Simpler vs. Faster: How We Perceive Work Ethic and Productivity

Innovation is the process of making something simpler, not faster.

Many people perceive productivity as how fast you can produce something. Makes perfect sense, right?


If you’re a landscaper, cook, construction worker, coder, etc., you’re probably considering clicking the back button right now.

The most common way managers attempt to increase the amount of work their employees do is to demand a higher intensity work schedule.

Call faster. Walk faster. Trim faster. Code faster. Clean faster. Design faster.

But the problem with this work ethic methodology is that faster doesn’t necessarily mean higher quality of work, and it also doesn’t address the real underlying problem of why you have to work faster in the first place.

The problem of productivity is not rooted in speed, but in simplicity.

Innovation is a breakthrough in the complex. Innovation is simplicity.

And a manager’s goal for their employees should not be higher intensity, but greater simplicity.

Managers often think that they need workers to produce more in the same amount of time reasoning that their employees are likely wasting time and therefore the employees actually have more time to produce more.

What manager’s SHOULD focus on is making work simpler, not faster.

Speed will come with simplicity. But simplicity will also bring efficiency, ease, focus, clarity, and higher quality.

Speed is a result, not a method.

Speed is vain. Shallow. Superficial.

Speed is like Likes. It only means something to you if you let it. It looks good, but what does it actually tell you?

Next time you consider pushing for greater speed, greater results, consider simplicity. Consider how you can make your employees lives easier. Their work more fluid. Communication more accessible.

The best way to improve any work experience is to simplify it.

Consider, simplicity.