Every time I do a home improvement job, the same pattern repeats itself.  Every. Single. Time.

I start out trying to "make do" with the tools I have on hand to save myself some money and trips to the hardware store.  In the end, after much time, frustration and cursing (if the job involves plumbing, my mortal enemy), I find myself over at the hardware store buying the tools I actually need to do the job.  I come home, try things again using the right tool and am amazed at how much easier it was to do with the proper tools.

Case in point - this weekend I was installing a nice big cast iron sink in the kitchen and needed to reroute some plumbing to handle the upgrade from a single basin to a double basin.  My groove joint pliers weren't big enough to handle the nut on the new drain and I spent way too much time trying to mess around with alternative options before breaking down and grabbing a nice big 16" set at Lowe's.  While I was there, I grabbed a head mounted flashlight as well - what a difference that makes!  I finished the job in no time with a nice large set of pliers and a well lit work environment (no more balancing a flashlight against the side of my head while I work on my back under the sink).

This got me thinking about software and techniques for my "real" job.  I don't have the benefit of water spraying in my face and raw knuckles to force me to realize that I'm using the wrong tools.  Where might I be trying to get by with the wrong tools when I could change things up and use the right tool for the right job?

I don't have an answer yet, but I think it's time to evaluate what's working and what's not and ruthlessly trim/upgrade to reduce wasted time and energy.  Look for a future report about what's working and what's not.