Achievements: is it about the right tools?

There is an amazing software which will improve productivity of your employees and of yourself hundred times. All you need is just buy it, install it and it will solve all your productivity problems. You will be on the way to surreal achievements! It is…

Gotcha! Of course, there is no such thing! Yet, if I browse through some of the ads for all those productivity tools that’s exactly the message: “buy it and happiness will come with it!”. Seriously?

Don’t get me wrong, there are some pretty cool tools out there. Tools are great. Moreover, if you have a great tool, you can for sure get proficient in… using it, thus get a technical skill of using the tool. Still, that doesn’t necessarily make you more productive and achieve more. Take Trello for example – a much recommended planning and work management tool. You can master that software, but is that mastery alone going to make you achieve more? I doubt that. What you also need to take into account is how does that tool fit with your existing IT architecture, with your system, with your company culture and philosophy?

This can be extended to everything. For instance, you want to record podcasts. You buy yourself a fancy tool- a studio quality microphone. Does it mean that you will now score on top of iTunes list? Will it even improve the quality of your podcasts? Qua sound – probably; but will it make you record better content or do it more often? And will it actually work together with your old laptop?

To give you another example, I have very good golf clubs. I even understand how to swing them. However, that doesn’t mean I am a great golfer. (Not yet.) But then again, if Tiger Woods or Jason Day would need to play with an amateur golf club at their next tournament, they would probably show the results way below their usual performance. So tools matter. But overall, is it about the right tools or about something else?

Since the end of the last year I am typing this blog on my fancy MacBook Air. Nevertheless, I started writing it on my 250 EUR Acer netbook and if it hadn’t broken down, I would still be using it. MacBook gives a pleasant experience, it is much faster, offers more possibilities and so on, but it doesn’t make me write more or better. Writing makes me write better. Certain innate discipline makes me stick to the habit.

To draw the line, I do believe that tools matter and sometimes they can even motivate you to perform better and achieve more, however that’s not where it all starts. The starting point for me is the mindset, clarity of goals, determination and discipline. And then yeah – a great tool that fits with all the rest you already have, will make a perfect addition.

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