Its All About Simplicity Stupid

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You never know where you are going to find inspiration at the absolute time that you need it. Inspiration came to me today in the form of a website usability/user experience presentation performed by a work colleague of mine. So what could possibly have inspired me enough to focus an entire blog post on it? Let me set the scene.

Since moving back to Boston it’s been hard for me to sit still and write. I have unfortunately put my book writing on hold for a while as I have had lots of catching up to do with friends and family, and work has been busy. Blah blah blah, excuses, excuses.

I actually found myself being stressed and out of my rhythm last week. I had guilt about not having time for my blog and book writing. I felt guilty for not exercising as much as I did in San Diego. I wasn’t eating as well and my energy was low.

Part of me kept telling myself that there was going to be an adjustment period and that I had to just keep chugging forward. The other part of me felt like I was going backwards.

Inspiration

Now on to the inspiration. The website usability presentations focus was on simplicity. The theory is that simplicity creates a greater user experience on websites and that design should be simple. My colleague began to go through images of busy websites and then those that had simple design and an obvious purpose or call to action.

One of the websites that stood out was United Airlines and how busy it was. If a user went directly to this webpage they clearly wouldn’t know what to do. This site was compared to Southwest Airlines, a company I have always admired and used frequently. Their site was clean with obvious steps to take.

I have always understood the concept of a good user experience but the effectiveness in a simple design can be directly correlated too effectiveness of simplicity in life. Since coming back to Boston my life has been like the United Airlines website or even worse Lings Cars.   I was constantly asking myself “what do I do here and what do I do next?”

I have gone away from simplicity and it has been paralyzing my activity. I simply cannot do everything at once and when I add complication to my life I get less done and I am less effective on a daily basis.

After todays presentation I listed some of the thoughts and activities that may be getting in the way of simplicity. I realized that I had a lot of personal baggage getting in the way of my times of concentrated effort.

Too much texting, social media, weekend planning, guilt of not eating right or exercising enough. I was also taking on too much on not concentrating on my core goal, which at the moment is to make my life more financially abundant and fruitful.

Think about times when you were happiest and most effective in your business and personal life. It most likely had a direct correlation to you keeping your life simple.

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Inventory Check- Keep It Simple

If your life feels out of balance do an inventory check on how much you have going on and how much you are expecting of yourself at the moment. Write down the activities you have been doing and thoughts you have been having.

Are they moving you in the right direction, are they causing confusion and paralysis, and they making you feel overwhelmed? My guess is you are overwhelmed and not being as effective because you have added complexity to your life.

So take the stand and eliminate, delegate, admit you cannot do it all, and shift toward simplicity.

This brings me to a short clip from City Slickers that was played at the end of the presentation. The conversation is between Billy Crystal’s character Mitch and the Cowboy Curly (Jack Palance)

Curly: You know what the secret of life is?

Mitch: No, what?

Curly: This.

Mitch: Your finger?

Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don’t mean shit.

Mitch: That’s great, but what’s the one thing?

Curly: That’s what you’ve got to figure out.

“Just one thing.” So powerful. Stick to your most important and pressing “one thing” at this moment in your existence.  I am refocused an committed fully to getting my finances to where I want them to be.  What is your “one thing” going to be?

Keep it simple and your life’s “conversions” will increase just like well designed websites.  

Resources:

This is a post from a year ago on taking an information diet: information diet.

A great book on simplicity is “The Paradox of Choice” by Barry Schwartz

Cort Davies
Cort Davies
Cort believes that startups should get powerful, effective marketing advice along with practical and positive soft skills to give them the best chance to succeed.

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