20 Time Saving Shortcuts and Life Hacks from Successful People

Life hacks can be shortcuts to make our lives easier. They can also be effective advices to push ourselves to live and work better. Here are 20 time-saving life hacks from industry experts to push us to find one’ own greatness and unleash their potential.

1. Warren Ellis


About: Warren Ellis is a graphic novels writer and contributor for Esquire.com. He’s currently living in South East England and working on launching his latest graphic novel INJECTION and TREES.

Life hack/time-saving shortcut: “The best thing I ever did, frankly, was to set up a “public” email address that I check once a day and a private work/personal email address. My morning inbox went from 200+ to less than 50 overnight, and has stayed that way.” – Warren Ellis

2. Lowell Heddings

About: Lowell Heddings is a multi-hyphenated “geek.” He is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, programmer, and system administrator of How-To-Geek.

Life hack/time-saving shortcut: “The most important time-saving thing I’ve learned for my job is to hire really good people that I trust, make sure that they are getting paid well while doing work that they love, and let them do what they do best.” – Lowell Heddings

3. Patrick Norton


About: Patrick Norton is the host and producer of TekThing, TWiCH, and Possibly Unsafe. He was best known for his gig at Tekzilla. He is also a writer for Tested.com.

Life hack/time-saving shortcut: “Single-tasking. A lot of what I’m doing these days, whether it’s product testings or talking with potential advertisers can’t really be automated. Figuring out the most important thing I need to do next, and finishing it… that’s key for me.” – Patrick Norton

4. Ken Lin

About: Ken Lin is a co-founder of Credit Karma. He is also the CEO of the company.

Life hack/time-saving shortcut: “When there is a long queue for cabs at the airport, grab one from the departures drop off.” – Ken Lin

5. Nathan Blecharczyk


About: Nathan Blecharczyk is one of the three founders of AirBnb. He also acts as the company CTO, being responsible for solving complicated technical issues.

Life hack/time-saving shortcut: “I try to fill my calendar in reverse, from the end-of-day to earlier; I try to reserve the morning for doing “real work.” I find I can focus more in the morning whereas it’s harder to get focused after having been bombarded by meetings, so I try to save meetings for later in the day.” – Nathan Blecharczyk

6. Manoush Zomorodi

About: Manoush Zomorodi is a mother of two, host and managing editor of WNCY’s New Tech City. She divides her time between Brooklyn, where she resides, and Manhattan, where she works.

Life hack/time-saving shortcut: “I don’t read the internet anymore because of newsletters. I am fully curated thanks to This, Pocket, Mediabistro, Today In Tabs, MediaREDEF, NiemanLab, The Conversation, Everything Changes, Caitlin Dewey, HotPod, WNYC, Next City, Gary’s Guide, #AwesomeWomen, The Ann Friedman Weekly, Real Future. I’m sure I forgot someone vital. Apologies.” – Manoush Zomorodi

7. Carl Pei


About: Carl Pei is the one of the founders of the smartphone One Plus Global. He also acts as one the Director of the company.

Life hack/time-saving shortcut: “If I’ve learned anything in the past year, it’s that there are no shortcuts when you’re in the early stages of a startup; you’ve just got to put the time in to be impactful. I think anyone who is in a startup who says otherwise either isn’t being effective enough or has gotten past the early stage and is confident in their short term survival.” – Carl Pei

8. Ed Zitron

About: Ed Zitron is the founder and CEO of Media Relations and PR agency EZPR. He is also the author of the book, This Is How You Pitch: How To Kick Ass In Your First Years of PR.

Life hack/time-saving shortcut: “The ultimate lifehack is knowing your weaknesses and embracing them. I’m good at working with the media and talking to them in a way they don’t hate. I am not good at calendaring things, organizing things, and making things perfectly neat. My lifehack is admitting I’m crap at things, and finding the right people and software to fix it.” – Ed Zitron

9. Aaron Blaise


About: Aaron Blaise is a Disney animator. He is part of the team that created iconic Disney movies like the Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Aladdin. He also co-directed the film Brother Bear.

Life hack/time-saving shortcut: “My best time saving shortcut really is my process. I approach all of my work the same way. When I’m designing I specify a certain amount of time to research and information gathering. I’m a huge advocate of research. When it comes time to actually start creating images, I do that the same way every time as well. Through this repetition of my process I’ve been able to really get to where I can crank out a lot of images fast but still keep them fresh and unique.” – Aaron Blaise

10. Scott Olechowski

About: Scott Olechowski is the Chief Product Officer of Plex Inc. He currently lives in Los Gatos, CA.

Life hack/time-saving shortcut: “Time boxing. I realized I used to do this naturally when I traveled by plane a lot. I’d be forced to get as much done as humanly possibly on a single laptop battery charge, with no internet. Now I force myself to do this for an hour a day to achieve something I am putting off. If I know it can’t take more than Y minutes, I am X more likely to just tackle it—things like this questionnaire.” – Scoot Olechowski

11. Will Young

Will Young

About: Will Young works as the Director of Zappos Labs. He is also a General Partner at VegasTechFund.

Life hack/time-saving shortcut: “Using Evernote as my memory and source of quick responses. When I find I have answered a certain question the same way a few times, I’ll craft snippets that go in Evernote so I can easily find and use them again.” – Will Young

12. Yoelle Maarek

About: Yoelle Maarket is the VP of Research at Yahoo. She also heads the Yahoo! Labs in Israel.

Life hack/time-saving shortcut: “Grocery shopping online!!! Saves so much time. Even better: the entire family (my husband and our three children) maintain a shopping group in WhatsApp and when the list gets long enough, my husband places the order.” – Yoelle Maarek

13. Slava Rubin

Slava Rubin

About: Slava Rubin is one of the founders of Indiegogo. He is also the CEO of the company.

Life hack/time-saving shortcut: “I try to stay super fast-moving. I email fast, talk fast, and make fast decisions whenever possible. I also like to gamify parts of my life to keep things fun and spontaneous. For example, I’ll be watching Monday Night Football and only let myself look at emails during commercial breaks. I try to improve my efficiency each time and keep beating my records. Or sometimes if I’m on the treadmill watching basketball, I’ll run when the players are running. If there’s a time out or a commercial break, I’ll walk.” – Slava Rubin

14. Matthew Dornquast

About: Matthew Dornquast is a co-founder of Code42 Software. He is also the CEO of the company.

Life hack/time-saving shortcut: “My favorite life hacks are principles I strive to embody—I am not claiming mastery: Physical: Create, don’t consume. Mental: Don’t confuse process as a form of creation; the median shelf life on process is less than that of milk. Spiritual: Forgive.” – Matthew Dornquast

15. Angelo Sotira

Angelo Sotira

About: Angelo Sotira is a co-founder of DeviantArt. He is the CEO of the company as well.

Life hack/time-saving shortcut: “I try my best to focus on the hardest or most creative problems first. I’m lucky to have a great team around me who help handle the tasks that might not always take priority.” – Angelo Sotira

16. Patrick Allan

About: Patrick Allan works as a writer for Lifehacker. He also hosts “Let’s Roll,” a podcast where he and his friends talk about “nerdy” things.

Life hack/time-saving shortcut: “Just start doing whatever it is you need to get done. Even if you promise yourself that you will only do it for a couple minutes. That initial push is the hardest thing for me to get over, and once I do, I become a productivity machine. If you want to save yourself time, suck it up, bite the bullet, and start. I’ve always had a Nike attitude toward things: Just do it.” – Patrick Allan

17. Jimmy Soni

Jimmy Soni

About: Jimmy Soni is the author of Rome’s Last Citizen: The Life and Legacy of Cato. He also works as the Managing Editor of The Huffington Post.

Life hack/time-saving shortcut: “There’s decent research on “decision fatigue,” the notion that you only have so deep a well from which to make choices throughout the day. The same is true of willpower. If you accept that both your ability to choose and your ability to act are limited, you discover the virtue of routines. I try to “pre-program” as many of the mundane decisions (what to have for lunch, what to wear, etc) as I can. A rough regularity on the insignificant things helps preserve energy for the significant ones. For me, each day’s rhythm tends to resemble the next, and while this might seem ridiculously simple, it’s actually a hard thing to manufacture. Even thinking in these terms can increase what you can get done.” – Jimmy Soni

18. Bre Pettis

About: Bre Pettis is one of the founders of MarketBot. He now works as an Innovator at Bold Machines at Stratasys, the parent company of MarketBot.

Life hack/time-saving shortcut: “25 years ago I read a book by David Spangler called the Laws of Manifestation. David lived at Findhorn, an intentional community in Scotland. Basically, the thing that stuck with me is write down the ideas I have in broad terms and do work every day to make them happen. I surrender the exact outcomes and embrace the adventure and connections that move things forward. Interesting things proceed to happen. That’s really the only way I can explain my path from puppeteer to teacher to innovator.” – Bre Pettis

19. Adam Saltsman

Adam Saltsman

About: Adam Saltsman is a game maker. He created uber successful games like Canabalt and Hundreds.

Life hack/time-saving shortcut: “So this advice is written from a place of remarkable privilege and opportunity, but the worst time sink in the world is giving yourself too much time for work. Force yourself to stop work at a reasonable time, leave some tasks unfinished for the next day when you can. Having a life is as simple as spending less of your day pretending to be productive.” – Adam Saltsman

20. Stephen Dubner

About: Stephen Dubner is the co-author of Freakonomics. He currently guests at various radio shows talking about Freakonomics-related topics.

Life hack/time-saving shortcut: “I delegate everything possible. (I have a full-time assistant, which went from being a luxury to a necessity.) I get up early enough so there are no distractions for the first few hours and every day I write up a pretty detailed schedule for what I’m going to work on, including the non-exciting stuff that has to get done. I am getting better at saying no to more things, which is important for everyone. If you spend your day doing too many things you don’t want to do, you’ll get a shade unhappier every day.” – Stephen Dubner

For more useful life hacks, shortcuts, software, and gadget recommendations, check out Lifehacker’s “How I Work” series.

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