Productivity Tools Made Me Unproductive

Rahul Thakur
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There is no doubt that we live in a day and age of productivity, and people value their time as things move swiftly in the 21st Century. Being said so we do spend a heck lot of time in scrolling our social media feeds and spending way too much time online in general, which leads to being unproductive.

To tackle our internet hours and stay productive in our real life, there are tools which promises to track our idle time and can help us stay productive by making us realize where we’re wasting our valuable time.

Thus as individuals living in an age of digital diplomacy, we’ve connected so much to the virtual world that we’re now looking for answers online, and this is where my quest to productivity landed me to an ‘ocean of productivity apps’

By being blunt, I can say that there are way too many options to choose from. Hence we shouldn’t be surprised that productivity industry is estimated to be valued at $163 million in 2021.

I know we all have only 24 hrs a day, and trying to be efficient within that time is the best practice for our future, both professionally and personally. Therefore, I was no different from others, and I wanted to be productive with my time. So during this recent lockdown, I approached the path towards productivity, and along the way, I learnt few things which I want to share in this article.

Do you wanna know the harsh reality about productivity apps?

Well, there nothing in this world which can tell you that I am a productivity guru, but here I am and all I can say is that I had a fair share of my journey with using some of the productivity apps out there which promises to track everything, like— how many steps you took today — how much water you need to intake — how much time you’ve wasted on scrolling — how much sleep did you have.

In the quest to choose the right app for productivity, I had tested more apps than needed, and eventually I ended up as an upbeat unproductive douche. Even though I spent over two months adapting to the apps and was tired to impress my notification tabs with better numbers, hence in the end all I can say it wasn’t worth my time.

I felt such loathe towards productivity apps is because:-

Productivity tools aren’t meant to do your work

As I said, there is software for everything, and most of these premium softwares are best at what they do, which is

Letting you know what you did so far and telling you know what you can do instead

But the problem is that these apps stop there itself. After all, they are just apps. For god’s sake, they won’t be doing any of my work while I go for a walk. Therefore an app is just like another voice which is trying to help me.

The problem with having productivity tools is like having all the ingredients to cook in your kitchen, but when you don’t know how to cook, then it’s not helping your cause.

Therefore, if you’re someone who isn’t determined and motivated to be productive, then there is no tool (or) app which can help you.

Your hunt for tools makes it unproductive

Today, there are numerous tools for any productive task, and it’s hard to find the right one and settle on it. Which also makes it more challenging when tools have premium pricing for specific features; thus, in the end you don’t know whether to proceed with an app on the basis of it’s free features.

Also the quest for finding better productivity tools will leave you with multiple options to choose from, which could be overwhelming and as you’re exposed to so many tools, you’re barely satisfied with one.

Few researchers have found that when people are left with too many choices, they tend to stay dissatisfied and will have higher levels of regret. Therefore too much of product hunting will leave you disappointed and unproductive.

Most of the productivity apps can be actually distracting

I say this because on many occasions I was interrupted by these apps via a single notification telling me to be productive. Well, you can say what’s so distracting in that, right?

Now let’s assume you have just sat on your laptop and wanted to write a long blog post. All of a sudden, in the middle of your writing, you’re interrupted by a notification. You can completely ignore a single notification but if you’ve multiple apps on your device, then you better be ready to be distracted on numerous occasions.

If you think regular interruptions are irritating, then you need to know that setting up your goals inside the apps is actually unproductive and sometimes you actually spend way more time on your apps, trying to set up basic goals and sync it with your devices.

Productive apps will not permanently save you time when you’re working in a team

Every individual has his/her preferences in terms of productivity apps, but when it comes to choosing the right productivity software for the whole team, you are no different from others and vice versa.

Therefore, if you’re someone who’s dealing in Airtable to be productive as a manager, while your employees are working in spreadsheets. Then a lot of your time will be wasted trying to learn and transfer data from one to another.

In offices, productivity and collaborative tools play a significant role in teams efficiency, performance, and growth. These tools help every employee be in sync, and it is no doubt that each employee will be spending some portion of his/her time on the productivity tools daily.

Inevitably we’re too dependent on such tools, and the time spent on them is not productive compared to the overall aspect of your work. A study from Wired shares that employees are spending double the time in keeping track with these tools due to the emergence of tech and productivity.

Conclusion: should you be using any productivity tools?

It would be crazy if I suggest you not to use any productivity tools and want you to go over to pen and paper (Which I genuinely recommend)

But since we’re so much connected to tech now more than ever, I want you to indulge productivity into your lifestyle without making massive changes in your routine and make sure that you don’t go after something which doesn’t makes any sense.

You can still stick with your productivity tools if they are working fine for you but do keep these few things in mind:-

  • Use tools that work and don’t change them because someone said so
  • Skipping and jumbling between too many tools is a real-time waster
  • Adding more tools into your arsenal means inviting more distractions

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Rahul Thakur is a freelancer who is specialized in digital marketing and content writing. He offers services related to SEO, Guest Posting, and Content Writing. You can contact him on


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