One Step to Improvement in Anything

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I have what some may call a complicated life. I’m married with two kids. I own a small business. I pastor a local church and am also on the music team. I am a local and regional developer for an international service organization. I also love reading and gathering information about various fields of interest. I work 60-70 hours per week and often find myself switching from meeting to meeting only finding time to make progress on emails after 8pm or before 7am. 

The more I try to make this work, the more I realize it’s pretty near impossible. The good news is I recently stumbled on to a single step that is the thrust of some of the best vision-casting, strategic-thinking, productivity-hacker, go-getters out there. You read about it in design books. You hear about it in TED Talks. Apple Computer does this. There are business books on it, church books on it, cross-cultural books describe it. Go anywhere, read anything, and you’re likely to be interacting with someone who is saying something around this step. Once you commit to this, you can have some big-time breakthroughs.

The step is easy, but it’s also hard. Once you hear it, there’s a good chance you’re going to laugh out loud. But please here me out before you dismiss it. I want your life to be abundant and filled with purpose and excellence. If you’re interested in those things, and so much more, then give this step a shot. 

Simplify.

That’s it. Simplify. Cut things out of your life. Here are some really practical examples of simplifying that have happened in my life recently:

  • I, by force, have had to cut out my computer (it’s been in the for repairs for almost three weeks). I have one less device to charge, and my bag is lighter when I carry it back and forth to work. 
  • The coffee shop released a new menu that cut the number of pages customers have to look at in half. 
  • Our church leadership decided to stick with our three step modeled process for discipleship rather than trying to create an elaborate flow chart. Of course, there are still things we can do to improve, but sticking to a three step process instead of 15-18 steps like I had imagined keeps us in check. 

If you want some practical advice for simplifying your life, try some of these. 

  • Turn off notifications on your phone and limit the times you check your email each day. 
  • List everything in X category out by priority/sales or whatever importance factors you have and cut the last 25%. Then, cut another 25%.
  • Limit the agenda of the meeting to three items.
  • Call instead of texting.
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