When it comes to awesome, inspiring, productivity busting life hacks, who better to turn to than the very people who make the most out of them. So we spoke to some of Australia’s most creative people to find out the innovative and different life hacks they simply can’t live without.
The great thing about effective life hacks is that they don’t have to be complicated. In fact, many of the most popular ones – as recommended by our panel of local creatives – involve just minor tweaks to your daily schedule.
Get out of bed earlier
Illustrator, James Gulliver Hancock, who did a brilliant drawing series around the grandiose theme of All The Buildings In… among other notable achievements, suggests “getting up before the kids, at like 4:30am” as a way to get the brain kicked into gear and allow time to be super productive.
Get inspired: listen to some podcasts
Songwriter/performer Lenka (who also happens to be James’ wife), is big on podcasts as a way to “shake up your thinking, especially ones about creatives and how they tick. I listen to the Ted Radio Hour, in particular.”
This sentiment is echoed by flamboyant Sydney creative, Frida Las Vegas, a jewellery designer, artist and fashion icon in the making.
“I like to listen to podcasts as I’m working”, she says. “They take my mind to another place and I find it’s easier to get into the ‘flow’ of things. My favourite podcasts are You Must Remember This, about old Hollywood folklore, and Myths & Legends, which explores the surprising histories behind myths and fairy tales from around the world.”
Meanwhile, singer-songwriter, Sparrows, recommends a music podcast called Song Exploder: “It spotlights an artist and delves into a song they wrote and how it came together.”
Apps will make you ‘appy, and super productive, too
There are also some apps and websites that our creatives recommend as being game-changing life hacks. Artist Kentaro Yoshida loves Dropmark to “help collect visual references, colour, typography, and photography references. Basically, it’s a completely personalised Pinterest.”
While Sparrows uses “a little music-making app called Yellofier. “I often sample a sound, cut it up, and manipulate it in this app”.
Take off for somewhere new
When she gets stuck for lyrics, Sparrows will “go for a walk with my Rhode recorder and record people’s conversations. I write down street signs, swabs of text I see on advertisements, graffiti, walk into a bookstore and open up the first book I see and write down whatever sentence my finger first lands on. I then go home and put everything I’ve got into one document and see what I have.”
She calls them “urban sound-perves.” Neat!
Meditate, play chess
Marcus Peters, the founder of the inspiring My Creative Way video series, does 10 minutes of meditation each morning before jumping into creative work. He also plays a game of chess on his phone to get his mind thinking before he does anything creative.
If all else fails, there’s always caffeine!
And then there’s the Ben Brown approach. The celebrated artist (a mainstay of Mambo, amongst many others) has some very basic life hacks to put forward: “A cup of coffee, flicking through Instagram and looking through my extensive collection of weird books fanzines and comics. Simple but effective!”
Yep, just like all good life hacks should be.
So clearly, it’s not a hard choice to make some small changes to the way you structure your day. But you’ll get a WHOLE LOT MORE bang out of it.