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Monday Motivation: Keep it Simple


The first thing I did to simplify is decided on three items to eat in the morning. I only had two requirements – ease of preparation and that I like it. Each morning I either have a bowl of granola with milk and maple syrup or a bowl of quinoa and beans with vegetables and egg or toast and butter. All three menu items are easy for me to prepare. When I need extra prep, like chopping vegetables or making quinoa, I make it ahead of time and heat it up the next day. Having three choices gives me the flexibility to have something in stock at home.

While I’m making and eating breakfast, I am focused on making and eating breakfast. I am not watching TV or checking emails or reading the news. The only distraction I have is when I take a photo of my food, and I try to limit doing that. I have found that I can make and have breakfast in under 20 minutes if I follow this.

These changes in what I eat and how I eat breakfast have simplified my routine. I am not stressing anymore about what I am going to eat, and since I like what I eat for breakfast, I look forward to having it.

We all have routines whether at home or at work that could benefit from some inspection and maybe some simplification. If we are new to a group, we are trained early on about the many processes. Often we don’t think about improving a process but just going along with how things are. Or we have been doing the same thing for ages, and every day we bite our tongue when we have to do a workflow that is so cumbersome. What we end up with are processes that look, to the bosses, like they are working but not to those who are having to do the work. The team ends up unhappy and the process prone to errors. When mistakes happen bosses get mad, and they try to get to the bottom of it, which usually means putting a name to go with the mistake, and they stop there. They leave out the most important question, “How can we simplify this process and work together to improve it”? Working towards simplification is a critical component to growth and success. I started with my breakfast but the idea is effective in the corporate world as well.

Eating breakfast is the most important meal of the day. My mother up to this day reminds all of us her children that we need to have breakfast before stepping out the door. I hear the same advice from my doctor each time I go in for my annual check-up. Like most people who are not morning people, waking up in the morning can be difficult for me let alone preparing and having breakfast. I have battled with myself for a long time regarding whether to have breakfast. What to have for breakfast. What is the bare minimum time I need to allot to this activity every morning? For most of the last year, I struggled. I wouldn’t wake up early enough to have enough time to eat breakfast before I needed to be somewhere. Or if I did I couldn’t decide what to have. Worst if I decided to have something, I wouldn’t know we ran out until I start making it. Breakfast was stressful, and I didn’t want to deal with it until recently. One of the things I promised to do is have breakfast. Three weeks into the new year I am happy to say I have been consistent about having breakfast. In order to do so, I made conscious decisions to simplify my breakfast workflow.