One of my personal core values is to leave things better than I found them. This is one of the reasons I always pick up a couple of pieces of trash as I leave the beach. I always want to leave it a little better than I found it. I apply the same rule for my own life—always trying to make it a little better in some way. This is the reason I have adopted a few tiny life hacks. These are small ways I have learned to avoid making the same mistake twice. Its why I leave my wallet in the same place at home and why I always carry a phone charger in my backpack. I even have names for some of my hacks. Two of my favorites are anchors and breadcrumbs.

An anchor for me is a way to ensure that I don’t forget something. Here’s an example. We had friends for dinner recently. It was COVID time. So, to avoid sharing from the same serving dish, we ordered food for delivery. Each person would have their own dinner, and we ate outside. At the end of the meal, my friend had a lot of sushi left over. He asked me to put it in the fridge while we relaxed after dinner. No one in my house eats fish, and I hate to waste food (and I cannot put fish in the compost either). I was concerned he would forget the food and I would end up throwing it out. So, I suggested an anchor. I asked for his car keys. I said let me put them by the fridge with the food. He looked at me like I was insane. I explained that this was the only way to ensure he wouldn’t forget his food. He thought it was ridiculous. We went back and forth on this, but he refused. I said, “Fine. If you forget the food, you owe me $100.” We had a very nice night. A few hours later, I texted him to thank him for coming over and to let him know that I accept Venmo. Even after that whole debate, neither of us remembered his leftovers in the fridge until he was long gone. Anchors work.