Cutting Out Complexity

As an independent consultant, I have been working hard over the last number of months to simplify my story and clarify my message. You can see the early results of this work on my website. This is valuable work, and I highly recommend taking this on from time to time. You might think about this as an annual checkup, but if you haven’t done it in a while (or ever), be prepared to invest some time and deep thinking to get your brand story to the right place.

Anyway, my story simplifies down to helping companies and leaders overcome business complexity. Essentially, my job is to guide individuals, teams and projects through the complexity in their work using strategy, design thinking, and facilitation.

Complexity comes in all different forms, including internal politics, pricing variables, busy calendars, overwhelming communication, changing competition, and on and on.

Recently, I have been challenged to take a look at my productivity and through some self-evaluation, it’s clear that complexity is taking a toll on me too — and I work alone most of the time!

The issue I found was that I’ve got too many time-fillers and things that make me feel busy, but actually make it harder for me to focus on the most important things in life — things like faith, family, friends, and of course, work. For me, it’s clear: the time I waste through mindless procrastination results in extra complexity, and I am less effective in achieving my goals.

Deleting Twitter from my iPhone.

So I’ve begun making changes. Most are simple, and most are a work in progress. First, as most of us intuitively know, our phones are huge time wasters. So I looked at my habits. I removed the Facebook, News, and Twitter apps from my iPhone. I turned off notification to my email and pretty much anything else I could think of. I reorganized Feedly to focus on the blogs that I get the most value from.

Its funny — since I’ve made those changes, I sometimes flip through the screens on my phone looking for something to do… and turn off the phone after not finding anything. That’s a win in my book.

I’m still a work in progress, but I’m happy with the changes so far and I’m excited to keep going. I’m going to be looking for other complexity-makers in my life, digital or otherwise, that I can cut out.

So what can you cut out? Can you delete social apps and games? Non-stop email checking? Mindless TV binging? Give it a try today and see what a difference it makes.