Treat the Cause, Not the Symptom

James Schramko is an Australian entrepreneur.

He was at one point the number one salesperson for Mercedes Benz.

Later through a series of events he started an uber successful online business.

In his book Work Less, Make More, he shares how one can run a successful business without the usual hassle.

He shares a story about how he tried many popular project management apps like Asana, Trello and Basecamp. Later, he settled on Google Drive, Docs, and Sheets for $35 a month to run his multi million dollar operation.

He says he uses a simple Kanban style system that shows to dos, doing and done, using the Google Stack above.

The idea is to keep it as simple as you can. And, the thinking that tools will change your life is a fallacy.

Let me ask you a couple of questions to show you how it plays out in our lives.

Do you want to change your email app because you can’t manage your inbox?

Or you think you need a shiny new project management app, because your projects are unmanageable?

This thinking is similar to treating the symptom and not the cause.

Good tools help add a layer of efficiency to whatever you do but treating the symptom (busyness, boredom, overflowing inbox, overworked you) won’t help in the long run.

Better treat the cause (uninspiring projects, untrained team, diverted attention, hazy priorities).

Think about areas where you are planning to get new tools or doing superficial changes (new office, or new home office furniture) and ask yourself are these signs of your wanting to treat the symptoms. 

And, in doing it are you ignoring the underlying cause?

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