Life hacking is defined as an approach to getting things done arising from “a systematizing mindset, willingness to experiment, and fondness for tech."
The idea of hacking life arose during a period when technology was achieving one small marvel after another. Smartphones seemed almost magical in their ability to assist with everyday niggles, like giving people directions to your house, or paging through a newspaper to find out where the latest movie is showing.
The tech company believed it could do productivity, as well as everything else, so much better.
A series of trends are grouped under the rubric of life hacking, labeled "the Californian Ideology." It is a mix of cybernetics, free-market economics, and counter-culture libertarianism. It is very individualistic and distrustful of institutions.
Later on, the life hacking mentality showed up in seemingly unrelated phenomena as the pickup-artist scene. PUAs are a product of a subculture believing that all human activities can be "optimized" by applying systematic processes and formulae like workflows and algorithms. Life hackers started out analyzing and streamlining their to-do lists as well as their intimate relationships.
Life hacking is a kind of American self-help. It was practical and evidence-based.
Getting Things Done or GTD, promoted the idea of breaking tasks down into pieces and sorting them by how much time they'll take to accomplish, then allocating reminders. The goal is to free you from a mental to-do list running in the back of your thoughts, making it possible to focus all your energy on a task.
It is possible to spend so much time organizing your work that you never actually do any of it.
Life hacking is a pursuit of the “creative class,” an exercise in box-ticking.
The ingenuity behind so many life hacking schemes could make one a more effective promoter for social improvement. The focus of hacking life is on hacking the self, but the focus is on a rather bland and limited part of the self in the process.
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