Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Less is More in Practice – Tips on Gumption and Antifragile


When you think about the concept of antifragile and removing clutter from your life, you probably will start to realize that clutter less life and high-functioning existence goes far beyond what’s in your desk drawers and your attic.   It’s a way of thinking. Less is more is the most valuable concept in which I am enjoying pursuing mastery.  Of course when you pursue mastery, you know you will never achieve it– and that’s why it must be pursued.   But this isn’t about mastery… it’s about less.

Here are some ways I have found “less is more” in practice:

  • Shorter e-mails. Google Docs work perfectly fine and are more collaborative than extensive dialogs.
  • Faster responses to e-mails with intentionally fewer details. The details can be handled face-to-face or over the phone, or if not, they didn’t need to be mentioned anyway. Over-discussing details in writing can slow down a team and often seems micromanaging.
  • Delegate the heck out of your “duties.”  Entrepreneurs running companies don’t realize how much unnecessary admin work they take on. It’s crazy and amazing when you realize some of the ludicrous tasks that you spend your time doing.  (Expense reports, back and forth about your calendar scheduling, ordering supplies for the kitchen)… I’ve seen some very powerful entrepreneurs spend their time on some very silly things, without even realizing it.   Taking those tasks isn’t about opening up their calendar so they can do more meetings– it’s about achieving less clutter in your head and clarity of thought throughout the day.
  • Fewer goals… how about just 1 per quarter? Or at most 1 per week?
  • One Page Strategic Plan for the quarter.  Not a book. ONE page! Strictly limited to ONE page.
  • No notes in meetings.
  • Less paper.  We should be beyond paper.
  • Inbox Zero. Tips here.
  • Be intentional about the number of meetings and hours you will work in a week. Take the clutter out of your calendar. Many things can wait.

I’m enjoying working to figure this out. To say it’s a seeking the mastery of ultimate productivity seems to be understating the value of this idea. It’s about clear thinking. Rhythm. Being intentional. And having clarity about how you move the needle.  It’s the core and first requirement of gumption.

Sit still and quiet long enough to know what needs to be done before you start doing.



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