I keep noticing people trying various experiments to help them make better use of their tools, increase their quality of life or improve their personal productivity. At first, I was a bit skeptical, but after getting a feeling for why they’re doing what they’re doing, I came around to seeing things their way so much so that I’ve decided to try an unusual experiment of my own. It might sound crazy, but here’s the radical, lifehackery, productivity trick that I am going to undertake for the foreseeable future…
Having taken the time to discover a workflow that makes sense for me, it’s time to worry less about how I do my work and focus more on the work I do. Other than getting better at using them, I’m not going to replace the devices, tools, tactics and methodologies that are working, no matter what amazing new thing comes my way. I know, I know this sounds insane, but here goes the super gimmicky three steps I plan to help me better use my tools, increase my quality of life and improve my personal productivity:
- Step 1. I’m going to take a good, long hard look at what I use and determine what’s working for me.
- Step 2. I’m not going to change any of that.
- Step 3. I’m going to take all that time that would be spent experimenting and use it to actually do stuff.
If something new (other than updates) comes out that has the potential to be slightly better than the thing I’m already using effectively, I’m not going to try it. If something comes out that addresses the few pre-determined omissions from my workflow (like a more robust list app or a day planner that integrates with OmniFocus and my calendar) I will consider giving it a shot. No matter how much something shiny and new is said to be the XYZ killer, I will avoid it like the plague.
I will focus on what’s working. I will keep an eye out for what I’m currently missing, but not actively seek out problems to solve. As actual problems or holes in my workflow arise, I will identify them and see what can be done to ensure that I do not make the same stupid mistake twice. As I undertake new challenges, I will make sure I have what I need. That said, the hunt for something better is over.
I’ve been proactive in building my workflow for some time now; it’s time to be reactive. Now that I’ve put serious time into figuring out how I do my best work, it’s time to shift my energy away from the “figuring out” bit and more towards the “doing my best work” part.
For the first time in my life, things are better. For the first time in my life, it’s not about one app, one device, one trick, one tactic, or one methodology. It’s about one workflow that is helping me do my best work. And in a world of tips, tricks, life hacks, and all-in experiments, leaning in to a workflow that’s already working seem like exactly the kind of radical approach I need to take right now…
If you haven’t found a decent workflow for yourself, figure it out. If you have, stop screwing around and get back to work.