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The Simplicity Principle

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The Simplicity Principle

Six Steps Towards Clarity in a Complex World

Kogan Page,

15 min read
9 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Complexity doesn’t have to rule your life. You can quiet the noise and take a simple approach.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Well Structured
  • Concrete Examples


If you’re thinking, “Stop the world and let me off,” you’re the ideal candidate for Julia Hobsbawm’s guide to untangling life’s complexities. The British author and intellectual uses nature and neuroscience as a framework for dealing sensibly with life’s demands. Hobsbawm warns against the poisonous effects of stress and explains why multitasking goes against nature. Hobsbawm offers a unique perspective on quieting the noise around you and embracing clarity amid confusion.


The Simplicity Principle derives from two core concepts: “Keep it simple” and “Learn from nature.”

Life is complex and demanding, but doesn’t have to feel overwhelming or out of control. The Simplicity Principle shows you how to prioritize and effectively utilize your energy and intellect based on two foundational concepts:

  1. Keep it simple – Learn to apply simpler solutions to make your life manageable.
  2. “Learn from nature” – The bee’s honeycomb is made up of six-sided hexagons, a simple, sturdy and highly functional shape. Use a six-part framework to organize your life more simply.

Stress takes a sizable toll on performance and psychological well-being. Stress costs the United States some $300 billion in business annually.

Technology should simplify life, but it often has the opposite effect. Drivers using mobile phones cause 25% of automobile accidents worldwide – mostly due to the misguided practice of multitasking. People can process only four to seven things at a time. Multitasking – an unnatural act – creates anxiety...

About the Author

British author and intellectual Julia Hobsbawm also wrote Fully Connected: Surviving and Thriving in an Age of Overload and Where the Truth Lies.

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    C. M. 3 years ago
    Good reflection about simplicity. I will apply this knowledge
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    C. C. 3 years ago
    It makes me reflect about many point of view around simplicity. Good reading.