09/23/2014 04:51 pm ET Updated Nov 23, 2014

Simplification Is a Beautiful Thing: How to Simplify Your Business and Life

I was listening to an interview the other day about a movie producer who made millions and realized that money doesn't make him happy (nothing new, I know!), in fact his fancy lifestyle and all the toys and gadgets he possessed made him pretty unsatisfied. So what did he do to climb out of that depression? He started to simplify his life like crazy by giving away some of his stuff, moving to a smaller property and focusing on what mattered the most to him. His friends thought he turned a little crazy.

The same principle of simplification applies to business. At Basic Bananas I've worked with hundreds of businesses that make it way too complicated for themselves and once I get them to simplify, it's like they start to lift unnecessary weights off their shoulders. Their businesses don't only get more fun, they also become more profitable.

Here are a few quick tips to get you started on the journey of simplification:
  • Look at all of your products and services on offer: Which ones are bringing in money and which ones are a waste of time? Sometimes getting rid of some of your offerings can be hard (we humans have a bit of an attachment thing going on), but it's so worth it if it makes sense from a business perspective. Steve Jobs did it with Apple when they brought him back to save the company. And it worked.
  • Automate and systemize as much as possible: I'm a sucker for processes and business automation because they help you simplify your business and life.
  • Only focus on what really matters: Prioritize your daily activities and focus on what really matters (Facebook doesn't count!), not the time fillers. Also look at what you are not good at or hate doing and outsource it to someone who is excellent at it! I'm the queen of outsourcing according to my team. I think they are right.
  • Declutter and organize your computer, your office, your work-space: A few weeks ago I bought myself a new laptop because my old one kept crashing (I admit it, it was way too cluttered). My productivity and efficiency must have increased by at least 30 percent just by working on a clean computer. I don't think buying a new machine is the best solution (unless you donate the other one to charity), just take a few minutes to declutter your desktop and organize your files. It feels awesome. I have a personal goal whereas at the end of every week I clear out my email inbox and declutter my desktop for it to be neat and organized.
  • Say good-bye to toxic business relationships: This is a great practice not just in business but also in life. Stop hanging out with 'energy vampires', people that suck your energy and leave you feeling like you need a nap after spending time with them. Say good-bye to bad clients, toxic business partners, team members that don't care about your business or your clients... Au revoir!

What can you simplify in your business today?
The movie producer I spoke about earlier managed to gain back his happy mojo thanks to simplification. #happyending

Franziska Iseli-Hall