Hack the "Shoulds"

I know that I recently told you to get off of autopilot, and I meant it, but shortcuts—or hacks—are not the same. 

To me a hack is a way to achieve the end goal with less effort, time, or money, so it's a win-win. And the areas of your life ideal for hacking are the ones you do because you "should." 

Similar to the Delegation Test, ask yourself what is the end goal of the thing you "should" be doing? Then ask yourself if there's a quicker or easier way to get to that goal.

Here's a personal example that I've only just accepted.

You've probably figured out that I love to read books. I do read fiction too, and work and do improv, so there is never enough time to read all the business books I want to. And there are many books I feel that I should read—either because of reviews or who the author is or what the topic is—but I just can't get into them. Since I refuse to force myself to read something I'm not enjoying, I used to skim these books to try and glean some learning from thier pages, but there's actually a better hack for this: Blinkist. 

Blinkist is a subscription-based app that provides well-written summaries on nonfiction books, so somewhat like Cliff Notes for adults, which is why I had such a hard time accepting this: it felt like a cheat. But unlike in school where reading the book was part of the lesson, my end goal is to learn, and Blinkist allows me to do this for a fraction of the effort and time. And if I like the summary enough, I can still read the entire book afterwards. Absolute win-win. (For those who don't want to pay for summaries, there are many free online alternatives, including the summaries provided by Actionable Books.)

So autopilot and cheats are bad, but hacks are your friends.

Quick side note: if you haven't read Elle Luna's The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion, you should (no pun intended). You can read my old post on it to get a preview.

Takeaway: find the easiest and fastest way to do your "shoulds" and spend that saved effort and time on your wants.


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