Choose simplicity and structure.

post by AllAmericanBreakfast · 2020-09-10T21:45:13.770Z · score: 7 (2 votes) · LW · GW · 1 comments

Complexity of your life = (number of choices) * (difficulty of choices).

People hate complexity. Maybe more than anything. When people hate something besides complexity itself, it's because what they hate is making their lives more complex. It's forcing them to make more choices. Or it's making the choices more difficult.

People love simplicity. Anything that reduces the number of decisions we have to make, or makes the choice easier, is more valuable than gold. This explains the success of major corporations that have standardized and simplified our world.

Yet simplicity is not the only virtue. The other is quality.

We want our lives to be high-quality, yet simple. Unfortunately, people often must sacrifice one to get the other. Globally, more options yield better quality but more complexity. Is there a way to achieve greater simplicity, without sacrificing quality?

Yes.

The way forward is to master simplification and structure. You can achieve this through these methods:

  1. Focus on simple tasks.
  2. Spend money to simplify.
  3. Adopt structure freely.
  4. Follow your impulse.
  5. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

1 comments

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comment by remizidae · 2020-09-12T21:21:12.990Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

This falls under the principle that all advice can be usefully reversed. I’ve had times when I felt overwhelmed and needed life to be simpler, and other times when I wanted to have more going on in my life, take on more, and make my life harder & more complex.