Are you familiar with the term "Life Hack"? In general, Life Hack often refers to tricks, shortcuts, skills that people use to increase productivity and improve efficiency, in all aspects of life. Growth Hack is similar to Life Hack in a way and serves the same purpose as you apply these methods to make your works easier. In this article, we shall discuss the basis of Life Hack and how it inspires us to work smarter and faster.

The Concept of Life-Hack

As we mention above, Life Hacking activities can be intepreted as performing your daily activities in a more efficient way in order to make life easier. The most common Life Hack categories are life - doing your labour - and work - performing your work. Below is a few examples of how we often "Hack" our life and what we have achieved.

In general, coffee stain is a nightmare for office employee. One does not simply get these stains off their shirts. Cleaning them is the most tiresome chore of all time. Therefore, how can we reduce our time and work by hacking our way through, without following traditional method - laundry, with no change at all?

The answer is using vinegar. Vinegar is a common household product, which can be found at any convenience store. For coffee stain removal challenge, white vinegar can be treated as effective cleaning agent.  We are well aware of vinegar strong smell may bother some people, but this method is for coffee spot treatment. After the stain is removed completely, you can get rid of the smell by using washing machines or usual washing methods. Alternatively, baking soda can be involved as replacement for white vinegar. However, it is advised that the abrasive nature of baking soda can damage delicate garments.

The idea of using vinegar can be considered a life-hack approach. Compare to original cleaning options, which can consume up to hours, this 30 minutes life-hack can save you a lot of time and work. This is the real value of life-hack methodology to us - to save time.

Life-Hack to Growth-Hack

Most of the time, people will be bored of their daily works. When it comes to laziness, people tend to find substitution or alternative ways to release them from working labour, but the job can still be done. The same life-hacking concept can be applied in your work.

How exactly do you apply life-hack to your work? Let's take an example, writer is a member working in a SaaS startup called Uiza, one of his missions is to make Uiza "Grow". One do not simply catchup the pace of an unicorn startup. For insiders like us, most of the time things aren't going smoothly. Planing failure, model falling apart, delay in due date are common stories. Normal approaches proof to be ineffective, people work overtime for days and nights for nothing. Writer was also experiencing this situation. As he expects no less from a startup, workloads are much more than what he normally do in average companies. Many tasks need to be done, but things are stucked, making his performance falls behind commitment.

Let's take a look at his burn down chat for example. In this sprint, writer's tasks are to generate enough reading materials: blog posts and document guidelines to serve as website contents. The definition phase was good, every subjects accepted their tasks with clear workload. However, till the end of the sprint, the team performance was horrible. His team only complete 30% of what they have commited at the begining of the week. What could possibly made this happen? There is nothing wrong with how we define the phase, but it was how they carry out these tasks. Writer couldn't foresee the basic fundamentals of these activities are team member attitude and inspiration when writing posts, as content generating process heavily depends on.

As writing content tasks become a burden to his team, and the deadline is already on the way, writer could use a few hacking method to complete his mission. In order to survive the ordeal, one should begin to change the way he once familiar with.

His latest work which is also inspired by a life-hack, has its effectiveness amplified by his colleague, called 500 blogs in 15 minutes. The concept is to pretent that we breakdown the workload and ease his team member mind. Usually, when someone does a normal approach, it took a lot of time to generate one post

  1. To spend time and think about what to write
  2. Do something to get an inspiration to keep your thought flow, then the words fly on notepad.
  3. Get distracted
  4. Spend more time to get back on track
  5. Get distracted again

However, with the new approach method, they should have plenty of rooms for creativity and inspring material. Once their minds are released from time attack factor, we used the combination of 5W (What, Who, Why, When, Where) and Decision Matrix to allocate their topic theme, as people tend to perform better on their favorite subjects.

  1. On your first day, don't think, just do your work routine. At the end of the day, spend 15 minutes to think about the issue you think about most.
  2. On your second day, spend 15 minutes to make a list of ideas about the topic
  3. On your third day, spend 15 minutes to form a structure out of the list above
  4. On next days, you only need to follow your own guideline.

By encouraging our colleagues to spend 15 minutes each day to write whatever going through their mind, we generated fifteen times more in terms of number of blog posts. As people would say practice shall make progress, we believe that we are going to make great achievements based on this very foundation.

Credited to: Daniel (daniel@uiza.io)