Have you ever worked with someone who did just enough to get by, never exerting a smidge more effort than absolutely necessary and certainly never going that extra mile? I think we’ve all experienced a co-worker or two like this at one time and if you have an excellent work ethic, working alongside Mr. or Ms. Minimum can be frustrating. I’ve always secretly wanted to be one of those people who just didn’t care enough about my work to pursue excellence, but so far, it hasn’t happened. However, as I’ve gotten older (and I’d like to think, wiser) I find myself teaching clients and audiences that sometimes it is appropriate – heck, even desirable time – to just do the minimum.
When I work with clients to create life management, organization, and productivity systems, it’s my goal to make them as simple, easy and low-maintenance as possible. The object of the game is to do only as much as absolutely necessary to achieve your preferred level of organization. If less really is more, then doing less is also more when it comes to keeping on top of routine tasks and workflow systems.
If you can stay organized and on schedule using a simple paper calendar, why opt for an electronic calendar if it’s more complicated and takes you more time and mental energy to maintain? Why set up separate file folders for each family member’s birth records and passport when you could label ONE folder “Family Birth Records/Passports” and throw them all into one? There is such a thing as “over-organizing” and I’ve talked plenty of clients out of it over the years because I know choosing compex over simple for repeated tasks never works.
So how do you know when you’re over-complicating things? Mentally walk all the way through using and maintaining your system, beginning to end. If your process or maintenance involves too many steps, chances are it will break down. Self-operating napkin, anyone??
The trick is to streamline each process as much as possible without losing the result you want. What you’re looking for is maximum results with minimum effort and when you’ve hit that balance in your process, it’s simple enough.
When mastering day-to-day home and office tasks, the faster and easier your systems are, the more likely you’ll use them and your life will run so much smoother. And when your life runs smoother in all the small ways, you have more time and mental energy to focus on big priorities that move you toward the life you really want.
PS: Follow me on Twitter and if you like this information, share it by clicking the social bookmarking links below.