Essentialism” by Greg McKeown

“Essentialism” by Greg McKeown

The book can be summarized as “here are all the tips and tactics to make sure you prioritise your own life – because if you don’t, someone else will prioritise your life for you”.

If you want to do “less” in 2020, here are some of things to think about:

Think:less but better

  1. I’m choosing what to/not to do: if you could do one thing with your life, what would you do? We hate saying no to things but as a result don’t say yes to things intentionally either and we become a function of others’ choices or our own past.
  2. Only a few things matter: at some point, increased effort doesn’t mean increased results. Got to focus on the vital few things rather than the many.
  3. What are my trade-offs? You can never do both – what will we go big on?
  4. What problem do you want or don’t you want?

Do: the disciplined pursuit of less

  1. Pause to discern what really matters: I would say this is the most prevalent coaching issue I work with clients on – how to make the time to think. Sleep and play are essential for this, as is deciding that if it’s not a definite yes, then it’s a NO.
  2. Say no to everything except that which is essential: clarify your essential intent, which takes courage, insight and foresight.
  3. Dare to say no (gracefully); uncommit; and edit your life; be crystal clear on work and personal boundaries.
  4. Remove obstacles to execute easily:

A. Buffers: create them, don’t assume best case: practice extreme and early preparation for everything: 50% contingencies;

B. Subtract: what is the “slowest hiker” in your job or life and how do you remove it or get help; what is your essential intent every day?

C. Progress: make small positive changes in the things we do most often; minimum viable progress: where done is better than perfect; what can I do in the time I have right now, even if it’s not the time I wish I had.

D. Flow: create routines to create flow: the right routines give us an energy rebate. Don’t tackle everything all at once

E. Focus: we only ever have now– we can’t control the future or change the past; we can do two things at once but not concentrate in two places. What is the most important thing for you to do now and what might you like to do someday as a result of what you do today. Prioritise the essentials.

Get: living a life that really matters. As a result of the above we can choose carefully to do great work; feel in control; get the right things done; and experience joy in the journey.

Do less…..What, Why and When: Right Thing, for the Right Reason, at the Right Time rather than everything because everyone else is doing it, and doing it now….

Please note, this book review is available as a pdf on request.

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