What does it take to be productive really?
This is a question I ask myself every now and then and I still don’t know a good answer.
A year ago, I thought the answer was tools, get the right tools and you become more productive. At the time my tool of choice was Trello, and it did help me out for a very long time, especially when I threw the ButlerBot automation into it.
Lately though, as you’ll know if you’ve been keeping up with my posts, I haven’t felt that Trello was really fulfilling my needs and I moved onto two other tools, Plan and Process Street.
Now these two have again given me a boost and by getting out the details of my tasks into these tools and letting them organise everything for me with due dates and weekly views, I’ve saved myself the effort of figuring out how to make it all work in Trello.
But then I keep coming across writing that says productivity isn’t really increased through better tools, and I have to stop and think and realise what the tools I’m using have actually done that has indirectly made me more productive. The tools made it very simple and convenient for me to organise, track, categorise and schedule my tasks, that’s about it really. I haven’t suddenly started doing more work, I’m just better at checking my work now and knowing what to prioritise.
So the actual thing that has made me more productive was clearing my mind of the chaos I had caused by keeping so many tasks in my mind. The more I free it up, the better I can focus and the less distracted I am when I work.
I think subconsciously this hit me a lot sooner, which is why I had taken to scheduling using Planyway before looking for viable alternatives. Consciously, I became aware of this in the last couple of weeks really.
Still, in the long run, I am becoming more productive, even if the so-called productivity tools don’t actually produce productivity. It’s all about mindset and mental models.