Allow me for a moment to make some far-reaching generalisations:
- We feel busier, more distracted, more dependent, and more mentally and physically cluttered than ever before.
- We feel stuck in a cycle of working in jobs we don’t like, to finance things we don’t need, and to secure a financial freedom that on average endures for a little less than one eighth of our lives.
- We are “always on” but rarely at the peak of our productive and creative powers.
- We are swamped by the physical and personal clutter in our lives, with the meaningful all too often crowded out by the non-essential.
- We overestimate our self-awareness, making irrational, avoidable choices, driven by innate cognitive biases.
Hustle Escape, as you may have guessed, is about escaping this “hustle”. It’s about seizing back control of our mindset and our money, regaining our focus and clarity, building our knowledge, and living our best life.
But of course, you’ve heard these platitudes before. So why is this blog any different?
Areas of Focus
Let me address that question in detail.
As I’ve tried to find my own solutions to the five generalisations above, four key areas have stood out: psychology, productivity, money and minimalism.
These areas are much greater than the sum of their parts. Without an understanding of our innate psychology, we take sub-optimal financial decisions. Without a mindset focused on the essential, we permit personal clutter to undermine our productivity. Without a sufficient focus on productivity and habits, we hinder our wealth-creating potential. Without a deep understanding of our personal value system, we pursue money at all costs.
In other words, without tackling all four, we run the risk of a whack-a-mole approach to self-improvement. But as I’ve discovered myself, understanding how each area interacts together and applying them in practice can feel transformational.
It can kickstart the right habits and kick the wrong habits into the turf. It can shift our approach to decision making and problem solving. And it can help us to achieve a sense of real independence, guided by a compass towards the meaningful.
Hustle Escape is therefore dedicated to providing practical, science-backed insights in each of these four areas, with a particular emphasis on how they interact. Content is designed to be educational and thought-provoking, and while I don’t profess to have all the answers to your problems, I do believe that practical ideas grounded in science and research offer us far more than hearsay and speculation.
Let us turn now to exploring why each of the four areas are so important – and where you can begin.
Swayed by predictable cognitive biases, we make avoidable choices that undermine our wellbeing. We invest when we shouldn’t, we excessively discount the future, we ignore evidence that contradicts our beliefs. But while we are irrational creatures, we’re also capable of checking ourselves when aware of the signs.
The psychology section of this blog aims to create that awareness and improve our thinking. Articles draw on cutting-edge research from behavioural psychology and positive psychology to illustrate how we can combat against our irrationalities and how we can learn from the science to live a happier life.
Good places to begin:
The Curse of Hyperbolic Discounting – And How to Flip It
The Science-Backed Power of Authenticity
Productivity & Habits
Our attention is a critical and limited resource, and we live in an age in which there are more forces competing for it than ever before. In this new age of distraction, optimising our productivity requires more than traditional time-management and prioritisation tools. Instead, we must turn to developing the most important skill of the 21st century: focus.
The productivity section of the blog is ultimately aimed at answering one question: how can we more effectively allocate our attention? Articles cover the process of building (and demolishing) habits, practical tips for fostering improved focus and raising productivity, and the key habits proven to enhance creativity, performance and well-being.
Good places to begin:
The Full Productivity Archives
The Life-Changing Power of Deep Work and Deep Play
The Psychology of Procrastination (And How to Flip It)
Few things are more empowering than the feeling that we are free to say no. Financial independence – being in a position where you have enough passive income to cover all living expenses – can give us the confidence to walk away, the protection against loss of employment, and the courage to say yes to the fulfilling and no to the soul destroying.
And this journey needn’t be a deprived struggle to the light at the end of the tunnel. Articles in this section of the blog seek to demonstrate how a smart and simple focus on how to earn, save and invest our money to bring about financial independence years – and even decades – earlier than average, without compromising on all the things we enjoy along the way.
Good places to begin:
A Layman’s Guide to Financial Independence
What Psychology Tells Us About Reducing Our Debts
Let’s get this out of the way: minimalism is not about telling you to get rid of all your stuff and live in a white room from 43 items in a suitcase. Instead, minimalism is about making space for the meaningful. It’s about pragmatically optimising our physical and personal spaces so we can prioritise what we value most: things like health, relationships and – bottom line – our time. By definition, that process extends way beyond our physical stuff.
Articles in this section of the blog focus on the non-essential baggage we all carry on our backs, and how to reduce it for our own betterment. My focus is on producing science-backed practical content to help readers reduce their physical and mental clutter and prioritise what they value most.
Good places to begin:
The Minimalism Onion: An Introduction to Less
The Psychology of Decluttering: Why It’s So Hard to Ditch Stuff
Minimalism and Relationships: It’s Not Just Stuff Holding You Back
As I enjoy some of the inspiration for this blog in the form of non-fiction, I’m adding to a growing list of of book summaries and reviews.
These book summaries cannot replace the richness of the books – and do not try to. Instead, I write and share 5-minute reads that help to mentally consolidate and summarise the key lessons. Treat these lessons as an introduction to decide whether the book is worth further attention. If it is, I urge you to support the author and buy their work. In most cases, they have poured their heart and soul into writing it.
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Last but not least, thank you for stopping by. Readers keep me motivated to keep writing my way through my weekends and evenings, and perhaps more importantly, to keep improving.
Like its overarching theme, this blog is a perpetual work in progress. So if you have time and suggestions to give, I would welcome all feedback on how I can improve the website. You can contact me on Twitter or via this contact form.
Thanks again for your support!