an effort, which is a big annoyance for anyone on a first date.

5. You spoke about your ex

Arguably the biggest no-no of all, talking about your ex to someone you’ve only just met will likely lead to them concluding that you aren’t ready to move on.

Sure, you may have decided on a date, but if you find yourself unconsciously thinking about your ex and bringing them up in conversations, you should take a break from the dating world until you’re entirely ready to commit to someone else.

6. You don’t seem interested 

While you might give off an air of nonchalance and even think that’s cool, if you take this too far, your date will presume you’re not interested. So many times, we are told to play it cool in the dating world, which is entirely reasonable, but others take this too far and decide to adopt an approach befitting of a too-cool-for-school teenager.

In contrast, you might have been distracted by your BBF’s texts or just had more pressing matters on your mind. Still, if you can’t engage with the person you’ve invested your free time in, there’s little point you being there, and it’s unlikely such disengagement will impress them.

7. Your date didn’t feel the chemistry that you did

It’s not all down to you. Sometimes, your date just didn’t feel the spark, despite agreeing to meet you. Indeed, as well as finding you physically attractive, he/she might have even got on with you and had a good time, but if there aren’t butterflies, it’s doubtful they’re going to agree to a second date.

Either that or they’re still not over their ex. After all, apps like Tinder are awash with heartbroken souls.

8. You drank too much 

No one likes someone who drinks too much, least of all on a first date. Not only is it disrespectful, but it also demonstrates that you rely on alcohol for nerves and to keep a conversation together.

We get it: dates are nerve-wracking experiences, but that shouldn’t excuse drunken behavior. Even if you are a sweet drunk, the fact that you’ve gone out of your way to get drunk will indicate that you’re not the type of person to be taken seriously.

9. You were too keen

For some of us, wearing our hearts on our sleeves is all we know, and we want nothing more than to let our date know what we honestly think about them. Sadly, this way of showing affection (while well-intentioned) isn’t often the best way to a person’s heart (at least, not to begin with).

For starters, it reeks of desperation and shows that you’re eager to turn things up a notch. Secondly, too many compliments or visible interest can be intense and overwhelming for the person sitting opposite. Remember, cool, calm and collected is much more attractive than wishy-washy compliments and an overeagerness to impress.

10. You told them your life story

Becoming an open book on your first date is usually caused by having one-too-many drinks. Well, either that or the person you’re dating is a private investigator. Anyway, it’s essential to retain an air of mystery and not give away too much about yourself.

Instead, only reveal answers to the all-too-important questions, like: Are you a cat or dog person? And is Taylor Swift actually any good?

Categories
VF VF_FOOD VF_HACKS VF_HOME

10 iPhone Hacks That No One Knows About

But even the savviest of iPhone users would be hard-pressed to know all these hacks. And whether you need to charge your iPhone that little bit faster or merely want to know a few keyboard shortcuts, we at Lifehack Lane have you covered.

Here are 10 of the best iPhone hacks.

1. Enhance Your Charging Time

How often have you found yourself on the verge of going out only to find your phone barely charged? A lot, right? And because it takes at least half an hour to get a reasonable battery percentage, you’ve most likely left your disgruntled friends waiting.

But that needn’t be the case any longer. By just turning on the Airplane Mode, your iPhone can get fuller faster by having less telecom interference to contend with.

2. Set A Time Limit On Your Music 

If you’re someone who needs the comfort of a relaxing melody before you catch some much-needed zzz, then a feature on most iPhones allows you to set a time limit on your selected music.

Yes, to assure you’re not awoken in the middle of the night, go to the Clock app and after selecting the ‘When Time Ends’ tag, you can swap the alarm clock for a ‘Stop Playing’ option which is automatically linked to your music apps.

3. Amend Mistakes With A Shake Of The Fist

It can be annoying when we’re in the middle of an important text only to realise we made a glaring error and on many occasions, we end up deleting the whole message to start again.

However, with a straightforward shake of the wrist, the iPhone will give you the option of removing your last action while allowing you to cancel the option if nothing needs correcting.

4. Correct Siri 

Have you ever become increasingly frustrated with Siri mispronouncing a word or failing to understand a command? Well, now you can school it until it knows everything you want it to!

To do this, just say, “That’s not how you pronounce (X)” before then telling Siri how to say it correctly.

5. Type Faster 

The saying goes that time is of the essence, and sending a text or email on our iPhone can often take longer than we’d like it to, especially when numbers are involved.

So to toggle between both letters and numbers more efficiently without switching in between, hold the 123 button before dragging your finger across the letter where your number/character is situated. It will then automatically take you back to the alphabet once you’ve let go.

6. Discover How Much Your Phone Knows About You

The fact that modern technology has become more prevalent in society than ever before has often made our reliance and addiction to it that even more creepy, especially when you consider that your iPhone can now tell you every place you’ve ever been to and for how long you stayed there.

So if you go to Settings> Privacy > Location Services > System Services> Frequent Locations, you’ll be able to know every place you’ve visited, and how long you were there for. Kind of cool, huh?

7. I’m Thinking Of Good Vibrations

You’re no doubt aware that you can customise your ringtone, but few know that your iPhone’s settings allow you to tailor your vibrations.

In this neat hack, all that’s required is a single voyage into your contacts book. Once you’ve found someone you want to single out, touch Edit. From there, you’ll see a Vibration option. Click on it, and then choose from the many different options.

8. Save Your Data Allowance By Prioritising Certain Apps

It’s a common problem: You’re already halfway through the month, and you get a text informing you that you’re already 80% through your monthly allowance. But you needn’t fret.

To get around this and preserve your allowance without spending more, prioritise specific apps by deciding which get demoted to the Wi-Fi-only list. To do this, go to Settings > Mobile Data. From there, you’ll be able to determine whether Facebook is more valuable than Netflix.

9. Boost Your Battery Life

While most will tell you that preserving your battery life comes down to double-tapping the button and then deleting all running apps, there’s a more efficient way.

But what is it we hear you cry? Well, it’s simple. Go to Settings > General > Spotlight Search and see who the biggest data culprits are. Incidentally, for those who don’t know, Spotlight Search is that grey search box which appears whenever you swipe down on your phone.

10. Discover Where The Best Signal Is By Dialing *3001#12345#*

By typing *3001#12345#* into your iPhone’s dialer and calling it, you automatically launch the hidden Field Mode.

After doing this, your bar chart-based signal indicator transforms into a more straightforward numerical-based signal signifier and how you determine its strength is simple. A score of -50 is best while those verging around -120, will struggle to make a call.

Categories
VF VF_HACKS VF_HOME

10 Top-Tips To Beat Procrastination

1. Choose One Thing

One of the biggest issues with procrastination is that people often feel they have too much to do and don’t know where to start.

This overwhelming feeling comes from giving ourselves too much to do and so by approaching one task single-mindedly allows us to focus on that wholeheartedly and then cross it off the list.

 

2. Start Now!

A thousand mile journey begins with one step. We have to begin a task to complete it and it may seem daunting but that’s not going to go away until it is done.

The sooner you recognize that you need to begin, the sooner it will all be over.

 

3. The 5-Minute Miracle

This is a technique for those who really struggle to focus but is essentially choosing a tiny task that you can do within five minutes no matter how small a chunk it helps towards your end goal.  Once you’ve identified a small action, set a timer for five minutes and spend five minutes working on the task because research suggests that once you’ve started a task, you are far more likely to complete it than not.

Five minutes can rapidly snowball and even if it doesn’t, you’ve at least done something.

 

4. The Power Hour

Similar to the 5-minute miracle, the Power Hour means that you eliminate all distractions and work solidly for an hour. This means that you get a good, concentrated chunk of work done interspersed with short periods of rest (ideally no more than twenty minutes). This technique allows for a period of intense focus without the brain tiring.

You naturally experience mental peaks and troughs so by making the most of these you can increase your productivity immensely.

 

5. Forgive Yourself

If you let past procrastination go, you are more likely to stop procrastinating now.

By practicing self-forgiveness you won’t focus so much on past struggles whilst trying to do work now. Self-compassion is important.

 

6. Pick A Power Song

Pick a great tune that really gets you energized and listen to it before starting a task in order to get yourself pumped.

This will also create a work trigger for your brain and will get you energized everytime you hear that song.

 

7. Identify Why You’re Procrastinating

Sit down and try and understand why you’re avoiding the task and then maybe you can address the issue head-on.

If it’s as simple as it being difficult or undesirable then you realize your fears aren’t as bad as you’ve made them out to be.

 

8. Lose The Unnecessary

Putting things often comes about because of the feeling you have too much to do but people often add things that aren’t really needed to their to-do list.

Find the things that aren’t that important and just forget about it and suddenly the list is a whole lot smaller.

 

9. Give Yourself Incentives

Negative incentives can really work a treat and if you include someone else in it, it means you have that extra support from someone else as well.

For example, tell a friend you will take them for coffee or give them a few bucks if you don’t do a certain thing by a certain time. No one likes losing so you’ll be super keen to get to work.

 

10. Have Fun

If you can make the task fun then do it. By rewarding yourself or keeping your attention you are far more likely to succeed in getting it done.

Categories
VF VF_HACKS VF_HOME

10 Life Swaps That Could Drastically Change Your LIfe

But where there’s a will there’s a way and if you have the motivation to improve your life then follow closely as Lifehack Lane guides you through ten small changes that will benefit your overall well-being.

1. Swap late mornings for early mornings 

Research suggests we are more productive and happier in the mornings. That alone should be enough motivation to drag yourself from your comfy bed. After all, there’s only so many hours in the day and to lose them just isn’t worth it.

What’s more, if your office is a 24-hour one, getting in earlier will significantly boost your social life and free up more time for other things as you can leave earlier.

2. Swap always saying ‘yes’ to sometimes saying ‘no’

Saying ‘yes’ isn’t always a good thing. Instead, it can lead to an over-packed diary where getting a moment to yourself proves nigh-on impossible.

But saying ‘no’ every once in a while will free up time and make you feel like your taking control as opposed to constantly feeling torn to attend events out of politeness rather than any real want.

3. Swap your phone every now and then for a peaceful walk 

Thanks to modern technology, we’re always reminded of things. But it can get monotonous, and half the time it pushes your neck to the ground and away from the sights and sounds that make Earth what it is.

So leave your phone at home, look up and walk in a quiet area for 10-15 minutes. You’ll feel better and find yourself thinking of things that you hadn’t given a thought to earlier in the day.

4.Swap self-criticism for self-adulation

In a way, being self-critical/modest is a good trait to have, as it forces you not to rest on your laurels and always to remain humble.

Then again, it doesn’t hurt to offer yourself a bit of praise because if you don’t, you’ll likely never be satisfied with your achievements.

5. Swap sleeping in on the weekends for an early morning workout

Getting into work earlier is one excellent life swap we’d all benefit from, but many view the weekends as a time to do whatever you want- including sleeping in. However, weekends are a precious 48 hours of your life and should be treated accordingly.

So why waste four hours of it by sleeping in till noon when you could have woken at a respectable time of 9 or 10? That way, you can have a great morning workout, an early lunch with your friends and still have the whole of Saturday and Sunday to look forward to.

6. Swap fizzy drinks for water

Fizzy drinks are a dental killer and erode our teeth like no other product. It’s a common problem, with a recent report predicting that 1 in 10 people worldwide will soon suffer from diabetes, so stick to cool glasses of water.

Not only will your teeth stay white and fresh, but you’ll also possess a more radiant skin tone. But if the incentive of a nice pair of pearly whites wasn’t enough motivation to rid yourself from soda pops, take a look at what happens when a tooth gets put in a glass of coke overnight.

7. Swap looking at the past for planning ahead 

No one should live in the past, and though having memories can offer us joy, that part of your life, is gone forever.

However, if you set goals for the future, it’s likely your past will be a place you visit less and less. In the words of the late John. F. Kennedy, “Those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

8. Swap giving up on your dreams for giving it another shot

The older we get, the more we give up. It’s just the way it is, but it’s an all too familiar rut that can easily be avoided.

So instead of lamenting your failed goals, work towards an attainable milestone. As humans, we all need something to look forward to, and it is usually the thought of our dreams coming true that offers us a child-like excitement that is often lost in the mundane trappings of adulthood.

9. Swap your regimented diet for tasty food

Life is full of rules and regulations, but you shouldn’t let that be applied to your diet as well. And no, that doesn’t mean force-feeding yourself sugar every day. But eating a slice of pizza every once in a while won’t hurt.

That’s not to knock healthy produce, but at times, it can seem more like a chore to consume, and if you want to eat a burger instead of a piece of kale, then go for it! After all, there’s always the gym to burn it all off.

10. Swap excuses and self-inflicted misery for brutal honesty

Honesty is the best policy, right? It is, but it can also be painful. Still, if you want to better yourself, you should start by being honest. If you continually lie to yourself, then you’ll never fulfil your potential.  an excellent way to start is by questioning your effort shortly after completing a task.

Or if you’ve been working on a project, ask someone for their opinion (not your mum). That way, you’re improving with each day that passes.

Categories
VF VF_FOOD VF_HACKS

10 Of The World’s Hippest Cat Cafes

But what exactly is a ‘cat cafe’? Well, according to Google, it’s “a cafe or similar establishment where people pay to interact with cats housed on the premises.” Reading that aloud, you probably wouldn’t think such facilities would take off the way they have but then again people like all kinds of weird and funky things and it appears having a coffee while stroking a kitty is a universally-loved experience, as some of these famed cat cafes have proved.

Here are 10 examples.

1. Cats Republic, St. Petersburg, Russia

Russians love their cats, and many cat lovers from not just St.Petersburg but across the country visit this gorgeous little cafe in Russian’s second city. Being the first cat café in Russia, it is also the most prestigious and mostly houses Hermitage cats. Often employed by art galleries to protect precious art collections from being gnawed on by rats and other unwelcome vermin, the Cats Republic has proved a retirement home for many of them, though being allowed to visit them is another matter altogether.

In fact, rather than simply walk in and pet one of these gorgeous kitties, would-be-customers must apply for a ‘visa,’ which is only granted once a $7 fee is paid. If successful, cat lovers are led to a separate part of the building, before being met with an array of enclaves housing the pussycats. But there’s a catch. If customers wish to proceed to the actual cafe, which comes equipped with a library and gift shop, they must meow three times. Seriously.

2. Meow Parlour, New York, New York

You’d be forgiven for thinking the hipster neighborhoods of Brooklyn would be the first Big Apple establishments to welcome the idea of cat cafes but it was Manhattan’s Meow Parlour, the first cat cafe in NYC, that seemingly set the trend.

Serving an array of drinks, including their signature cat’achino, yoga classes can also be booked.

Also, if you spot a kitty and believe it’s love at first sight, Meow Parlour works with a local rescue group that helps cats find new owners.

3. La Gatoteca, Madrid, Spain

The Spanish are naturally hospitable people, so it’s little surprise their kind-hearted nature extends to cats as well. Unlike most cat cafes, however, La Gatoteca in Spain’s capital, Madrid, also acts as the headquarters of ABRIGA, an NGO that safeguards cats and informs the public about responsible adoption and educates potential owners on how best to raise them should they chose to adopt one.

Resultantly, many locals have labelled La Gatoteca a “cat sanctuary” as opposed to a café, with all cats up for adoption. Like most other cat cafes, there’s also a gift shop and an impressive cat mural that covers most of its walls, no doubt providing a fitting addition to a city rich in collectible art.

4. Le Café des Chats, Montreal, Canada

Canadians are just so damn cool, aren’t they? Everything they do is effortless, and as well as mostly being able to woo us in French and endear us with their kindness, one of their finest cities, Montreal, houses many cat cafes, including Le Café des Chats in the Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood.

Opening its doors in 2014, customers can cozy up next to a kitty and sip a warm latte, while licensed veterinarians are also on hand should visitors have any questions regarding their own feline’s well-being.

5. Cat Café Calico, Tokyo, Japan 

Aptly named Cat Cafe Calico, cat cafes are a lucrative business in Japan because of a strict no-pets rule abided by in many Japanese apartments, and as such, those not allowed to own a kitty can enjoy the next best thing by cuddling one over a coffee.

Home to over 50 cats, Cat Cafe Calico’s two-floor cat cafe is the largest in the city and is slap bang in the heart of the trendy Kabukicho district.

6. Pee Pees Katzencafe, Berlin, Germany

Berlin’s first cat café opened in 2013 and has been a hit with customers ever since. For tourists, it might prove tricky to find as it’s quite sequestered and is at least a 20-minute drive from the city center.

That said, if you can track it down, the palate-pleasing cakes and pastries will be more than worth your while.

7. Cat Café Macskakávézó, Budapest, Hungary

Cat Café Macskakávézó requires an entrance fee for those wanting coffee and kitty time but with the price comes unlimited drinks, and a slice of cake. Sounds good to us!

There are also board games scattered, and the little fluffballs aren’t afraid to shower you with love, so all in all the entrance fee seems more than acceptable.

8. Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, London, U.K

Lady Dinah’s was the first cat café to open in London after its owners successfully crowd-funded over £100,000 on Indiegogo and it is now one of the most popular cat cafes in the world. Because of its popularity, customers are thus advised to book well in advance.

Incredibly busy- even during work hours- its best you get the most for you money and make a  day of it so arranging a ‘High Tea’ session is always good. This gives you a three-tiered plate of delicious nibbles and ample petting time with those cute little kitties.

9. Catmosphere Café, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thailand is a place that is pretty much home to everything imaginable, some of which we can’t detail on here for obvious reasons but one thing we can document on without our faces turning red is this cool cat cafe called Catmosphere Cafe, located in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The owners, who also own a branch in Sydney, decided to opt for a space theme with various cartoon UFO ships painted on the walls. Customers can also rent the cinema room for two hours and choose from a range of horror and sci-fi DVDs. And yes, the cats will watch them with you.

10. Cat Café Neko no Niwa, Singapore

Singapore is one of the cleanest places on earth, and they take pride in everything they do so it’s little surprise the Cat Cafe Neko No Niwa in Singapore, which sits across the river from the famed Arts House, also sells their own range of cat-themed jewelry.

The collection, which is titled ‘Alfie de Meow’ sees 10% of any proceeds going to CATSI, a non-profit charity that looks after the city’s stray cats.