Hacking Lifehacks

Over the past day or so I’ve exchanged a few tweets with Clewless that alludes to a post I’d written about Lifehacker over a year ago.

Even with the additions of the “How I Work” series and an increase in content that I’m enjoying up until the beginning of this month, they still publish material that keeps that old post in the back of my mind.

It’s those pieces of material – the ones that I’m not fond of at all – that also reminded me of a TEDx talk I did just over a year and a half ago called Hacking Lifehacks: Reimagining How We Speed the Right Things Up So We Can Slow the Right Things Down. While the delivery is okay (I’ve improved quite a bit since 2011 with my speaking), I believe the theme of the talk still holds true – along with a great deal of the content.

I think things like using coins to open bags of chips isn’t where the future of lifehacks lies. In fact, I don’t even think these really are lifehacks at all. If anything, they should be called “MacGyvers” as an homage to the fictional television character who was able to use what he had to do something outside of the realm. I think those types of posts belong on MakeUseOf far more than Lifehacker…but maybe that’s just me.

I invite you to check out my TEDx talk below and decide for yourself. Considering I wrote and gave this talk almost two years ago and seeing that practical productivity seems to be on the rise1 while these “mutated” lifehacks appear to be on the decline, maybe the writing was on the wall even back then.

1 Don’t get me wrong…there are a lot of people still using Lifehacker as a resource for practical productivity tools, tips, and tricks. Is the other stuff that I believe are hurting more than helping the idea of lifehacks.