Shooting for Productivity

The Mophie Juice Pack is a piece of technology I’ve had my eyes on for a long time. II knew that for a relatively low cost it could keep my iPhone going for a long time. Yet I didn’t pick up the Juice Pack until shortly after trying one out at Social Media Camp (thanks to my friend C.C. Chapman). Once I used it under circumstances where my iPhone battery was being stretched to its limit, I didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger and get one.

I wasn’t fully aware of what this little contraption could do for me until I actually put it to use. The fact that someone I trust and admire had one and shared it with me in a time of need was a bonus. All of these factors made it easier to add the juice pack to my “want” list, as I realized it would also fill a need.

Apps and systems can be like that too. Systems like GTD, The Action Method, or Patrick Rhone’s Dash Plus may be something that you want to try, but until you see where it can fill a need, you’ll hesitate. When you attempt to get better while doing, you’re more apt to try things — in some cases, you’ll just try to do what you’ve always been doing a bit better and assess the impact of your change. That also means you may do a whole lot of aiming until you finally take a shot. The thing is that the target might be long gone by the time you fire if you just keep trying to aim better.

I’ve said that what I do is help people stop “doing productive” and start “being productive.” In this case, the “doing productive” is the aiming without much firing (or firing at the wrong targets). The “being productive” is getting comfortable enough to fire every time you aim at a target.

I think you have to try to do things. But you don’t want to “try to do” stuff more often than you actually “do” stuff. The goal is to use preparation to get better results from the action.

Remember: They don’t call it an aiming gallery, they call it a shooting gallery. Get comfortable with the tools and habits you’ve put in place so you can hit the target instead of just aiming at it until it is no longer in range.

Photo credit: digitalemu (CC BY 2.0)