Have you ever bought a new time management tool only to have it end up in a desk drawer?
You know, that fancy calendar that you thought would help organize your day.
Or that shiny new gadget that you knew would help you stay on top of things.
However, you quickly found that the new tool was not to your liking. Or perhaps, you were not skilled at using it.
Soon it was forgotten and unused.
That is why it is important to always choose tools you’ll use.
Will You Use That Tool?
An executive I worked with once, was extremely disorganized. He was determined to get his professional life in order, so he went out and purchased the latest and most expensive smartphone available.
It had all the bells and whistles. Mobile email. Internet Access. Downloadable apps.
It was powerful and customizable. And a great time management tool.
The executive was sure that this shiny gadget would make him more effective. More organized. And able to get more done.
It might have helped.
Except, he didn’t use it.
In fact, he was so frustrated with the device that he proclaimed that it must be defective.
Within 2 weeks it was in a desk drawer. Within a month it was returned to the store.
What Works For You?
But, the bottom line is that there is no one solution.
You have to choose what works for you.
“The best time management solution for you… depends on your own personal preferences and skills.”
Remember the executive that bought the latest smartphone. It didn’t work for him.
Instead, keep your tools relevant to you. That is the key.
Choose tools that you like… that you are good with… that work for you.
Choose Your Tools
Paper. Tech. Online. Smartphone. It doesn’t really matter.
What matters is that your choice fits you.
Don’t pick a technology solution if you are tech averse.
Likewise, don’t choose a large paper planner if you aren’t going to carry and use it.
Here are some tips to help you choose tools you’ll use:
- Go With What You Like – Personal preference is very important. The more you like your time management tools, the most likely you are to use them consistently.
- Go With What You Know – Ensure you choose tools that you are skilled at using. Just because you like a tool doesn’t mean you are going to be proficient with it.
- Choose the Simplest Solution – Avoid complicated tools that don’t deliver value. Don’t confuse complexity with effectiveness. Beware bloated software, apps or gadgets that take more time than they save.
- Avoid Redundancy – Too many tools can be overwhelming. Try to minimize the number of tools in your time management system. I recommend adhering to the “Power of 1.”
- Sometimes You Need to Learn New Tools – Occasionally you may need to take on new tools. But, take the time to learn them. Read the instructions. Get help online. For example, if you are not familiar with smartphones or the latest social communication tools, it might be time to learn some new skills.
What’s In Your Toolbox?
It doesn’t matter if you prefer paper or technology.Whether you go with a dayplanner or a smartphone.
What does matter is that you choose tools that you will actually use.
Choosing tools that you like and are good with will ensure that you keep using them over the long term.
You will be more effective and might just find that you have less unused tools sitting in that desk drawer.
Which tools do you choose to use and why?