Curation and Slowhacking

As previously discussed, starting a new day job has prompted some reflection and revision of the way I approach my life and my various routines. While I am skeptical about New Year’s resolutions, I have identified a couple of themes that I think will run through my 2016 as well as a host of habits I’m working to establish by year’s end.

So many things staring at you...
From Flickr user K.rol2007


During my year-plus of freelancing, I found myself contemplating the idea of a curated life. My plan is to make this year a test case in doing more to intentionally curate my life and routines.

(Before I go any further, I should note that I have no professional or amateur experience in actual curation, e.g. of art or at a museum. I’m using my understanding of curation as a metaphor for thinking about the idea of intentionally crafting various parts of my life using ideas I’ve acquired elsewhere.)

I’m planning to explore the curated life in quite a bit more detail over the course of the year, but the general thrust is that we all – consciously or not – pick from the huge universe of “Things I Could Be Spending My Time/Thoughts/Energy On” to populate various “galleries” of our lives (e.g. our personal collection, our public exhibit, and a series of intermediate/semi-private galleries with various levels of access). I’m trying to be better about consciously choosing what’s displayed in my various galleries.



I know, I know. The last thing the world needs is another variant on “-hacking”. However, I read and listen to enough things that use the “-hacking” formula that the concept is useful for me.

Hacking Sign
From Flickr user K.rol2007

To me, slowhacking is about acting in a way that sets me up for gradual, yet significant, improvements in the quality of my life and my impact on the spheres I want to influence. While my thoughts about curation started developing before I took my new job, slowhacking has emerged as an idea I want to explore during my first few weeks on the job. The new gig is steeped in bureaucracy, which is something I knew going in and accept happily. However, I’m definitely looking for ways to maximize my impact over the course of my career within the constraints inherent to the job.

Adapting this to the personal sphere, instead of New Year’s resolutions, I’ve got a good-sized set of habits and routines that I want to establish over the course of the year. There’s too many to take on all at once, hence the plan to slowhack my way to better practice across the board over a slightly longer timeline than we normally think of when we think of hacking.

Again, I’m planning to explore the idea of slowhacking in more detail, moving beyond these vague generalities, over the course of the year. For now, I think it’s enough to plant the flag and say it’s something on my mind.

Blogging about these themes is part of my plan for being consistent about staying mindful of both of them. I’ll do my best to not overgeneralize from my personal experience, but hopefully my thoughts will be useful as one person’s specific perspective.