by Josh Millar
A concept that has interested me lately is simplicity. I keep coming back to this idea in numerous aspects of my work and realizing what real value it holds. In a world where it’s so easy to feel information-overload, simplicity can almost feel like a luxury. Rather than a luxury though, I’ve started thinking of it as a strategy. Here are just a few areas of my work in which simplicity has had a positive effect:
Both our physical and mental environments have the potential to be highly distracting. By working to simplify the spaces we inhabit, be that our office or our thoughts, can help free up wasted space and redirect our focus. In many ways, simplicity is about removing the unnecessary and getting rid of excess. Take a look around your office, your inbox, and your thoughts. Are there things that are getting your attention that don’t really need it? Often, as we simplify these spaces, we feel a reduction not only in distractions but in stress as well.
What does it mean to simplify your brand? To me, it’s clarifying your message. When you prioritize a simple, streamlined message, it’s often more effectively communicated. Though we tend to establish our brands and go on to other things, it’s worthwhile to return and check in every now and then to see if there are any tune-ups needed. Approaching your brand with this idea of simplicity is a great way to assess. Sure, keeping the images like your logo and photos simple is often useful, but even more important is making sure your message is being heard loud and clear.
Similar to our brand, our processes tend to be things we think a lot about when we’re establishing them, but once we’re accustomed to using them, we don’t always take the time to reevaluate. Simplicity motivated me to revisit my systems and processes and ask where could I streamline. How could I be more efficient? Especially when you’re working with clients, simplifying the process can be a real boost to the overall client experience you provide.
Simplifying your goals doesn’t mean lowering your ambitions. For me, it’s more the idea of ditching any ambiguity or confusion around them. It’s about ensuring the goals you set out to achieve are truly of interest to you and not just driven by external pressures. And it’s about keeping the process to achieve them as streamlined as possible.
Don’t get me wrong, details and complexities are important elements of most professionals’ work. But what I’ve realized more and more lately is that simplicity is such a necessary and valuable balance to that. In fact, the more I simplify, the better I can attend to those details and complexities that are important, without being distracted by superfluous noise.