” ‘Everything should be as simple as it can be,’ says Einstein, ‘but not simpler’ ” – Louis Zukofsky, 1950

I just sent out my first text only email to our readers, and you know what? It was easy. Simple. …and a relief.

Ever since readers have been subscribing to our site, we’ve sent out newsletters, with a capital “N.” A newsletter has to be pretty, have multiple columns, several topics, and logos. That might be fine, but it also puts the pressure on. As a result, sending just a message got harder and harder.

  • An update? Not without supporting images and a couple of extra stories.
  • A holiday greeting? Not without a list of gift ideas to go along with it.
  • An event reminder? Not without an article about semi-related news.

But a simple email is quick and easy, and let me send the message I wanted to share (Merry Christmas, in this case).

Simple is simple, and while it doesn’t lower expectations, it changes the requirements in your own mind.


Can you make it simpler?

Are there areas where you can simplify and get more done? Do more with less? Do it faster?

  • Instead of cooking a ‘dish,’ cook meat and veggies.
  • Instead of having a dinner party, have people over, and serve dinner.
  • Instead of looking for ‘an app for that’ just write it down.
  • Instead of looking for the perfect plan, just start something now.


The trap

Of course, even as I wrote this I got caught up in things that don’t really matter.

The essence of the quote by Louis Zukofsky is often attributed to Einstein, but I wanted to be sure. It seems that Einstein probably said it, but we can’t be sure. We can be sure that Zukofsky says he said it, and Zukofsky wrote about it in a poem in 1950.

Yes, I find that interesting, and while all I really wanted to do was get the quote right, I wasted 20 minutes reading about the research about that famous quote. It wasn’t that interesting. …and don’t even get me started on the quotes within quotes in the quote from a poem (with lines I’m paraphrasing as I change them from poem form to a single line). I’m tired thinking about it, but I’m trying to get better.

“‘Baby steps'” – Bill Murray as Bob Wiley, quoting Richard Dreyfus as Dr. Leo Marvin


Onward to 2014

In 2014, I look forward to seeing where this ‘simpler’ idea takes me.




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