“Stupefy!” yelled Hermione, and Ron was thrust backward and disarmed.

In Harry Potter, the “Stunning Spell” Stupefy is used to stun opponents and is used throughout the series as an enormously practical spell. In English, the word means “to stun” or “to amaze,” and in The Achiever, it means “to simplify.”

The more educated we become, the more we tend to create complexity in our lives, which can often be a good thing. Attend college? That’s complex. Get married? Super complex. Build a career? Sustained complexity for years. Let’s make success more likely, and the journey there easier by simplifying things we can. The more complex machinery is, the more likely it is to break down, and the same is true for the best-laid plans. The more components there are within a project or mechanism, the more opportunities for malfunction there are (just think of a car engine).

Reduce stress and the chance of failure for your goals by reducing the complexity. What is the minimum level required for maximum success? Does your daily planner need to have twelve sections and four binders attached, or will a simpler version accomplish the same thing? Does your filing cabinet have a color-schemed, Da Vinci Code style system that requires a cryptographer to cipher through it, or will you be able to find something quickly because alphabetical order works just as well?

Ask yourself: “Is there a simpler way to solve this problem,” and you’ll likely find a creative, less-complex (and thus less stressful) way to accomplish your task.

In other words, “Stupefy” your complexity and simplify.