keep it simple. 3 things to try today.
In preparing to write this post, I was over complicating my notes. I could talk about simplicity, here or there, or talk about simple branding, work, your work space. In life we want to give advice, help others, share more. What if I told you less is more? Less is better? Keeping your life simple is the goal?
- Clean up your desk.
I recently listened to a podcast where the host said she has nothing on her desk beside her computer, keyboard, pen, and notebook. She said it brings her mental clarity to sit down at her desk and focus. Though my desk is a few more items than that, it is very organized and very minimalist. So why is that important? Your brain registers all items on your desk. Every time you have cups, papers, folders, chargers, other things—it registers it, “ok, this is a cup, this is a bill i gotta pay, this is a thing I have to do, mail, etc.” Each time you look away from your screen something is taking up brain space taking you out of your focus. So do it now, clean up your desk, organize alike things, and let shit go that only create visual noise and brain clutter.
- Turn your phone to airplane mode.
I’m speaking from a designer’s perspective when I say this but you can probably relate no matter what you do for a living. How often do you check your phone for an hour? 2 times? 20? I have been traveling recently noticing people can’t sit at an airport without playing, texting, talking, scrolling on their phones. I get it, you can read or catch up with people, you need to call loved ones. But we are not doing that. We are mostly in la-la land looking at other people’s feeds, wishing their fake manufactured lives were ours. We don’t look at each other in the eye when we talk. We don’t listen intently facing the other person without checking our phones. Ugh. Put it down. Put it on airplane mode and notice how many times you pick it up to check some updates. I actually turned off all button and banner notifications on my social media apps and deleted facebook from my phone. If I need to check it I will go on my laptop and check it. Turns out, nobody ever needs me as an emergency, if they did they will call. Let it go. Start creating and living, and paying attention to your surroundings, family, and work. Use that airplane mode to self-care. What I love about this mode is how often I catch myself wanting to go to an app and not having my feed refresh. Then I tell myself, it’s fine, I’m seeking distraction because the work I do is scary or hard, or requires more focus. Try it and let me know how it goes for you.
- Ask why.
Simplicity comes in all sorts of clever forms. If you can explain your idea well, you understand it well. If you know the root cause of why you are doing what you are doing, your answers, solutions, and concepts will be simple. Simple is not boring. Simple is straight forward, simple gets to the point, simple allows for space for meaning. So ask yourself: what is it that you want to do, what is your why behind it, what is the result you are coveting.
Leaving you with Simon Sinek’s super old school TED talk on why. I rewatch this (read his book too) probably 2 times a year. Let it go, simplify, ask why, don’t overcomplicate it. Tell me how it goes!