Lifehack Method, Inc Join The Tribe Of Top Performers Mon, 18 May 2020 22:09:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Lifehack Method, Inc 32 32 How to overcome bad circumstances Tue, 05 May 2020 20:52:38 +0000 The post How to overcome bad circumstances appeared first on Lifehack Method, Inc.


Curveballs are hard to predict, and they’re rarely welcome news. But while you can’t be sure of the timing, you can be certain that the path of life has many in store – ready to smack us in the face when we least expect it. 

So let’s discuss how to overcome bad circumstances.

Whether it’s a death, illness, divorce, sudden job loss, stock market crash, worldwide pandemic, or all of these at the same time – those curveballs are coming for each and every one of us!

Bad circumstances are mainly “bad” or “unwelcome” because they aren’t what we were expecting. It’s this clash with expectation that makes us shake our fist in the air, asking “why me?!” or “it’s not fair!” 

Of course, the only way out is through, and the journey to acceptance is the only way forward once you find yourself facing your next challenge. 

Here’s the process that can short-cut you to acceptance, so that you can continue living a fulfilled life without being dragged down by anxiety and fear.

Step 1: Deal with your shattered expectations

When something unexpected happens, you’ll be forced to confront the reality that life isn’t always fair. There’s little we can do to control outside events.  

But that doesn’t stop you from feeling the heavy BLAME or GUILT that can come quickly after. If only you had done something differently, made a different choice, done more or done better! 

Learn from your mistakes, but don’t punish yourself. You were doing your best. Tragedies happen. Mistakes happen. No one’s perfect. You can’t change the past. You can’t change other people. In fact, you can’t change most things – but you can control how you react to them.   

When my daughter was born, I had an expectation that I could keep her from getting sick until she could build up her immune system. Every parent knows how delicate a new baby is, and is extra careful to wash their hands and keep the baby away from sick people. Yet, my baby got dangerously sick when she was just 2 months old. She was hospitalized for a week and put on oxygen to help her breathe. You can imagine how terrified we were, and how much I beat myself up for letting this happen! Did this mean I was actually a terrible parent? 

Of course not…but my expectation had been shattered. I took a deep breath and recognized that the only thing we could do was hit the reset button. We created a new, beefed-up protocol for keeping the baby safe while her immune system developed…and moved on. We didn’t let her illness cast judgement on who we are as parents.

“Here is a rule to remember in future, when anything tempts you to feel bitter: not ‘This is misfortune’, but ‘To bear this worthily is good fortune.’”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Roman Emperor and Stoic Philosopher

Step 2: Reset your plan

Once you’ve identified the expectation that was rudely smashed to bits, you’ve cleared the way forward. 

But before you jump right into replanning your future, there’s an important emotional component to acknowledge.

You can’t start to move forward until you’ve mourned the loss, and mourned that your plan just didn’t pan out.  

It doesn’t matter if others have had it worse, or if some people feel your struggle isn’t a big deal. You have the right to mourn it!  

It sucks that it happened! Let yourself sit in that sadness for what could have been, for as long as you need to. 

What you’re really doing is settling this emotional swirl, so that you can start to get clarity about what’s next. If you stay in the swirl, it will continue to obscure your path forward. The only way out is through, so let yourself mourn so that you can clear your emotional slate and see what to do next. 

Once you’ve mourned your old plan, you’re ready to set a new one based on the new reality you’re living.

Step 3: Use Fearsetting to remove unproductive fear

It’s easy to let fear take over your life. When you’ve recently been through something tough, it’s especially easy! You might find yourself trying to “think positive” or push the negative thoughts away, but yet they bubble to the surface again and again.

This next step is about right-sizing your fear and anxiety so that it doesn’t paralyze you. You need to be able to take action confidently and powerfully.

It’s counterintuitive to write down your deepest fears, but that’s exactly what’s needed here. 

Tim Ferriss has a wonderful exercise he calls Fearsetting, based in Stoic philosophy, to right-size your fear. 

Start by writing down your fears. Don’t worry if they sound absurd. Ask yourself what you’re the most afraid of and get them down on paper. 

Then, brainstorm what you could do if those fears DID come to pass, and how you could mitigate the impact. For example, if you’re afraid of losing your home due to lack of funds, you might write down that you could move into a tiny home in the woods (…can you tell I took this example from my own list? I’ve always wanted to live in a tiny house!) 

And finally, brainstorm what you could do now to PREVENT that fear from coming true. In the above example, you might write that you’ll increase your emergency savings fund so that you could cover your mortgage payments in the event of a crisis. 

The aim of this exercise is to get you focused on the things you CAN control, even if your fears seem outside your control. This strategy can pay off in a tangible way, but it’s also an amazing technique to calm your mind and reclaim power over it.

“You have power over your mind—not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Roman Emperor and Stoic Philosopher

Step 4: Find the silver lining

This last stage on your journey is hard to swallow…but it will take you the furthest, fastest towards true acceptance!

Ask yourself how this change actually creates a positive impact in your life.

As they say, whenever one door closes another opens. What door has opened for you? 

It doesn’t wash away the past, nor does it make it okay – but it does help to free you from feeling like a victim to your circumstances. 

Has it…

Forced you to pursue your dream side business? 

Shown you what’s truly important about how you spend your time?

Brought you closer to a family member, or to your higher power? 

Made you serious about your health? 

Made you commit to developing yourself to 100% of your potential? 

Made you take action on a dream?

“Now is the time to get serious about living your ideals. How long can you afford to put off who you really want to be? Your nobler self cannot wait any longer. Put your principles into practice – now. Stop the excuses and the procrastination. This is your life! […] Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do – now.”

Epictetus, The Art of Living

Former slave and Stoic Philosopher

Identify the silver lining, and take action to become the 2.0 version of yourself (or 3.0, or 4.0). 


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How to be productive working from home [GUIDE] Sun, 05 Apr 2020 21:27:25 +0000 The post How to be productive working from home [GUIDE] appeared first on Lifehack Method, Inc.


You’ve got questions…and we’ve got answers!

Many of us are suddenly working from home and are looking for ways to stay productive…while juggling kids and a stressful news cycle. 

Lifehack Method has always had a work-from-home culture, and our whole team is located remotely across the USA, Colombia, and Europe. In fact, Carey and I haven’t even met many of our employees in person! 

We’ve received an influx of questions about how to be productive working from home. Thankfully, we have a wealth of knowledge to share about how to create lasting productivity without a normal work environment. 

This step-by-step guide is all about how to be productive working from home – even if you’ve never worked remotely before.

Let’s dive in…

Part 1: Engineering A Work At Home Environment 

Step 1. Look for an underutilized space to claim as a private workspace.

The first question to ask yourself is, How can I create a defined workspace at home? 

A lot of people tell me they don’t have a dedicated office at home… but they have a walk-in closet, a pantry, or even a car parked in the driveway. 

These are all potential workspaces!

For someone who’s new to the practice, a designated area is necessary for focus and productivity.

The space where you work will become associated with work in your mind – so give yourself the space to only work in this designated area (reserve your bed for sleep and your couch for relaxation!)

Step 2. If you can’t have a space to yourself, create “sensory isolation”

“I can’t have a room all to myself, so how do I create a separate “work space” and keep “home” stuff out?”

Answer: You need to take control of your eyes and ears.

Face yourself away from distractions by looking out the window or even into a corner.

Go overkill on sound blocking. (I use earplugs AND over-the-ear noise cancelling headphones.)

This solves the problem of you distracting yourself, but not the problem of THEM distracting you!

So, create a STOP SIGN sign that is 3X larger than you think it needs to be.

Put it as close to you as you can – preferably taped to your back. It looks silly, but it’s effective!

You can print one of these images to serve as your stop sign.

Step 3: Set boundaries with a communication policy.

Other people can be severely damaging to your productivity.

I get asked about this flavor of distraction a lot:

“I need help with setting boundaries with my sister. She and I will be working from home together, and she’s a TALKER! And likes to “visit” me in my office. How can I keep her away without being offensive?”

Here’s what to do: Communicate clearly upfront what’s going to happen, and why.

Set expectations about your availability by writing a clear communication policy. Then explain why it’s important to adhere to it!

Enroll them in the full story and get them on your side by including generous time periods where you will be fully available to their needs.

People don’t need as much of your time as you think they do – they want their emotional needs met. So ask yourself what emotional need (likely unspoken) your housemate is lacking, and do your best to meet it.

When people have their needs met, they can disconnect.

Step 4: Practice compartmentalizing your time and attention.

I get a lot of questions along the lines of “How should I organize my day working from home, to balance work and home routines & expectations?”

The ultimate enemy of all productivity is task-switching.

It costs you 20-25 minutes to get your momentum back each time you switch between tasks, and it adds significantly to your cognitive load.

The solution is…

Go ALL IN on planning your week.

Get honest with how much time you have, and how you’ll organize your day…then try to stick to your plan as best you can, knowing that you can revise your schedule next week based on how reality shakes out.

Compartmentalize. You can’t possibly do everything all at once.

But you can drive yourself crazy trying!

Want my formula for planning your week in 30 minutes flat? Click here to check out my masterclass.

PS – Don’t forget to set aside hours for your personal life.

When you know that you have times set aside for household and family needs, it’s easier to ignore them and stay focused during your work time.

Step 5: Think outside the box to design a new “ideal” schedule.

No matter how much you’d like your routine to be the same, it isn’t! But instead of hoping and praying for your week to turn out the way you want, it’s time to design your new “ideal.”

Start by tracking your time for 2 weeks to get a sense of what this “new normal” is. This will help you match your expectations to reality so you can accurately plan your week.

Shift your schedule to odd hours, if you can. For example, go to bed earlier, or wake up earlier. (Early morning hours are precious, and usually devoid of distractions…a productivity gold mine! Same with late night.)

If you have a spouse and kids at home, I’ve seen many husband and wife teams working in shifts so someone is always with the kids. (This is what Carey and I are doing to care for our daughter.)

Flexibility and structure are opposing forces – but neither one is totally right. It’s got to be a balance between the two. Take advantage of both.

Step 6: Step into a higher level of partnership with the people in your house

We’ve become so used to doing things for ourselves!

But we don’t have to.

If you have a need that isn’t being filled, make sure you ASK your spouse to help you get it met before it blows up into a big issue. Don’t tough it out on your own. Your spouse can’t help you solve problems they don’t know about.

This is a perfect time to re-define responsibilities around the house and ask others to do chores they wouldn’t normally do.

Get strategic with chores, and share childcare responsibilities. Cover for each other to make room for self-care!

Part 2: The Art Of Remote Working

There are several key systems a person who works from home needs to stay productive.

Here are our favorites:

System 1: Implement a Start Work Routine and Finish Work Routine

Imagine opening your computer every day and knowing that you had the time to complete your most leveraged priorities, and knowing what would get pushed off to another time.

You’d be able to crush your work day and end it feeling accomplished and satisfied! That’s the power of the Start Work Routine.

It’s a simple 10 to 15 minute routine designed to refocus you on what’s most important to get done, without letting you get sucked into the most common pitfalls of starting your day.

Check out our Start Work Routine (as well as 3 other core routines) here.

At the end of the work day, you need to be able to DISENGAGE from your work and let your mind and body recover from the day.

When you don’t, you get stuck in a vicious cycle where you “become” your work. Ironically, your work suffers as a result!

A Finish Work Routine that will help you to celebrate what you accomplished, mourn what you didn’t, and create a game plan for tomorrow. Psychological studies have shown that this simple ritual allows you to disengage from work, because you know that you have a place to tackle it tomorrow.

Check out our Finish Work Routine (as well as 3 other core routines) here.

System 2: Use Timed Work Blocks

Working from home can make it harder to stay focused.

And I don’t care if you were voted Best Multitasker Ever…

In reality, no one is actually good at multitasking. It’s not even a real thing! What masquerades as multitasking is actually something called rapid task switching.

So every time you stop working to feed the dog, talk to a family member, or watch an episode of your favorite tv show… you’re forcing your brain to switch gears.

The result is a slow, tired, does-not-compute brain that has to repeatedly restart its operating system.

So how do we stay productive amidst the chaos?

Enter: The Sticky Focus Game!

It’s one of our master hacks for turbo charging productivity. It makes work fun, enables you to work faster, and keeps you focused on the task at hand.

Here’s how to play the game:

  1. Count the number of open 60-minute slots in your calendar for the day
  2. Write the day’s important tasks on sticky notes
  3. Line them up on your desk in order of importance
  4. Set a timer for 50 minutes
  5. Focus on that ONE task until the timer rings – no Facebook, no texting!
  6. Take a 10-minute break to celebrate – and really REWARD yourself during this time! (Pro tip: you can use your home-based distractions as a reward. Play with the dog! Have a dance party with the kids.)
  7. Repeat this process and race yourself!

Click here to download our Sticky Focus Game cheat sheet.

System 3: Create a Life Map

The Life Map is a one-page document that lays out the key leveraged actions you need to take to reach your big 1 year goal.

The purpose is to ensure that every week, you’re staying the course and not getting pulled off track.

People often confuse being EFFICIENT with being EFFECTIVE. We’ve all had the feeling of taking stock of our lives and realizing that we’ve been moving down the wrong path (sometimes for a long time!)… So there is such a thing as efficiently moving in the WRONG direction!

Effectiveness starts with massive clarity – a compelling and clear vision of what it all adds up to – and that’s exactly what the Life Map provides.

Get step-by-step instructions for creating your Life Map inside Lifehack Tribe (this link gets you your first week of membership for $1).

System 4: Pre-plan religiously

Pre-planning your week, in hour-by-hour detail, is one of the best ways to claim control over your time.

It’s the Arc Reactor to your Iron Man – the power source of your week.

I advise my clients to create an hour-by-hour time budget for their week, where they can allocate all 168 hours in advance. This might sound intense, but if you’re facing massive distractions it will be a life saver.

Check out my step-by-step process for pre-planning my week in this free PDF guide.

System 5: Master the “Fab 5” technologies

Your work-at-home tech stack should absolutely include:

  • Calendar
  • Task manager
  • Email inbox
  • Messaging platform of choice
  • Zoom

We use Google Calendar, Asana, Gmail, Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, and Zoom.

It’s worth the time to really learn the in’s and out’s of your core tech stack. Check out YouTube tutorial videos of your technology to make sure you’re getting the most out of them.

Watchouts: Resist “technology bloat” where you have a new piece of tech for every little thing.

And don’t spend all day on Slack – not even the team at Slack Headquarters does that!

Other helpful tools:

  • – cancels out background noise like MAGIC
  • Kitchen timer – can prevent a lack of motivation AND overworking. Don’t use your phone!
  • A laptop stand like this one – protect your posture!
  • Get a bigger monitor
  • Focus@Will – music designed for focus
  • FocusMate – work in timed work blocks with a live accountability partner
  • Do Not Disturb option on your phone – and announce to your friends you’re doing that!

System 6: Incorporate movement into your day when it’s no longer built in

You’ll notice a huge decrease in your step count when you start working from home! There isn’t much movement in your day anymore, and those walks to the fridge aren’t sufficient 😉

Schedule time in your calendar to get up, stretch, do some yoga, or even practice deep breathing or meditation.

It will take more mental energy to make it happen at first, but once you get into a routine it will come naturally.

System 7: Master asynchronous communication

Working from home means the opportunity to talk with coworkers is severely limited. Which can be a GREAT thing for your productivity!

However, for those of us who used to communicate by floating around to other people’s desks all day, it means you now need to master the art of asynchronous communication.

Don’t default back to scheduling meetings for every little thing like you used to in the workplace. Meetings have the lowest density of information transfer. And don’t overload your Slack channel and email trying to communicate every last thing.

Instead, take this opportunity to uplevel your communication with tools like screencasting and a task manager. Screencasting is an extremely dense form of communication, and takes a fraction of the time of a meeting or crafting an email.

Watch our YouTube tutorial on how to screencast using Zoom here.

System 8: Batch communications with your team

When you work from home, there’s stress around getting a hold of coworkers quickly.

You may experience an influx of messages and emails from colleagues who are doing their best to push work forward. However, this becomes exhausting for you and chips away at the time you have to actually get work done.

Batching communications together is key to maintaining your focus while also communicating with your team.

Schedule set times when you will be on your email and messenger, and tell your team members how to reach you if something is super urgent.

If you’re using the Sticky Focus Game mentioned above, get everyone on your team on the same Sticky Focus schedule – then you will all be available in the last 10 minutes of every hour.

Or, schedule office hours (30 minutes would do) in a Zoom room where everyone can ask their questions. Tell your team you’ll be doing office hours at that time, send them the link, and encourage them to come and ask their questions. After about a week, folks will get used to this new system.

Part 3: Develop A Strong Mental Game

Working from home requires that you up your game mentally, in order to compete with the added distractions and stresses of your new routine.

If you’re not careful, you can quickly lose motivation for work. Or the opposite – you may find yourself becoming a workaholic!

Your goal is to strike a balance between your work and your play.

Carey and I have found ourselves on both sides of this spectrum, before we eventually found the right balance.

Strengthening our mental game has grown our self-discipline so that we can put in good work, under stressful circumstances, even if we’re low energy or lacking in motivation. And it also helps us put work down at the end of the day (even if we’re really in flow!) so we can enjoy our free time.

Step 1: Don’t wear your PJ’s

You no longer have environmental cues that tell your brain “it’s work time,” but wearing professional clothes can help trick your body into thinking it’s ready to work.

I like wearing my PJ’s all day as much as anyone, but I change into work clothes to help change my state of mind from relaxation to work. I still do this, even after working from home for 5+ years.

It’s a lot harder to lounge on the couch watching Netflix when you’re wearing your nicest button-down.

And at the end of my work day, I change back into comfortable clothes to spend time with my family.

Step 2: Break the seal

Working from home for the first time means you’re going from total structure to total NO structure.

It can be difficult to know how to structure your day or tackle hard projects without your normal workplace pressures.

I have a mental game trick to help you get started when no one is breathing down your neck. It’s called Breaking The Seal.

Set a timer for 5 minutes and tell yourself that all you need to do is work on that task or project until the timer rings.

Getting started is absolutely the hardest part of any task, and breaking the seal with the 5 minute timer helps you dispel any fear or mental resistance you have around it.

Most of the time, you’ll find that you’re “into it” once the 5 minutes is up and you’ll actually WANT to keep working. You may find that the task is a lot easier than you thought it would be!

Other times, you’ll find that you have a much better handle on how to tackle the problem and you’ve gained a sense of clarity around what to do when it’s time to really get it done.

Step 3: Wake up in the right way

Taking control of your mental space from the moment you open your eyes can help strengthen your mental stamina whether you work from home or not.

Carey and I have a short Wake Up Routine that’s designed to get our heads in a positive space before starting the day.

It also keeps us from immediately checking email and social media when we wake up…because that can lead to wasted time and invariably puts our positivity in jeopardy!

Check out our Wake Up Routine (as well as 3 other core routines) here.

Step 4: Practice Extreme Ownership

Instead of trying to change other people’s behavior, focus on changing your response.

Practice a skill known as Extreme Ownership, the leadership mindset used by Navy Seal commanders and popularized by Jocko Willink in his bestselling book by the same name.

That annoying coworker who’s dragging their feet on a project? Offer to be their accountability partner for the next week to help motivate them to get it done.

Kids got you pulling your hair out with all their demands? Put ziplocs filled with snacks in the fridge, or challenge them to make dinner for the whole family (both these tactics are pulled straight from parents in my community!)

Everyone coming to you for everything, not giving you a moment’s peace? Create checklists or written how-to instructions (even for the smallest things!) so that others can learn to do things for themselves.

Watch our YouTube video book summary on Extreme Ownership here.

Step 5: Define your fears

When your mental space is completely shot, you may have an impulse to “think positively” or avoid negative subjects.

The problem is, this doesn’t seem to help! Your brain will still default back to anxiety and fear even if you keep telling yourself “it’s not that bad” or “I have so much to be grateful for.”

So I like to do the opposite.

I like to dive deep into what I fear the most, so that I can shine a light on it and figure out if there’s anything in my control that I can take action on.

This is a concept from the philosophy of Stoicism called Fear Setting. It was popularized by Tim Ferriss in his amazing Ted Talk (linked below).

He outlines a simple process of writing down your deepest fears, no matter how irrational they may be, and figuring out how to either prevent them from coming to pass or how to soften the impact if they do end up happening.

In under an hour, it will allow your brain to stop spinning on the “what if’s” and focus on what you can do about it.

Watch Tim Ferriss’s Ted Talk on Fear Setting here.

Step 6: Put down the screens

Sometimes it feels like the only thing to do at home involves a screen, but that’s not the case!

Giving yourself screen-free time is so rejuvenating and once you get used to it, you’ll start to crave this time.

It will also help you avoid the dreaded cabin fever feeling of being stuck in one place.

Playing board games with your family is remarkably fun for everyone and has become a fixture of our family time.

Or, pick up a fiction book! Reading non-challenging literature and books also brings back the magic of reading (for those of us who have libraries full of non-fiction especially!)

We like to watch our fireplace and just sit in silence (if you don’t have one, a YouTube video of a fireplace is remarkably effective too).

And if you still feel restless and can’t leave your home, try learning a creative skill that you’ve always wanted to learn but didn’t have the time. (Drawing and calligraphy are our favorites.) You could also try a virtual museum tour or stream a symphony online.

What issues are you facing as you adjust to working from home? Comment below, we would love to hear from you.

If you’ve found a great work from home hack, share it below!

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The top 7 mistakes people make while using their to-do list Tue, 17 Mar 2020 23:51:05 +0000 The post The top 7 mistakes people make while using their to-do list appeared first on Lifehack Method, Inc.


The majority of working professionals use to-do lists, and yet according to a LinkedIn survey only about 11% of people are actually accomplishing everything on their lists daily. 

Why is that? Are those 11% of people more productive than we are? Are they working faster? Longer hours? 

I’d venture to say the answer is much simpler than that… Their to-do lists shift them into action

If you’re a working professional who can never seem to accomplish everything, we’ve compiled a list of the top mistakes people make while creating and using their to-do lists.

1. You’re spending too much time planning.

Making a to-do list can feel productive in and of itself – you’re consolidating all of the tasks you hope to accomplish in the day into one place. But if you find yourself writing out your list, then re-planning your day, then rewriting your list over and over again – you might be using it as a form of procrastination. 

A good rule of thumb is if you’re spending more than two hours a week planning, it’s too much. You’re not taking action on the stuff you actually need to get done. 

We recommend time boxing your weekly planning. Set aside an hour on Sunday to get aligned on your priorities for the week – and then don’t second guess those plans! 

2. You’re not focusing on the right items on your to-do list. 

The danger of a list is that each item takes up one line – regardless of its level of importance. 

Your list might consist of a mix of any of the following:

  • Low priority, quick tasks
  • Low priority, time consuming tasks
  • High priority, quick tasks
  • High priority, time consuming tasks 

But if you’re not taking the time to mark the items on your list that are of high priority – and carving time out in your calendar for those important tasks – they’re probably not going to get done! 

You’re not wrong for gravitating towards those easier, quicker tasks on your list. Our brains love little victories. (Helloooo, dopamine!) But in the case of the to-do list, you should be aiming for quality over quantity. 

3. You’re scheduling too many tasks into one day.

Have you ever gotten to the end of a work day and thought to yourself: “I just didn’t work fast enough today!” or “there weren’t enough hours in the day today!” 

Let’s get real here: we don’t have enough energy to do EVERYTHING. It’s just not possible.

You’re stacking the odds against yourself when you make a to-do list that’s 60 tasks long that you expect to finish in an 8-hour work day. 

You’ve got to be honest with yourself about what you’re going to get done in one day. Which involves marking out work blocks dedicated to your highest priority tasks. 

We here at the Lifehack Method love the 1:4:5 rule for our daily to-do lists: 

  • 1 super important, high priority task
  • 4 mid-level tasks 
  • 5 low priority, simple tasks 

Anything beyond that, and we find ourselves struggling to get everything done.

4. Your tasks are not actionable. 

Take a moment right now to look at your to-do list. Is everything on the list glaringly clear? Or are there a few items on your list that you’ll need a minute to decipher? 

Here’s an example of non-actionable to-do list: 

  • Grocery store items
  • Bills??
  • Lifehack Bootcamp homework
  • Meeting @ 11 
  • New website homepage layout 

This list is a total mess. It’s a jumbled list of things that need to get done, but have no clear actions that need to be taken. 

Now here’s an actionable list: 

  • Record screencast for web designer giving feedback on current homepage layout 
  • Attend sales training at 11
  • Watch Lifehack Bootcamp Week 3 videos
  • Pay car insurance bill (and activate autopay going forward) 
  • Go to Trader Joe’s on the way home from work

Your to-do list needs to be extremely clear. And the easiest way we’ve found to ensure that is to start each item on the list with a VERB. Notice the list above – record, attend, watch, pay, go – they’re all tasks that will immediately spur you into action.

(We walk you through this idea in greater detail in our Lifehack Planner, which you can grab here!)

5. You haven’t consolidated your to-do list into one place. 

The 168 hours of time you have a week all come from the same place – you. It is dangerous to fracture your to-do list out into personal, work, inbox, and beyond. 

One of the most common examples we see of this is people coming into work with a full task list prepared and thinking: “first, let me check my email.” But then they go into their inbox and get completely overwhelmed by all of the emails they need to respond to. 

Your inbox should not dictate your day, it should merely be an item on your to-do list! Because even if you end your day with hundreds of unread emails, it was probably still a very productive day.

You should be keeping track of everything you need to get done in a day in one place. We recommend a task manager like Asana or

6. You’re not looking at your to-do list with a critical eye. 

Many of us – especially those of us who run our own business or hold a management position – feel like we need to do it all. Our to-do lists are miles long, and everything seems to be of equal importance.

Truth is, there are probably items on your to-do list that can be either totally scratched, automated, or outsourced. 

We call this the TACO Method – what can you Terminate, Automate, Consolidate, or Outsource

We recommend doing a once-over of your to-do list. Is there a member of your team who you can pass low-level tasks off to? Is there a service you can hire to help you accomplish a project more swiftly? 

We talk a lot about this method in our membership program, the Lifehack Tribe – so if this idea is resonating with you, definitely check us out! 

7. You’re not closing open loops. 

Let’s say you’ve got an AWESOME to-do list. It’s perfectly consolidated, it’s actionable, it’s short and sweet. 

…But you also have a slough of sticky notes all over your desk; reminders about places you need to be, or small things you need to get done. 

These are open loops – or commitments you’ve made that have not been completed or resolved yet. They float around in your brain, picking away at your energy and attention all day.

If the reminder is for somewhere you need to be, that should be in your calendar. If it’s for something you need to do, it should be in your to-do list. Simple as that! 

Downloading EVERYTHING you need to get done into a task manager – a much more reliable system to keep track of things than your brain – ensures that all open loops are closed, and you can focus on what’s most important. 


Finishing your to-do list daily isn’t something that is going to happen by chance. And it’s definitely not out of reach! Incorporating just a few of these things into your planning routine is going to radically change the way you interface with your to-do list.

Are you guilty of any of these mistakes? Let us know how you’re going to level up your to-do list game in the comments below!

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You’re spending just 12% of your time on your top priorities. Here’s how to make it 80%. Thu, 05 Mar 2020 00:50:56 +0000 The post You’re spending just 12% of your time on your top priorities. Here’s how to make it 80%. appeared first on Lifehack Method, Inc.


The joke’s on us:  Technology was supposed to simplify our life, but it’s clearly making our life more complex!

A million things demand our daily attention (most of which add no real value to our lives). We don’t know which direction to turn our focus.

We even created a brand new word to reflect our need to direct our attention to multiple important things: priorities. Seriously, we pluralized the word ‘priority’ as a way to justify our inability to focus on one singular task.

“The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It was singular. It meant the very first or prior thing. It stayed singular for the next five hundred years,” author Greg McKeown explains in his book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.

Now that our priority lists are 30 items long, it’s no wonder we’re struggling to allocate our focus to all of them!

This inability to truly prioritize is happening across the professional spectrum. Top level executives are only spending about 12% of their time on their top priorities, according to a Harvard Business Review study. That means they are spending a whopping 88% of their time doing everything else! Ping-ponging emails, putting out fires, giving the green light to the company’s Christmas party menu – these lower-level tasks are sucking up the majority of the day.  

How can we flip the script, and start spending 80% (the majority) of our time on our highest priorities?

The roadmap to 80% focus isn’t complicated, but it does require you to swim against the current of today’s “distraction culture”.


Think about it: time is our only finite resource.  We audit our money to figure out where it’s going, so why not audit our TIME to understand where it’s going as well?  Then we can create a “time budget” based on reality, not fantasy.

Thankfully, you can time track quickly and easily with just a pen and paper. Laura Vanderkam is the time management wizard and author of 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think. She spent 3 years collecting hour-by-hour time logs from the busiest people on planet earth.  The results were earth-shattering: we DO have enough time to get it all done, if we use it wisely!

Here are our 3 favorite tools for tracking time*:

  1. The humble spreadsheet:  Spreadsheets are great for time tracking, and they allow you to add up categories, like time spent with family, cooking, or in transit.  
  2. Harvest: This is what we use for our own company! We especially love it because it seamlessly integrates with Asana – the task manager we use to manage our business.
  3. Toggl: This is a crazy simple option for tracking your time that can be especially helpful for freelancers with multiple clients or managers looking to track employees’ time.

*For an even bigger list, click here.


We suggest starting by tracking one week, in 30 minute increments. That’s 168 hours of your time.  Simply make note of what you spend your time on.  In our experience this takes a paltry 10 minutes a day.  Pro tip:  set a recurring alarm for 3-4 times a day to remind yourself to keep track.


At the end week 1, take 2 hours to analyze your results.  Decide on some buckets to add up larger categories.  Then ask yourself:  What categories pop out?  Studies indicate that we OVER-estimate our time spent really working, and UNDER-estimate time spent to ourselves.  With real data in hand, it’ll be easy to discern what needs more of your time, and what gets the cut.

Studies indicate that we OVER-estimate our time spent really working, and UNDER-estimate time spent to ourselves.


Just like with our financial budget, there’s what you SAY you’ll spend, and what you ACTUALLY spend.  Keeping a close eye on these gaps will help you close them over time, and get real time back.

In the end, it’s is all about paying attention: studies show that people who are trying to diet lose twice as much weight if they keep daily food tracking diaries.  Once you start tracking your time, you’re going to have a much clearer picture on your top priorities, and you can double (or even triple) the amount of time you’re spending on them!


Once you’ve gotten radical clarity on where your time is going – and how much time it really takes you to do tasks – it’s a lot easier to start allocating it better. 

This is when you start pre-planning your weeks and managing your to-do lists on Asana (or your online task manager of choice). When you start to take back control of your time. Remember – it’s not about getting every single thing on your list done in a week… It’s about getting the RIGHT things done!

Let us know down below – have you tracked your time before? 

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How To Break Your Digital Addiction Wed, 12 Feb 2020 01:45:50 +0000 The post How To Break Your Digital Addiction appeared first on Lifehack Method, Inc.


If you had to ballpark it… how much time do you think you spend on your phone every day? Half an hour? 90 minutes? 

Turns out – the average person is spending closer to 4 hours a day on their device! And on average, about 2 of those hours are spent mindlessly scrolling through social media. 

On its own, that statistic isn’t very startling. But if you add it up, that means we are spending more than 720 hours a year just checking our socials… or over 90 working days a year – a staggering 4.5 months of productivity.

The first time I read that statistic I nearly threw my phone into a volcano – how terrifying!

It’s no secret that we’re pretty dependent on technology. Our devices have become like extra limbs to us! But the real issue is what we’re doing while we’re on those devices. 

The Problems 

So why exactly does being addicted to our technology pose an issue? Let’s break down some of the main problems our devices can pose for us: 

They’re a time suck

Have you ever had a lull in your day, thought to yourself “let me just check my notifications,” and come to three hours later having watched 8 YouTube videos, scrolled through Instagram’s Explore page, and ordered a few things on Amazon? 

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Our phones are designed to suck us in. Everything about them – from their shape to the shade of red of a notification badge – has been designed to keep us hooked

They’re SO distracting

From social media, to Netflix, to the constant barrage of news articles… It feels like the distractions are limitless! 

But as we’ve talked about before – multitasking does not exist. Even the most minute of distractions – like checking your email before a meeting – can derail you for hours! It can take up to 23 minutes to get back on track, regardless of the size of the distraction.

Negativity bias

For a lot of people, scrolling through Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites invokes some negative feelings

As you browse your feed, you see a curated look into the lives of everyone you know – and it appears as though everyone is happier, more interesting, and has a more exciting life than you. As humans, we naturally compare ourselves to those we see around us. So if you’re spending hours scrolling through your socials and everyone you’re seeing appears to have a glamorous, fulfilling life… You’re bound to feel snubbed. 


The fast-paced world we live in just keeps getting faster – and we feel an instinctual need to keep up. We’re overwhelmed by it! And for many of us, that means we’re scrolling through our phones late into the night – disrupting our sleeping patterns. And to top that off, the blue light our phone screens emit tricks our brain into an alert state – making it harder for us to fall asleep.

Digital Dementia

“Digital Dementia” – a breakdown in cognitive abilities that comes as a result of the overuse of digital technology – has the ability to turn us into grumpy old folks! 

Here are some of the tell-tale symptoms of dementia: 

  • Memory loss or issues with short term memory
  • Increased confusion, decreased concentration
  • Behavioral changes – anger, impatience, apathy, depression, etc. 
  • Everyday tasks feeling harder or insurmountable 

Do any of these sound familiar? Turns out, Digital Dementia has a lot of the same symptoms. 

Time to Detox

So how do we shake our digital dependency? The same way we reset our bodies after a particularly fun night out – with a detox! 

We here at the Lifehack Method definitely did not come up with the idea of a Digital Detox. In fact, we were directly inspired by Cal Newport and his book Digital Minimalism.

In his book, Cal stresses that it is impossible to completely detach yourself from technology. But he advocates for a more intentional, minimalist approach to your digital consumption. 

The Detox

We recommend doing a 30-day detox period. During those 30 days, you are to remove ALL non-essential technologies from your life. 

“Non-essential” is going to look a little different for everyone, but there are some clear no-no’s that everyone must abide by – like checking your email on the toilet or scrolling through Instagram before bed. We recommend making an exhaustive list of all of the tech you interface with on a regular basis, and creating “approved” and “non-approved” columns.

What’s most important is intentionality. Keep the tech in your life that feeds you somehow. Whether that be checking Facebook Groups that you positively engage with, having a Netflix date night, watching YouTube videos that can teach you something – you get the picture!

I did a 30-day digital detox and documented my whole journey – click here to check it out!

The DO’s of Detoxing 

  • Re-engineer your space. Be proactive in removing as many distractions as you can. 
  • Get more sleep. It’s normal to find yourself getting tired earlier for the first week or two.  If you’re tired at 8pm, embrace it. Take this as a chance to catch upon your sleep. It will pass. 
  • Cultivate a hobby. You’ll be surprised how much you throw yourself into a hobby to avoid boredom. (I designed my entire house in 60 days!)
  • Plan more social events. You might feel like you don’t have the energy now… believe me – you will when you detox! There’s nothing more fulfilling than being around other people. 
  • Look for ways to change your state without technology.  Baths, hot tubs, running, cold shower (my favorite!)… The possibilities are endless.
  • Get some accountability. Even if it’s just a post on your social media! Your Facebook audience will love this – believe me. 

The DON’TS of Detoxes 

  • Filling your newly-found free-time with more work. You will be tempted… anticipate and avoid this common pitfall. This can prevent you from realizing all the benefits of a digital detox!
  • Entering a Digital Detox without a plan. You can’t just hope for the best! It won’t work. Preparation wins the battle every time.
  • Expecting anyone else to do it with you. Accept that your spouse, family, friends are not going to do this with you. Don’t try to convince them. 
  • Getting mad that everyone else is still in the digital world. Focus on the positive effects it’s having on you, instead!

The Drawbacks of a Detox… And Why They Don’t Matter

Let’s just say it: a digital detox won’t be as bad as you fear – but there will be some bad moments.

It’s going to force you to get BORED. And I mean really bored. 

What do you currently do when you get bored? Scroll through your phone? Flip through the channels on your tv? Check your email? 

Forcing yourself to deal with boredom is like living life without anesthesia. Choosing digital minimalism is foregoing that anesthesia! Which can be tough. Digital distraction takes the edge off of life. It gives us the semblance of everything we want without the substance: we feel connected without the obligations of community; we feel knowledgeable without having to work for it;  We feel entertained without being provoked.

Living more intentionally isn’t an easy transition to make – but it is so much more rewarding. 

The Bloom

About halfway through your 30-day detox, you’ll start to feel a shift. Things that weren’t working for you before will start to fall into place. You’ll feel more rested, clear-headed, motivated and present. Your productivity is going to increase exponentially. Your relationships will deepen. 

This is what I call “the bloom.” All of the parts of your life that weren’t getting enough nourishment seem to come back to life.

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Case Study: Jenn Scharf Mon, 30 Dec 2019 20:09:59 +0000 The post Case Study: Jenn Scharf appeared first on Lifehack Method, Inc.


Jenn is a busy project manager specializing in higher education from Canada. 

She is an avid believer in developing herself, and so when a friend referred her to Lifehack Method, she dove into the world of productivity & performance.

Once I scrolled through your website, watched a few videos on your 4-Layered Accountability system, it was a no-brainer for me. And very early on in my discovery of Lifehack Bootcamp, I got on a call with a real person. That proved to me you’re all very authentic, real people that make yourselves available for your clients. That’s when I was convinced that you had something that was going to help me piece everything together.


Project Manager

The problem

Jenn’s life was not going the way she had planned. The last few years had shaken her to her core!

She got a divorce, was hating her job, and just had this gnawing feeling that if she didn’t make a change that things would continue to get worse.

She found herself freaking out about things she used to feel in control of, and dropping the ball uncharacteristically.

She needed to figure out how to change her career to something she loved, and create a lifestyle that worked for her.

Her biggest concern was maintaining a healthy dynamic with her son.

She was worried that being excessively stressed and busy was negatively affecting the way he was experiencing her, and wanted to spend more dedicated time with him and not feel her mind wandering to everything else she had on her plate.

What she did

Jenn went all-in and took our 60-Day Lifehack Bootcamp.

Her big goal was to be able to work with one of her “hero organizations” by the time of graduation.

First, she focused in on her core productivity system. She redesigned how she got things done from the ground up, and implemented new practices to get herself clear on her top priorities. She started focusing at a deeper level, and started getting work done faster, which freed up her time to start the job search.

She pushed against her fear and negativity and started reaching out to the companies she loved and admired…

… and one of those companies got back to her with a big fat YES!

She landed a job at the forefront of her dream industry. And as a bonus – she got the ability to work from home.

Now she gets to have her cake and eat it too – working her dream job and spending amazing quality time with her son.

The 60-Day Bootcamp totally changed my life!

I’m working and living with an entirely new perspective and set of tools. I’m stepping back to look at the systems in my life and how I take them to new levels by being intentional about how I do things.

I’m most proud of pushing through my fear and uncertainty to make some huge leaps forward in meeting my one year goal.


Project Manager

The result

Jenn took a lot of Massive Imperfect Action in her Bootcamp, and was able to make a huge shift in her life. 

As his coach, I can tell you that her ability to absorb the feedback, be present for the coaching, and actively push outside her comfort zone made her a star student.

In her post-Bootcamp survey, she ranked the improvement the Bootcamp has had on her life as a 10/10.

She says she saves an average of 2 hours a day just as a result of the systems she built inside the program. That’s a lot more quality time with her son!

More importantly, she said she got a 5x return on the amount she invested in the program. 

Now that Jenn has graduated from the Bootcamp, she feels an overwhelming sense of relief.

She says, “I feel more in control of my life. Rather than being in constant reactivity, I am getting on offense. And it’s so comforting to know that when I fall off the wagon, there’s a system in place to help me get back on track.”

If you want to have a life where you can have it all – the career, the marriage, the family, the health, the fulfillment– without having to DO it all, then the 60-Day Lifehack Bootcamp could be for you. 

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Case Study: Agatha Mon, 30 Dec 2019 20:08:48 +0000 The post Case Study: Agatha appeared first on Lifehack Method, Inc.


We share a lot of epic success stories with you guys – usually of people who have done massive overhauls of their lives and got big results.

But what about those of you out there who are doing “just fine”?

What about people who are comfortable, but feel a gnawing to do more…

Agatha worked at a bank. It was a great job – she made enough, enjoyed it enough.

But she’d always dreamt of being an entrepreneur.

She had the perfect idea… but hadn’t taken the plunge.

In other words – she just needed a kick in the pants!

She came to our 60-Day Lifehack Bootcamp for that “kick in the rear” – and boy did she get it!

In just 2 months she bought a truck, hired groomers, and was collecting MONEY. Her side business was finally off the ground.

Today, Agatha is still a rockstar with her current employer – but she’s also making $20,000 a month from her side hustle.

Agatha used our bootcamp to FORCE herself to step up.

What would it look like if someone came and forced YOU to live up to your full potential?

If you want to have a life where you can have it all – the career, the marriage, the family, the health, the fulfillment– without having to DO it all, then the 60-Day Lifehack Bootcamp could be for you. 

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CASE STUDY: SEAN HOGAN Mon, 30 Dec 2019 20:07:04 +0000 The post CASE STUDY: SEAN HOGAN appeared first on Lifehack Method, Inc.

Sean is a manager for one of the largest animal shelters in Canada.

He’s not only responsible for the well-being of all of the animals that come through the doors, but for a team of more than 10 employees and countless volunteers.

It’s a high-intensity line of work where lives are on the line, but he wouldn’t change it for the world. (We need more folks like this!)

But in pursuit of saving lives, he was sacrificing his sanity. He had hollowed himself out through constantly putting everyone’s needs in front of his own.

He loved his career, but wasn’t enjoying his life. He was in the thick of massive burnout.

It was November 2017 when I first watched a Lifehack Bootcamp video on YouTube. It was about the F.A.S.T. Time Mastery framework – and after watching a couple of preview videos, the price for the course (now available for members of Lifehack Tribe) was ridiculously affordable given what it promised. I signed up and watched the F section before I went to bed that night!

Within ten days, I was well onto the “T” section – and began what was pitched as “a week of time tracking” to find out where my time went. After all, the course promised to get me back TEN hours of my time and by tracking where it went, I could decide, next time, if I want to invest or not. It was a habit that stuck and the week of time tracking turned into a six-week measure until December 31, 2017.

He went on to take our 60-Day Lifehack Bootcamp, and almost immediately started making massive changes to his life.

He finally saw how much time he WASN’T spending on himself.

He wasn’t exercising, had very little time in his life for play. He was in complete imbalance.

Sean’s biggest challenge coming into our community was that he had lost faith in planning ahead. He used to love checklists and planning, but the more times he showed up for work only to have those lists pushed aside as he focused on putting out fires, the more discouraged he became.

During his time in the 60-Day Bootcamp, he rediscovered the power of planning ahead, getting organized, and creating solid routines.

Time tracking has transformed the approach I take to life. I don’t wait for it to come to me but rather make use of my God-given gifts of choice and will that propel me toward being my very best self each and every day.

It had such a profound impact on him that his husband took notice as well.

Now, the two of them use Asana together and have incorporated a lot of Lifehack Bootcamp methods – like pre-planning their grocery shopping and meals – into their home life!

How amazing is that?!

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CASE STUDY: AIDEN MCFARLAND Mon, 30 Dec 2019 20:05:32 +0000 The post CASE STUDY: AIDEN MCFARLAND appeared first on Lifehack Method, Inc.

When we met Aiden, he was being pulled in a million directions.

He was a virtual assistant and business consultant for artists and creatives that work in the digital space, as well as a creative himself.

Though he had been working remotely for years, he was really starting to feel like he wasn’t fully feeling the benefits of having such a flexible career.

“I felt like a chicken with my head cut off – both at work and with my passion projects. I was constantly stressed out, and not feeling like I was making progress anywhere – because I was just too busy to see it or enjoy any of it.”

He felt unsure about the direction his life and career seemed to be headed in, but felt incapable of making any decisions around it.

He hopped on a call with one of our assistant coaches Freda – and immediately found clarity on things he’d been struggling with.

If this much progress can happen in a 10 minute call,” he asked himself, “what could the full bootcamp do for me?

He joined our 60-Day Lifehack Bootcamp in desperation.

Nowadays, Aiden – who struggled with anxiety and used to start nearly every work day in a panic – feels calmer than ever.

He works with his “dream clients”, gets paid premium rates, and lives in the city of his dreams. His stress levels have all but evaporated.

He’s even been able to blend his career with his passion project – something he never even conceived as possible before.

One small shift in his mindset changed his entire life.

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CASE STUDY: JESSA HARGROVE Mon, 30 Dec 2019 20:04:28 +0000 The post CASE STUDY: JESSA HARGROVE appeared first on Lifehack Method, Inc.

Conventional wisdom teaches us that in order to be successful, we have to out-work the competition.

We’re told that working ourselves to the bone will eventually pay off.

But what if that’s just not true?

What if conventional wisdom isn’t so WISE?

Jessa and her family lived in Brooklyn. Both her and her husband were a part of the overworked-and-underslept culture.

She had a dream of running an online business, but was struggling to get it off the ground – mostly because didn’t have the time or energy needed to grow the business.

That’s why she joined our 60-Day Breakthrough Bootcamp in late 2016. Jessa decided to level up her game, and create enough time and focus to turn her side hustle into a full-time career.

While working the Lifehack Method process, she and her husband made a completely counter-intuitive decision:  They would move their family to the Caribbean.

Talk about the OPPOSITE of conventional wisdom! Aren’t you supposed to struggle and suffer while you build your business?

But Jessa found a solution that actually made WAY more sense than conventional wisdom: moving to a lower cost country effectively gave her a runway to get her business off the ground, even as the family lived the good life!

Now, not only has her online business taken off… but check this out ?

“My success means we can actually go BACK to Brooklyn and live even BIGGER lives there (even with the extra expense). And we’re keeping our home here on the islands. Now we get to lived the “best of both worlds” option – without breaking myself.”

Thank you Jessa, for showing us that there are more solutions out there than conventional wisdom would lead us to believe.

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