Two articles in one week, both shaking my thinking up a bit. The first talked about productivity software Aids for Genuine Productivity. This one caught my eye because of its title: “Are You Lifehacking Too Much?” But the article is not just about lifehacking…it is about the failures of the productivity industry.
“The productivity industry succeeds by giving customers productivity tips, but not teaching them how productivity works and why. That’s why I knew there was something wrong with the productivity industry: if it worked, then it would teach people right the first time and there wouldn’t be so many repeat customers looking for ‘the secret.’ Lifehacking sites are the exception because their focus is not on systems, but what could reasonably be called extensions to systems; hacks to make life easier.”
To me, lifehacks are about simplifying and automating things that must be done in order to get them out of the way so you can concentrate on the important stuff. But the millions of articles out there (slight exaggeration) about the various ways to productive, focus on the tips, rather than the how and why. As the article puts it,
“The focus is put on consuming information, not taking action.”
These points are well taken. I’ve been thinking about this blog, and I have always wanted to do the how and why: practical tips and the exact methods I do something, so people can pick and choose what works. I read a lot of productivity sites, too, but I rarely get good information from them. Mainly the things I can implement come from lifehacking sites.
“So, is lifehacking and productivity making you less effective because you’re addicted to the information, but not to actually implementing things? Or are your efforts sabotaged from the get-go because the system you’re using was designed to sell, not work?”
I have been dissatisfied with most systems I have tried. I have rejected, in turn, the Daytimer system, 7 Habits, GTD, and most recently Flylady. All the systems, to one degree or another are about selling stuff, rather than teaching the hows and whys. That’s not to say that I have rejected all parts of the systems; rather, I keep the parts that I have been able to understand and customize to suit my needs.
You can expect, both here and at the sister blog LauraEarnest.com more of a focus to provide the whys and hows in the coming months.