What’s the most revelatory piece of advice you’ve ever heard? Now say it in five words.

Stanford is starting a bit of a contest: We want to hear your life hacks—those tidbits of wisdom that make your life more productive or efficient—in five words. Not four, not six. 

The editors have brainstormed a handful of life hacks to get you started. Submit your entry in the form below, tweet it using #5wordhack, or email it to dialogue@alumni.stanford.edu. If it makes us smile, nod or say "aha," you just might see it in a future issue of the magazine. There are no prizes, just the honor of public acclamation. And, really, what could make your life better than that?

Illustration of camper with flickering flashlight

Always have batteries. Trust me.

Kevin Cool, executive editor

Illustration of heart-shaped food in frying pan.

Marry the one who cooks.

Kathy Zonana, ’93, JD ’96, editor

Illustration of cluttered desk.

Declutter small area. Feel calmer.

Summer Moore Batte, ’99, editor, stanfordmag.org

Illustration of memory stick next to keyboard.

Advance directive on memory stick.

Jennifer Worrell, copy chief

Illustration of floating woman in yoga pose.

Sometimes there’s no hack. Breathe.

Jill Patton, ’03, MA ’04, senior editor



Kathy Zonana, ’93, JD ’96, is the editor of Stanford.