There’s a lot of talk these days, about the truly amazing, incredible, wonderful, life transforming benefits to hacking your life (even the sound of that term conjures up a visual for me of some knife wielding maniac).
A term that originated from computer programmers who were under immense information overload and wanted to accelerate their work-flow. Wiki says that Life-Hacking is “any trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method that increases productivity and efficiency”. The internet is all over it with questions like “Are you struggling to meet expectations and carry the weight of responsibilities?” and statements like “100 ways to tweak your life so that it’s easier”. One site has even called their life hacking site The University of Life (I mean, really?). The bottom line is that life hacking will apparently ENHANCE your life (no fillers, filters or Filipino pool guys necessary.)
On the face of it, this all sounds like good shit right? Who doesn’t want things to be easier?
Well, I’d just like to inform you that I’ve been there, got the T-shirt and accelerating your workflow is not all it’s cracked up to be.
I spent a good deal of my 30’s being in this kind of rushed, pushed, heavy workload, in my career, in my Master’s degree at university and as a mother. There was so much to DO in my day that I was hungry (okay I was desperate) for ways to make what I had to do easier. No actually, I wanted it to be shorter, so I could have more time. More. Time. Just the sound of that elicited hefty fantasies of “relaxing” and “slowing down”
The reality was in a galaxy far far away…
The reality was that when I hacked a daily chore, like say putting on the washing and hanging it out the night before then yes, I did have more time. Yay - but guess what I DID with that time? More Bloody Things.
When I had a bit more time in my day I no longer knew HOW to relax or slow down, hell, I was already on a boy-racer’s-car speed of 0-100 in the blink of non-mascarred eye (no time for indulgences like make-up anymore). From the moment I opened my eyes in the morning I was running a mental itinerary of 'All The Things To Do' that day and the faster I did them, the faster I ticked them off the list, the more sense of success I felt (as fucked up as that sounds it’s a true story).
So I would life-hack and create a tiny bit of time and fill that up with something else, then I would try and life hack that and create some more time, and then fill that up with something else … you get the picture. Eventually I became so successful at life hacking that I would regularly have 30-40 things on my List of Things To Do on a daily. Success right there – boom.
Not only was this kind of living unsustainable, it gave me no sustenance. When you live life at the speed of speed there’s no time to enjoy it. When you rush from one thing to the next you live inevitably in your head, in your thoughts, constantly thinking of the thing you need to do NEXT instead of what you’re doing right now.