Many years ago, a good friend of mine introduced me to my very first productivity tool: Omnifocus.
Omnifocus is a really cool piece of software. Even back in 2011, I couldn’t believe how detailed and flexible this tool was! It let me create categories of tasks, tickets for tasks in each category, due dates, updates on the progress of the task…I felt so ORGANIZED!
Then, slowly, I stopped using Omnifocus.
I put so much pressure on myself to keep my notes and records totally up to date at all times. At some point, I felt like I was spending so much time just maintaining the records in the tool itself that I was losing time to do the actual work.
I transitioned over to a more lightweight tool, Trello, and have been using it since.
I work with a lot of clients in Unreal Collective who want help getting organized. Sometimes people will implement new systems that other people say work for them – morning routines, switching everything over to Notion, time blocking…
But, inevitably, a lot of them go to the wayside.
Systems are great – when they are serving you. Any system, or process, should be making your life EASIER. If you feel like you’re fighting against the system or process, then it isn’t serving you.
Systems that are working fade into the background. When processes are working, you are GLAD you created them because you see a return on your effort. You don’t maintain it because you feel like you should, you maintain it because your quality of life is worse when you don’t.
But what works for me (or for anyone else) may not work for you. And that’s OK!
In a former life, I was building a software product for office managers and receptionists. When I described how our software worked, they knew exactly what questions to ask to determine if this new tool was going to save them time or make their work harder.
If they determined the tool would add more time and effort to their workflow, they passed.
When they thought it would save them time, but it didn’t, they stopped using it.
We naturally move towards convenience, lower friction, and improved quality of life.
So if you’re trending away from a system or process you tried to put in place, take it as a sign that this isn’t working for you.
Don’t give up on improving your processes – but get better at identifying why this isn’t working for you. What would an alternative look like that DID work for you?
Find it, create it, and implement it.
Systems and processes feel like a drag – unless they’re working.