There are countless tools out there that will help us organize our lives: tips and tricks for managing a to do list; achieving Inbox Zero (aka knowledge worker nirvana); making time for deep work by not scheduling meetings one or two days a week.
There’s also plenty of quality advice about all the professional skills we might want to work on: from how to give and receive more constructive feedback; to what we need to do to become better writers (write shitty first drafts); to how to become great coaches.
But there’s a catch.
The best To Do list approach (and app) won’t work if we also keep, sort of, using our Inbox to track our tasks tasks.
Our Inbox Zero dreams will be dashed if we don’t consistently act on each and every email. Not most of them, all of them.
Our time for deep thinking will evaporate if we make exceptions for “really important” meetings on our supposedly-open day.
We won’t become skilled at giving and receiving effective feedback if we fail to walk towards that discomfort regularly, or if we’re afraid of the awkwardness of structuring our feedback using the Situation-Behavior-Impact framework that might be new to us.
And on and on to our writing, our coaching, and, yes, our, diet, sleep, and exercise.
The doorway from where we are to where we want to be isn’t knowledge or even motivation.
And in most cases, halfway is none of the way there.