Make It Easy: 3 Steps to Simplify ANYTHING!

While watching Premier Guitar’s Rig Rundowns, a YouTube show chronicling the equipment used by famous musicians, I started to see a trend with my favorite guitar players and their bands. There was a time when musicians brought a lot of gear on the road. They would have a dozen guitars, just as many amps, and thirty effects pedals. Nowadays, musicians find themselves valuing reliability first. Keeping everything simple has become the trend. Don’t let the gear get in the way of the music, so to say.

Photos from Premier Guitar:

Engineers are taught Murphy’s Law very early on. They learn the principle of anything that can go wrong will go wrong. If we subscribe to the idea of possible failure and strategically making decisions to circumvent that failure, it becomes clear that simple solutions with less possibility of something going wrong is the best answer. This is probably why the idea of your complicated rig breaking down mid-set is a nightmare!

The American Psychological Association defines the law of parsimony as the principle that the simplest explanation of an event or observation is the preferred explanation. It’s sometimes referred to as the principle of economy. Scientists have been using this to explain what we can see in our world since the inception of the scientific method.

It’s not just musicians who like to do more than what’s needed to get something as simple as making music done.

A lot of times, we tend to overcomplicate life’s simple problems. When we feel overwhelmed, how we perceive what’s going on is half of the solution. Let’s take a step back and use these tips on simplifying anything:

1. Define the facts.

Before anything else, define the facts of the situation. Understand what’s going on at a level that can’t be disputed. First answer the what, when, and where before you get to how and why.

When we have a firm grasp of what’s happening objectively, we can approach the situation a bit more calmly than before. A clear mind is important for decision-making in complicated situations.

2. Start with what’s necessary.

It’s tempting to want to do everything all at once. Whether we need to finish just one task or a hundred, the first step is always to complete what’s necessary. When we go overboard with just one task, we lose time to complete everything else. A baker, for example, won’t put the icing before the cake.

3. Focus on the solution, not the problem.

When faced with a difficult situation, try asking yourself, “Is this really a problem?” We tend to believe that we can do something about the uncontrollable. Why should we let non-issues become a problem in the first place?

In those instances that we do have control over the outcome, we need to focus on the solution rather than the problem. If we’re frustrated, it’s because we think about the difficulty of the situation rather than putting it aside to solve the problem. Imagine taking a math exam. Does it make more sense to try and solve the equation or get frustrated that the question is difficult? The frustration is normal but it’s wasted energy that could have been channeled into solving the problem.

Keep things simple as much as possible. With everything that goes on in our daily lives, finding the easiest solution helps relieve some of the stress.


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