Life Hacking is a term that is still evolving, but generally refers to any productivity trick, shortcut, skill, or method to increase efficiency. Life Hacking is, in other words, anything that solves an everyday problem in a clever or non-obvious way.
I like the term life hacking because, unlike consumer electronics, we don’t arrive with a user’s manual and must work out how to solve life’s problems ourselves, by asking somebody else, or by searching the internet. Hacking started as a word used by those in computing and is about exploring the limits of what is possible, thereby doing something exciting and meaningful. Combining hacking with life is a form of self-leadership, whereby we are looking to overcome any limiting programs of our thinking and acting by debugging. With the increase in complexity of modern living, life hacking offers a way to get back in control.
Life Hacking Tips
Most life hacking tips are simple behavioral alternatives or cues management, but some go a lot deeper and look at reprogramming our belief systems. Many excellent examples of simple hacks can be found on the blog site lifehacker.com, e.g. flipping vitamin bottles upside down after use can avoid missed doses. Lifehacker.org also has a wealth of tips, including how to become unbusy, and with twitter we can now get a daily or hourly dose of motivational quotes that can offer us a perspective on how to live. My own selfleadership twitter account is full of ideas and perspective that could be considered life hacks if you were to apply them to make your life easier.
Life Hacking Tips for Self Leadership
Self leadership can be simply described as the process of influencing yourself to achieve your objectives (Bryant & Kazan 2012), and when I coach or speak to audience, I like to give practical tools (life hacks) to help people influence themselves; here are my top 3.
1) Identify the habits that stop you
If your current situation is not where you want it to be, awareness of your behavioral habits and your inner dialogue is essential to transforming your life. A previous blog explores the S.H.I.T we often find ourselves in, and helps you get clear.
2) Say “NO!” to what is stopping you
Most motivational gurus will tell you that you must say, “Yes” to your dreams, and I agree but with a caveat. There are two parts to a decision, saying yes to what you want and saying, as strong, “NO!” to what you don’t want. Many people have difficulty saying no because it was tabooed by their parents and teachers. Try this, put your hands up as if you were pushing against a wall. Imagine you are defending your personal space against a person or persons who would do you harm, and scream “NO!” as hard and as loud as you can. Feel good right? Now say, “NO!” to the one habit or inner voice that is stopping you doing what you need to do to succeed.
Who owns your thoughts, feelings and actions – you do right? Of course you do, then why is it that you say, things like, “They made me angry” or “I had to do it”? When we allow our feelings to be triggered by others or we blame circumstances for our actions we are not owning our responsibility and therefore not able to respond with choice. The ultimate life hack, in my opinion, is to choose how you want to feel about any circumstance and to choose how you want to act. When we do this we become our authentic self which is another example of life hacking.
I will shortly be speaking at a Life Hacking conference known as the Spark Summit in Singapore, and for those who would really want to use life hacking to Lead Your Life, then I have a transformational workshop of the same name, click here for details.