James Clear

James Clear quotes on simplicity

Author of the #1 NYT bestseller Atomic Habits. I write about building better habits.

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The highest level of mastery is simplicity. Most information is irrelevant and most effort is wasted, but only the expert knows what to ignore.


Simplicity before understanding complexity is ignorance. Simplicity after understanding complexity is genius.


Beginner = ignorant simplicity Intermediate = functional complexity Advanced = profound simplicity


The best work resists compression. The best explanations are short, but potent. The best software delivers the same outcome in fewer clicks. The best manufacturing processes create products in less time and with less waste. The shape of genius is simplicity.


Complicated rules paralyze people. Simple rules empower people.


There is almost always a simple solution that will deliver 90% of the result you want. The extra 10% can be worthwhile, but it's not *usually* worthwhile. Save the extra effort for the stuff that really, truly matters. In all other cases, do the simple thing.


While results matter (and are what most people ultimately strive for), it’s better to focus on inputs over outputs because the world is complex and any single instance of success can be random. What you want is many shots on goal. Focusing on inputs means taking lots of shots.


Focus and simplicity are connected. If you can't focus, then start cutting things out. When only the essential remains, it becomes easy to pay attention to the right thing.


Here's the only productivity tip you'll ever need: do the most important thing first each day. Sounds simple. No one does it.

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