So Many Tools, So Little Time

So Many Tools, So Little Time

We have all these tools, and yet we are still so busy that we can’t settle down and see anything through to a satisfactory end from start to finish.

Almost every aspect of our personal and professional lives is automated.

There’s an app for most things, and what doesn’t have an app has built-in bells and whistles; even toasters and slippers. Yes, if you don’t have them yet, put these on your wish list: slippers that put themselves away.

Moreover, it’s not just technology that’s making our lives a breeze; it’s the pitches that go with them. You can build a house in a day, learn to play chess in an hour, get certified as a medical assistant in 3 weeks. Skills and trades and that used to involve years of acquiring knowledge, building expertise, and developing perspective are suddenly a mouse click away. You feel like something’s wrong with you when you still aren’t sure how to do something complex after downloading the app and watching the 5-minute video, and you certainly aren’t going to admit that. We all pretend that we “can do that” when truth be told, we can’t; not really.

Our life-enhancing technology has come with an intangible price that most of us don’t see until we are in over our heads.

Having a tool that automates a function is not the same as being able to do the job that the task is a part of, and it’s time to admit that. The real cost of any app or cool new next thing is the time it takes us to learn how to use it. That’s neither good nor bad; it just is.

If you need the tool, you need to fork over the cost of admission and spend the time and mental energy required to join the users’ club.

Here are three tips to better tooling:

  1. Know what the job is before you go looking for the tool.

  2. Get real about the time-frame and either say “I’ll need at least another fill-in-the-blank months” or just say “No.”

  3. Take the work seriously; do it as if your life depends on it.

Focus on what matters, and your mind will follow.

My three tips tie to a more profound shift, and I’m not sure that following those three steps will be enough unless you are willing to tap into the heart of the matter. You have to want to do more, to be better. There is no magic bullet for that.

You know what motivates you. Use it! Spend time on the things that matter and let go of the things that don’t. Allow your talents to emerge and shine by taking the time to learn and practice. The more you build your skills, the better you will be at choosing the tools you need. Anyone can press a button to run an app and use it as a crutch. Only you can transform a moment, a day, or life by using tools because they enhance your progress towards a worthy goal.

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