above simplicity

It was a very simple link on twitter that started this post and I am quite thankful for Amber‘s share today on being productive. It got me thinking shortly after about the concept of simplicity. Mind you, there is much to be said, but I’m going to distill just one thought out of many.

Nowadays, it is easy to get so bogged down with media and information because it is streaming in from every corner of our lives. Right now, I have two laptops on. On the one that I am using to type this message, I have Skype, Yahoo!, MSN Messenger, and Spaz running in the background. I have four tabs open and each goes to a different website. One of the programs I have running beeps, blips or flashes every two minutes. In fact, one is blipping right now. Hold on a moment…

[time lapse]

…and I’m back.

This is not just my whole day. It’s your whole day and that’s why I’m writing. At some point, we need to simplify simplify simplify, but we never get there because we think we are above doing the simple things that would make our lives easier (which brings me to the blog title. See what I did there?).

The article Amber shared inspires fuzzy feelings and week long resolutions (New Year’s style), but doesn’t affect lasting change in most people because we just don’t think we need simplicity anymore. We make a million excuses for it because we think things are being said in too black and white a manner for a grey world and we want something that addresses the inherent complexities in ignoring our farm for five hours (I planted two hour crops! O NOEZ!!!). We are too busy running to recognize that we don’t have a reason to hurry that much. We’re checking everything, reading everything, trying too hard too much too often to be too relevant to everyone everywhere. Even worse, some people are so used to dysfunction and chaos, that they think simplification equals boredom and avoid it like the bubonic plague.

Just reading that makes me tired and irritated.

What’s wrong with us?

Maybe it’s not a bad idea to just do nothing sometimes. Maybe we would get more work done if we would just take time to collect ourselves. At my office, I have a pair of headphones. When I am feeling stressed, no matter what else is going on, I go somewhere with the headphones and an iPod, step into an empty room in the office building, and dance for 10 minutes.

Yes: I said I dance for ten minutes.

At the end of it, I feel better and I’m able to think a little clearer. When I hear people being agitated and stressed and the murmurs of discouragement arise in my office, I go and get everyone a cookie and tell them to stop working a little — these people are my supervisors.

Instead of thinking we’re so above simplicity — our rate of stress-related deaths prove otherwise — maybe we should be a little more into it.

Here’s the article Amber shared. Read it and get back with thoughts either there or here.

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