Are you familiar with the term, “lifehack?”
A lifehack, or hack, is a shortcut, skill, trick, or otherwise easier way of doing something. Lifehacks can help you be more productive and efficient.
Have you ever thought about making your very own, custom-made lifehacks?
In this post, I offer a few tips to help you create your very own hacks for a more efficient, and streamlined life.
Find something to hack.
This first step shouldn’t be all that difficult.
All you have to do is look for a task or other activity in your life that: takes a long time to complete, is a rote/mechanical task, or otherwise bothers or annoys you when you have to do it.
How about filing that giant stack of papers on your desk, having to create that same wooden template over and over again, or measuring the dimensions of a room without a tape measure?
Ta-da, you’ve identified your very first task to hack!
Identify some solutions.
When it comes to creating a lifehack, anything goes. It’s all about problem-solving. Allow yourself some time to think about the problem and develop an appropriate solution, or two. Here are a few ways you could go about solving your hack:
Do some research. A little bit of knowledge can go a long way. Read a book, conduct an online search, view message boards, open up the instruction manual, listen to a podcast, just learn something you didn’t know about the task previously.
Use your imagination. Try looking at the task in a completely different manner. How would, say, a famous person from history solve this hack? How about your favorite TV character? Your pet?
Ask a friend. Everyone looks at the world differently. Run your task by a friend, family member, neighbor, or colleague and see if they have any ideas on how to solve the problem.
Do a couple of mini-experiments – Sometimes the best way to try out something is to just go ahead and do it. Roll up your sleeves and test things out.
Try out your hack.
It’s time to give your brand-new hack a test drive in the real-world. See if the hack delivers all three of those things we discussed earlier. That is, does the lifehack: address a specific rote or mechanical task, shorten the time it takes to do something, or make it easier for you to deal with the task at hand?
How did your hack go? Did you happen upon any difficulties, issues, or concerns? Did things work out O.K. for the most part, or did the hack not work at all? Don’t be discouraged; it’s O.K. if things didn’t work out as expected. There’s a lot you can still learn and improve upon. Either do some more research, look at the item from a different angle, brainstorm solutions or…
Practice, practice, practice!
The only way to improve upon your hack is to hone and practice it. Over time, you’ll learn the best, or optimal way to do something. This could be as simple as figuring out the best way to pack items in your bag for your daily commute, finding a way to split the screen in your word processing program, to identifying a great shortcut to your local supermarket.
How about you? Where could you benefit from a few new lifehacks, either at work or at home? Are you going to try creating your own lifehack today? Join in the conversation and leave a comment below!