Tips and tricks aside, lifehacking neither reaches the roots of the how’s and why’s nor the wants and cares of life. The ultimate true lifehack is to figure out what to pay attention to. Then, pay attention “effectively, meaningfully, and relatively unselfishly.”
One of our awesome users, Nate Graves, basically performed the web equivalent of taking the time to return some cash he found on the ground to whoever dropped it.
He landed on idonethistoday.com by mistake, realized it wasn’t registered, bought the domain name, and passed it onto us.
Here’s the email we got back in the beginning of this year:
So, today I got my daily reminder from you guys. I saw it pop up on my phone with the from address showing “IDoneThis Today.” Without really thinking I typed idonethistoday.com into my browser and off I went to…nothing. I realized and righted my mistake pretty quickly. But, later I checked the whois on idonethistoday.com and saw it wasn’t registered. It is now and is pointing to your site. I’ll be happy to hand it off to you if you’d like (free of charge of course). Just figured you might have some folks out there like me who wound up in the wrong part of town, and I didn’t want them to miss out on your great service.
With Meetup’s sense of community and a natural bent for crowdsourcing ideas, maybe it makes sense that Nate is such a good web Samaritan. Still, we were quite thankful for his gesture! We chatted briefly with Nate about his act of kindness and ideas for our shiny new domain name gift.
When many people would have input a web address to nowhere, shrugged, and carried on, what made you decide to actually act after landing on a dead end?
There have been times where I’ve registered a domain for a side project and hadn’t realized there was something I was overlooking that might have confused people, like whether it’s singular versus plural, or just how to spell it. There’ve been domain names that I’ve wanted that have been registered already and people are asking for just crazy amounts of money for not amazing domain names.
I thought if I were in this situation and there was a chance that I was losing some traffic because of a fairly simple thing, then I’d love to have that extra domain.
It could be used for something like codeyear.com. Codeacademy launched it at the beginning of the year and said, if you’ve always wanted to learn how to code, here’s how you get started. Maybe idonethistoday could be something along those lines - a targeted landing page to get people to start using idonethis.
Great idea! And though we’re still sending out emails with the “from” field of IDoneThis today, how do you use the service?
I use it as a reminder to be working on something everyday, trying to push myself to be developing something. I started one also for Grammarize ‘cause there’s a friend of mine who lives in Oakland who’s been helping out. I can certainly watch his commits but rather than having to dig through messages or the actual code that he changed, it’s nice to have a summary.
It’s great that it’s so simple and that it lends itself to so many different uses. I’ll be interested to see what you do in the future and how you build out the product so that it continues to be useful but has more to offer.
There you go. Nate Graves, good web Samaritan and awesome iDoneThis user. Do you have ideas on how to use idonethistoday.com? Show us in the comments!
“Life might be a race against time but it is enriched when we rise above our instincts and stop the clock to process and understand what we are doing and why. A wise decision requires reflection, and reflection requires a pause.”—
"If you don’t give a damn about anything, no one will give a damn about you."
— Jessica Hagy offers great advice and brilliant illustrations over at Forbes on How to Be More Interesting (In 10 Simple Steps). Her points are also spot on for how to get awesome stuff done. Our other favorites? Embrace your inner weirdness and ignore the scolds!
Look at the progress of the day towards the end and ask yourself: ‘Have I done a good day’s work?’
Answering that question is liberating….
It feels good to be productive. If yesterday was a good day’s work, chances are you’ll keep the roll. And if you can keep the roll, everything else will probably take care of itself.
37signals’s David Heinemeier Hansson writes in his post, A good day’s work, about the frustration from those ever-continuous waves of work that lap up against our mind’s shore.
David’s helpful suggestion to deal with that worried and anxious mind is to simply reflect on the day that’s just passed. Oftentimes, you’ve done a great day’s work. Leave your work knowing that you’re ready and primed to have a great day of accomplishments tomorrow.
The key to success is not just focusing on what’s important but knowing what to ignore, to say “No” to. The decision to achieve something requires decisions not to achieve other things.
HBR’s Peter Bregman recommends looking at Focus and Ignore lists every morning to direct your day to success:
List 1: Your Focus List (the road ahead)
What are you trying to achieve? What makes you happy? What’s important to you? Design your time around those things. Because time is your one limited resource and no matter how hard you try you can’t work 25/8.
List 2: Your Ignore List (the distractions)
To succeed in using your time wisely, you have to ask the equally important but often avoided complementary questions: what are you willing not to achieve? What doesn’t make you happy? What’s not important to you? What gets in the way?
“We always assume that you get more done when you’re consciously paying attention to a problem. That’s what it means, after all, to be ‘working on something.’ But this is often a mistake. If you’re trying to solve a complex problem, then you need to give yourself a real break, to let the mind incubate the problem all by itself. We shouldn’t be so afraid to actually take some time off.”—
Jonathan Schooler explains his forthcoming paper on the power of daydreaming in Jonah Lehrer’s blog post, “The Virtues of Daydreaming”. According to Schooler and Benjamin Baird’s research, questions need time to marinate and incubate in your brain in order for you to come up with better and more creative solutions.
Like doodling, daydreaming is put down as a waste of time, when in fact you’re getting stuff done. Your unconscious is still hard at work while you can let your mind wander and take a break without the guilt trip!
This 1932 quote from FDR may be about the U.S., but it stands as pretty good personal advice too!
The country needs, and unless I mistake its temper, the country demands, bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it; if it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.
“Like accolades ought to be, the fulfilled life is a consequence, a gratifying byproduct. It’s what happens when you’re thinking about more important things. Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.”—
English teacher David McCullough Jr. delivered a rousing commencement speech at Wellesley High School, advising the graduating class to reach for achieving something good and genuine rather than for accolades.
The entire speech is worth a read, or watch the video:
“Motivation and inspiration can go a long way toward helping you get where you want to be. Sometimes blogs and books and in-person meetings give me that push or ah-ha moment I need to get moving. But when it comes to creating something awesome, whether that’s a book or a business or some other exciting project, you have to step away from all those sources of energy and create.”—
Alexis Grant writes about how the way to kick your butt into gear isn’t by doing other things, no matter how helpful they seem.
Step away from the push itself and get stuff done!
“Productivity — the amount of output delivered per hour of work in the economy — is often viewed as the engine of progress in modern capitalist economies. Output is everything. Time is money.”—
In a recent NY Times op-ed, Tim Jackson reminds us that with a narrow definition of productivity and the fact that "we’ve become so conditioned by the language of efficiency," we risk neglecting parts of our lives that matter, such as a focus on care and craft.
We tend to agree. What is your definition of productivity?