Every year we make commitments for the new year – things we’ll accomplish or learn, ways we’ll grow and develop. But are there ways we can materially and immediately improve the way we live and work? Here are a few life hacks for 2024.

Don’t worry about what you’ll accomplish.

Instead, consider these three areas of focus: 1) What you’d like to learn, 2) How you’d like to grow, and 3) How you plan to live differently. And that’s just what we focused on in our #NeYearsCanvas project this year. If you’ve followed me, you’ll know we create our annual vision every New Year’s.

Changs new years canvas 20024

This year, my own #NewYearsCanvas is on the left – all about the things I’d like to learn (of course, there are some growth areas and goals included too). Laini’s canvas is in the middle and she focused on how she’d like to grow. She visualized how she’d like to grow in agility (some excellent words she wrote in under the paint are part of her commitment. Last, Minki just experienced a major health scare, and decided to focus on how he’ll live differently on his path back to wellness.

Rebuild your calendar

Does your calendar look like the LEGO tower on the left? Back-to-back meetings, switching all day from one topic or scope to another. What if it looked like the tower on the right, with similar meetings stacked together in one day?

life hack rebuild your calendar LEGO

Do you know? Each mental pivot consumes energy; this is ineffective! Instead, plan your days out so common meetings fall together. E.g. Tuesdays are internal team meetings, Fridays are thinking/creating days. Your schedule will start to look like the tower on the right. By the way, those gaps are intentional – mini bio breaks are important for well-being!

Find a new work spot in the house

A change of scenery can change everything! This week, find a new spot to work. Identify when you’re most productive, how to best integrate work and life requirements, and pick a new spot for new ways of work.

New work spot life hack Emily Chang

Personally, I plan for family dinner each night and then set aside time for quiet work 9-10PM each night. This work hack helps me be at my best for both family and work teams. My kid and I enjoy a meal together, while my team receives quality feedback within 24 hours. This year, I’ve spread a blanket by the fire and found quiet work evenings to be such a joy. Well, the email inbox has remained <10 messages… so far so good!

Go 10x

10x is easier than 2x book hack

I read a great book over the holidays, “10x Is Easier Than 2x“. I loved it so much, I reflected the concept on my New Years Canvas! Here’s the core idea: 10X goals are easier to achieve because you to go deep on a few things vs. broad on lots of things. It’s about defining the things you want to master.

You’ll also see “20%” on my canvas – this is about doubling down on your 20%, a practical way to get to 10X.

So in 2024, let’s go 10X by identifying the 20%, working smart, and focusing on what we’ll learn!

What are your life hacks? I’d love to hear them. In the meantime, here are some related articles: