This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Start with the end in mind

Chocolate ToolsWhen the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  Corollary: When you are sitting in the workshop, it's hard not to play with the tools, regardless of what you are trying to get done.

I'm sure there are some better clichés to use here.  I had this thought in reaction to Kevin Jones' request to PLEASE Don't Blog or Tweet.

[T]he pen and paper, a phone and meetings are not end results. They are tools used when there is a purpose and it makes sense to use them.

Don't just use a tool.  DO SOMETHING with your tools.  What are some of those things you might need to do?   Plan an event; collect ideas for <you name it>; decide where to go for lunch; chat about last night's football; share information with the team / with colleagues; update people on your progress; put some ideas in writing; share a useful link / joke / insight; ... 

I could go on and on.  But as I come up with this list, I can think of several "tools" that could help me do each of these things, from getting my butt out of the chair and walking down the hall to picking up the phone to blogging to email to ...  You get the picture.

Ponder first what you need to do.  Only then worry about the tools you have to do that job.  The standard suite of tools provide a lot of flexibility.  Many of the things we have these days are multi-tools anyway.  Rather

Caveat: There are certainly situations where you find new instruments and just want to check them out.  That's what the workshop is for.  But life is not spent in the workshop.

[Photo: "Chocolate Tools" by Janne Moren]

Barriers can be overcome, if understood

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