How to simplify in the extreme

Sometimes you’re thrown into a situation that makes a bit of a mess of your well-laid plans.

And sometimes you’re suddenly in a chaotic situation that’s one hundred times more complicated than that.

Just one recent example?

It’s the COVID-19 pandemic we suddenly faced.

In chaotic times, what do you do to tame, and then manage the chaos?

You simplify. In the extreme.

Try one or more of these four steps:

Focus on one priority

Yes, just ONE.

When you’re trying to right a world that has turned upside down, you don’t need the drag and drama of trying to juggle multiple goals.

Like a laser beam, narrow your focus to a single point. Make that your sole priority for now.

Let go, say no

The only way you’re going to let go is to say no.

And if that’s not easy for you, well, frankly, that’s tough.

You need to be able to clear out the underbrush. You have to let go of what is extraneous for now.

What was once important may be important again someday.

Now, it is not.

Practice the word, “No,” until you can say it with the calm confidence you need to back up the limits it sets.

And then live your “no” fully (you may even feel a sense of freedom, and enjoy dealing with less).

Pay attention

You need information that’s easy to gather and use in order to know if you’re getting back on track, and staying there.

Select a few key indicators you can count on.

Then pay attention to the information it is providing you.

Use it simply, consistently.

Follow up

Take the time to see how things are working, and if they could work better.

And if things aren’t working, face the facts.

If you need to adjust your plans and actions, do it.

Your work and the world will right itself, with time, but in the meantime, it needs your help.

The best way to start?

Simplify, in the extreme.


Here’s another post you may be interested in:

How to lead successfully through uncertainty