A lesson in simplicity

SIMPLICITY IS THE ULTIMATE SOPHISTICATION?

Last year, severe knee pain caused me to completely stop running for two months. The physical therapist I started working with quickly came to a conclusion about my problems. It took him two minutes. Over the course of six sessions he developed an intricate training program that consisted of various stretches and exercises. It looked awesome but it was complex. We never had the opportunity to completely work through it together as it took so much time. Guess what happened. It frustrated me and I gave up after a week. It took too much effort and I did not know whether my movements were correct. Plus, I travel a lot and setting up in a hotel room late at night is not practical. Luckily, the pain gradually disappeared for a while.

SIMPLICITY APPLIED

Four weeks ago, the pain reappeared and I cannot go running again. I decided to see another physical therapist. The first session was yesterday and I am optimistic about the recovery. Why? He did a thorough exam and really listened to me to understand the core problems. He then decided to focus on four simple exercises to get me started. That’s all I have to do for the first three weeks. Four exercises, three times per day, six days per week. We had ample time to practice. And it paid off: I am already comfortable with the routine. The simplicity of the program makes it feel very do-able. And I bet that I will be ready for the harder stuff in 1-2 weeks from now.

simplicity
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

SIMPLICITY AROUND US

There are two lesson.

  • Listen
  • Keep it simple

Speed without purpose and unnecessary complexity might initially look impressive. But long-term success is doubtful.

Let’s take time to listen to our business partners. Let’s break complex projects into a few simple initiatives. Keep applications simpler. Cut out unnecessary buttons, tables, logos, process steps.

It will pay off. I am sure about that.

Less, but better — because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.

Dieter Rams, legendary designer of Braun products