Have you ever completed a task and immediately thought to yourself, "That was too easy. I must have done something wrong?" Why do we do this to ourselves? Why, if it was easy, must it have been wrong? Why are we so afraid of things being easy?
As a child, I was taught that if something was worth doing, it was worth doing right. I was also taught that life isn't easy. Somewhere along the line, I think the two got crisscrossed and became a fear of simplicity. The more complicated something was, the more accurate it was, right? I mean, it took all that time to get it done, and there were lots of minute details that demanded attention, so the extra time and due diligence spent completing the task resulted in an impression that the task was more apt to be correct when done. Complication and complexity became synonymous with necessity and required.
Then along came K.I.S.S. I don't mean snogging. I don't mean the rock band. I mean the mantra of "Keep It Simple Stupid." To get from point A to point Z, maybe I didn't need to hit every single letter in between. For example, balancing my checkbook used to be a pain staking routine of making sure every transaction in my register was on my bank statement and every amount matched to the penny. If a transaction was missing from my register, I had to make a correcting entry when I finished balancing so that I could start the following month at the appropriate square one. Today I don't even keep my receipts when I make a transaction because I know that I can download/upload all of my transactions from my bank into my personal accounting software, and if any of them look out of sorts, I can open a live chat box with a banker to discuss the charge. This transition SHOULD have been simple and welcomed, but there was still that fear of letting go that resulted in double entries each month… once in my register and once in my personal accounting software… then I was auditing the transactions that the bank upload would have created to ensure that they matched the entries I had already made in the software… soooooooo complex! Yet, every month, I would feel so accomplished that I survived the nightmare that had become balancing my checkbook.
How many times has this cycle of unnecessary complexity become your reality in the workplace? What about simple, streamlined processes is so terrifying that you would resist them to the point of creating additional work for yourself?
Why are we afraid of EASY?