A Guide to Minimizing Complexity

Today, many discussions are going on about how the world's complexity is increasing steadily. The real problem, however, is how we handle it. Our response to complex situations often makes them more challenging, but there are ways to simplify them.

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Bitely Team
Last update:calendarApr 20, 2024
Read time:clock5 min
A Guide to Minimizing Complexity

Today, many discussions are going on about how the world's complexity is increasing steadily. The real problem, however, is how we handle it. Our response to complex situations often makes them more challenging, but there are ways to simplify them.


In his book How to Think Clearly, Tom Chatfield, an author and tech philosopher, offers a straightforward approach to complexity. He suggests asking yourself: How would you describe a problem to a child? Asking such a simple question can make your personal and professional life much easier. Moreover, if you request it frequently, complex issues will not cause problems in conversations with colleagues.


Of course, your colleague isn’t a child. But let’s say you’re trying to explain a complex issue about your branch related to his, and he has an entirely different background and attitude than you do. In that case, there are four steps to follow.


The First Point: Keep Track of What You Think


Utilizing this simple and iterative technique of clarifying your thoughts can help you gain a deeper understanding of how you reason and reach your conclusions. In addition, it will reveal the assumptions about the world that may obstruct your ability to think clearly.


Our goal is not to find one truth. To be more precise, the objective is not to make you explain your position to others but to assist you in explaining it to yourself to ensure that you can better convey it to others. So, it is essential to take some time to reflect before starting the analysis process. Put your mind at ease. Observe your feelings.


Put yourself in the role of an objective observer, watching your thoughts as they flow. Identify and address any fears, regrets, reminiscences, or other ideas that arise during this exercise. This is the raw material that you will use to analyze your thoughts. 


The Second Point: Evaluate Your Thinking


Organize your thoughts sequentially by putting them on a numbered list, and then summarize them as best you can by drawing a conclusion. Rather than accepting this as the case without further explanation, examine each of the claims that led you to reach this conclusion and ask yourself what should be done next.


Put your points forward. Are they valid? Is there a reason or not? What do those claims lead to? Then, dissect the deductions. Chatfield states that;


● Layers of habit,

● Confusion, and,

● Self-justification impairs your ability to think clearly.


The Third Point: Review Your Assumptions


Is there any evidence to support your claims, or are they based on your personal experiences and feelings? There will be plenty of explanations and affirmations that rely heavily on your assumptions. A premise might be self-explanatory and logical, but it might not make sense to others. It's time to examine your beliefs and pick them apart closely.


Assumptions play a significant role in developing an individual's moral code because they form the basis of it. So, examine your observations about opposing assumptions, then deconstruct your own and their assumptions if necessary.


You will be able to recognize flawed assumptions, accept different perspectives, and find common ground only when you can find common ground.


The Fourth point: Acknowledge Where Your Knowledge Falls Short


The amount of things you don’t know is more significant than those you do. It is the nature of human beings, no matter how brilliant we are. Analyzing your thoughts demonstrates that you can justify your position rationally and are open to other viewpoints that differ from yours.


Discuss your reasoning constructively with others to gain a broader perspective on your beliefs. You will also be willing to change your mind if you are mistaken. Finally, whenever you are locked in a debate, use the "charity principle": Find the truth in your opponents' statements, even if your views do not align with theirs.


To better understand what your opponents think, don't assume they oppose your point of view due to spite or hatred; instead, try to understand how they see things. The world in which we live is often hard to navigate - and one in which new rules come into effect consistently. Since change occurs so rapidly in the modern world, seeing things from a different perspective will be an outstanding chance to rethink everything you believe in and how the world operates.


Therefore, it is essential for you to be upfront about what you do (possibly) do not know about the subject. It is always a good idea to examine and analyze your thoughts and opinions like your opponent's.


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