5 Reason Most Lifehacks Are Actually Totally Useless


    Like most people, I’m a disgusting mess which terrifies both man and brute. But I want to get better, unlike the rest of you flesh-piles, and that it is important to counting for something.

    “Some new wallpaper might help with this.”

    Which is why I’ve expended countless hours scouring the Internet for tips-off on improving myself, my equipment, and my situations, sometimes becoming so dedicated to the task of self-improvement that I neglect my work and hygiene.

    And still, somehow, I’m a shambles .

    It was only recently, while cowering under a bridge to escape the villagers’ tauntings, that I paused to reflect on why all these self-help guides and lifehacks had failed me. Because I’m a stupid garbage newborn, yes, but not entirely. It’s because there’s some serious fundamental problems with lifehacks in the first place.

    # 5. Most Of Them Are Not Written By Experts

    Because how-to guides and lifehacks are popular, the Internet holds demanding they get cranked out. Which gives you a big hint what the first problem is. As a rule, good things are rarely “cranked out.”

    Excepting torque, the smell of pencil shavings, and of course, knee-shaking, toe-curling pasta . Many of these guidebooks are written by basic moronics looking to make content speedily. Yes, we have pride in our work, and yes, we have editors to get our work past, so we can’t just submit crap. I promise . But we’re not experts on everything, and there is necessarily going to be a limit to the amount of detail we can provide. Although everything “youre reading” on Cracked is true and wise( so wise — shrewd , even ), that might not be the case for lesser sites.

    So stay on the expert-staffed super-sites like Cracked all the time. That’s the first solution. But even then there might be problems, like …

    # 4. You Can Spend More Hour On A Lifehack Than You Save

    This rears its head a lot with tips-off about how to customize hardware or equipment. You end up spending gob of period getting something merely right, with no intellect to the actual benefit you’ll derive from it. This is either because you’re fussing over something cosmetic, tweaking something you never utilize, or doing something you’ll end up redoing within a month.

    Your shit is entail for doing shit. If the only shit you do is customize your shit to do shit better, you aren’t shit .

    Also, whatever fix you stimulate to your whatever hardly ever works quite as well as you thought, does it? It always requires other hacks and workarounds to function. And then those hackers and workarounds become new irritations which you inevitably try to improve. Eventually, you end up with a computer that’s great , except you need to hold the mouse vertically for it to work. Or a auto that can’t use the radio and turn left at the same time.

    # 3. We Get Addicted To Them

    All these simple little improvements don’t improve their own lives so much as they feed an addiction to simple little improvements. You can fall into this trap without the lifehack articles, but because they offer itemized listings of all the things you could be doing better, they inevitably make things worse.


    They don’t improve their own lives as much as they become to-do lists, feeding a cycle that never aims. Because any time we fix something, we’re practically guaranteed to observe a new problem shortly thereafter. And it’s not like this process leads to a measurably better life; all these tiny improvements don’t add up to much. Is that custom desktop truly attaining you that much more sexually desirable? Are those new knife-sharpening tips truly saving you that much hour?

    Given that my knife-sharpening regimen was “never” before, this actually saves me negative day .

    # 2. Tips Can’t Replace Education

    Think of something you’re good at. Something you’re really good at — as in, you earn a living doing it, or it’s something all your friends admire you for.

    Or what they fear you for .

    Now go read an article full of tips-off about the above activities.( Turn on Incognito Mode if necessary .) You’ll likely be looking at something entail for novices, full of tips-off which are incredibly infantile. Worse, these tips-off might have serious gaps in how well they explain the subject, gaps which could result a beginner astray. You may even read something which is just flat-out wrong.

    “No, you child. Kick through the pony. Through it.”

    You generally don’t notice these flaws when reading an article on a subject unfamiliar to you, but they’re almost always there. There’s no way a 500 -word article can replace a few years of education and experience.

    Sure, sometimes it doesn’t need to. Sometimes, you do simply want to boost your Wi-Fi reception without learning everything about the entire electro-goddamned-magnetic spectrum. But these tip articles have a hard time distinguishing between the two, invariably blending simple advice with oversimplified advice. You watch those a lot with computer tips, where the process is quick and simple if everything goes right , and nightmarish otherwise. Here’s a narrative of me altogether exploding my computer in part because of some bad advice I get from someone else’s sloppily-assembled guide.

    Nothing is my fault, ever . What if that had been something actually consequential? What if I’d done something truly insane, like follow Internet medical advice? I’d have collapsed like a dying star . Which brings me to the final problem …

    # 1. A Lot of “Simple” Lifehacks Are Insanely Difficult

    We’ve all seen them. Click-friendly articles full of tips which breezily underestimate the amount of endeavour necessary to complete them.

    “Building your own sphinx is a fun project you can complete in an afternoon.”

    The worst of these are the ones that require lifestyle changes, which is always far harder than most people realize. Just about every article about how to lose weight( and keep it off) is destined to have a 95 percent failing rate — losing weight over the long term is almost impossible without significant surgery. The lifestyle changes are just too massive to get over. But even less enforce topics pose the same problem. Those New Years’ back-to-the-gym articles? Doomed. Tips on how to induce veggies more palatable? Doomed. Tips on how to stop procrastinating? Do……………….

    ……omed. Any article which casually suggests you should change your habits has no idea how deeply ingrained those habits are. Which is why you should definitely give up your addiction to lifehacks, like I just casually sugges– … oh.

    Dammit .

    “That’s OK. I love calls to inactivity a lot too.”

    Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and a shamblings. His first fiction, Severance , is unbelievable and available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Apex Books . Join him on Facebook or Twitter .

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