Keep it Simple

One of my all-time favourite human beings, Leonado da Vinci, said ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’. I think what he meant is that simple is cool – that is chilled and quietly efficient. If you think about it there are endless examples which demonstrate clearly how true that is, from the obvious design, art and writing, to the less obvious, like managing and expressing ourselves.

Our problem is that we live in a complicated world and our lives become complicated all too easily. We even grow up thinking that if things aren’t complicated and involved, there must be something wrong! They must be inadequate or faulty. The same goes for people. We become conditioned into thinking that those with a simple and straightforward outlook must be defective in some way, or lazy or weak. In fact they are probably among the wisest and brightest, but not in a way which our manic society will acknowledge or honour.

But simple is effective, relaxing and well worth a try. Simple rests on simple ideas and priorities, so start there. Check this out: not everything is as important as you and everyone else thinks they are. They can’t be, can they? Think about it. What really matters, right here, right now? Take a minute and think. Write them down. Keep the list to three things. Ok try five then.

Now, without deviating or multi-tasking, or getting another coffee, just work your way through the list one thing at a time. These may be things you can get on with now, or things which you need to think about clearly for a minute and make a proper plan for another time. If you get genuinely obstructed on something and you have gone as far as you can for now, put it on one side and make a note with a time/day/month/year to come back to it. The secret is keep it in view until you have done all you can with it. When you have done all you can, simply cross it off the list. Forget it. Move on to the next item.

Prioritising and concentrating on what is here and now is the secret of simple. Keeping your mind clear by avoiding cluttering it up with things which are not important right now is the answer. You will get to the end of what could actually be a very busy day thinking well, that wasn’t so difficult. It was pretty simple really.

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