How to Simplify Your Life Workflow

eric kim street photography kyoto-0001392
Kyoto, 2016

Dear friend, we often make life more complicated than it needs to be.

Why make things more complicated and complex? It just adds stress, frustration, and “friction” to our lives.

What we should seek to do is to simplify our lives. And to simplify our life “workflow”.

What is ‘workflow’?

In photography, workflow is the art of taking images, processing them, and publishing them.

In the digital world, photography workflow can be as complicated or easy as you want. The most complicated photography workflows deal with shooting in different formats, processing your photos in different ways, backing up your photos in different ways, and publishing/sharing your photos in different ways.

The ultimate easy workflow in photography is with the smartphone. Essentially you just take a photograph, it syncs automatically on the cloud, and you can quickly share your image on social media. No friction.

A life ‘workflow’?

Which made me wonder, how could we simplify our life “workflow”?

The simplest idea is this: reduce friction in your life.

For example, what is some causes of friction in your life?

Perhaps you might have friction going to the gym, exercising, or going to the studio to do yoga.

You might have friction to go out to take photos. Or write. Or read. Or do some creative work.

How to reduce friction

Simplify your workflow to make it as easy as possible to do whatever you want to do.

If you want to get into shape, the best “workflow” to reduce friction is to not go to the gym. Just get on the floor, and do pushups.

If you want to make photos, the easiest way to reduce friction is to just use the simplest camera possible — which is probably your smartphone. It is always with you, easy to operate, and frictionless to share images.

If you want to write, use the simplest writing application possible. Make things less complicated, and more simple.


Keep it simple silly.

Reduce complexity. Reduce steps. Make things simpler.

But often making things simpler is a lot harder than making things more complicated.

For example, it is harder to write a short heart-felt letter, rather than a long letter that rambles.

In your life and photography, seek to simplify your workflow as simple as possible. Then the simpler you make your workflow, the more creatively you can flourish. You have less friction in your life, which gives you more energy to do the creative work you were destined for.

Keep it simple,

Learn more: Zen >