As I stood in the shower the other day, trying my best to wake up and prepare myself for the day, I reached towards the shelf for my soap. I had done it so many times before that one would think I would try to do it with my eyes closed. But I knew better.
You know, there’s a method to the madness, especially as the sleep drains from my body and I feel signs of life begin to spread. Wash. Rinse. Wash. Rinse. Hair. Body. Beard. There was something for each.
As I went through the process of grabbing the body wash, then the shampoo, then the beard wash, I snickered to myself. How did I get here? How had my shower life become so complicated such that I needed at least three different bottles on that shelf. And that’s a cutback considering that my shampoo is one of those two in one, shampoo and conditioner together.
If this is my shower routine, I thought, how complicated is the rest of my life?
It’s always ironic to me to consider that the very things that we have created to “simplify” our life have actually complicated it. Smartphones are supposed to make life easier, but when we are in the market for a new one, let’s make sure that they can have as many apps open at the same time as possible for maximum efficiency.
Not to mention the size of those phones. We went from those big, honking, throw them over your shoulder cell phones back in the 80s and 90s, down to the Razr and iPhone, back to the iPhone and Galaxy phones that seem to have slowly expanded in size to be a mini-mini-tablet.
If there’s anything the last few years have taught me, it’s to know and be willing to admit my limitations. In that knowledge and acknowledgement, there is also an effort to simplify. I call it simpling.
For example, I know that even though I am a people person, having more than two or three meetings in a day will wipe me out. If I try to push much beyond that, I’m not giving the best of who I am to anyway, let alone my family when I walk through the door at the end of the day. While I could pack my day full of meetings, my efficiency level will be considerably diminished. So, what’s the point?
So, I’m just trying to begin the process of simpling. The beauty of simpling, to me, is that it doesn’t necessarily have to mean that at the end of the day, there is a whole list of things that remain undone. If I put my best foot forward and step towards the tasks and places where I can be most effective, I can also identify tasks and places where others can be most effective.
Chances are, they might have not yet figured out how to be on purpose. They may be struggling to find some tasks to do and some places where they fit. I can do them a favor by pointing them in the right direction to find things that will align with who they are and what they do. It’s not to keep them “busy” but to keep them efficient and effective.
There are certainly days when I come home and wonder just how efficient and effective I’ve been. I don’t always get it right, but it’s a journey, a marathon, not a sprint. The name of the game is Adjust, and adjust I do, as often as I need to.
Perfectionists beware. This will be a hard journey for you. Me, I’m an activator, so my mantra is, “Ready! Fire! Aim!” I don’t have to be perfect, just moving in the right direction.
It’s not a resolution, just a principle. Hoping that the new path towards simpling will lead to more efficiency and better piece of mind.