Thursday, July 15, 2010

Networking Event - Life Hackers

Oh...If there is one term I dislike it's "Hacker".

I hate it! I associate it with serial killers. Or lumberjacks. And yet, "Hacking" is the word of the day isn't it? Actually, it's even become kind of an overused word. I bet in many circles the term "Computer Hacker" is archaic...we've probably already moved on to more modern terminology. But I am slow, so I am only now coming to appreciate the term for all it's worth.

At any rate, a few weeks ago I was in search of a group of people who follow the GTD approach so that I could learn and share from them. I found a website called (which is incredibly rich in networking and activity groups). One of the groups I found in my area - the one that most closely related to GTD - was the "Life Hackers" Group of Culver City. So I joined!

And then, of course, I wanted to MEET UP so I organized an event. Only a few RSVPed, but for those I was grateful and excited. So...I made my LIFE HACKERS MEET UP sign (so that my fellow Life Hackers would find me at the designated restaurant) and I created some typical mixer questions (Tell us about yourself: What do you do? What made you decide to join the Life Hackers group? What kind of tools or methodologies do you use to be more productive? etc). I was poised to host the night of productivity bliss. No one showed. Well, that is not entirely true: My dear friend Briss (who is a natural Life Hacker, very organized, very very productive) showed up and for that I was incredibly grateful.

But nothing is lost. Nothing is ever lost. And what this opportunity afforded me was a chance to contemplate the term "Life-Hacker" and to see where I stand on the spectrum of productivity/efficiency/streamlining etc. Here's what I discovered: I am a minimalist. I believe the key to "hacking" into life is plugging in. Plugging in, not necessarily to more sophisticated software or PDAs, but plugging in to life. Plugging in to what seem to be It's Natural laws. Plugging in to simplicity.

From my point of view, External Life Hacking begins when we are organized and our environments (our home, offices, creative spaces) are at rest: When we feel we can move in and around our space with comfort, ease and grace, when we are free from the weight of clutter, when we enjoy what we see in our immediate space. Internal Life Hacking begins when we are ordered within: When our relationships with others are harmonious, when we take care of our selves, when we are at peace with ourselves and our decisions. These ARE the shortcuts to living a productive life.

It's far too easy (and seductive) to distract ourselves with looking for the next methodology, gadget or technology which will put our lives in order and make us feel like more productive human-beings. I say this from a point of authority because I am guilty of looking for the one thing, that one thing that will help put life into a little box that I can understand. The code that I can crack. But I also know that I am most productive when I just do the very next indicated action. When I apply this to my life, I feel less resistance, less procrastination and much more enthusiasm. If that ain't hacking into something good, I don't know what is.

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