Shades of Simplicity

Simplicity has a valued place in the tasks we’re compelled to complete, and while not all tasks can be dealt with minimally, finding the short path through a dense forest of options is, by nature, simplicity in action.

One can alway find efficiency improvements, process step reductions, and other approaches to simplify most any task. Always. But not every trimming of the chaff will be a step-change worth celebrating, or a refinement worth doing.

Looming over the constant tweaking of processes is Lord Pareto, the grand Pooh Bah of the 80/20 rule. At some point, the chase for maximum efficiency or simplicity becomes expensive. In some cases, time saved not trying to streamline things is more valuable than time saved in the long run from small process improvements.

Where this line in the sand is drawn depends on you, your organization, and your focus. But simplicity need not be a hard-and-fast rule applied in all cases. Sometimes, as Seth notes, the best path is the old school way of hard work.

It will take you less time and less effort to do it the difficult way than it will to buy and try and discard all the shortcuts. – Seth Godin’s post