Am I *TOOL* dependent?

One of my colleagues struck me by saying “you are tool dependent”.   From the very moment he said that to me, I agree deep within – although I never answer or loudly answer YES.  I know what he means by that and now I’m asking myself that very question.  In order to answer that question, lets define first what being tool dependent is?

  • Explores a lot of tools, recursively
  • Is lazy
  • Yet is ideal
  • The goal is to produce or optimize things with very little effort
  • Does not focus on the subject matter but instead focuses on the tools to accomplish the problem or the subject matter
  • Kills time for tool exploration
  • Plays alot with the tools
  • Spends time doing boilerplate codes
  • A tool slave – relies on the tools very much
  • Always buying time or always lacks time
  • Never get things done
  • Couldn’t get things done without the tools
  • Having a hard time controlling oneself
  • Does not have self-discipline
  • Have an attention deficit disorder
  • Easily persuaded by tools
  • Jack of all trades, master of none
  • Critical thinker
  • Creative thinker to the point of once a problem occurs, the solution instantaeneously pops out of the brain and then performs research about what tool accomplishes the problem instead of analyzing the problem first and then acting after.
  • An action man without thinking first
  • You overly submit oneself to that way
  • Has a lot of options because of the result of finding a lot of possible tools and solutions to solving a particular problem.
  • Always planning to escape being tool dependent but cannot
  • Tends to over-analyze things

From this definition alone, I would say I am.  Well, I just made up this definition from what I understand to be a tool dependent.

Upon reflecting, here I think are ways to escape from being a tool dependent person.

  • A determination to change
  • An everyday re-assessment of goals if it gets done
  • Focus and focus on solving the subject matter by not relying from the tools
  • Organize
  • Follow up
  • Focus on personal development – by not using those tools
  • Have a general sense of whats happening – have a birds eye view
  • Think first before acting
  • Always rely to oneself.  Don’t be dependent to things – and don’t escape the situation
  • Develop a sense of independence
  • Believe in your own competency
  • Gain personal mastery and self-control

Systematic way of tackling tool dependence.

  • Being dependent on things means holding on desperately to things to give life a meaning or direction.  In this case, to give you a desired solution to the problem you are tackling.
  1. Be willing to let go of the tools.  Begin by resenting those tools that can keep you back from all that you are capable of.
  2. Have the ability to self-initiate and lead oneself.
  3. Limit the tool selection to just 3, so that at least you have the options.
  4. Don’t over-analyze things for your pleasure.
  5. Practice, practice, practice.  From what I’ve heard, all it takes to acquire a habit is to perform it for two weeks consistently.  For example, if you are lazy to brush your teeth everyday – and you want to do something about it; train your mind and *do* it for two weeks and it becomes a habit.

Get things done with ultradian sprint

Got this from the website:


It has been statistically proved that distractions are costly: A temporary shift in attention from one task to another – stopping to answer an e-mail or take a phone call, for instance – increases the amount of time necessary to finish the primary task by as much as 25%, a phenomenon known as “switching time”. It’s far more efficient to fully focus for 90 to 120 minutes, take a true break, and then fully focus on the next activity. We refer to these work periods as “ultradian sprints.”

  1. Set clear goals
  2. Kill distractions
    1. Listen to music.
    2. Unplug the Internet connection if you don’t require it.
    3. Tell colleagues not to disturb you.
    4. Switch cell phone off.
    5. Use distraction free tools like Darkroom.
  3. Set a timer
    1. Focus your attention
    2. Create a sense of urgency
  4. Determine not to stop before the time is up
  5. Aim to accomplish as much as possible
  6. Take true break

Hope this helps!

How to focus and keep things going

Sometimes I find myself out of focus.  The million dollar question is how do I program my mind to focus.  How do I keep things on track?  I believe that when you ask this question to yourself, you will find answers from within.

There are good books related to the topic such as Focal Point from Brian Tracy that keeps you in perspective.  Basically teaches you how to get things organized, what is important in your life and what should you focus about.  There are books also related to accomplishing things like Getting things done by David Allen, which more likes a methodology and instructs you a simple process of how to get things done without cluttering your mind.

According to this article, there are five levels of focus.  And that if you want to succeed, you should focus on these five.

  1. Lifetime
  2. Yearly
  3. Weekly
  4. Daily
  5. Currently

Lifetime.  Ahh, the most difficult thing is finding your purpose in life.  Here’s how to have a lifetime goal:

  1. Find what matters to you (so much you care about it that you are willing to do it for free) – hmm, what is it for me?
  2. Develop a portfolio of passions (I sure have lots of these)

    portfolio of passions
    portfolio of passions
  3. Find the intersection between what matters and passions.
  4. Make a mission statement (1 sentence)
  5. Refine, start from step 1.

Yearly.  Yearly level of your lifetime goals.  Develop a goal for the year related to your lifetime.

Weekly. Goals to accomplish yearly goals.

Daily. Goals to accomplish weekly goals.  Do the most important tasks that will make the most difference.

And so on.

To get optimum results, you should:

  1. Not multitask
  2. Prevent distraction
  3. Make use of the ultradian sprint to accomplish as much as possible.

Determine your weakness in these 5 levels.  Is it yearly? weekly?  Mine is that I dont set a yearly and weekly goals.  Daily just happens to be what I accomplish as things happen, not what I should do to make things happen.  In short, my lifetime goal is just a dream and I should clear this from the start to straighten things a bit.