Mike in Motivation 2 minutes Providence

Tool Tweaker

It’s time to stop focusing on the tools.

I’ll easily spend half a day tweaking the program I use to write programs. It pleases my brain to gather and weave the twigs of whatever techno-nest I happen to be sitting in. I’ve cycled through services for email, todos & reminders, notes, photo backup, music streaming, even operating systems - all at an alarming rate, often revisiting previously discarded options.

When I’ve finished settling into the new configuration, I feel better. I used to feel like I’d found the new Best Way. I’m a bit less naive now, and accept that I’m just combing the sand in my zen garden.

Thus I’ve documented my journey from Naive Tweaker to Aware Tweaker. Maybe the next step is to be an ex-tweaker.

I belong to a class of over-analyzers, bent on optimizing processes. Spending energy to optimize your environment can be worthwhile, for example: get a job working from home to eliminate your commute, or monitor your spending for a bit to see where you can cut back. Those are giant chunks of improvement. I’m slowly realizing that tweaking software for the sake of optimization is like trying to save up for a new car by inspecting your couch cushions.

How do I stop tweaking? I always have a reason to switch, so demanding reasons isn’t good enough. Perhaps measuring the value of the reasons? Maybe this is a good test:

Does this tweak create value for the rest of the humans?