When it comes to productivity resources I am a complete addict. It doesn’t matter if it is an app, a book, a methodology, or a course. I love the idea of being more productive than I already am. I’ve looked at hundreds of different ways to be more productive all the way back to my teenage years of trying to set up systems on my own.
I have spent hundreds of dollars and thousands of hours on productivity tools, classes, and materials trying to figure out the perfect one. And what I discovered was that there is not a perfect productivity tool for me or for you. In fact, the best productivity tool for 2021 isn’t a tool at all.
Searching for the Best Productivity Tool Makes You Less Productive
It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I discovered something about productivity tools. I discovered that there are hundreds and thousands of productivity tools and if you value just the productivity software industry you would have $33 Billion. That doesn’t include the planners, courses, or books.
You could spend days and days just researching different methodologies and productivity tools and trying to implement complex systems over and over again. The result would be an ever increasing list of new things to try. I know this because I have done this so many times.
There isn’t a “best” productivity tool because all productivity tools work very well. The problem is that we all seem to think: “If this one works, this new one will work better!” Perhaps that might be true incrementally, but the truth is you should pick one of the more popular tools and just get busy being productive.
Productivity Tools are not a Substitute for Work
I am generally known as a very productive person and as a result people often ask me what productivity tools I use to accomplish my goals or complete major projects. I mention a few of my favorites and then I tell them, “While my productivity tools are critical for keeping me organized, reminding me of deadlines, and tracking progress; they don’t do any of the work.”
I wrote almost 30,000 words in 26 days last month on this website. My 2020 Advent Series had almost enough words to be its own book. Not a single word of those posts were written by my productivity tools. Sure, I used some tools to help me in my preparation, but they didn’t do the work for me.
The Best Productivity Tool for 2021
In 2012 I started to get interested in competing in endurance sports. I spent lots of time researching the best shoes, the best shorts, the best watches, and the best hydration systems. There was a big problem: I wasn’t even in shape! I didn’t need “the best” watch, shoes, or hydration system. What I needed was to start running.
If you are reading this you probably aren’t feeling like you are as productive as you would like to be. You might be spending lots of time trying to find the best pen, or software, or weekly planner when you should be focused on getting tasks accomplished.
The Best Productivity tool for 2021 is just completing tasks no matter how ugly it looks. As I got better at running I naturally began to learn why a certain watch was “best” for me. Productivity tools are the same, when you need that “perfect pen” you’ll know exactly why, but for now, just get busy.
Question: Have you ever focused on the wrong thing?