Let’s talk about a first world productivity problem: wasting time on apps. Every week there is a new todo list or note taking app that’s grabbing everyone’s attention and people buy them only to find out it was a huge waste of time.
Don’t be one of them. Please.
Playing and fiddling with apps is not something I do a lot. I rarely install new apps on my phone or computer. In fact, I find it a waste of time. There is a huge opportunity cost with fiddling with apps. You have to pay for it, install it, play around with it, tweak it, re-evaluate it, figure out how it works with other apps and so on. All that time spent could be directed towards more high-value activities in your life, e.g., spending time with friends or working on your business.
So why do people still go through this?
Because it feels productive.
It feels productive to install a todo list app. It feels productive tweaking a setting in your app. It feels productive to fiddle around with it.
It’s very easy to fall for this trap when you no outcome in mind. When you have no specific purpose for learning an app, anything you do with it will feel productive but it’s not pushing you forward in any way and you’re really just wasting time that’s masqueraded in a productive fashion.
Stop being productive for the sake of being productive.
It’s like going to the gym for the sake of knowing that you need to be there to be healthy. When you have no specific outcome or goal to shoot for, your time at the gym is never going to be as effective as it should be. Compare that to having a crystal clear goal of losing 10 pounds within 2 months before your wedding. Are you still going to be messing around? I don’t think so.
That’s why you should never just install the newest apps unless you have a very clear purpose for it. Just let it be out there and move on getting stuff done. Especially when you have something working already.
Every week I get companies emailing me about their latest todo list app and wanting a review. My default response? “Sorry, I have no time. I already have OmniFocus and it works just fine.” Why would I waste my time when OmniFocus does 95% of what I need? The newer app might look better. It might be faster. It might be this, or that, but what I have right now is working perfectly fine and I can continue doing my most important tasks.
So stop fiddling with apps. It’s just a waste of time. If you’re in a phase right now where you aren’t sure what your systems are and what apps to use, find someone you respect and copy what they use. At least you know it’s good and you’ll save yourself a lot of time. Here’s our list of recommendations:
How Productive Are You?
Take our Productivity Quiz to find out. Learn the tactics and techniques that will work for you.