Image 13297922 used with permission

Simple is marvelous place that we really can inhabit. Yes, you too can get there.

1. Forgo acquiring new tools

Tools cannot make life simpler. Processes make life simpler. Tools can make the processes easier, okay. But do they? Or do they just add more stuff and more work around that stuff and more things to break or remember later? The one thing tools will never fix is a bad process. So our first step to simple is to block the distraction of new tools while we focus on simplifying. No matter who tries to sell us things, we will politely decline and focus on our process first.

2. Try not to learn any new skills

You will likely fail at this — and that’s okay. The point is that simplification is subtraction. We should be taking things away, not adding new ones. Ironically, this even includes learning. If “Yeah, I should really learn how to ______” is in echoing in our minds, it’s a blinking neon clue that we’re not simplifying here. We’re doing something, but take a whiff of it. To me the fragerance is more “Eau de Avoidance” than that sweet smell of Simple.

3. Don’t organize, drop!

Structuring information inevitably involves making things a bit more complicated. Let’s notice, that’s the wrong direction. Instead, we can just filter out all the things that aren’t what we’re looking for and stop bothering with them. We have someplace to get to, and that place doesn’t care how we get to it. Whether an item is crossed off our to-do list because we worked at it and completed it, or because we just decided not to do it, it is still just as crossed off and we are still equally closer to our destination. So which is the easier path?

4. Pre-decide your limitations

Anything you do has a start time and an end time. To make life simple, let’s decide how long our duration will be before we begin. Then when the pre-determined end time arrives, we stop whatever we’re doing, then make a clear choice about what happens next. This allows our intuition to surface over the dull roar of the constant chatter of thoughts & judgements.

5. Stop and see what happens

This last one is not for the faint of heart, but I have found it to be extremely effective. We tend to think that if we stop doing something important, bad things will happen, right? Well, maybe — but maybe not.

Just Do The Thing: A Guide
Just Do The Thing: A Guide

Likes to do things. Lots of things. Writing is one.

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