A few weeks ago I was at Best Buy looking for a cord to hook my computer up to a TV screen at work for an upcoming presentation. The cord that we had didn’t work with my laptop, so I went to buy an adaptor that would connect my computer to the cord that we already had.

After a few minutes of wandering the isles I asked one of the workers there if they could help me find the right adaptor. I showed him my laptop and the cord I had so he could see which adaptor I needed.

He look at both of them and said, “You don’t need an adaptor. You just need a different kind of cord.”

He showed me a cord that would connect my laptop to the TV without an adaptor. Not only would it mean a better connection and less pieces, but it would cost me half as much as an adaptor would have.

It reminded of an important principle: When in doubt, use less.

Using less allows us accomplish our goals quicker, easier, and more accurately. It’s why executive summaries, book summaries, TED Talks, and Twitter are so popular right now. They help us focus on what’s essential.

Using less points in our writing and presentations helps us to get to the point faster and more efficiently.

Using less space in our homes for storage forces us to remove clutter so we can have more living space and less stress in our lives.

Using less of our calories on junk food paves the way for us to eat healthier, more nutritious foods.

Using less time on TV and social media frees us up to pursue more meaningful endeavors and deepen our relationships.

Using less money to buy things we’ll eventually give away or throw away allows us to save for the future and spend our money and time building memories with our loved ones that will last.

After buying the cord the guy at Best Buy recommended to me, I went back to work and tried it out. It worked perfectly.

When in doubt, use less.

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