If you had to guess – how many times have you clicked on a headline that says something like 53 Ways To Organize Your Closet So You’ll Reach Nirvana? Or Meal Plan Your Way To Personal Enlightenment? Or maybe You’ll Love Your Life If You Can Just Outsource More Of It?
I probably clicked on all of those. I probably clicked on all of them and tucked them in my favorites folder and tried to implement them.
I’m sure I marched around my kitchen chopping vegetables and rifled through my closet, clutching every item of clothing to my chest, trying to decipher if it “sparked joy.” I’m sure I announced to my husband “So, I’ve got this new thing I’m doing.”
I love a good lifehack.
I love learning those tiny-but-impactful tips that free up time and make life run a bit smoother. Every time I learn a new lifehack – how to make decisions easier, how to snowball your debt payments – I tell you guys about it.
And when the rest of your life is going pretty well, those little lifehacks can make an already-pretty-good life into a better-and-easier life.
Lifehacks can create more space to do the things that we love, to spend time with our friends and family, to enjoy the city and space where we live.
Curating the perfect capsule wardrobe can’t make us love our bodies or get past the unkind things an ex said about our hips. It just means that we have carefully chosen, coordinating outfits that we feel self-conscious in.
Meal planning and prepping everything we put in our mouths won’t do anything for disordered eating or an unhealthy relationship with food. Now we’ve just meticulously planned the meals we’re going to feel bad about.
Mapping out the perfect date night and hacking our Google calendar can’t heal an ill-fitting relationship. It just gives us more time to spend with someone who isn’t right for us.
But those lifehacks feel actionable and productive!
And they’re so much easier than, you know, finding a therapist or admitting we have a problem or ending the fine-but-not-great relationship.
It’s easier to obsess over The Perfect Pre-work Morning Routine than acknowledge that we hate our job and we’ve been burnt out for years.
It’s easier to rearrange our cupboards and closets than address a shopping issue. It’s easier to fine tune minutia than deal with big, scary, deep-seated issues.
I know you know this, but personal fulfillment won’t come from a listicle. It probably doesn’t come from a perfectly organized schedule, a freezer full of pre-portioned soups, or a capsule wardrobe.
Personal fulfillment comes from making peace with who we are, surrounding ourselves with people who lift us up, and doing hard, important things.
Those productivity and organizational tips give us more time and space to do these things, but they’re not going to do the hard work. That’s up to us.
P.S. Did you know I have a (free) private Facebook group dedicated solely to the topics of money and happiness? And the stuff we talk about has helped members change jobs, save thousands of dollars, and fight less with their partners? Join us!