Notes from a Floating Life Thoughts about productivity, digital living, and leading a simpler life

Don't Blame Your Tools

A toolbox full of tools

Maybe you just can’t finish all those tasks. Maybe you can’t stay on track. Maybe you can’t get or stay organized.

Over the years, I’ve talked and worked with a number of people who were in those situations. And most them felt let down by their tools. They believed that the web of software and apps and services were the cause of their productivity dropping off.

They were wrong.

If you’re in any of those situations, or situations like them, don’t blame your tools. Your tools aren’t the weak link in your chain of productivity.

You’re that weak link.

Look inside of youself and ask what’s really going on. The answers might surprise you.

You might have too much to do. You might be procrastinating too much. You might not be focusing. You might be focusing on the right things. You might not be mindful of what you need to do, and everything hits you at once. Or you might have just stopped caring.

Changing your tools won’t solve any of those problems. Doing that could just make matters worse.

Why? No matter how good or how hyped your tools are, they don’t do the work for you. You’re the one doing the work. Unless you’re focused, unless you’re mindful you’re going to struggle and become frustrated.

Instead of focusing on the tools, focus on the cause of your problems. Try to find a way of fixing those problems. How? Here are some suggestions:

  • Do you have too much to do? Then look at either weeding out tasks that aren’t important or sharing your workload with someone else.
  • Are you procrastinating? Ask yourself why and try to find a way to bring more focus to your work.
  • Are you losing track of what you need to do, when you need to do it? Make sure the work you need to do and when it’s due is noted down in calendar or text file. And check that calendar or text file every day.

No, getting back on track isn’t simple. It takes work. It requires your attention. It’s not up to your, which are rarely the solution in cases like this.

It all comes down to you.

By regaining your focus, by being mindful, you’ll be able to work with your tools. You’ll be able to do what you need to do efficiently and effectively. You’ll be able to reach done.

Thoughts? Let's start a conversation on Twitter.

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