Gain jet-speed performance with Compact Thinking

Compact thinking develops the mindset that insists on things being tightly put together– nothing is left loose. It requires one to ensure a well-structured life where every asset is useful and focused on a set objective. Unnecessary gaps, loose components and unsure destinations have no place in the scheme of things if performance is desired.

Often we are not aware of the things that weigh us down and stop us from giving our best. Consider the case of an athlete who is wearing heavy clothes and high heeled shoes.  Perhaps even carrying a backpack whiles trying to win a hundred meter race. You can’t even imagine it- I know? Athletes do not dress like that for a race and there is a reason why. They strip till they are almost on birthday suit level and they run in very light shoes designed to ensure fast movement of the feet. Everything about them is organized to lose baggage and make them as light as possible. Well… the idea is simple: lighter is faster. It is the reason high performance cars now have engine blocks made of aluminum and TVRs have fiberglass bodies. It makes them lighter and hence faster. It allows the full performance of the engine to be released as it has less to carry.  You can do the same for great results in your current occupation and larger life.

However, compact thinking is not only about minimizing your baggage or weight. Most importantly it is about tightening the loose screws and a careful selection of essential tools and maximizing their application. This part of the idea while simple can also be tricky. There are a countless number of tools out there but what you really need is one that can give you the maximum while demanding very little from you.  Tools must not become liabilities and they can. A long distance biker knows he needs water to keep him going but he doesn’t bring a whole drum with him; he brings a bottle. He needs to secure himself so brings a helmet with him albeit an aerodynamic and light one so it doesn’t rob him of speed.

There are those who walk around with tools that they do not need. Take for example a person who cannot read but walks around with an iPhone and a blackberry. These are advanced Smartphone’s that have very powerful capabilities and hence cost lots of money. They are however, rendered useless in the wrong hands. In my estimation, many only use 10% of our phones leaving the 90% capability to waste and yet the price remains the same. The two phones will set them back some $1000 or more but we will insist on having them just to belong- the need to belong is an emotional baggage. Besides walking around with two to three phones makes it easy to lose one and this happens a lot. This is a financial leakage that can affect performance in more than one way. 

Case in point:  Take a secretary who has access to a desktop computer at work. She also has two Smartphones in her handbag. She may have a laptop before she got a tablet. Sometimes she even has a desktop at home. Not to mention the digital camera and iPod she also has stashed away somewhere.  The total cost of her gear can be estimated at some $5000 and that doesn’t include maintenance (two phones means two bills). Yet she might complain about finances. It is a clear case of a lack of financial intelligence; a key cylinder that needs to fire at full capacity if one is to hit the peak. It is a leakage in a person’s life and until blocked will continue to affect output. $5000 is better invested in a financial instrument.

Compact thinking in this case will be having a really good high-end Smartphone that does it all. Perhaps having a decent laptop may solve the rest of the computing problems. The argument is that often these gadgets are barely used and will cost more money to keep. The tools in these devices when used will help improve performance in many ways but they must be focused and not scattered. You don’t need more than one calendar or appointment scheduler. You will struggle to find valuable information. It is easier to manage when it is all in one place. Synchronize your smart phone with your laptop and liquidate the rest of your gear. Upgrade your phone to a better one when the time is right.

There are those who prefer a very expensive 4.0 liter engine car to drive around town everyday burning a lot of fuel when they might be better off with a good quality smaller car with less consumption, maintenance and parking problems. Compact thinking is not being stingy and old fashioned. It is shedding your ego and emotional bagged and doing what is necessary so you can maximize your performance. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having the latest devices but we must ensure that they are assets and not liabilities. Baggages and leakages are not only physical, they can manifest as emotions too.

In performance theory, everything is either an asset or a liability and this includes people. This matter is treated in more detail in another article. Compact thinking is the reason why we now want to have three children and not ten like in the old days. We want to be able to give them the best and that won’t happen when there are too many mouths to feed. When one has a too many friends he increases the possibility of conflict and reduces quality of friendships. Wrong friends can affect your performance negatively. Friends need attention and when you have too many you will have to divide that attention among them. Chances are some might get more than others and conflict will be the result. The best thing to do is to have very few but quality friends. Quality friends are those you can call asset people. Their very presence adds something to your life but of course you have to ensure that you are a quality friend yourself. People dynamics explains this in more detail.

This idea also applies very well in your job. When you sit at your desk in the morning it will be useful to be clear about what it is you must achieve and assemble what is needed while eliminating what is not needed. What is needed must be well positioned in the right places for easy access. People needed must be made aware from early and all distractions like social media must be eliminated. It is in fact recommended that you disconnect your computer from the internet for most of the day. Of course this must all be done in the context of what you need to achieve and how you will achieve it. Don’t forget there is no one-size-fits-all solution to anything.

So let us summarize the idea for easy understanding:
People, emotions, gadgets and tools must work for you and neveragainst you. They must not be baggagethat weigh you down or obstacles that get in your way or leakages that steal your power. When assets have been identified they must be tightly put together as loose and badly integrated componentscan also affect performance. Loose components refer to having assets that are not well put together and hence run in directions of their own. Everything must work in unison and be closely knit together towards a specific object. No loosed ends. When they are too many, you have to eliminate wisely and focus using the best tools you can get. When aircrafts are in trouble they dump fuel. Compact-Thinking will make you lighter, sharper smoother and faster. In a nutshell it will release your true performance. It is a very simple way of thinking that has miraculous benefits as it eliminates waste from your life and seals leakages allowing you to be the best you can be.

Answering the following questions is a great way to start.


Do you have more than one mobile phone and why? Explain what impact your two phones have on your finances and where in your life extra finance is needed.


Are all the devices you have being used at maximum capacity and how have you reached this conclusion? If not, why?


Are there identifiable leakages in your life that must be sealed? What are they and how can you achieve this?


What kind of support do you get from your spouse and friend regarding what you do?

How many children do you have or want to have and why?

Are there any loose ends in your life that you need to tighten and what are they?

Email the answers to  coaching@csdafrica.com to join our no-obligation,  one month free performance coaching program.

About Markus Kennedy Katey

One comment

  1. When Steve Jobs took over apple, he reduced the number of products under development. some of them really prmosing. He kep a few and did them very well.. the results… lets just say he applied compact thinking.

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