For several years, I clung to my Android powered devices convinced they were superior to any comparable Apple devices. My devices and my choice became a point of pride for me. These were “mine,” and this was how “I” did things. I was quite proud and frequently engaged in discussions with my Apple counterparts about the merits of my Android devices versus their Apple devices.
Things changed for me when the Apple iPad came along and gave me the opportunity to stop needing to rely on my laptop. The allure of not needing to lug around a laptop was greater than my desire to stick to “my way of doing things.” As soon as I got used to the newness of the Apple iPad I realized how much more I enjoyed this new platform versus the one I had clung to for so long. It changed how I do many of the tasks that power my day.
Now, before you start writing me an email about how you feel your Android devices are better than Apple, stop; that is not the point of this article. The point is I was unwilling to investigate what worked best for me until I got to a point that the advantage of trying something new was greater than my desire to cling to what was viewed as “mine.”
Does your system of getting work done define you, or do you define it? Oftentimes, we find great pride in our ability to piece together a system for getting our work done, and this pride prevents us from properly reevaluating the system on a regular basis. If our goal is to produce the best work we can as efficiently as possible, then we need to remove this pride from the equation and stay as objective as possible.
Forcing yourself to stay objective is easier said than done. You will find great resistance in pushing yourself to evaluate the way you do your own work. There is comfort in that which is familiar to us, and therefore things that are not familiar to us are uncomfortable. What if you found great value in that which is presently uncomfortable? I know I did when I finally investigated Apple-powered devices — they changed my life. Embrace the question, “what if?” Use the “what if” to power your curiosity as you explore new ways to work.
You will also find there are many of your personal systems that do work quite well. Congratulations! It is a great feeling watching your system stand up against your own rigorous scrutiny. Whether it involves the steps necessary to create the reports, package the documents, or send out the invoices — push yourself to look at the steps, to evaluate them, and to constantly make them better, faster, and smarter.
As you look at the systems that power your day ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is there a way to do this faster?
2. Are there steps I can eliminate from this process?
3. Am I creating more work for myself or others by doing things this way?
By taking a fresh look at your infrastructure you will be giving yourself the gift of fresh eyes. With your fresh eyes, you will see new possibilities — possibilities to do more work with less effort and possibilities to improve the accuracy and quality of your work. Your fresh eyes will change what you see — forever.