There’s no shortage of tips and tricks on how to do things better. From major areas like financial planning to daily struggles like removing frost from a windscreen, it’s easy to find 10 different ways that people describe to be the best way to do it.
When you start to strip away the bells and whistles that come with much of the advice people give for life and career, many common threads become apparent. These core concepts shape the foundation of many complex ideas.
By identifying and understanding these core concepts, you can not only understand more complex approaches to living and working, but you’ll also have the tools you need to build concepts tailored to your situation and needs.
Find efficiencies where possible
Don’t do more than is necessary to do things well. This seems like very simple advice — and it is — but that is why these common threads are so effective and serve as the base of so many more complex ideas.
As simple as the basic concepts can be, people, struggle with understanding them. Think about personal finances. How often do people live up to their means? When starting out and it’s a struggle to pay the bills, it’s easy to live efficiently because there is no additional money.
However, as people move up and earn more, people don’t continue to live at such a lean level despite them already working out how much they need to have food and shelter. Instead, when people earn more, they choose to improve their circumstances.
What makes that so interesting and makes this concept so difficult to master is that when people have to find efficiencies, the minimum people need to live somehow becomes more complex and robust once people know they can afford their wants as well as needs. To life efficiently, it involves asking tough questions and making difficult choices.
How much people need to be happy or to work effectively is a very subjective concept. Much like the idea of living up to one’s means, it’s a concept that is very susceptible to sprawl.
How tempting is it to use a spare minute or two to pop into a charity shop to get a great deal. Same with car boot sales. Curiosity and the feeling of discovery are overwhelming contributors to clutter.
But take a minute to think about it. One person’s trash is very rarely truly another person’s treasure. How often are you taking the junk people didn’t want and putting the junk into your own home or workspace, all while paying for the privilege?
Asking that simple questions will save a lot of hassle in the inevitable clearout later down the line. Living lean and without clutter simplifies living and makes room for creativity and change within your personal space.
This is true whether we’re talking about an apartment or tips about warehouse efficiency– which you’ll need longer down the line if you continue with your hoarding for long enough!
Make people feel heard
The people in your life, whether they be colleagues, friends or family, are complex individuals with their own goals, passions and emotional needs.
To be an effective leader, partner or friend, it’s important for the people in your life to be heard and understood. It’s all too easy to project what you believe people should need or want onto others. It’s important to set that aside to understand that they get to decide what they need or want.
In a professional setting, you can then help them reach those goals through the lens of your expectations. How can they reach that goal by doing the things you need them to do? How can you empower them to get there?
With a personal relationship, it’s difficult to add to one’s life in a meaningful way if you don’t take the time to understand what they are going through. Understanding their struggle doesn’t invalidate your own — and they shouldn’t feel as if your struggles invalidates their troubles.
We each have the space to face our own challenges and we all have the opportunity to lift each other up. Don’t compete. Cooperate.
In addition to inspiring personal and professional satisfaction, this is the best way to empower people to contribute ideas that will drive results.
Don’t try to keep things all in your head. People often do this because they feel like they can or that making lists will take too much time.
But you can reach your goals in a way that charts a clear path through your day, your week, your month or even your year through effective list-making.