Simple Solutions

Your life is too complicated – simplify, simplify.
Your life is too complicated – simplify.
Life is too complicated – simplify.
Life is complicated – simplify.
Life’s complicated – simplify.
Life: complicated. Simplify.
Life: simplify.

Sometimes it’s the simplest solutions that are the best. If you think of them.

A recent example was the need for visual barrier at work. Working in an office with multiple people as a scientist is bad enough — no matter who these people are. First there are the auditive distractions (typing, phone, movements, body sounds). Earplugs or listening to music on headphones often works to block those out. But it gets even worse if you can see the display of another person. Whenever a window is opened, or the virtual display is changed, there is a lot of movement on that screen and even in the periphery of your vision it attracts attention.

So, while you try to concentrate on something difficult there is this frequent, unpredictable distraction that catches your attention and undermines your focus.

I had a plant as visual barrier which worked well enough for at least a year, but recently that plant died. Instead of buying another plant, I looked for more reliable alternatives. I thought about a statue but I found nothing I liked that would not get me in trouble with HR. I thought of building a barrier and drew a sketch of a bamboo-wood construction. Would have looked okay’ish and be high enough to obstruct the view, even if it would take up about 10 cm of my desk space.

But before I went to buy the materials, my view fell on the coat rack in the office. It was standing in a corner out of the way and yeah, that makes for a perfect barrier. High enough to obstruct the view, immediately available, and it does cost me nothing.

So, yeah, before you invest a lot of time and money in a complex solution ask yourself: Are there simpler ones?