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Since Beth Anne tells me that “hack” is such a winning word out here in the blogosphere, I figured I’d jump on the hack bandwagon and share some of my most compelling life hacks, productivity hacks and hacking hacks.

You’re welcome.

— 1 —

To Pray More.

One of the most common things people say about prayer is that they have trouble remembering to do it. I’ve managed to hack my way out of this by putting extremely visible reminders in almost every room in my house. I literally smack myself in the face with prayer 12-14 times daily.

Case in point:

  • I keep my glasses on my dresser beneath a print of the Morning Offering. It’s literally the first thing I see clearly every morning.
  • There are four Rosaries in my bag at all times.
  • There is another Rosary on my desk for those moments where I want a God-approved reason to delay the start of my work day.
  • There are three Crucifixes in this house. As the family grows, I intend to acquire more as I’ve determined that:

    N+1 (where N=number of family members) = The Required Household Crucifix Count.

  • Our living room has a small shrine in it.
  • I keep the Palm Sunday Palms above the television. Because even Scandal shouldn’t come before prayer.

— 2 —

To Spend Less Time Getting Ready in the Morning.

Apparently, the average woman spends 136 days of her life getting ready for things. Obviously, that’s a lot of time that could be better spent on other more important things — like prayer, watching Scandal or finding past due library books in the basement.

I hacked this situation by cultivating a personal image that requires almost no time at all.

I take my style cues from Kramer.

Try it! If you flat iron your hair daily, stop. If you take 20 minutes to put on makeup every day, cut that out. If you can’t ever decide what to wear, develop a uniform consisting entirely of A-line skirts, tank tops and cardigans.

Hack yourself. It’s freeing.

— 3 —

To Avoid Having to Make Small Talk with People at Parties.

This is a tough one because small talk is so important for networking and making friends. If you really need to avoid making awkward small talk, I suggest the following hacks:

  • Don’t go to parties.
  • If you do find yourself at a party where you think small talk may be an issue, hide outside and/or in the bathroom.
  • When someone tries to make small talk with you, hold eye contact for just 30 seconds too long while blinking in an earnest and doe-like fashion.
  • If the creepy deer eyes don’t solve your issues, move the conversation to something that makes some people uncomfortable, like your extensive stamp collection or family recipes involving pickled tripe.

Bonus Hack! Do this!

Do you feel more hacked and confident about your party small talk skills? Good.

— 4 —

To Look Like a Fashion Plate.

Looking your best is important, but it can be time-consuming and expensive to stay on top of the trends. I’ve hacked my way out of a few fashion nightmares by making sure that all of my clothes fit my stellar personal image. Which means that all of my clothes are black, grey or navy blue. You know, like a nun. I never have to worry about not looking put together because all of my clothes go with all of my other clothes.

Here’s an absolutely true fact about me: Before I purchase any item of clothing, I ask myself if it would fit in with the rest of the wardrobe from 500 Days of Summer.

Boom. Hacked.

— 5 —

To Get Through Second Lectoring.

Being the second lector at my parish is no picnic if you’re a natural born tripper. Since I am, I’ve had to develop a few fool-proof hacks to make sure that I don’t bite it on my way down the aisle, to the lectern, back to my seat or back up to the lectern.

This is me. In my head. Two Sundays a month.

  • Hack 1: Commit to the idea that if you eat dirt in front of the entire congregation, it’s probably because God is trying to tell you something.
  • Hack 2: Make eye contact with no one. Eye contact is distracting.
  • Hack 3: Pick a song with a slow, even beat to play in your head when you’re walking down the aisle.
  • Hack 4: Volunteer to be the lector scheduler so you never have to be the second lector ever again.

— 6 —

To Avoid Having to Shotgun an Entire Chalice of Consecrated Wine on an Empty Stomach.

This is hard to hack out of, even for the most skilled of hackers. Obviously we can’t let the Blood of Christ go to waste, but it’s not always the most pleasant experience to have to down a whole Chalice on an empty (fasting is cool, yo) stomach. Not to mention, there’s some sort of strange optical illusion at work where I always think “Hey, this is a one sipper right here” and it never is. 

There’s never only one sip in there.

So far, the only hack that’s worked for me is to make sad eyes at the ushers. I can usually count on one of them to help me out.

— 7 —

To Avoid Ever Having to See the Word “Hack” in Print Ever Again.

Get off the internets. Seriously. I think the word hack is here to stay.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!