Less—it’s worth pursuing. Often, we find ourselves caught up in an obsession with making additions. Whether you’re adding more ingredients to a recipe, more throw pillows to your bed, or more adjectives to a term paper, there is a common misconception that more “stuff” results in increased value… but does it?
The principle of eliminating clutter to add value isn’t new. It's also a pretty universal concept. From designing a website, to executing a social media strategy, to writing a blog (heh), the value of doing less is in becoming clearer.
I tend to see things as very modular in nature. When you adopt this perspective, removing superfluous elements becomes a snap. Consider how computer hardware has evolved over the years. If you look at a PC in a modular sense, you’ll:
- Deconstruct it. What is already present?
- Identify its core purpose. Why does it exist?
- Remove components that are unnecessary barriers between the user and their goals.
- The monitor and tower become integrated
- Innovations like touch replace keyboards and mice
Today, the phone in your pocket is more powerful than PCs from not long ago. This is partially due to better technology, but also can be credited to creative industry leaders who were dedicated to continuous refinement—not through addition, but subtraction. Their goal was to aggressively work towards bringing the personal computer to its purest form.
This thought process can be useful in nearly any industry. Editing may be easier said than done, but it is a practice that historically tends to lend itself towards success. Next time you’re working on a project, re-decorating your home, or even cooking dinner, it might benefit you to stop and think, “Is this necessary?”