24 September 2014

Why Simplifying Is The Future


Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell worked in Ciphr's marketing team from 2012-2020.


Career development Performance


There’s an abundance of articles (including mine), apps and methods which explain an infinite number of ways to be more productive, but are they counter productive? Here’s why simplifying is the future.

All the best things are simple, from ideas to mobile apps, if it’s easy to do or use then it will be popular and, more often than not, work well. The problem with trying to be too clever about things is that it’s likely that the outcome will be overly complicated and not really help at all.

Think about the toys and games that are most popular, they include Lego (simple building bricks), Minecraft (simple game where you place one block on another and repeat), simple right?! I’m starting to become a big believer that simplifying our lives is the way forward and will allow us to just get stuff done and have more time to ourselves. Here’s some examples.

https://www.reddit.com/r/GetMotivated/comments/2fcghu/image_the_most_oddly_motivating_thing_ive_told/ Credit: meccam (Reddit)

Your day

Having a straightforward, easy to follow plan for the day is much nicer than a day packed with various meetings in different locations and trying to do two or more things at once. I know I can’t multitask so I don’t, I do one thing, then another.
At the end of the day, plan tomorrow. Keeping this simple rule will mean that you’ll know the majority of your schedule for each day and manage your workload accordingly. Leaving some time each day for ‘other business’ will enable you to cope with the unexpected tasks that may be required.

Minimise the distractions to allow you to concentrate on your schedule and complete tasks.

Your ideas

The best ideas are the simple ones, trying to come up with a groundbreaking strategy, service or product is all well and good, but you might be over thinking things.
Simple strategies, that can be explained, understood and executed easily are, for the vast majority of the time, the best strategies. Keeping things simple saves time, resources and often money.

Your productivity tools

You could install a huge number of apps that claim to make your life easier and sort your schedule out for you, don’t, you only need one.
I use Google Keep as it’s simple and quick to use, there’s no frills, no clever functionality that only works some of the time, it just keeps notes for me.
I know there’s other apps available that will do an equally good job but I’ve chosen what suits me as this is the simplest and easiest way.

Your phone

I’ve recently simplified my phone, the front screen only contains those apps that I use daily, everything else has been relegated to second screen status. This means that when I use my phone through necessity, I’m not distracted by the various non essential apps that were previously sitting in prime position.
I’ve also turned off notifications on all non essential apps as these are an obvious distraction and are a nuisance.


Your PC

As with your phone, keeping your PC setup simple and free of unnecessary distraction allows you to concentrate on the task(s) at hand. I try to keep installed programs to a minimum. This isn’t just to reduce distraction, it also keeps background processes to a minimum and therefore maintains good performance levels.

I have a minimal background on my desktop to as not to look to busy and obscure icons etc (which are arranged to include only those that I need on a daily basis).

Your ‘work/life’ balance

Forget work/life balance, it doesn’t exist, WORK IS PART OF LIFE. Simple.

Here’s a great article on dealing with it, and another.