Did you mistake the means for the goal?

Trigger Question #150

Another day, another app.

. . .

Another day, another app. A new day, a new structure. Tomorrow, a modified get-things-done routine. And so on and so more.

Exciting, isn’t it?

Except that we get so carried away with what the latest latest is that we ignore what the latest latest is for. What it must achieve. What it must do for us.

(I confess. I get so carried away with what the latest latest is that I forget what the latest latest is for. What it must achieve. What it must do for me.)

We drool over the latest gadget instead of over the results of using the gadget. We personalize the latest productivity system instead of being personally productive. And so on.

This obsession with the latest is-ness bleeds into other areas at work. We strategize our plans instead of implementing a strategy. We polish our budgets instead of managing our cash flows. We attend the latest meeting before attending to the issues raised in the previous meeting.

We get so wrapped up in the process we follow that we don’t process the outcome that follows. (Did we succeed? Did we achieve what we expected? Why not? What did we learn? And so on.)

To drive my point home, let me share a pet peeve. We get so hung up about doing a performance appraisal, once a year the HR way, caught up in the process itself, that we forget why we are doing it. We forget we do it to help someone to improve.

Don’t mistake the app you click, the process you follow, the technique you perfect, for the goal that matters.

Start with your goal, then find the means. Not vice versa.

. . .

Welcome to my side of the trigger divide.

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