🚴♀️ A bicycle for your mind
Patterns is a weekly idea or story for people who don’t want to hate Mondays.
If you are just now finding out about Patterns, you can subscribe here! If today’s idea inspired you to better enjoy your work, please forward this email to your friends or share it on social media! 🙏
I went running with my 10-year-old son. Since I’m about twice his size, I can run a lot faster than him. So when we “run” together, he usually grabs his bike. Suddenly, I’m the slow one. He can move much faster than I can with a lot less energy spent.
Steve Jobs made famous the idea that a computer is like a bicycle for your mind.
Here’s a short clip of him talking about the concept:
As I struggled to keep up with my son I realized how much this applies not just to a computer, but to any tool a person, team, or organization can use to make faster progress.
Those tools could be mental modals, technology, culture (ways of working), skills, or anything that gives you more progress with less work. This is why small organizations can grow and overtake large ones. This is one reason some people seem to get so much more done than others. They use better tools.
What tools do you use and how are they working for you? How often are you considering new tools? Have you seen someone making great progress and asked them about their tools?
I've sometimes made tools that help. Although it may take me some time initially, I feel like it saves time in the long run.
For example, while with the military working on confidential projects, we needed a 16 digit password...that needed to be changed every 90 days. Needed uppercase, lowercase, number, etc.
So I created a grid using the 26 letters of the alphabet. Each letter than had 4 random characters in that box. I shared that with my team. Now they could leave this chart in a public area and pick any 4 letter word that would give them a random 16 digit password.
From literally years of experience...it's a lot easier to remember a 4 letter word vs. a 16 digit random jumble of characters.
I still use that to this day