Tag Archives: life hacks

Business Hacks | win-win biz, helping the environment and humans in need

Flowers at weddings are beautiful—but their beauty doesn’t have to end there. People donate to Repeat Roses, who picks up the flowers, re-purposes them, and drops them off at hospices, hospitals and nursing homes, where they conjure needed smiles on patients’ faces.

Business Hacks - win-win business, helping humans in need and the environment TAnd then Repeat Roses takes it one step further–a week later, they pick up the flowers and compost them, saving them from the garbage.


Spread smiles to those in need. On your behalf, we deliver beautifully refreshed flower bouquets and arrangements to residents and patients in hospitals, cancer treatment centers, nursing homes, hospice care and shelter facilities.

Together, we can bring kindness and make a positive impact in communities across the country. From our headquarters in New York City to Los Angeles, California and all points in between. Continue reading »

Life Hacks | the little-known everyday habit of highly successful people

Working late into the night can make you more productive–and more successful–than you ever imagined.

Life-Hacks- little-known-everyday-habit-of-highly-successful-peopleThe Little-Known Everyday Habit of Highly Successful People

by Peter Economy

What’s that more successful person doing right now? Chances are, they are going to go to bed long after you’ve reached the happy land of dreams.

Although site after site encourages you to rest and take care of yourself–usually advocating tons of sleep to make sure your brain isn’t overworked–training yourself to fight exhaustion is a very powerful statement. The beauty of staying up late is that you have uninterrupted time to focus on yourself–and your work. Continue reading »

Life Hacks | you’re already more persuasive than you think

Life-Hacks--top-10-tips-to-show-you’re-already-more-persuasive-than-you-think TIt’s amazing the opportunities we miss because we often doubt our own powers of persuasion.

You’re Already More Persuasive than You Think

by Vanessa K. Bohns

Our bosses make shortsighted decisions, but we don’t suggest an alternative, figuring they wouldn’t listen anyway. Or we have an idea that would require a group effort, but we don’t try to sell our peers on it, figuring it would be too much of an uphill battle. Even when we need a personal favor, such as coverage for an absence, we avoid asking our colleagues out of fear of rejection. Continue reading »

Life Hacks | mindfulness as a productivity tool?

A wisdom tradition associated with personal growth and insight is now being absorbed by our culture as a tool for career development and efficiency.

Life Hacks-mindfulness as a productivity tool for career development and efficiency TIs Something Lost When We Use Mindfulness as a Productivity Tool?

by Charlotte Lieberman

I came to mindfulness as a healing practice after overcoming an addiction to Adderall during my junior year of college. I found myself in this situation because I thought that using Adderall to help me focus was no big deal — an attitude shared by 81% of students nationwide.

Adderall simply seemed like an innocuous shortcut to getting things done – and to do so efficiently yet effortlessly. I still remember the rush I felt my first night on Adderall: I completed every page of assigned Faulkner reading (not easy), started and finished a paper several weeks before the due date (because why not?), Swiffered my room (twice) and answered all of my unread emails (even the irrelevant ones). It’s also probably worth noting that I had forgotten to eat all night, and somehow found myself still awake at 4 a.m., my jaw clenched and my stomach rumbling. Sleep was nowhere in sight.

Life Hacks-mindfulness as a productivity tool for career development and efficiency

© photo by Gregory Mancuso

What I saw initially as shortcut to more focus and productivity ultimately turned out instead to be a long detour toward self-destruction. Rather than thinking of focus as the byproduct of my own power and capability, I looked outside of myself, thinking that a pill would solve my problems.

Continue reading »

Business Hacks | marketing – why some videos go viral

In “Puppyhood,” a video for Purina Puppy Chow produced with BuzzFeed, a guy spontaneously adopts a puppy, they bond in typical roommate fashion…and a marketer’s dream comes true.

This is the best funny youtube video of a man who doesn’t know anything adopting a puppy dogWhy Some Videos Go Viral

A viral video is every marketer’s dream. It’s the surest way to cut through the noise of the internet. And studies show that social viewers—people who watch shared content rather than videos they’ve found by browsing—are far more likely to buy a product and recommend it to others.

Why do some videos catch fire and others just sputter out? Unruly, a marketing technology company, offers an answer. Its analysis of some 430 billion video views and 100,000 consumer data points reveals the two most powerful drivers of viral success: psychological response (how the content makes you feel) and social motivation (why you want to share it).

Continue reading »

Life Hacks | how to impress anyone in 30 seconds or less

Few things in life will help you more than knowing how to make an immediate great impression. Make note of these impressive habits.

Executive photo about best ways to impress anyone in 30 seconds for financial success--great life hackBy Lolly Daskal

Some experts estimate that 85 percent of your financial success comes not from your skills or knowledge but from your ability to connect with other people and engender their trust and respect.

Within seconds, everyone you meet forms an impression that largely determines whether they’ll like, trust, and respect you. Whether you’re job-hunting or fundraising or leading an organization, making a good impression is absolutely critical. (No pressure, right?)

Executive photo about best ways to impress anyone in 30 seconds for financial success--great life hack

photo ©Gregory Mancuso

Continue reading »

Essay | Sleep On The Job To Work Better – scientists prove what my grandpa and cat told me

power nap, cap nappingMy Grandpa and cat told me naps are important. Now smarty-pants scientists also say ‘power naps’ improve cognitive functioning, increase reaction time, learning, efficiency and health. Result? Get more work done.

black cat napping

photo by Los Angeles photographer Gregory Mancuso | modeling by JR

My grandfather didn’t speak much English, and my cat, well, even less, but they told me how important naps were. One of my earliest childhood memories is hearing my grandfather’s booming voice and his Italian command “pisolare, pisolare”, and seeing his big gnarled hand coming down to snatch mine and tug me over to the couch.

We would then proceed to lie down together and take a short nap. We knew a ‘power nap’ would improve our cognitive functioning, increase our reaction time, learning, efficiency, and health.

Ok, I’m lying, we didn’t know any of that. But smarty-pants scientists have discerned all that and more in study after study. We just knew it gave us more pep to proceed with grand adventures and mischief around our Bronx neighborhood or the serious work of creating coloring book masterpieces. When serious work is confronting you, getting the project done faster and better can be achieved by sleeping on the job.


First let’s get a handle on what a ‘power nap’ is and then how best to pull it off. Regarding duration time, many sleep experts advise to keep the nap between 15 and 30 minutes.

Sleep comes in five stages. If your nap takes you from stage 1 sleep (just drifting off) to stage 2 (brain activity slows), you will wake up feeling energized and more alert. If your nap takes you into stages 3 and 4, which is deep sleep, you will not wake easily and will feel groggy and tired.

Sleep stage 1 typically lasts about 10 minutes and stage 2 lasts another 10 minutes. That makes the 20-minute nap ideal for most people. Speaking from my two decades of personal slumbering experience, I find between 20 and 30 minutes is ideal.


Now I know what some of you are thinking–‘I can’t spare any time–I have piles of work piling up–emails to email–deadlines, deadlines and deadlines’. But the thing is, you’re going to get all that stuff done faster by stopping for a short time span because the nap increases your efficiency.

So if you sleep for 15 minutes and maybe increase your efficiency by a conservative 15% for the rest of the work day, say four hours, you’re going to, in effect, save 36 minutes, so you’ll actually come out ahead by 21 minutes. And whatever you’re doing is probably going to be done at a higher quality level to boot.


Say you’re not a numbers nut–but instead a health nut–there’s tons of evidence that this short break provides numerous health benefits. For one, it decreases the risk of dying from heart disease. That’s nothing to snore at. A large, six-year study of Greek adults found that people who took a siesta at least three times per week had a 37 percent lower risk of heart-related death.

Research also shows that a nap significantly reduces stress, and we know stress can lead to all sorts of deleterious issues. Naps also improve cognitive functioning, boosts your patience, improves reaction time, increases learning, boosts creativity, makes you more alert and in general improves your overall mood.

Although our own US culture generally frowns upon mid-day sleep, many others around the world smile upon it. Italians like my grandfather almost consider it mandatory. When I was in Italy I remember it seemed like the country virtually shut down for part of the afternoon, especially when I was outside the big cities. And this snoozing has been tried and tested for hundreds of years in many other cultures.


Regardless of culture, humans are manufactured to shut down in about 8 hours after waking. Most people experience a natural increase in drowsiness in the afternoon. It seems that between one and three o’clock is the best time period to nap. Once you get to 4 o’clock or after, the nap can interfere with you ability to fall asleep at night.

The best time will vary among individuals and vary a little from day to day. Your own mind/body clock will tell you when, if you’re open to listening to it. Or if you’re open to listening to a psychic cat.

My furry office manager and lucky black cat, JR, had an uncanny ability to sense when I needed a break. When I would start fading in the afternoon, he’d leap up on my desk, lay across the computer keyboard and meow to take a nap with him. If I would lift him off the keyboard, he would lay right back down across it and meow in a more exasperated tone. He refused to budge until I got up, and as soon as I did, he did.

Then JR would follow me to the sofa or bed, lie across my chest and purr contentedly that I was smart enough to follow his advice. Cats are indeed napping experts and I did well in heeding his guidance .

So whether you put more weight in a big bunch of smarty-pants scientific studies, or an old grandfather and his ancient culture, or the expert opinion of felines–everything points to napping for enhanced work and better health.

written by Los Angeles photographer & writer Gregory Mancuso