When Productivity Tools Make You Less… Productive

Michael over at Black Belt Productivity has a great post on when Lifehacking becomes more of a burden than a help. Ironically enough, it’s when you’re trying too hard to hone your system of organization.

I’m guilty as anybody here. I’m constantly checking out, reviewing, changing, upgrading and switching my system. I try out new GTD methods, tools and tricks on a consistent basis, but none of them usually stick. Every time I try to improve my system, I always find myself going back my initial organizational crush. Back to the tool that is a) the simplest and the b) most accessible.

Odds are if we’re constantly trying to find that something better to help us organize, that means our “system” isn’t working up to our satisfaction. So instead of looking at the tool itself, evaluate how it’s being used.

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  • Murali January 5, 2007, 1:58 am

    Right said Katy ! I have been there myself. There was a time when I was trying every new tool and software, especially after I discovered GTD. Now I have settled down to a toolset, and rarely try out new things unless I find that a day or a task goes by unattended. I still use my PI on Pocket PC, and Outlook/OneNote/EverNote at work, but it is my paper system that is the most flexible and use it the most. The only thing I like about software tools is the ability to sort, find and search through information.

  • glen December 15, 2006, 10:24 am

    I like the way that sounds.. the “Holy Grail of Productivity”. I agree, I still stand by the fact that the best systems are the most simple.

  • Katy December 15, 2006, 5:19 am

    I’m terrible when it comes to trying new productivity tools. I’ve lost count of the money I’ve wasted on Software, hardware, subscriptions and equipment all for it to be tossed to one side when the “next big thing” comes along.

    I sometimes wonder if we think that it’s the tool that will solve our productivity issues rather than the actual process of using it? It’s like the holy grail of productivty, we think if we find that one tool it’ll change our lives forever when infact it’s us that really needs to change!

    Since I’ve gone back to a simple paper system and left the hi-tech gizmos behind I feel a lot happier (as I haven’t wasted money) and because of that, my productivity increased!