How many task management apps do you have in your workflow? Be honest about it! Two you say? You sure it’s not three? What about that calendar app that is poking from your iPhone? Ah, that’s better. What if I told you…
Most of productivity enthusiasts out there are passionate about their productivity, and they turned productivity into a game. But instead of being, we are playing productive. Hence productivity enthusiasts are not the best role models for your personal productivity.
That is why we stick to our countless applications that are supposed to make us more productive, but in return we spend more time tweaking them and adjusting them, than doing the actual work. The purpose of our task managers is to give us a holistic view of the global picture on what needs to be done. Clarity and a peace of mind, that we won’t forget what’s truly important.
What happens when we spread ourselves too thin?
When we scatter our tasks around too many apps, we tend to lose ourselves. We lose the whole point of task management in the first place. Personally, I found myself guilty of this many times. During the entire evolution of my task management, I was spreading everything between numerous apps, never able to find what I needed when I needed it.
The price of functionality came at the cost of redundancy, which in turn bloated the way I work; rather than making me a lean, mean task-doing machine. Instead of having the SYSTEM that supports us, we have a system that we support. If that’s where you find yourself, it’s better not to have the system at all.
When we spread ourselves too thin, we’re hurting our productivity. Break your habit of maintaining your system. Make it work for you not the other way around
What’s the Secret, you ask? Have one task management app!
When I was starting out, I was always on the quest to find the next “new shiny Holy Grail”! Shiny-new applications that would solve all my task management problems, and made me never look for another application again. I finally decided to kick the habit of constantly hopping from one new app to another.
Choose only one app, and commit yourself to use it for at least 120 days, or simply put 4 months. According to the psychological research, creating a long lasting habit lasts anywhere between 60 and 80 days. So if you get into habit of using the app for 60 days, you would need at least another 60 days to reap the benefits of your muscle memory investment, before you move on to the next application.
Also, keep in mind that you should pick up an application like IQTELL, because they can scale with your needs. It can have as little, or as much as you possibly need for your evolving workflow. This way, once you complete your 60 days cycle, and you assimilated the thinking behind the app, you can start reaping the benefits of leveraging into to new uses. Usually even before that point people get bored, and are on the lookout for yet another app to stimulate their brain with dopamine, and fooling themselves that they are actually “working”.
With apps that can scale, you won’t get bored, because you will be allowed to discover the features you never knew existed before, and integrate them into your working life, the way you want it.
How to quit your: “Oh Shiny app moments!”
Haim was previously writing about “The shiny new toy feeling“, and I just wanted to put an emphasis on the costs of playing around with “new system”. The price of setting up a new system is immense and far greater than we can predict, so the dopamine surge that we get from shiny new apps will outweigh the costs of setting them up.
How do I know that?
I tried countless task management applications before I hit the sweet spot. Once the steam of testing the new app goes away, you are left with countless hours spent on doing non-essential work and the new system that you have NO IDEA how to operate on.
I will assume you’re on yet another lookout for yet another holy grail that will take you to the productivity heaven. If you are, make this time the last time you will look for something new, and look for something that can SCALE with your needs.
How to fit everything in one place?
You start with commitment. You commit that you will give it a chance, and that you will make a conscious effort on accessing everything from a single location. But before you choose the right task manager, try to find one that will help you easily get everything you own into it, as simply as possible. And let me hint you to that big shiny button on the right ;)
The best task managers know how to work with you. Those that sync well with other parts of your “system”, bringing them to one place are often the apps that are the ones you will end up using anyway. If you can integrate vertically and horizontally, you will find using the app a more fluent experience than hopping between multiple non-integrate apps. Fluency will create synergistic effect on your workflow. That is exactly what you want to accomplish with your productivity.
Steal my To-Do List
- Look at your app usage from holistic point of view and see what sticks and
- Ditch the apps that are creating friction and redundancy
- Choose task manager that will scale with you and your needs.
- Stick with it!
What are your thoughts about task management redundancy? Have you been trying to use more than one task manager to accomplish your goals, but have lost yourself? Leave your thoughts in the comments.