What Simplicity Actually Means & Why You Might Not Hate It.

Everybody thinks that simplicity means less, do less, have less and somehow that makes things better?

Accept I don't believe that's true.

In today's podcast, I explain what simplicity actually means and why in your case it might mean having more things not necessarily less.

Transcript
Jonathan Stewart:

It took me a while to come up with the name for this podcast.

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I'm the business.

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'cause I always struggled with explaining what I did and simplicity has been the

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word that people are often looking for yet it Is a really hard word to define.

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What does simplicity really mean?

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Now in the previous episode, I touched on what simplicity was

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and how it relates to business.

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But I wanted to just take this episode to talk a little bit more about

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simplicity and what that actually means because simplicity has many different

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definitions for different people.

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And I honestly believe, as I say before, that context is always key.

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And so here's where simplicity starts for me.

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Simplicity means bringing everything together, bringing the multiple parts

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of you together to create something that works often simplicity is seen as less,

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less things, less, this less, that.

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And in this case, that's not what I mean.

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Sometimes it does mean less but simplicity also can mean more when more means doing

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things in a way that works for you.

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Everything I do stems from that idea that it starts from you, that it starts from.

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Who you all and in businesses is the case because you are your best asset.

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You are the only specific combination of knowledge, creativity, strengths,

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and weird quirks there is and trying to create something that isn't based on you.

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Can feel either not quite right or absolutely miserable.

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It could feel horrible.

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When it comes to finding simplicity it's around combining all of the

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varying little pieces of you together to be comfortable in what you do.

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For me notion was the first entry point into being able to work how I work.

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And I still believe that notion is one of the best tools for the job.

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However it doesn't work for everybody infact notion no

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longer works for me on its own.

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As you grow as a business owner things change.

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And if simplicity is around less, and if simplicity talks about doing

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less things and taking things away then you have to take away parts of

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you that you feel aren't as perfect.

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And as I said in the last one, you are not broken.

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There's nothing wrong with you and simplicity is instead of trying to

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only incorporate the convenient parts of you it's about radical acceptance.

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It's about that ability to get to go.

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Hey.

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I get really easily distracted sometimes and overthink what I'm doing.

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So a video is probably not going to help because I'll spend most of my time

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editing and I will never hit publish.

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Because I would struggle too much to do so.

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It's about.

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Being able to know the difference between.

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Hard, meaning it's a challenge for you to do it, but it will help you move forward.

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And the hard being, no, I literally cannot do this.

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This is not something that's within my.

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Ability as a human being, because we have so limited time and

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space and capacity to do things.

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We have one life that is short.

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And so we have to pick and choose the bits we focus on.

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So no matter what.

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We have to get to a point of acceptance of who we are, because real change

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happens when you accept who you are.

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Which is a bit of a paradox, really isn't it?

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People think that to change, you have to make, and take action.

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When really change happens when you accept who you are.

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Instead of trying to become who you're not.

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And simplicity is developed over time and simplicity will always look

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different to every single individual person, depending on what you need.

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For me, simplicity is being able to effortlessly show up

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in the way that I work best.

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I started this podcast because I realized that for me, creating

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videos, although great.

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And I'm pretty good on camera I'm I spent so much time like making my setup right.

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Et cetera, et cetera.

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I ended up spending more time trying to create videos.

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That wouldn't fit on the platform that it was being published on.

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YouTube isn't necessarily the right platform for what I want to say.

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And I was trying to change how I spoke to fit a certain meta whereas here

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I'm noticing that I can just talk.

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I found great success co-hosting a podcast, with a good friend of mine.

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Around productivity and systems.

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This is a more of an open conversation about expanding our definitions of

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systems and productivity and stuff and sharing my thoughts with you.

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Because frankly, I have these wonderful conversations with amazing people.

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But the problem is, is that they're often in and out and my brain is gone.

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And I forget about it.

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Once this podcast episode is published, I will probably forget what I'm saying now

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I could try and force myself to build a second brain, to create a system to help

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manage that but it still doesn't work.

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I spent so long trying to build this second brain, but then

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I never accessed that brain.

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I never really did anything with it because I was trying to figure out

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which one is first, which one is best.

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So now my strategy for this podcast is to talk to you as if you were

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sat next to me as if we were talking to one another in a consult.

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It's around helping people like yourself figure out what simplicity means to

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you, what productivity means to you?

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We have these really weird words that are just used in business

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yet we do not define them.

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There is productivity what actually is productivity?

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What does that actually mean?

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Simplicity, what does that actually mean?

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What does simplicity mean?

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And the cool thing is, is that it doesn't mean anything it's based on how you view.

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Simplicity.

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Now if you've used simplicity as less than great.

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But for me, simplicity is about the combination and

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bringing together everything.

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Every part of us in a way that works for us.

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It starts with us, our businesses start with us, our systems start

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with us because systems are naturally human people see systems as props

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the things that you do, the ways of being you, that you try to force

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support yourself to fix or manage you.

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So you can just pretend.

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And fake.

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The bits of you, you don't like the inconvenient human bits and just be nice

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and tidy and productive and yet, you'll just have these multiple layers of guilt.

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In the past with clients when they've got a notion build from me when I built the

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motion system that I I'm sorry, I'm not using it the way you wanted me to use it.

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And my reply is good.

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Thank you.

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I don't want people to use a system my way.

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I want them to figure out what works for them.

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And that's where notion's power is.

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And that's where real simplicity comes.

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When you go.

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Huh.

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I can do this.

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Hi.

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I am not broken.

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Instead of thinking is systems as these things that we have to.

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Layer on top of ourselves to fix what is broken.

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Systems are.

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Uh, safety net.

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My systems are a safety net.

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They're not designed for me when I'm at my most productive they're designed for

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me when I'm at my worst, when I need help.

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When I'm at a point where it's like, Hey,

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I need.

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Support to make sure I remember all the things I talk about.

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Good example of this in fact, is I am not great at note taking,

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especially when I'm in a call, when I'm having a conversation with someone

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I am engaged in that conversation.

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I want to fully engage.

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I cannot multitask between writing notes and talking.

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I find that really hard.

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And so I have a system to support me with that.

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That system includes Otter AI.

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Where I have otter record the calls and it means I can send that out

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because I've done coaching calls and things like that in the past where

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the coach has sent me the recording.

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I never watched the recording.

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I never watch it back.

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The magic was in the element, but I would love to be able to just

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scan through and find the pieces.

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And thanks to Otter AI.

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I can do that.

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And so I incorporated that for my clients.

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And it's helped me to do my job better.

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Because I know I can't no-take, but we're often told, you know, as a coach

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to make notes on what you're hearing.

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And sometimes I still do I like that tactile feedback but I also

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have this backup for when I get so engrossed in the conversation.

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Another thing that I have in my business that helps me to keep track of what

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I'm doing because I hyper focus.

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I'm autistic.

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I have a focus.

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I am always jumping between different things.

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And one of the things I needed to figure out is where does my time go?

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Cause what I work on projects, I deep dive deep.

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I can spend hours, which is wonderful for my clients but the hours I've spent doing

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that needs to be sustainable for me to run a business and also spend time with

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my family, which is always important.

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And the way that is often taught to figure that out is to time, track

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and time block and things like that.

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And so for me, I tried that.

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And in the end, I got very distracted by that instead of

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trying to block my time and time.

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And I had tools to help me.

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I got a stream deck and use that stream deck.

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And for certain ways of working, I do that.

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I have certain things in certain aspects where I use toggle out of my stream

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deck but then there are things that I'm doing like this right now, recording a

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podcast where I'd have to press a button.

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And often when I'm in this mode of recording or sharing ideas, pressing a

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button is a disruption 'cause then it's like, oh, I could do that by changing

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this and this and this and this and this.

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I'd spend more time Changing my system than actually taking action,

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because that is something that I know I'm very good at doing.

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So in the end, I purchased a completely different piece of software.

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More software, not less to help me with the specific thing that I need.

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I've started using rise recently because it tracks everything in

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the background and just gives me an oversight and an overview of what I'm

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doing and self categorizes for me.

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So I do not have to think about it and that is great.

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Simplicity doesn't mean about having more.

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It can mean more and it can mean less.

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What does simplicity mean to you?

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What do you want it to mean?

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And what does it actually mean?

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Where do you struggle that another app might help, but you're resisting the urge

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to get another app because you think.

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That it's just a phase or thing.

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And that's actually an interesting point.

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When is an app just a distraction.

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And when is it actually beneficial?

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It's beneficial when it helps, when you can actually come and say, okay, this

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will help me achieve this specific thing.

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The reason why is because of this example, I have toggled track and I also have Rize.

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I paid for them both toggle track is for when I have billable clients and I need

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to be accurate to the second because I'm trying to keep track of a specific

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project that I'm working on for a client.

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So I know that I'm charging the correct amount.

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Then I have Rize.

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Rize's job is just to work in the background.

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So notify me when I haven't had a break in a while because sometimes hyper-focus

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blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

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When I've been in my studio for over an hour and not rested.

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It tells me that to give me a choice to remind me, to help me keep track

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of time, because otherwise I lose it.

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Rise is for general.

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Toggle is for specific.

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And I have both of those tools and they support me.

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Sometimes we use things because we feel we have to.

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But you don't.

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Notion is hot shit right now notion is one of those tools that everybody should use.

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Well, as a certified notion consultant, I will tell you what I've told many

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of the people who inquire with me.

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No, you don't.

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Notion is not the answer for everybody.

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Notion is the answer for many people, because it provides you with the

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space to figure out how you work.

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Which is where the power comes and also where the danger comes.

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We're always trying to fit ourselves into these boxes and tools to try and

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make our business and life simpler.

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Yet simplicity comes when you take all of the pieces of you, the bits

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that you struggle with and the bits that get in your way instead of trying

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to force yourself to a certain way.

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Spend that little extra time to figure out.

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How you fit together!

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Simplicity will come from that rather than just from some app

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