I want to offer a tl;dr (that’s “too long; didn’t read”) summation of my recent Workflow Toolbox post for those of you who found it to be… well… too long and didn’t read it. This won’t focus on the tools (I think I’ve shared enough there). It will focus on why I use so many of them.
After writing 3,500 words about the 54 tools and 6 techniques that you use to get work done, you ask yourself a few questions. When you lay it all out in front of you, it’s challenging not to question your choices. You ask why you consider so many things essential to the way that you work. You wonder if you’ve gone overboard. I mean, let’s face it, just the stats alone make it seem like a lot…
My initial concerns weren’t all that easy to shake. I just kept staring at the size of the list. I kept looking to see what, if anything, I could eliminate. I began to wonder where I could streamline my tools.
And then I stopped and thought back to what my life was like when I was a Windows user. I remembered what it was like to use less tools, even though they felt like more. I remembered that each one attempted to do so much, to be so “powerful”, that they ended up feeling overwrought. I remembered that even though I used less, I got less done.
Then I remembered why I started rethinking things in the first place… because I was struggling to achieve my goals. And upon remembering this and comparing it to how I’m doing now, I stopped driving myself crazy and went back to work using a system that has made it easy for me to make things happen.
I’m sure I could write another 3500 words on this, but I won’t. I’ll just ask that you worry less about how complicated your workflow seems and worry more how it feels. Worry if it’s adding drag (as my Frictionless buddy Aaron Mahnke likes to say); worry if its getting in your way; worry if it’s not working. But if it feels good and you’re getting things done, stop worrying about it and get back to work.
And if you’re system feels like a lot, think about where you can cut, but consider that in many cases adding more of the right tools can be far more productive than attempting to make due with less.