This month’s RAOKA (Random Acts of Kick Arse) topic is simplicity. Each month a new theme is explored. To get involved, please visit Positive Provocations.
Let’s face it – we live in an incredibly complex world filled with more choices and more demands than ever. In addition, we now have access to more information than ever which can lead to information overload in our brains. Which is why I love the RAOKA topic for January – simplicity.
If you’re like me, you can sometimes make things more complicated than they are. I remember, several years ago, a co-worker of mine stopped into my office to tell me that I tended to ramble on too long in my voice mail messages to her. There was a part of me that felt offended that she brought this up to me. My ego wanted to say, “shut up!” But I soon began to think of our conversation as a gift. It made me realize that I tend to make these voice mails more complicated than I needed to. I needed to practice simplicity in my correspondence.
Which got me to thinking: all of us do things in many different ways and areas to make our lives a little less simple. A few examples:
- Putting too much copy/too many words on PowerPoint slides
- Talking too long in our speeches, presentations and stories
- Having too much clutter or too many ads on our blogs (is the money you’re making worth the annoyance to your readers?)
- Multi-tasking – are you doing any one task well or are you doing five things sort of good?
- Work projects – are you providing more details and information than is needed to complete a project? Are you too detail-oriented?
- Holding onto too much stuff in our closets or storage at home
- Surrounding ourselves with too much stuff and clutter at our desks
- Not organizing our e-mails into folders
My simple suggestions to simplify our lives is to first become aware of the many ways we make life more complicated. Then make positive changes. Believe me, I’m no expert and I’m guilty of many of the above areas. But, I’m getting better at realizing how I can sometimes make life more complicated.
I’m beginning to realize I like a clean, sometimes minimal design style. I like a clean coffee table with only limited amounts of coffee table books. I enjoy presenters who stay on topic and on time. I like my counter space in my kitchen clean at all times.
Yes, life can get complicated and messy – there’s no doubt about it. But yet, if we can become aware of how we sometimes make it that way – it can be simplicity amazing!
How about you…how do you make your life more complicated than it needs to be?