Simplify

Day 350 Week 51 Q4 Friday, December 16, 2022

People with large imaginations can have so many ideas that they become paralyzed with options. This can be a great way to pretend you are getting somewhere for there is a lot of smoke and a little bit of fire but not much forward progress. Try to resist the temptation to complexify to obfuscate as it is only a short-term coping mechanism but widens the gap between your dreams and your actions. 

If and when you find yourself doing the “too many options” dance, where yes your arms and legs look like they are moving very quickly but ti is becoming evident that your dancing is “in place” as opposed to getting anywhere, there is only one way out. Simplify.

And there can be an infinite number of ways to simplify so don’t worry the request is not to unduly shrink your world to one that is too small. It is kind of like you do not want rules but having none of them results in chaos. So what is the smallest number of rules you can have? Well, one is the smallest number because zero is not really a number but a placeholder.

You have heard that constraints can be liberating, right? In my case, I have too many email addresses, too many intriguing tools both hardware and software, too many ideas for projects, and too many people I would like to stay in touch with. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad problem to have, for I always wanted to wrestle with infinity and now have gotten there, but I think I am losing the wrestling match because I have created more options than could be actionable in decades and hey there may only be a few of them left as I already have seven of them under my belt.

You see, maintaining a gaggle of options takes time and energy and, yes money as well. I mean, do I really need to have over fifty domain names reserved for companies or initiatives I may want to start? In fact, the act of simplification itself looks like an enormous project.

So what to do? Easy, change from parallel to serial. A friend of mine who was a successful CEO and family man and woodworker once told me you simply can not do everything at the same time and you have to take them one at a time. This was not welcome advice to me, who at the time thought I was a world-class multitasker. 

Did you ever notice that a multitasker is one letter away from multi talker? I mean you can talk about a lot more things than you can actually do. Even if you are highly leveraged and can talk to a lot of people and delete a lot of tasks, there still are limits. Even if you are the richest, smartest or most powerful person in the world, you still have to choose what to apply your energy to. No president, emperor or wanna-be superstar can do everything they want to do.

Friends, there is no choice. We all have to simplify to get things done instead of talking about them.  

Simplify!