As the last third of the year begins, I’ve been reviewing this summer’s finances. I spent about 6 hours combing through transaction records today—until I realized that there are no prizes for suffering, just as there are no awards for doing every job myself or taking every course available without putting them into action right away.
I forgot the first principle of Doing Good Work Without Exhaustion:
Use the tools at hand.
For finances, I have You Need A Budget and QuickBooks. For categorizing revenue and certain transactions, I have online banking export files and Excel. For task management, I have Asana and Workflowy. For notes and source management, I have Evernote and a dedicated hard drive folder. For mid-writing back-ups, I have three cloud services, including email.
These are all tools that someone literally designed to make routine work processes easier, and my life is in fact easier with them than without.
Ever the would-be student, I don’t like to use tools that make the logic of a process opaque to me: I want to know why each tool works so that I can apply that learning to other tools in its class.
But there’s no benefit to unnecessary suffering, not in business and not in the rest of life.