Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

Have I Made a Case for Simplicity Recently?

If you read my blog, or know me well, you know I'm a "simplify and pursue excellence" junkie. I'd rather own one really nice thing than ten kinda nice things. I'd rather take one amazing trip every ten years than take little trips each summer. I'd rather take the time to strategically identify the best direction than run after multiples. And in the previous sentence is one critical word that makes this whole thing work: time.

You see, excellence doesn't just happen. Quality doesn't fall into our laps. Even if you are one of the lucky few to have a proverbial "stroke of genius", executing the genius takes discipline, strategy, and organization. It takes time, which is a precious commodity.  Most of the high capacity people I know don't have a lot of time. As a New York Times and Wall Street Journal number one best seller, The Four Hour Work Week, is a book-turned-movement completely focused on how busy people can focus their life. We are busy people with busy organizations in a busy society. The time management industry is actually larger than the weight loss industry in our American culture. Maybe if we all where a little better at time management, we could have more time for our health?

The problem, as we can clearly see, is that excellence takes time and many of us have little. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to point that out. Let me introduce you to my friend simplicity. Simplicity is not do less, nor is simplicity a synonym for "good enough". Simplicity is truly an art. It's the art of clarity, focus, and brevity. It's the discipline to do exactly what we need to do, but no more and no less. It's a wonderful thing because, when done correctly, one outcome is greater capacity. When we are filling our time only with what matters, we will find greater resources for focus. This time and focus allows us to pursue excellence, thus, we find one significant case for simplicity.


Without simplicity, excellence will be quite difficult to achieve and quite impossible to sustain.


Wouldn't it be nice if the "how to do things with excellence" market could take over the time management market? I think everyone would win.

Eleven Simple Leadership Themes

10 Challenging Leadership Questions