Einstein’s Razor: A Handy Tool to Simplify Your Life

Albert Einstein once said1:

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

This preference for simplicity shows in his famous equation E=MC2.

Rather than settling for a complex, lengthy equation, Einstein boiled it down to its bare minimum.

And this approach is applicable well beyond scientific theories.

You can use Einstein’s Razor to “cut away” any kind of unnecessary complexity.

When I write my articles, for instance, I use it to cut out any fluff.

After I’ve finished the shitty first draft, I go over it several times and delete every single redundant word.

My goal is to seamlessly transfer each idea from the text into the reader’s mind.

And that happens when my texts are as simple as possible, but not simpler.

Here are some other examples of how to use Einstein’s Razor:

  • Goal-setting: Instead of setting many goals, use the 3-3-3 method to focus on the few that are most important.
  • Habits: Rather than tracking tons of behaviors, use a Keystone Habit Calendar to track the most critical ones.
  • Weight-lifting: Instead of doing a bunch of different exercises, do the ones that activate the most muscle groups.
  • Wardrobe: Rather than keeping clothes you might use someday, only keep the stuff you actually wear.
  • Work: Instead of trying to do everything at once, remove all distractions and work on what truly matters.

As you can see, Einstein’s Razor can be helpful in a wide variety of situations.

So, whenever you’re faced with complexity, ask yourself: How can I simplify this?

That way, you’ll focus your time, energy, and attention on what’s essential.

You’ll do less, but better. And that’s a highly effective and satisfying way of doing things.

Footnote

  1. According to Quote Investigator, there is no direct evidence that Albert Einstein expressed this idea in these exact words. Regardless, I’ll use this concise quote for the sake of simplicity. Yes — I’m using Einstein’s Razor to explain Einstein’s Razor. 🪒