It doesn’t matter what field you’re in – sometimes others think we are smarter when we tell, or show them something that seems complex. But that’s not a good thing!  In fact, complexity is confusing!

Simplicity Example
Image: Parks and Recreation (NBC)

What if the product you’ve created doesn’t make sense to anyone besides you? That means one mind is working on one product – a map, a database, a website, or whatever it may be.

No one can give you input for improvements, nor can anyone make improvements to it. Ultimately the product sits with you, and will not sustain the long haul.

What if the Albert Einstein’s, the Steve Jobs’, and countless other innovators weren’t able to use the inventions, ideas, and work of others to incorporate into their accomplishments? Would we still have the theory of relativity, Apple products, or other products as a result of their discoveries?

If anything it’s the journeys of these innovators we should learn from. The struggles they encountered lead them to the discoveries and innovations that changed the world.

So, how can we simplify our work? And how can we pass our knowledge on to others? Below is a short list of three items to keep us in check (because, simplicity)!

  1. Go back to the basics:

Stay on track! What is the purpose? What process drove you here, and why? Consistently check-in on the purpose, whether you are on day 1, or year 5.

The longer we work on something, the higher the likelihood we lose focus of our goals. This is when we overthink and over complicate our work!

  1. Explain it to an outsider (e.g. parents, spouse, kids, neighbors, etc.):

If an outsider doesn’t understand it, is the product really useful? The best way to make something understandable to someone is to simplify it as much as possible.

If it doesn’t make sense to an outsider right away, don’t fret! Sometimes in the process of simplifying you may find a solution that you couldn’t originally see!

  1. Don’t reinvent the wheel

Don’t write 100+ lines of code, create a new color scheme, or create a new font right out of the gate. First, go back to #1, does this thing serve your purpose? If it does, has someone else done something similar? Don’t reinvent the wheel, use resources available to you, then contribute to them later on to help others in their journey!


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