Micro Friction

Micro Friction

The benefits of creating a smoother life.

Can you remember a few things in your daily life, that are somehow annoying? They are not very noticeable, because they appear quickly and disappear even quicker. So many of us ignore to do something about them, because the pain, that those things cause, it often disappears after a split second.

I would like to name a few examples from my life, so hopefully, you can relate.

A list of friction causing things

  • Having to get cash at the ATM, because there are still stores that don’t accept card payments
  • Having to much stuff laying in your apartment, while you try to clean your apartment
  • Having to delete spam mails every day, because your mail provider doesn’t categories them correctly

Please take a moment to think of something, that causes friction in your life. Wait a second.

Photo by Malvestida Magazine on Unsplash

Got something? Good. Here comes the -maybe not so groundbreaking- idea.

Frequency of Exposure

Imagine having at least one situation every day, that is slightly annoying. Just enough to create a tiny spike on your stress level. Nothing serious. Now imagine having those little spikes multiple times a day. For weeks, months, years, decades… What does it do to your body and your mind?

Does it cause any harm or is this maybe a good thing?

Probably each individual will react different being exposed to those situations. In my -non-scientific point of view- I believe that being permanently exposed that kind of situations is something, people should try to avoid. At least it’s something, that I try to avoid myself.

I can’t come up with arguments for why it is good to be exposed to micro friction. It’s also difficult to think of possible harm, that micro friction can cause, so I try to focus on the benefits that come with eliminating the annoying little things in life.

Possible Benefits

These potential benefits convinced me to start reducing it:

  1. Friction is like noise. Even if it’s not perceived consciously, it can distract you from the more important things. Even if I only think about how annoying things are for a few seconds each day, I could have used the time to think about other things. Avoiding distraction.
  2. Free idea generator. There is this idea, that you can build a successful business by solving your own problems and then sell the solutions to others. By finding solutions for the annoying little things in your daily life, you automatically generate ideas for products or services. Create something.
  3. Save time. Creating a smoother life saves you time. Being faster at cleaning, or not having to delete spam emails are just two examples, that steal you a few seconds per day. Again. Add all those seconds and you will probably waste hours or weeks within your lifetime. Think about all the other things you could do instead. Re-allocate your time.

Less Friction, More Essentials

Reducing friction is a never-ending process.

  1. Identify something that’s obviously annoying and steals time.
  2. Find a solution to eliminate it.
  3. Use the free time, to do something you actually find meaningful.

During your journey following the principle of reducing friction, you will end up in a place, where you can deliberately allocate your personal resources.

The follow-up question will be:

What is meaningful to you?

But that is something for another day.

Life is smooth,