I dare you--look behind your computer. My guess is that it’s a big, ugly, horrendous-looking jumble of wires. Looks complicated, doesn’t it? How could that possibly make sense to anyone? How would you ever figure it out if you had to?
If you really think about it, though, it’s really just a lot of simple connections, each of which makes total sense and is easy to understand. Let’s take a look: right off the bat you have the power cord for the computer itself. The monitor has a power cord and computer connection--that’s two more wires. And then there is the keyboard and mouse--another two. That’s five wires so far. You probably have speakers, so there is at least one more wire from the computer to one speaker, and then a wire from that speaker to the other. Seven wires. Some speakers require their own power--that power cord now makes eight. What about the printer power cord and computer connection? Don’t forget the network connection! We’re up to 11 wires, and this is a simple system! What if you have a scanner, external hard drive(s), telephone and other devices too?
In this example, each connection is simple to understand and its necessity is obvious, but when you look at all of the wires running hither and yon behind your desk, it looks pretty complicated. In actuality, though, it isn’t.
So it is with many things that seem just too complicated to deal with. We often stress over seemingly complicated problems and tasks when, if we stifle the panic and really think about it, they really aren’t as complicated as they first seem. Do you have a project at work that just seems too complex? Take a moment, breathe, breathe again, and break it down into its components. If the components seem too complex, break them down into smaller components as well.
Do you have a complicated personal project such as planning a vacation? You can break that down as well. Start with what’s most important to you--is it the destination or the mode of travel? If you like train travel, for example, find out which route you want to take. What about scheduling? Start with the ideal time to do whatever it is you want to do and work backwards. Can everyone take time off at that time? Can the kids get out of school, and so on? Breaking it down into simpler-seeming components will help you reduce the stress and get it done.
The next time you need to do something that just seems too complicated, remember those jumbled wires. It probably isn’t as complicated as it seems.
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Edited by Alison Stanton