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One of the most important pillars I use to guide my decisions is the "Can we not?" principle. It's a simple idea: if I can avoid doing something, I should.

Sure, you do have to do some things to, say, build and sell a product or manage a household. But things you've done are also the source of future problems. Code we write has to be maintained. Features we build have to be supported.

The more we do, the more we have to do. And this just keeps adding up -- what is an organization or household but an ever-growing collection of things that have to be maintained?

Conversely, any time you don't do something you now have one fewer thing to deal with tomorrow. That is, if that thing you didn't do today is also something you don't have to do tomorrow.

Some things can't be avoided. But far more things can be avoided than we typically think. It's always worth asking the question: "Can we not?"