We as humans have this habit to sometimes make little things complex. When we have a simpler way but we opt to go by harder way. This is called complexity bias.
Making complex decisions even though a simple solution is visible and possible.
If you were given a choice between a simple and complicated solution, which would you choose? It’s a humorous truth, but most people tend to prefer complex ones.
When we practise a task more often, it becomes a habit. That’s how we develop this bias. Personally, it’s the most humorous lesson for me to learn. Undoubtedly, it has been valuable as well.
The three rules shared below will help you to simplify things in life by diminishing complexity bias.
Downside of Complexity Bias
Complexity bias is the reason why we debate the science of intermittent fasting and ketogenic diets instead of following Michael Pollan’s advice to “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” It’s why we pay freelancers to fix image size on websites instead of just deleting and adding another. This is also the reason we sit to research & find reasons on why we procrastinate, instead of heading to our task!!
This habit of going with complex solutions often leads to avoidance. When we find a task difficult and complicated we tend to avoid it. That doesn’t seem great for our productivity and decision making!!
“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”CONFUCIUS
Bad part of this habit is, if we keep practising this habit– eventually we will make our life difficult. Everything for us will be difficult. Which will induce negative emotions for perceiving life, with more stress and anxiety.
3 Rules to Simplify Life & Things
Build bias to act, instead of research
When we dig deeper into something which is new to us, we assume it is very difficult to do. For eg. if you want to start blogging, you will watch several youtube tutorials. And then find those steps difficult for you to act on. As a result you’d hire someone to do it for you. Without even acting on steps!!
If the only thing you do is research,= or try to learn more and don’t act. Your research and knowledge will remain invaluable. It’s like knowing all about programming but still didn’t build that app you wanted to. You have to act on each step when you are researching to simplify decisions.
It’s impossible to master something before you even begin. Get started, learn from your mistakes, improvise, and you’ll see progress before you know it.
The Occam’s Razor Principle
There are situations when we have both complex and simple solutions. But naturally most of us prefer to go with complex ones, because we think “how it can be so simple, there could be something wrong”, “it can’t be that easy”, etc.
Occam’s Razor states that, when faced with two possible solutions for the same problem, the one that requires the least assumptions is most likely to be true. While there are exceptions to every mental model, Occam’s Razor is a great rule of thumb for counterbalancing the complexity bias.
Let’s make Occam Razor’s definition more simple, “When you are faced with similar options, you should always go with a simpler solution first.”
Revisit How you Define Success
Don’t get caught up in other people’s ideas of success, like follower count, earning or likes. Tie your goals to effort, not outcomes, and track your progress to keep your momentum going.
When you are clear and conscious you will never get stuck in complicated solutions. As a beginner we can make mistakes of copying others, being envious, but with that you’ll learn that you must have your version of success to truly give your highest effort.
Simplicity stops being useful when it becomes a goal in itself. But as a gentle pressure added to life’s important decisions, it has proven to be very effective at keeping our inner FOMO in check.
Most of us tend to overcomplicate things because we believe complex solutions are better than simple ones. But if you can find a simple way to get started, you’ll usually discover that it really is a lot easier than you thought.
And remember, even the tough stuff gets easier with practice.
Well, to justify “Simpler is better”, such long paragraphs are not worthy! (TBH)
What are some examples of complexity bias?
Examples of complexity bias include overly complicated products or services that are difficult to use, convoluted organizational structures, and needlessly complex language in written communication.
How can you avoid falling victim to complexity bias in your own decision-making?
To avoid falling victim to complexity bias, one can start by simplifying the decision-making process. This can involve breaking down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable steps, avoiding jargon or overly complex language, and seeking out diverse perspectives and opinions. It’s also important to recognize when complexity is necessary and when it’s not, and to prioritize simplicity when appropriate.
Can complexity bias ever be helpful in decision-making?
While complexity bias is generally seen as a hindrance to effective decision-making, there are some situations where it can be helpful. In these cases, complexity bias can help ensure that all relevant factors are taken into account, leading to a more comprehensive and effective solution. However, it’s important to remain aware of the potential downsides of complexity bias and to use it judiciously.