December 20, 2020

Tricking you into thinking it’s more important


Some productivity systems create more work than they save.

Some software platforms cause more problems than they solve.

Some processes create more headaches than they alleviate.

You get the point. The classic law of diminishing returns is a very real and looming prospect. And not only in business, but across all areas of life.

We allow our minds, hearts and hands to go to places that are so unnecessary. So cumbersome and insanely counterproductive. Makes me want to scream.

Small companies are experts at mitigating this kind of redundancy. The tech startup that I once worked for was maniacal about reducing friction and eliminating redundancy.

From day one, our founders preached the sermon of being scrappy and lean and agile. Buzzword happy as they might have been, it still worked. The practice of testing concepts without the hassle and risk of a big capital outlay, that pays dividends.

One question we learned to ask ourselves was:

Can we execute this in a manner that’s not going to be more trouble than it’s worth?

After all, if something wasn’t important or useful enough to even make an effort doing it, then we should simply move on to the next thing. As opposed to upholding some unquestioned and antiquated corporate decree in the name of preserving legacy.

If you want to avoid creating yet another cumbersome elephant in the room, always consider the impact of the law of diminishing returns.

Create fewer unnecessary pressures and stressors for yourself. And then focus on doing good work, not doing work that’s really good at tricking you into thinking it’s important.

Which seemingly efficient system actually makes things harder on you?