“If only there was a productivity tool that ensured with perfect certainty that I would never forget an important task…” I once wondered.
“Pick me!” – Asana, Trello, BaseCamp, Monday, Evernote, and all their cousins hollered back in harmony.
So I did. Sometimes individually, sometimes in combination, I sought and used their systems many times to great effect. Unfortunately, I never found the one that actually delivered that perfect certainty of non-forgettal.
I know I am not alone in my hunger for productivity perfection.
There are thousands of us out there, honing our processes. We’re always on the look-out for the fabled perfect productivity tool. The one that ratchets tight the last bolt, finally locking our thrusters to the rocket ship. The one that guarantees a perfect launch, a steady trajectory, and obliterates all occurrences of overlooked tasks.
Unfortunately that day will never come.
There is no perfect productivity tool. But that’s ok.
This article will show:
- Why even great tools can still suck.
- How mediocre tools can still rock.
- Where else you should look to hone your productivity.
We recorded a podcast about this too!
Listen to the episode:
Subscribe to The Fizzle Show in your favorite podcast player:
“Even the best of productivity tools are useless in unskilled hands“
There is no process of noting or compiling tasks that does not (or will ever find a way to not) account for the variable of human fallibility. Be it an app, a journal, a calendar, a to-do list, NOTHING will read your mind from surface to depth and include all action items of importance for you.
Not even A.I.
No doubt specialized artificial intelligence is a fantastic productivity tool, but it is still a tool…and we are still the fools operating it.
I will see your saying and raise you another:
“Even the simplest of tools are devastating in the hands of a master“
So, what really makes one a master of productivity? Well, quite simply they get shit done regardless of the caliber of tool they use. The real question is: how do they manage to accomplish so much?
I’m sorry for throwing so many quotes into this piece, but they seem to be stitching my thoughts together quite succinctly, so here’s another:
“The best productivity tool is the one you USE!“
Mmmm, but the plot thickens. You and I both already know “the best system is the one that is used” right? For me, writing about productivity is my way of deconstructing and debriefing on new tools, tactics and hacks that I’m always finding…because I’m still looking too (ugh).
So why am I still writing?
I write and you read because at some level we still think the magic hack is out there. But hang with me, there may be a silver-lining in our insatiable curiosity after all.
A brief baby-book tangent:
Studies unanimously show that soon-to-be-parents who read pregnancy and early childhood development books turn out to be better parents than those who don’t. The authors and publishers gobble up this research and cite it whenever possible, slapping quotes all over the dust-covers: “Pregnancy books make better parents.” Period. Case closed.
Not so fast.
At some point someone had the notion that this might not be a causal relationship between reading and parenting, but rather a correlational relationship.
In other words, it wasn’t the books that made the readers better parents. Parenting was already of high importance to these people. And people who place importance on parenting are just the type to read books on it!
Not so surprising when you put it that way, huh?
Predisposed for Productivity
And so it is with us. Our mere curiosity towards productivity predisposes us for productivity tool masterhood. Our systems are our pregnancy books, and our crafts are our children.
The only difference is that we can indefinitely delay the birth of our children if we don’t put down the goddamn books.
Their deadline is firm; when the kid comes, they are forced to put their system into action. We can push off our launch “just one more week” while we quest in futility for the holy grail of productivity.
Stop searching for the app that hacks productivity the best. Choose one, and use it.
If you’ve read this far, the studies suggest you’re gonna be a great productivity parent
Now give birth to your thing already!
Photo by H A M A N N on Unsplash