"What project management software do you use?"
Tens of thousands of views and countless replies.
That's how popular a simple productivity question I asked on Twitter became.
We are suckers for productivity. It's out of control. We try to squeeze more and more of this lemon.
No blame; everything around us keeps shouting that we are not doing enough. We should work out more, work more, have a side hustle, read more, think about this or that more, and spend more time on x and y.
And we fall for it.
Yet the number of hours in a day remains the same.
The answer, then, is technology.
New systems and tools launch every day to help us be more productive.
They all promise to make you more efficient, more organized, smarter, better.
Have they ever delivered on their promise?
Of course! Take the to-do list, for instance.
People were using to-do lists on paper long before the computer. But when to-do list apps were invented, they brought a tremendous productivity boost.
However, with this boost came extra complexity.
Not right away, but it crept in over time.
See, when the to-do list was on paper, it was simple by design.
The first digital to-do list was likely a mere transposition from paper to computer. The simplicity came with it.
But as competitors started popping up, they had to innovate to justify their existence. These innovations, real or fake, added complexity.
Fast forward to today.
People hop from one app to the next. Long-term loyalty to a methodology or software is low.
We keep changing the way we work, hoping that, this time, it will stick and that the effort to switch apps, learn a new system, and build a habit, will be worth it.
But it won't. We will be lured into trying the next app.
Unless we realize that we are burning ourselves out in the process and that simplicity is everything when it comes to efficient productivity.
You want your productivity methodology and software to be uncomplicated. It needs to adapt to you, not the other way around.
Productivity can be beautiful when it's about making our lives better.
Less stress, and less fake work, translate to more time for what is meaningful and enjoyable.
How does one achieve this better kind of productivity?
A couple of thoughts.
First, by picking the right system. Your tool should be easy to learn and easy to use. It should require low to no maintenance, meaning you want to avoid having to "work" on it for it to work for you.
Second, you need to customize how you use it to match your needs and way of working. I don't believe that productivity comes in a one-size-fits-all.
Stay away from systems that interrupt your flow. Think and invent a system that naturally integrates into your work and life.
If you need advanced collaboration features, it will be challenging to prioritize "simplicity." Yet it would be best if you kept aiming for it.
One of the secrets to productivity is spending time on the right things. And maintaining your productivity system, ain't it.
I wrote a short, practical book about the productivity system I use. Click the image below to learn more about "Uncomplicated Personal Productivity":