Lifehack is a term used frequently now, and the idea behind it in a way, bothers me. Let me explain:
I don’t mean it bothers me to use practical tools and items, to reuse things, to simplify, to organize, or most of the other things given as examples. What bothers me is the idea that these things are cheating. This use of the work hack, related to computers and technology is obviously the one people mean, not an act using a knife or axe, a broken down horse or a riding horse,
a board for feeding hawks, a rack for drying bricks or cheese. It seems this word has some history and variety in definition already.
It is curious how such a word moves into technology. The act of cutting into and chopping through is how it was applied, but the societal implication is that hacks in technology are cheats, criminal actions, bypasses, alterations of defined parameters. We won’t even get into the issue of why is it anyone’s business what I do to a computer program on my computer or phone if it does not actually affect you. Instead we will look at how this applies to strategies for more efficiently manage time.
Reading lifehack sites you see everything from how to use the tools you have and don’t know all about, to new gadgets available to make life simpler. Directions to combine objects or tasks are common, and practical strategies are a given if you look at the more common definitions of the term. None of these are a problem in and of themselves. What is at issue is the mindset that first, sees these things as somehow cheating, and second will only do these things if told how and why. Many of the techniques are simply instructions on how to use the devices and programs you already own, do people really have bad enough attention spans they do not learn their devises before using them? I know, some people say they don’t have time to learn their device…
Funny, they had time to look up and read the life hack that spoon feeds the information to them in a form they want and like. Using the tools you have is intelligent, using them differently is creative. Neither is cheating, neither requires you to be special. Knowing a tidbit of data someone spoon-fed you does not make you special or better, it means you can listen to suggestion even though you can’t or won’t think of them yourself. It is a good trait to be able to listen and learn but it is not to feel superior because you did.
People’s lives are too complicated and stressful; being more efficient and removing excess is to be applauded as a practical and wise choice not as cheating or breaking the rules. And these things should be used to simplify life and de-stress not as ways to allow more things in.
Go ahead de-stress, de-clutter, be practical, be efficient and be happy about it, view it as life not as life cheated.