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.

Jonathan Stewart:

It took me a while to come up with the name for this podcast. I'm the business. 'cause I always struggled with explaining what I did and simplicity has been the word that people are often looking for yet it Is a really hard word to define. What does simplicity really mean? Now in the previous episode, I touched on what simplicity was and how it relates to business. But I wanted to just take this episode to talk a little bit more about simplicity and what that actually means because simplicity has many different definitions for different people. And I honestly believe, as I say before, that context is always key. And so here's where simplicity starts for me. Simplicity means bringing everything together, bringing the multiple parts of you together to create something that works often simplicity is seen as less, less things, less, this less, that. And in this case, that's not what I mean. Sometimes it does mean less but simplicity also can mean more when more means doing things in a way that works for you. Everything I do stems from that idea that it starts from you, that it starts from. Who you all and in businesses is the case because you are your best asset. You are the only specific combination of knowledge, creativity, strengths, and weird quirks there is and trying to create something that isn't based on you. Can feel either not quite right or absolutely miserable. It could feel horrible. When it comes to finding simplicity it's around combining all of the varying little pieces of you together to be comfortable in what you do. For me notion was the first entry point into being able to work how I work. And I still believe that notion is one of the best tools for the job. However it doesn't work for everybody infact notion no longer works for me on its own. As you grow as a business owner things change. And if simplicity is around less, and if simplicity talks about doing less things and taking things away then you have to take away parts of you that you feel aren't as perfect. And as I said in the last one, you are not broken. There's nothing wrong with you and simplicity is instead of trying to only incorporate the convenient parts of you it's about radical acceptance. It's about that ability to get to go. Hey. I get really easily distracted sometimes and overthink what I'm doing. So a video is probably not going to help because I'll spend most of my time editing and I will never hit publish. Because I would struggle too much to do so. It's about. Being able to know the difference between. Hard, meaning it's a challenge for you to do it, but it will help you move forward. And the hard being, no, I literally cannot do this. This is not something that's within my. Ability as a human being, because we have so limited time and space and capacity to do things. We have one life that is short. And so we have to pick and choose the bits we focus on. So no matter what. We have to get to a point of acceptance of who we are, because real change happens when you accept who you are. Which is a bit of a paradox, really isn't it? People think that to change, you have to make, and take action. When really change happens when you accept who you are. Instead of trying to become who you're not. And simplicity is developed over time and simplicity will always look different to every single individual person, depending on what you need. For me, simplicity is being able to effortlessly show up in the way that I work best. I started this podcast because I realized that for me, creating videos, although great. And I'm pretty good on camera I'm I spent so much time like making my setup right. Et cetera, et cetera. I ended up spending more time trying to create videos. That wouldn't fit on the platform that it was being published on. YouTube isn't necessarily the right platform for what I want to say. And I was trying to change how I spoke to fit a certain meta whereas here I'm noticing that I can just talk. I found great success co-hosting a podcast, with a good friend of mine. Around productivity and systems. This is a more of an open conversation about expanding our definitions of systems and productivity and stuff and sharing my thoughts with you. Because frankly, I have these wonderful conversations with amazing people. But the problem is, is that they're often in and out and my brain is gone. And I forget about it. Once this podcast episode is published, I will probably forget what I'm saying now I could try and force myself to build a second brain, to create a system to help manage that but it still doesn't work. I spent so long trying to build this second brain, but then I never accessed that brain. I never really did anything with it because I was trying to figure out which one is first, which one is best. So now my strategy for this podcast is to talk to you as if you were sat next to me as if we were talking to one another in a consult. It's around helping people like yourself figure out what simplicity means to you, what productivity means to you? We have these really weird words that are just used in business yet we do not define them. There is productivity what actually is productivity? What does that actually mean? Simplicity, what does that actually mean? What does simplicity mean? And the cool thing is, is that it doesn't mean anything it's based on how you view. Simplicity. Now if you've used simplicity as less than great. But for me, simplicity is about the combination and bringing together everything. Every part of us in a way that works for us. It starts with us, our businesses start with us, our systems start with us because systems are naturally human people see systems as props the things that you do, the ways of being you, that you try to force support yourself to fix or manage you. So you can just pretend. And fake. The bits of you, you don't like the inconvenient human bits and just be nice and tidy and productive and yet, you'll just have these multiple layers of guilt. In the past with clients when they've got a notion build from me when I built the motion system that I I'm sorry, I'm not using it the way you wanted me to use it. And my reply is good. Thank you. I don't want people to use a system my way. I want them to figure out what works for them. And that's where notion's power is. And that's where real simplicity comes. When you go. Huh. I can do this. Hi. I am not broken. Instead of thinking is systems as these things that we have to. Layer on top of ourselves to fix what is broken. Systems are. Uh, safety net. My systems are a safety net. They're not designed for me when I'm at my most productive they're designed for me when I'm at my worst, when I need help. When I'm at a point where it's like, Hey, I need. Support to make sure I remember all the things I talk about. Good example of this in fact, is I am not great at note taking, especially when I'm in a call, when I'm having a conversation with someone I am engaged in that conversation. I want to fully engage. I cannot multitask between writing notes and talking. I find that really hard. And so I have a system to support me with that. That system includes Otter AI. Where I have otter record the calls and it means I can send that out because I've done coaching calls and things like that in the past where the coach has sent me the recording. I never watched the recording. I never watch it back. The magic was in the element, but I would love to be able to just scan through and find the pieces. And thanks to Otter AI. I can do that. And so I incorporated that for my clients. And it's helped me to do my job better. Because I know I can't no-take, but we're often told, you know, as a coach to make notes on what you're hearing. And sometimes I still do I like that tactile feedback but I also have this backup for when I get so engrossed in the conversation. Another thing that I have in my business that helps me to keep track of what I'm doing because I hyper focus. I'm autistic. I have a focus. I am always jumping between different things. And one of the things I needed to figure out is where does my time go? Cause what I work on projects, I deep dive deep. I can spend hours, which is wonderful for my clients but the hours I've spent doing that needs to be sustainable for me to run a business and also spend time with my family, which is always important. And the way that is often taught to figure that out is to time, track and time block and things like that. And so for me, I tried that. And in the end, I got very distracted by that instead of trying to block my time and time. And I had tools to help me. I got a stream deck and use that stream deck. And for certain ways of working, I do that. I have certain things in certain aspects where I use toggle out of my stream deck but then there are things that I'm doing like this right now, recording a podcast where I'd have to press a button. And often when I'm in this mode of recording or sharing ideas, pressing a button is a disruption 'cause then it's like, oh, I could do that by changing this and this and this and this and this. I'd spend more time Changing my system than actually taking action, because that is something that I know I'm very good at doing. So in the end, I purchased a completely different piece of software. More software, not less to help me with the specific thing that I need. I've started using rise recently because it tracks everything in the background and just gives me an oversight and an overview of what I'm doing and self categorizes for me. So I do not have to think about it and that is great. Simplicity doesn't mean about having more. It can mean more and it can mean less. What does simplicity mean to you? What do you want it to mean? And what does it actually mean? Where do you struggle that another app might help, but you're resisting the urge to get another app because you think. That it's just a phase or thing. And that's actually an interesting point. When is an app just a distraction. And when is it actually beneficial? It's beneficial when it helps, when you can actually come and say, okay, this will help me achieve this specific thing. The reason why is because of this example, I have toggled track and I also have Rize. I paid for them both toggle track is for when I have billable clients and I need to be accurate to the second because I'm trying to keep track of a specific project that I'm working on for a client. So I know that I'm charging the correct amount. Then I have Rize. Rize's job is just to work in the background. So notify me when I haven't had a break in a while because sometimes hyper-focus blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. When I've been in my studio for over an hour and not rested. It tells me that to give me a choice to remind me, to help me keep track of time, because otherwise I lose it. Rise is for general. Toggle is for specific. And I have both of those tools and they support me. Sometimes we use things because we feel we have to. But you don't. Notion is hot shit right now notion is one of those tools that everybody should use. Well, as a certified notion consultant, I will tell you what I've told many of the people who inquire with me. No, you don't. Notion is not the answer for everybody. Notion is the answer for many people, because it provides you with the space to figure out how you work. Which is where the power comes and also where the danger comes. We're always trying to fit ourselves into these boxes and tools to try and make our business and life simpler. Yet simplicity comes when you take all of the pieces of you, the bits that you struggle with and the bits that get in your way instead of trying to force yourself to a certain way. Spend that little extra time to figure out. How you fit together! Simplicity will come from that rather than just from some app tool or solution and doing less

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