A row of productivity books on a shelf

Life Hacking 2022

What is 'life hacking' anyway?

Are you someone who's always looking to do things 1% better? Or maybe you're drowning in post-it notes and dirty socks, and have no idea how to get your life together. Whoever you are, life hacking is about finding the steps that work for you, and hopefully make your life just that little easier.

In Hilary 2022, we're going to be looking through some of the most popular 'self-help' and productivity books on the market, seeing if they're actually useful and helpful, and thinking about different approaches to making your life better, one small step at a time.

We're going to review some productivity systems that promise to revolutionise the way you work, some self-help books that try to revolutionise your brain, and in case all that's too heavy, we're also going to look at some of the best tools and toys that you can use to keep yourself on track. We'll also look at some tips and tricks to get you using Pembroke Library like a pro.

While the long articles will be here on the website, we'll be posting updates and snippets to our Instagram and Facebook accounts, so follow along there to stay up to date. All the books will be available in the library, along with a selection of other titles on the same theme. Don't worry, we'll highlight some of them as well as we go, but do drop by the library to see if there's something there for you.

This can all be fun, and sometimes helpful, but none of it is a replacement for a human. If you're struggling, do have a look at the college's Welfare pages, which can direct you to all kinds of support, whatever you're going through. 


Productivity Systems

There are lots of people who'd love to tell you how to organise your life. Some of them will come to you, and most of them have written a book about it. We've looked at 6 books laying out productivity systems, to see how they shape up to real life.

Do It Tomorrow by Mark Forster reviewed by Ben

Getting Things Done by David Allen reviewed by Laura

Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy reviewed by Laura

The Pomodoro Technique by Francesco Cirillo

The Crazy Busy Cure by Zena Everett

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll




Self Improvement

The well-being section of any bookshop is always well-stocked and getting bigger. Whether you want to know the Tao of Winnie the Pooh, or top tips for brain training, there's something out there for you.

We've picked out some books that claim to make your life better, to see if they live up to the blurb.

Mindfulness by Mark Williams and Danny Penman reviewed by Ben

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande reviewed by Laura

The life-changing magic of tidying by Marie Kondo reviewed by Ben

Ikigai by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles reviewed by Laura

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

The 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey

Tools and podcasts

Let's be honest, who among us doesn't love a good bit of stationery? Or maybe you have a podcast queue that's even longer than our 'to be read' pile? Whatever type of system or process you're following, it's good to have the right equipment, and some encouragement along the way. 

We've been through some of the most recommended equipment and podcasts, and give our verdict on how useful they really are.

Productivity podcasts

There's an app for that

The Stationery Edition


And finally:

Ben's Round Up

Laura's Round Up