There’s a well established old saying that goes “a bad workman blames his tools.”
The basic message behind this saying is that you should take responsibility for your actions and your performance (or the lack thereof) and that if you are skilful and conscientious enough, you will be able to achieve significant things almost irrespective of external factors.
While there is definitely truth to that sentiment, however, it is also a fact that no great woodworker ever built a table using a sponge, and no aspiring entrepreneur can afford to completely neglect the tools they are using.
While it is, of course, crucial to be conscientious and skilful at what you do, it’s also the case that using the right tools might make all the difference to your business.
Here are a few reasons why this is the case.
Because your time is finite, and certain tools can help you to get things done in a much more efficient and effective way
The first reason why the tools you use can make all the difference, is because your time is finite, whether in the context of what you can achieve in any given work day, or in the context of what you can achieve over a lifetime.
Certain tools simply enable you to get things done in a much more efficient and effective way, often in a small fraction of the time that they would otherwise have taken.
For example, venue management software might reduce so much of the time-consuming complexity of organising a venue that you could find yourself with enough freed up time to fit in other projects altogether.
This point is especially important if you are an entrepreneur with a small team, and even more so if you’re working solo.
Picking the right tools can salvage a lot of one of your most vital resources – time.
Because a major struggle in the life of the modern professional is the fight against distraction – some tools work for you in this regard, others work against you
One of the most popular productivity books released in recent years is “Deep Work,” by the writer and academic Cal Newport.
In this book, Newport argues that real, skilful work can only really be achieved with deep concentration and focus, and with a minimum of distraction. With AI rapidly becoming ever more advanced, Newport argues, the ability to do focused “deep work” is going to be more and more essential for any professional who wants to put their best foot forward, and to remain competitive and effective.
The issue? There is now more distraction surrounding us at all times of the day and night, than ever before in history. In fact, many workplaces essentially encourage frequent low-level distraction, such as by requiring all team members to be available to immediately respond to messages via services like Slack.
One bit of research Newport cites actually suggests that even just checking your phone for a few seconds can throw off your ability to concentrate intensively for about the next half an hour.
Some tools will inevitably undermine your ability to concentrate, by being innately “multitasking” oriented. Others, however, will help you to block out distractions and more effectively enter into that precious state of “Deep Work.”
Because any edge you can gain over your competitors has the potential to make all the difference
One thing that can help to give you a vital edge over your competitors – and even a small edge can be a game changer – is becoming an early adopter of some tool that has the potential to radically increase efficiency, precision, or organisation.
While it’s not always possible to predict which tool will become a game changer, it can certainly pay to be on the lookout for new technologies that might shake things up, and open doors to you that had not been open before.
Because with the modern world becoming ever more fast-paced and complex, more advanced tools are necessary in order to navigate the chaos successfully
It’s not just that there are more tools available now than ever before in order to help people to become better organised and more efficient, it’s also that the nature of the professional landscape is constantly changing so as to become more complex and more fast-paced.
It is simply necessary to use certain advanced tools and systems in order to counterbalance this increasing complexity, so that you can remain on top of things even as the systems you need to navigate become more tricky.