Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
Have you ever tried to do something you thought was straightforward, just to find yourself mired down hours later in the same task? There are two causes for this: either the task was way bigger than you thought, or that you over-complicated what needed to be done.
What I have realized is that some of the most common causes of complication in my life have a common source: ME.
The bad news is that over-complicating things can be a by-product of focusing on productivity. We try to do just a little bit more…and BANG! complication, and decreased productivity.
The good news is that it is easy to break this cycle.
How To Recognize Complication
The first step in stopping any behavior is to be aware of when you are doing it. With over-complication, you want to catch it before you are elbow deep in some unexpected project.
This means you need to check in with yourself as you are doing things.
Let’s say you decide you are going to put the laundry away. The clothes are folded and you just have to put them in the drawers. When you open the first drawer, you say that perhaps it is time for you to sort through your socks and get rid of worn ones. Is this complicating the task at hand? Yes, because it doesn’t apply to your orgininal goal.
Now you open the next drawer and you see that some of the clothes are in disarray, and it will prevent you from putting the clothes you have in your hand away. Is this over-complication? No, because it is critical to accomplishing your original goal.
Breaking the Complication Cycle
The only step to breaking over-complication is to know when you are doing it. And for me that means I have to be clear in what I am trying to accomplish.
For example, if I am going to clean the shower doors, I need to tell myself that I am only going to clean the shower doors, or I will find myself scrubbing grout and tiles. By being very clear in what I am trying to do, I set for myself the boundaries, and I am able to know when I am going past them.
I have been trying to be very clear about what I am doing at times, and what I am trying to accomplish. Being present to these two things actually lets me get more done by keeping it simple.
Photo by visualpanic