Hacks are shortcuts for getting things done and being clever about it. Foresight needs hacks too. And there are great ones that fit into real, busy lives. Here are six that you can use to get a better sense of your future:
1. Scan the scanners–Find the bloggers, news sites, tweets, podcasts, etc. that select what matters from the wide range of news and information you need to monitor. They are doing work for you, free. More here.
2. Use push–Use email subscriptions, rss feeds, social media follows, etc. to make sure that fresh insights, in the appropriate volumes, flow to you, so you don’t have to remember to go and look at them.
3. Automate serendipity–As you do 1 and 2, be sure you don’t create your own, finely-tuned echo chamber. Find sources that give you breadth and variety. Use push tools online and develop the habits that make sure you encounter things to open and change your mind.
4. Get out from behind the mouse–Going with no. 3, and running over your efforts in 1 and 2, be sure you don’t only learn from electronic sources. Go places, talk to people, see things. Experience the changing world. Surprise yourself.
5. Lurk–Take a note from great novelists—listen in on others’ conversations. This can be about exploring online discussions/social media, even without participating. There area tons of places where people share ideas. You can dip in, search, follow, or just visit, and open up a front for encountering new ideas. You don’t have to subscribe or even have an account, and you don’t have to participate.
6. Take a futurist to lunch–Believe me, they want lunch! Ask most futurists any question and they’re off and running. You will get all sorts of insights. For the cost of lunch, or coffee, or an online post, your effort will pay off.
Decide what you most want to explore about your future. Then try a hack or two. No matter what, it will expand and enrich your view of the future.
More “hacks” are among my 27 Habits of highly effective futurists