The Simple Truth About How To Be More Effective
Here’s a challenge. It will take one minute- and WILL make a huge difference to your ability to achieve goals and success in what you do. And- it is simple. Up for it?
I was in Saigon last week. My colleague presented to the team an impressive plan for the first few months of 2015 – a plan to improve performance across their business. It was well thought out. Comprehensive. All the right actions were there. About 12 things that needed to be done. The team understood. And were aligned.
Now- at this stage I would normally have said “EBNE- Excellent, But Not Enough.” Instead, I yelled to myself “EBTA- Excellent, But Too Ambitious.” So I challenged the team to do something extremely hard to do: to do LESS. Here’s why.
Simplicity is the highest form of achievement.
It’s as simple as that.
The Saigon plan was great- except it was too extensive: and, it was not ruthlessly prioritized. What I asked my colleagues to do was simply this: “Select three things- just three. The most critical things- that will make the most impact. And put every ounce of effort behind those three things.. make them outstanding… and do that before doing anything else on the list.”
We HAVE to simplify everything we do.
Here’s the point. You can do anything- but not everything. Stop trying to do things better. Instead, do fewer, better things.
Do less- and get more from it. You see, clarity comes from simplicity. Our lives are frittered away with detail and complexity. Complexity creates pressure. STOP. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.
‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’, said De Vinci. And, dammit, it is! Simplicity demonstrates remarkable elegance.
How Do You Simplify?
Not easy. Unless you take the greatest step you can take- and that is to learn to let go.
Even with writing, the best writers will tell you they edit, edit again, and keep on editing. If a word can be left out, then delete it. If in doubt, take it out.
Arianna Huffington is a big fan of simplicity. She relieves pressure on herself by selecting projects to drop….things she planned to do, and by not doing them they are creating pressure… well, she drops them off her ‘to do’ list altogether.
Now- I am certainly no poster child for simplicity.
But it’s okay. While I still struggle to DROP things- to let them go, at least I am getting better at RUTHLESSLY PRIORITISING. And by ensuring razor-sharp focus on the ‘right things’ to get done (fewer, better things), that’s a bloody good start.
Challenge For You
What are you going to do to simplify your work and life? Make a start right now. Just sixty seconds of thought.
1. What is hanging over you that is causing some angst that you simply don’t need to do, or have, or aspire for?
2. Can you just drop them off your list altogether?
3. And what are the three most critical things you need to put more, better focus on?
Sixty seconds of thought… ….ready, steady, GO! Tick tick tick…………………..