Less Is More in the ‘Excess of Everything’ Age
- by: Hank Berkowitz
- August 11, 2016
What we can learn Olympic boxers, cyclists, amateur fly-fishermen and backyard trampoline enthusiasts.
Waking up at the crack of 10 am (we’re in the far, far western edge of the eastern time zone), you also realize how information-overloaded we are the rest of the year. As Matthew May would say, we’re caught up in “the age of the excess of everything.”
According to May, you need to start removing all the “excessive, confusing, wasteful, unnatural, hazardous, hard to use, or ugly” things that cloud our decision-making process. We don’t need more premium, bonus or enhanced features—WE NEED LESS!
Our take? Start cutting back on email and text messaging every day and then try a 24-hour technology fast every week or at least limit your email/texting time to 3 intervals per day. Then start eliminating non-essential meetings, conference calls, commuting, air travel, HR trainings and other time-sucks. Then eliminate all the planning and confirmations needed to schedule the aforementioned. Guess what? All of a sudden you can think.
Laws of subtraction in sports
If you’ve been following the Olympics, you see the laws of subtraction at work. Believe it or not, it’s actually safer for boxers NOT to wear headgearbecause researchers found that head guards create a bigger target for boxers, who in turn attempt more head blows. Experts say head gear also gives boxers a false sense of security. Still not convinced? Well several studies, including one commissioned by the International Boxing Association, (IBA) found that the number of acute brain injuries declined when head guards were not used. And the IBA found that the number of times a fight was stopped because of one boxer receiving repeated head blows fell 43 percent in bouts without head guards compared with fights with head guards.
How about the backyard trampoline? We’ve always had one in the back yard and never bothered with protective netting around it (sorry homeowners insurance). Without a net, kids are less likely to take excessive risks and less likely to get the elbows, ankles or new braces caught up in it.
Law #2: The Simplest Rules Create the Most Effective Experience
Law #3: Limiting Information Engages the Imagination
Law #4: Creativity Thrives Under Intelligent Constraints
Law #5: Break Is the Important Part of Breakthrough
Law #6: Doing Something Isn’t Always Better Than Doing Nothing
It’s a quick and easy read if you can find the time. If you can’t find the time, we suggest you make the time to do so. As regular readers of this blog know, we recommend getting started on your New Year’s resolutions around Thanksgiving time. By the same token, August is the new September. Don’t wait until after Labor Day to start getting focused for Q4.