using the right tool for the job is always important. chopping wood with a dull axe, pulling a wagon without wheels, or flipping burgers at a tailgate with a plastic fork : these are all things we know inherently to be either inefficient or downright dangerous. but while we recognize it as a bad idea to try hammering a nail with the handle of a screwdriver, we often don’t realize how many nails we come across in our digital lives.
it’s much more difficult to know when you’re being inefficient with technology when that technology comes as a series of 0s and 1s, and a lot of that comes from a lack of digital literacy. it’s not knowing what the technology can do that’s the problem. microsoft excel is a powerful tool—especially when combined with some basic programming skills—for computing nearly anything from simple addition and subtraction all the way to stochastic models for predicting outcomes. but it’s #1 most used feature of all time is placing information (often text) into a grid because that’s the extent of most people’s knowledge of how to use it.
there is an almost innumerable amount of tools available on the web to help you do your job even better. todoist is a great, easy, and fast way to create and share to-do lists. trello is a fantastic tool to help you organize, distribute, and track your work. dataquest is a brilliant, innovative way of acquiring new and highly marketable skills in data analysis and computer programming.
with every site, app, and social network fighting for your attention every second of the day, your time has never been more valuable. use it wisely.
time to work smarter, not harder.
 my friends and i actually made this mistake once. lines were crossed and the grilling utensils were left at home. fingers were burned, and—worse—burgers were ruined.