The perils of productivity systems

Alan Ralph got me thinking about ‘productivity’ apps and culture.

It’s taken me a long time to realise that I need to treat productivity tools and systems like prescribed medication. They’re fine in limited doses and for specific purposes, but overindulgence is risky.

There are apps that might make you more efficient, but that’s not the same as being productive. Productivity isn’t born from a system, or an application. It’s a mindset. It’s good habits. It’s discipline. It’s being aligned with your responsibilities.

When I’m being unproductive, it isn’t because my system failed, or that my software needs replacing. It’s because I’m tired, or bored, or unhappy. It’s because I ate that massive Cornish Pasty at lunch and my blood sugar is through the roof. It’s because I’d rather be doing something else.

It’s important to be happy with the tools that you use, and there’s nothing wrong with changing up your systems and processes. But at some point you have to stick with something, because any gains in efficiency are lost in the time spent looking for a solution.