“Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown
Have you ever felt the urge to declutter your work life?
Do you often find yourself stretched too thin?
Do you simultaneously feel overworked and underutilized?
Are you frequently busy but not productive?
Do you feel like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people’s agendas?
If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the Essentialist.
The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. It is not a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.
By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy – instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us.
Essentialism is not one more thing – it’s a whole new way of doing everything. A must-read for any leader, manager, or individual who wants to do less, but better, and declutter and organize their own their lives, Essentialism is a movement whose time has come.
“Remember that if you don’t prioritize your life someone else will.”
“Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.”
“You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.”
“The way of the Essentialist means living by design, not by default. Instead of making choices reactively, the Essentialist deliberately distinguishes the vital few from the trivial many, eliminates the nonessentials, and then removes obstacles so the essential things have clear, smooth passage. In other words, Essentialism is a disciplined, systematic approach for determining where our highest point of contribution lies, then making execution of those things almost effortless.”
“What if we stopped celebrating being busy as a measurement of importance? What if instead we celebrated how much time we had spent listening, pondering, meditating, and enjoying time with the most important people in our lives?”
“The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It was singular. It meant the very first or prior thing. It stayed singular for the next five hundred years.”
“Sometimes what you don’t do is just as important as what you do.”
“If it isn’t a clear yes, then it’s a clear no.”
“Just because I was invited didn’t seem a good enough reason to attend.”
“There should be no shame in admitting to a mistake; after all, we really are only admitting that we are now wiser than we once were.”
“We overvalue nonessentials like a nicer car or house, or even intangibles like the number of our followers on Twitter or the way we look in our Facebook photos. As a result, we neglect activities that are truly essential, like spending time with our loved ones, or nurturing our spirit, or taking care of our health.”
“What do I feel deeply inspired by?” and “What am I particularly talented at?” and “What meets a significant need in the world?
“We can either make our choices deliberately or allow other people’s agendas to control our lives.”
“The killer question: “If I didn’t already own this, how much would I spend to buy it?”
“Weniger aber besser. The English translation is: Less but better.”