Tag Archives: tim ferris

How Would This Look If It Were Easy?

I love Tim Ferriss: the person, the books, the podcasts. He’s definitely put out some great stuff over the years. He asks great questions, not just of his interviewees on his podcast, but of himself. Sometimes in life asking the right question is really the trick. One of the questions that Tim asks of himself is “How would this look if it were easy?”

Don’t misinterpret this as an excuse to take the easy way out of things, but it is an inquiry into not making things more difficult than they have to be. I heard recount how he asked himself this question about doing podcasts. He had spoken with enough podcasters to know that it could be an extremely time-consuming endeavor to do a podcast, but then he asked himself how it would look if it were easy. So from choosing equipment to management to editing, Tim made choices that would allow him to put out a lot of good content with the least painful investment of time and effort. For example, he consciously chose to do long-form interviews with no editing. So once the interview is finished he tacks on the opening and closing bumpers and is done. Because most people lose momentum between the recording and the editing and find it hard to stay on a weekly schedule. He solved the problem by making an easy decision.

Look at your life and where you find yourself complaining that it’s too hard. Then ask yourself what it would look like if it were easier. Maybe you can simplify something to make it easier. For example, dieting is hard for many people. What would it look like if it were easy? Perhaps the solution is to subscribe to a meal delivery service that sends you healthy, pre-made meals. Some people find it hard to find the time to go to the gym. Maybe the solution is to get two friends from work and make a pact to workout at lunch every day. You can create a penalty if one person cancels, they have to buy lunch for the other two that day.

Solutions to problems come from asking the right questions. The wrong answer to the right question is better than the right answer to the wrong question.