[00:00:00] Julie Bee – Host: On today’s episode, I share how one basic tool has hindered my productivity and what I have done about it. I’m Julie B, and they don’t teach this in business school.
[00:00:11] Midroll Spot: Julie has spoken to countless organizations for 13 years on topics including leadership management, employee engagement and morale, workplace culture, small business ownership, and entrepre.
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[00:00:33] Julie Bee – Host: Hey there, this is Julie B and you’re listening to They Don’t Teach This End Business School. I’m so glad to have you with us today. You know how sometimes you feel like your business is running you instead of you running it?
That is. I fix. I help business owners save time, make money, and protect their quality of life. Who doesn’t need that? I do that through coaching content and [00:01:00] speaking engagements. If you’d like to learn more, please check out my website today. I’m gonna give you a fresh perspective on the tools we use in business and how sometimes they can actually hinder our performance.
Folks, there are so many. AI software integrations, remarkable smartphones. Alexa, Oculus for virtual meetings. The list goes on and on. You could spend an entire year integrating new tools into your existing systems and then learning how to use those new tools. Now to be clear, I am a fan of all of these productivity apps, hacks, and AI magic.
However, I do believe we have too many tools. Sometimes it complicates work, it gets messy. One software doesn’t talk to an existing system the way it should, and before you know it, you’re missing out on important project details. In many cases, adding a new solution really only works if you replace an obsolete.
I have a new rule in my world. Before [00:02:00] adding a new software or solution, I first have to look at my existing toolkit to find a better solution. I may have a software that already has that form or that integration or that AI component that I just didn’t know about. So I take a look at what I already have.
And the second rule is that the better or new solution has to completely replace the old. I may still have to add a new software, but I’ll eliminate an old tool in the process. I recently had this experience in realization with the most simplistic tool in my toolkit, pen and paper. For a very long time, my desk has constantly been covered in paper.
Sticky notes on top of sticky notes, stapled sticky notes. I’m pretty sure I have kept the Post-It company, 3m in business, I mean printed word documents with four bullet points on it, notebooks, journals, scrap pieces of paper, old envelopes that I’ve [00:03:00] written on. It was nuts and I apologize to all the trees that have.
For my paper addiction, I’ve tried so many things to replace the paper, apps, devices, you name it. I have tried it and then one day I realized that it wasn’t the paper that was the problem. It was the pen. It was the thing that I was writing with. If I didn’t have a writing utensil on my desk, I’d be a lot less tempted to write a note down.
I have removed all pens and pencils and markers and sharpies from Easy Access. I have set up one Google Doc that I can access from anywhere and bam, that has fixed my paper problem. I used a tool. I already had Google Docs to fix the issue. I didn’t even need a new software or a new device. Now, I do still use sticky notes in a pen for one purpose and one purpose only noting timestamps when I’m recording an interview with a podcast guest.
I can’t [00:04:00] type on the computer while recording because my mic picks up the clickety clack typing sound, and it’s a whole thing, and I’m working on a solution for that. But until then, I will still use pen and paper for. However, as soon as that podcast is recorded, I entered the timestamps into a Google Doc and then recycled the sticky notes and put the pen away.
The most basic tool, a pen, was causing me so much anxiety and distress because of the mess on my desk. And by taking that tool away, I fixed my paper problem. Sometimes as business owners, we want the quick fix, the new software, the new gadget to fix a problem. We tend to add it on top of the old way of doing things.
But if we don’t have a plan to phase out the old solution, we most likely will never fully adopt the new solution, and we’ll end up with just two pieces of software or two other solutions that then we have to manage both of them. This is also one part of leading your team through changes as well. You have to have a plan to phase out the old [00:05:00] and usher in the new.
If you’re looking in your business owner toolkit and thinking something just isn’t working here, what other tools do I. I’d encourage you to ask the question instead of what tools need to be retired from that toolkit. The lighter your toolkit, the more flexible you and your business can be. As things change, it may be time to take the tool away.
I’m Julie B and they don’t teach this in business school.