Are you a simplifier or a complicator?

November 17, 2017

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By Brian Maynor



You have to be one or the other and chances are you’re a complicator.

As a society, we tend to find complexity appealing and value it more than simplicity.  Add to that the facts that complexity is a lot more interesting and that we are taught if something is too simple it must be wrong or bad, and it’s no wonder that simplicity and simplifiers get a bad reputation.

The concept of ‘more is better’ permeates our life.  Think about it.  If you have the choice between a watch that simply tells time or a smart watch at the same price, which one would you choose?  Most people would choose the smart watch because we think we’re getting more for their money, and therefore it must be the better option.

The same principle applies to how we function and operate in life.

Here is a summation of simplifiers and complicators and two things to keep in mind when assessing which way we lean:

1.   Complicators.  From a distance, complicators look like someone who thrives on a challenge because they are always working hard, struggling and probably churning out a lot of work product.  However, up close it becomes obvious that most of that struggle and hard work aren’t really necessary.  Complicators tend to make everything they do a lot more ‘complicated’ than it needs to be.  In fact, they are skeptical of any solution or answer that is simple.

2.    Simplifiers.  The polar opposite of complications, from a distance simplifiers appear to be people who are only doing the bare minimum necessary to get by.  Of course, this isn’t the case at all.  The fact is simplifiers avoid complication at all costs.  They are constantly looking for the quickest, most straightforward way to solve a problem or get something done.

3.    More isn’t always better.  While this goes against our human nature, it is nevertheless a fact.  Going back to the watch scenario, we like to think that having more functions and features makes our lives easier, but if we only need to know the time all of those ‘extras’ just get in the way.

4.    Simple is practical.  When our watch simply tells the time, it’s practical, and that’s what keeping things simple is all about.  Simplicity is efficient, concise and effective.  It doesn’t matter how complex the problem, there is always a simple solution, but that doesn’t mean it will be the easiest solution.  Cutting through and trimming excess can be difficult, but the end result will be worth it.

Finding value in simplicity takes practice and work, because it goes against our instincts.  We are wired to believe that more is always better, and that if it’s too simple then it must be too good to be true.  Fortunately, we can train ourselves to be simplifiers and boost our productivity as a result.



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I am always curious to hear about your weekend wardrobe dilemmas and help make your work wardrobe pull double duty.  Email your questions, quandaries and conundrums to [email protected].  Also find each of these storyboards at with links to purchase each item.


About Brian Maynor

Brian Maynor has built a reputation as one of the leading style coaches in the Southeast and is quickly expanding his eponymous company, BRIAN MAYNOR and his FIND, FLATTER & FLAUNT line of image consulting services. A professional with a fresh, upbeat and down-to-earth personality and boundless creative energy, he works frequently with with local celebrities; Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations; modeling agencies; fashion designers; production companies; record labels; media and individuals. A regular contributor to various fashion blogs and online communities, Brian Maynor is one of the most trusted and recognized style experts in the region, utilizing his education and training as a broadcast journalist to serve as a style lecturer, emcee, and commentator for over a decade. He has appeared at fashion shows, expos, and charity fundraisers, as well as events with big brands like Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Chico’s and Macy’s. His approach is innovative, creative and fashion-forward, balancing fresh, modern styles with classic pieces to keep one’s look grounded. To learn more, visit


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