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Learn life hacks from some of the world’s most successful people

New year, new goals: some of them lofty, some a little more approachable. Whenever the slate is wiped clean with the promise of a fresh start, most people start thinking of ways they can recalibrate, reset, and change their approach to be more successful in the coming months than the year that just passed. 

It can be tremendously healthy to look at the habits of the most successful people in the world when it comes down to modeling our own daily habits. A through-line starts to emerge: What are some of the commonalities that top-performers all share, and what tangible ways can those traits apply to how we live? 

The answer might surprise you: invest in yourself by building intellectual capital. How? Simplicity and mindfulness seem to be a common thread, where some of the busiest, wealthiest people in the world take the time to press pause on urgent matters and invest in activities that have a long-term (rather than immediate) payoff. The notion is called compound time: These small, daily investments to grow oneself and encourage a healthy mental state over an extended period ends up yielding a greater return than focusing on completing a seemingly important business matter at the moment.

Here’s a famous example of compound time: Warren Buffet, a trailblazer and iconic entrepreneur, has (according to his own estimate) spent 80% of his time just reading and thinking. Despite manning the operations of companies with hundreds of thousands of employees, he’s a huge proponent of the ability to think critically — especially in a continually evolving, mostly digital economy. Others include AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, who asks that his executives spend 10% of their day (four hours per week) immersed in thought, and Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, who schedules two hours of uninterrupted thinking every day. Bill Gates famously takes a full week off, twice a year, to reflect deeply without interruption. 

What’s the point? In short, if you’re overwhelmed with managing your immediate work deadlines, interpersonal relationships, meetings, and just mundane stuff, the key is to carve out time to build your intellectual capital with a few activities to increase your compound time. Read on for three of the top trends employed by the best, or commit to diving in full force via an online class on productivity for $36. 

1. Develop rituals through journaling. 

Sure, open-ended writing and reminiscing about your day has its value — but specific, intentional questions or prompts that help you evaluate your actions can change your life. 

Steve Jobs always asked, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do?” Arianna Huffington and Oprah Winfrey both do a gratitude meditation, where they count their blessings. In fact, Oprah starts each day writing in her gratitude journal, noting five things for which she’s thankful.

It’s also valuable to make a comparison between the events you expect to happen from the actions you take, and what ends up happening. In any case, writing down your experiences is a valuable way to clear your mind. 

2. Read more. 

Bill Gates, Winston Churchill, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Barack Obama, and JFK — all big-time readers. Think of books as providing the ultimate ROI: they improve memory, increase empathy, and help us to de-stress, all while giving impactful knowledge that demands only a few hours of our time. 

3. Slow down — and experiment more. 

Take an hour out of your day and instead of running errands, take the time to pause. Think of something to experiment or play with, knowing that it helps take you out of an automated work process, and encourages higher creativity. 

Pick up more life hacks with The Ultimate Productivity Bundle, which includes eight different courses covering everything from communicating with people and learning to speed read, to tips on better managing your time. You’ll get 27 hours of strategies and tools to be more successful, in a sustainable way. 

For under $30 get this 10,000mAh battery pack and a fast-charging 3-in-1 cable

Image: linearflux

Nowadays, almost no one dares to leave the comfort of their homes without carrying a portable battery. People have become so dependent on their electronic devices that when power runs out, they are scrambling to find the nearest outlet to juice up. Which is why when you’re on the go, you need a high-capacity and low profile battery that isn’t a pain to lug around anywhere.

Slim, sleek, and durable, the Graphene 10K Hypercharger is one of the fastest portable charging solutions on the market, and you can bring it home for only $25.99. Thanks to its carbon-based material, it packs a big punch despite its unassuming weight and size. Measuring at just 4.6 inches in length and weighing only 4.5 ounces, it’s surprising that it stores 10,500mAh of power. That’s more than enough to juice up your smartphone two-and-a-half times over.

The Graphene 10K Hypercharger is equipped with two HyperPort USB charging ports, allowing you to charge two devices at the same time. It also comes with a high-strength and high-speed 3-in-1 Triton Cable that lets you switch between Lightning, USB Type-C, and micro USB connectors.

This charger and cable duo are now on sale for a limited time for just $25.99, reduced by 71% off from the original $89.98 cost. 

Hey aspiring project managers, learn Six Sigma and Lean with these online courses

Become the leader you were born to be.
Become the leader you were born to be.

Image: pixabay

Project management is an excellent field for any goals-driven person who likes to complete projects as efficiently as possible. But though you may already have a knack for “getting things done,” there’s a science behind being a robust and influential project manager (with a hefty paycheck). 

Enter Six Sigma and Lean, two of the most popular project management methodologies. The former uses six steps to control variation and minimize defects. Lean, on the other hand, helps maximize value by reducing time allocated.

A little confusing, right? Well, a program called “Lean Six Sigma Project Manager Courses and Certifications” is here to help. 

With dozens of lessons and 37 hours of content, this course will keep you gain a more in-depth knowledge of both Six Sigma and Lean so you can qualify for any project management position.

First, you’ll learn how to improve efficiencies and streamline workflow with Six Sigma, one of the most employable project management specialties in the world. This popular philosophy is divided into six steps (or belts): define, measure, analyze, improve, control, and a prerequisite belt called “Step Zero.” Once you have a better understanding of each step, you’ll be well on your way to being a Six Sigma certified (which is required by companies committed to using Six Sigma). 

If you can’t stand wasting time on insignificant details, you’ll love mastering the Lean methodology. This program will teach you how to optimize end-to-end efforts and limit wasted effort, making for a smoother and more time-efficient workflow. For good measure, there are a couple of included courses about Minitab, another project management school of thought that will help you improve statistics-based projects.

On any given day, this course is valued at $2,299, but for a limited time you can enroll in it for $79. Whether you’re just starting a career in project management or have your eye on a sweet promotion, now’s a better time than any to buy.

Get three remote controlled smart plugs for just $17 while they’re on sale

Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable’s commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

We’ve already fallen in love with these remote-controlled outlets when they were on sale in the past, but now they’re on sale again for an even better discount at 41% off.

SEE ALSO: Banish phone charger stress once and for all with this USB combo wall outlet

These outlets are useful for conserving power and saving on energy. Instead of keeping your appliances plugged in all the time and having them use power even when you’re using them, you can plug them into these handy outlets and switch off their energy consumption at the push of a button. According to the product page, the remote also works through walls and doors up to 100 feet away. It’s great for hard-to-reach appliances that you can stand to unplug at the end of the day.

This set of three best-selling remote-controlled outlets are usually $29, but you can get them now for $16.98.

Check out Roxio Toast, the one digital media tool to rule them all

Image: corel

Digital media is like the Tower of Babel: there are way too many formats. Sure, you can record a video in MOV, but what if you use MPEG or DivX? Or what if you want to make it for Adobe Flash instead? It’s too late to convince everyone to agree on one universal file format, but it’s not too late to start using a program that works with across all of them. 

Roxio Toast 16 Titanium is a best-selling program that lets you effortlessly capture your screen, edit videos, and burn digital media on CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays. Toast Titanium also works with audio and photo formats, and lets you encrypt and password-protect your files too. Whether you’re looking to pass along some data or share your cinematic masterpiece, this new and improved program could be your new best friend.

Roxio Toast 16 Titanium typically costs $99.99, but you can get it for just $49.99, a savings of 50%.