Close to hand

It is far, far easier to use a tool that you’re in the way of using regularly, that you can just pick up and do a job.

We have no trouble just picking up our phones to look something up, sending a message, use a map. We use email services, favourite apps and websites almost without thinking.

If you’ve ever learnt to play an instrument you may have experienced the benefit of having it on a stand ready to be picked up and played, as opposed to in a box, on a shelf, dismantled or out of tune. Having the instrument at hand makes you more likely to use it – if only for a couple of minutes – which probably makes you better at it, which makes the habit of use more enjoyable, which reinforces the habit.

This is true of:

  • Having an orderly office – including the virtual workspaces
  • Having a space for taking quiet time to think or read
  • Sorting the mis-en-place of your kitchen
  • Having good books to hand
  • Keeping tools accessible
  • Putting exercise equipment where it prompts you to use it
  • The people your’re in touch with (okay, let’s not regard them as tools, but the point stands)

Note that this is as true of chocolate as it is with carrot sticks, fruit and nuts.

Be in the habit of using the right tools, have them at hand, and put distractions and clutter aside.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...