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Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

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Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin?
Do you simultaneously feel overworked and underutilized?
Are you often 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 EssentialistThe 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 learn how to do less, but better, in every area of their lives, Essentialism  is a movement whose time has come.

260 pages, Hardcover

First published December 31, 2011

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About the author

Greg McKeown

15 books3,967 followers
Greg McKeown is a business writer, consultant, and researcher specializing in leadership, strategy design, collective intelligence and human systems. He has authored or co-authored books, including the Wall Street Journal Bestseller, Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter (Harper Business, June 2010), and journal articles.

Originally from England, he is now an American citizen, living in Southern California. Greg holds a B.A. in Communications (with an emphasis in journalism) from Brigham Young University and an MBA from Stanford University.

The World Economic Forum inducted Greg into the Forum of Young Global Leaders.

Greg is currently CEO of McKeown, Inc., a leadership and strategy design agency. He has taught at companies that include Apple, Google, Facebook, Salesforce.com, Symantec, Twitter, and VMware. Prior to this, Greg worked for Heidrick & Struggles' Global Leadership Practice assessing senior executives around the world. His work included a project for Mark Hurd (then CEO of Hewlett Packard) assessing the top 300 executives at HP.

Greg is an active Social Innovator and currently serves as a board member for Washington D.C. policy group, Resolve, and as a mentor with 2Seeds, a non-profit incubator for agricultural projects in Africa. And he is a regular keynote speaker at non-profits groups including The Kauffman Fellows Program, St. Jude and the Minnesota Community Education Association.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 10,981 reviews
Profile Image for Jacob.
407 reviews125 followers
March 19, 2015
Essentialism starts with giving yourself permission (or forcing yourself) to stop trying to do it all. Only then can you make your highest contribution to the things that really matter.

I think a lot of us intuitively get the principle of focus makes for better results; the hard work, in my mind, is deciding what to focus on and being disciplined enough to say no to other things.

"Dieter Rams was the lead designer at Braun for many years. He is driven by the idea that almost everything is noise." His design criteria can be distilled to just three words: Weniger, aber besser -- Less, but better.

"The way of the essentialist is the relentless pursuit of less, but better." It is about pausing constantly to ask ourselves "Am I investing in the right activities?" There are many good, and many very good options, but "most are trivial and few are vital." Essentialism is a systematic approach to determining where our highest point of contribution lies.

"If you don't prioritize your life, someone else will."

Something that resonated with me was the notion of trying to "learn it all and do it all". Fining "a new obsession every day, sometimes every hour, making a millimeter of progress in a million directions." Although this is a fair critique, I think there is a time for this, since we are not born knowing precisely what we are good at, what we love to do, or what the landscape around us facilitates us doing. A valid argument could be made that at 25 I should have isolated my focus area...

Interesting bit about a nurse who recorded the thoughts of those in the last 12 weeks of their lives. At the top of the list: "I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."

"As poet Mary Oliver wrote, 'Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?' I challenge you to pause more to ask yourself that question... Is it at all likely you will wake up one day and say, 'I wish I'd been less true to myself and done all the nonessential things others expected of me'?"

William James wrote 'my first act of free shall be to believe in free will.'

Without great solitude no serious work is possible - Pablo Picasso

Bill gates regularly takes a week off from his duties to think and read ( a "think week") twice a week. He reads articles and books and thinks about the bigger picture. Ways to put a little "think week" in your life every day: read something from classic literature for the first 20 minutes of the day. It centers your day and reminds you of themes central enough to stand the test of time - he recommends Zen, The Wisdom of Confucius, Walden, The Essential Gandhi, As a Man Thinketh, The Book of Mormon, The Upanishads, Quran, Holy Bible, etc. (something that seems timeless).

A system to assess new opportunities that come your way:
1. Write down the opportunity
2. List of 3 minimum criteria in order to be considered (should pass all of these)
3. List of 3 ideal or extreme criteria in order to be considered (should pass 2/3 of these)

Getting clear about your purpose:
If you could be truly excellent at one thing, what would it be?
(Think Dieter Rams, Jiro, Miyazaki, Kazuo Oga)

You've got to get over FOMO. Running a "reverse pilot" (remove an activity and see what the consequences are).

"Anyone can talk about the importance of focusing on the things that matter most, but to see people who dare to live it is rare." It takes courage.

Greg gives his children tokens they can use for screen time and then they can cash out at the end of the week. They can get more tokens by reading books.

Routines: Routines are good because they give you momentum. Think Michael Phelps before a race. He goes through the same process so that by the time he dives into the water he's already successfully 3/4 of the way through his process.

In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present. - Lao Zi

Profile Image for Morgan Blackledge.
621 reviews2,032 followers
April 19, 2015
Essentialism is author Greg McKeown's manifesto for the disciplined pursuit of less (but better). The nutshell catch fraise of the book is "if it's not a hell yes, it's a no. The prime directive is to (a) identify what really matters (b) ditch all the CBNQ (close but not quite) stuff (c) bite down and tear your mission apart like you're a cross between Gandhi and a pitbull with Asperger's syndrome i.e. a big hearted, very strong, very aggressively focused person.

Pushing 100 balls forward 1 cm is the booby prize for being a "good multitasker" and that is the exact tragic fate the author is trying to save us all from.

Instead, the author is advocating clearly identifying and hyper-focusing on what you do best and what really matters to you, so that you can deliver your highest possible contribution.

One of the things I absolutely adore about the book is that it models it's message i.e. the book is relentlessly brief, potent and on topic.

If you blink, you miss an important point. It's clear that writing the book was itself an exercise in essentialism (the disciplined pursuit of less but better) and reading the book elicits the practice of essentialism (disciplined, focused attention) on the part of the reader.

Essentially, that's a long way of saying that the writing is very focused and you will also need to be very focused it to in order to receive the full benefit of the book.

Every social worker, psychotherapist and business 101 student is familiar with SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, time bound) goals. SMART goals are a huge advance on vague-ass goals. But they typically have the giant drawback in that they tend to lack juice, energy, nuts, passion or however you want to say it.

The non-essentialist has vague, un-inspirational values and a (generally ignored) mission statement.

An essentialist has a mission strategy that is both concrete and inspirational. For example, Brad Pitt’s organization “Make It Right” has the mission strategy “to build 150 affordable, green, storm-resistant homes for families living in the Lower 9th Ward.”

There you go. Concrete and inspirational. Just incase you were wondering, that is exactly how you crush it.

An essential intent is both meaningful and measurable. An essential intent is one strategic decision (like becoming a doctor) that stays stable over time and settles one-thousand later decisions e.g. I'm flattered by your invitation, but I can not come over to your crib and smoke weed and play Battlefield, because I am becoming a doctor.

This is a great book, and at the risk of being a total douche and making an awful pun, I'm going to go ahead and call this essential reading. Actually, fuck it, this is super duper hella mega essential reading. 5 stars :-)
Profile Image for Scott.
448 reviews53 followers
July 18, 2017
Whenever you rate a book best described as a self-help or behavior booster it seems that the you either give it a five-star rating and refer to it as life changing, or you rate it as a one or two-stars and describe it as too wordy, overdone, and unrealistic. I believe that this genre is best thought of as “You’ll get out of it what you put into it.” Please don’t take that as surrendering my review, but understand everyone tends to have their passionate beliefs about the level or success these types of books provide or the lack thereof. Each reader has their own personal view and this is simply mine.

Much like other behavior based writers - Anthony Robbins, Stephen Covey, and Clayton Christensen – McKeown provides good information to improve life and ways to create habits that support successful results. He outlines his approach well in an organized table of contents. He tends to be a student of Covey and uses his Habit #2 Put First Things First as the foundation for his own view of Essentialism, the ability to eliminate the unnecessary things in life so that we can focus on the most important things that make a difference.

There are definitely some obvious benefits from this, and McKeown does a good job of explaining why it is so hard for us to change our habits of wanting to have and accomplish everything, including our professions, family, and personal lives. Most of the book is then focused on showing us ways to break or create habits for letting go of the things that are less important and how to build our own momentum. One way to think of it is making decisions in terms of good, better, and best – prioritizing what is important to us and keeping it on track. Most of the tools are not necessarily new or earth-shattering, they are things we have heard, seen, and read before. But give him some credit, as he does a pretty good job of putting a fresh and practical spin on those techniques.

I enjoyed reading this book and found it to be of good practical use. I will be reading it a second time so that I can highlight and put notes in my book. However, honesty also requires me to admit that McKeown can be a bit wordy and overly expressive, but some of that I attribute to his trying so hard to get his message across to the reader. Still, I can see how this may have put some readers off.

Overall, my belief is that depending on where you are at in life at the time you read this will be the primary influence of whether you like the information McKeown presents. For me, I am glad to have read it and will be applying his lessons in my life. You will need to make your own choice of how you choose to use or not use it. Good luck.
Profile Image for C.
1,109 reviews1,043 followers
September 10, 2021
This book will challenge you to do only what’s essential in your life, and eliminate the rest. The goal is “less but better,” achieved by focusing on the vital few, not the trivial many. It advocates being more meaningful and purposeful; not just more productive. It explains how to live “by design, not by default.” It’s not about asking, “What do I have to give up?”; it’s about asking, “What do I want to go big on?” It applies to all of life, including work and personal life.

I read this because I have a lot of demands on my time. In the past couple years I've gotten better at focusing on what will actually make a difference, and at exercising the power of saying no. This book motivated me to be even more disciplined.

I also recommend The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less.

1. Explore. Discern the trivial many from the vital few. Commit and go big on only a few items. Ask 3 questions:
• What do I feel deeply inspired by?
• What am I particularly talented at?
• What meets a significant need in the world?
2. Eliminate. Cut out the trivial many. Say no to social expectations.
3. Execute. Create a system for removing obstacles to execution.

Protect the Asset: Yourself
Our highest priority is to protect our ability to prioritize. This means reducing stress, getting enough sleep, and generally ensuring our mental health.

• Wait for the best rather than settling for good enough.
• 90% Rule: as you evaluate an option, think of the single most important criterion, and rate the option from 0 to 100. If you rate it any lower than 90, change it to 0, and reject. This prevents indecision and settling.
• Accept only the top 10% of opportunities. Take only those that are exactly what you're looking for.
• If it isn't a clear yes, then it’s a clear no.

• When evaluating an opportunity you have, ask, “If I didn't already have this opportunity, what would I be willing to do to acquire it?” If you wouldn’t do much to acquire it, eliminate it.
• Run a reverse pilot: quietly eliminate (or at least scale back) an effort and see if it makes any difference. If it doesn't, eliminate it.
Profile Image for Emily.
706 reviews2,045 followers
December 21, 2016
All 272 pages of this book could have been condensed into a three-page blog post, perhaps without the pages filled with cutesy large text. My ultimate takeaway is that I find Greg McKeown incredibly annoying. However, there are also some other, intuitive ideas that can be helpful, like:

· You cannot have it all. Decide what your agenda or goal is, and pursue only opportunities that lead you to that goal. If you don't have your own agenda, someone else will make it for you. Don't commit casually to plans you're not sure about.

· Don't be afraid to be unavailable. If you can't do a side project, say so. Focus requires you to set aside time for your priority.

· Teams function better if there is one clear, quantifiable, overarching purpose. I'm trying to work on this as a manager, so it was nice to have this reinforced.

· Keeping a journal and making time to read are important. McKeown literally suggests the Book of Mormon, which makes me want to read trashy YA instead. I do agree that it's better to take time for yourself in the morning - I always feel better when I have time to hang out and make myself breakfast, instead of checking my email as I sprint for the N train.

There, see? I wrote this book in four bullet points! Essentialism!

On the topic of Greg McKeown: I find it extremely - if not impossibly - difficult to take someone seriously who tries to use Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela as examples of essentialist thinkers. "Rosa Parks said NO to others' agendas, you can too!" Is this for real? It's so obvious that this guy is a rotating speaker for Jack Dorsey companies. Google's got Lego sets in its offices, guys! Unleash your (nebulously defined) sense of play!!

It may just be that I've never sacrificed sleep for productivity (because I'm a monster when I don't sleep at least 7 hours), but I also find the recent spate of celebrities and CEOs touting the benefits of sleep somewhat odd. Ariana Huffington really just wants you to take a nap? Jeff Bezos sleeps eight hours? No one has ever thought of this before. AMAZING.
Profile Image for Matthew.
312 reviews14 followers
November 12, 2019
Loved this book!!!

Here are my favorite takeaways:

"The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials." -Lin Yutang

“When we don’t purposefully and deliberately choose where to focus our energies and time, other people—our bosses, our colleagues, our clients, and even our families—will choose for us, and before long we’ll have lost sight of everything that is meaningful and important.”

“Studies have found that we tend to value things we already own more highly than they are worth and thus that we find them more difficult to get rid of. If you’re not quite there, ask the killer question: ‘If I didn’t already own this, how much would I spend to buy it?'”

"To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, subtract things every day."- Lao-tzu

“If you believe being overly busy and overextended is evidence of productivity, then you probably believe that creating space to explore, think, and reflect should be kept to a minimum. Yet these very activities are the antidote to the nonessential busyness that infects so many of us. Rather than trivial diversions, they are critical to distinguishing what is actually a trivial diversion from what is truly essential.”

"Beware the barrenness of a busy life"- Socrates

“When there is a serious lack of clarity about what the team stands for and what their goals and roles are, people experience confusion, stress, and frustration. When there is a high level of clarity, on the other hand, people thrive.”

“Without courage, the disciplined pursuit of less is just lip service.”

“Since ultimately, having fewer options actually makes a decision ‘easier on the eye and the brain,’ we must summon the discipline to get rid of options or activities that may be good, or even really good, but that get in the way.”

“I realized that until I knew what was important right now, what was important right now was to figure out what was important right now!”

"The best asset we have for making a contribution to the world is ourselves. If we underinvest in ourselves, and by that I mean our minds, our bodies, and our spirits, we damage the very tool we need to make our highest contribution."
Profile Image for Nancy.
1,103 reviews410 followers
January 14, 2014
This is exactly what I needed to read at exactly the right moment. As I have felt my life spiralling out of control, this is the book I picked up. The author gleans from the best and most successful people and their philosophy and supports his stance that, with a proper personal mission statement, SMART goals, and a willingness to simplify and change our perspective, we can prioritize and live, with, play a more meaningful life. His philosophy is one that supports greater joy with family, less clutter and better use of time in all aspects.

My favorite and most meaningful truism that I gained is that if we don't clearly make boundaries, someone else will make them for us. He gave the example of an executive who was asked to come on a Saturday for a meeting. He told his supervisor he would not come since that is his designated family day. The supervisor returned after discussing it with the other peers who agreed to come instead on Sunday. This executive felt the pressure to conform yet again declined by explaining that Sunday was his day to worship God. He gained respect for his personal time and values. Although not expressly stated, I discovered that when I have not set clear boundaries and give the extra mile consistently, I've set the norm. Boundaries, purpose and goals are essential to a fulfilling life in every aspect.

This book encompasses all that is taught in books by successful leaders like Stephen Covey, Clay Christensen, Henry Eyering, to name a few. It was what I needed.

Profile Image for Scott.
75 reviews62 followers
January 15, 2016
I met Greg McKeown just after I finished his book, Essentialism. I found out that he was a bishop in my stake (Mormon-speak for being a church congregation leader in my general area of Palo Alto, CA). He was approachable and kind. After introducing myself and complimenting him on his book, he asked me a few questions about myself. Namely, what was I doing in my life and what was my end goal in my professional career. I was taken aback, because not many people jump straight to such a core question when just getting to know someone - then again, he IS an essentialist, so what's the use for extraneous commentary. :) We didn't have much time to speak as he was about to leave the church building with his family. Before we parted, he challenged me to take 20 focused minutes and define what I wanted to do with my life - to write out in words my ultimate goal of my professional life. "And don't forget to time it" he said. This man truly lives and breathes the principles that he teaches in this book.

After completing Essentailism, I immediately gave the book to a friend who I know to be overly encumbered with side-projects outside of his day job. His extraneous favors stem largely from his inability to say "no" to friends and colleagues. I'm hoping that Essentialism will help him set up an internal framework to politely refuse these offers and be more proactive about the way he spends his spare time. Because that's exactly how I've felt after reading McKeown's book. I plan to live by his quote, "Don't let anyone else hijack your schedule."
Profile Image for Jason VanOrden.
Author 2 books66 followers
January 20, 2015
Do you have a chronic (bad) habit of overfilling your plate, like me? I wanted to learn to say 'no' more often in order to enjoy more happiness and less anxiety. The principles in this book will help.

Some of my favorite bites of wisdom from inside include:

* Have extreme criteria for what you will say yes to

* Only say yes to those things that score a 9 or 10 out of 10

* Make more choices. Eliminate "have to" or "should"

* Use the delayed yes. "Let me get back to you." Allow yourself space to say a graceful no.

* To counter the bias of "ownership," ask yourself this question: If I didn't already own this (or have this opportunity), how hard would I be willing to work to get it?

* Don't mistake output with effort. Meaningful work doesn't always produce immediately tangible results.

* Think "less but better"

* Explore a broad set of options, then choose one.

* Identify and remove whatever gets in the way of the Essential

* Create routines for doing anything that is essential

* JOMO = Joy of Missing Out. Make tradeoffs. Let excellent opportunities go. There will be more.

I wish there had been more of a framework for applying these principles. Some insight on identifying the Essential would be good. Also, I found the "reward" system espoused in the "importance of progress" chapter a bit simple and, according to research, non-beneficial in the long run.

All in all, time spent reading this book qualifies as essential for anyone that wants to know how to attain more by focusing on less.
Profile Image for Michael Britt.
171 reviews1,992 followers
February 22, 2017
"We have good reasons to fear saying no. We worry we’ll miss out on a great opportunity. We’re scared of rocking the boat, stirring things up, burning bridges. We can’t bear the thought of disappointing someone we respect and like. None of this makes us a bad person. It’s a natural part of being human. Yet as hard as it can be to say no to someone, failing to do so can cause us to miss out on something far more important.”

Out of all these latest nonfiction books I've been reading/listening to, this one has been the most eye opening/life altering I've come across. I mean, it even convinced me to quit my second job. I didn't need the money, I have more than I know what to do with, but I was there because I felt bad for the owner. It was cutting into my personal life, making it where I didn't have time for one, and it was destroying my health since I didn't have time to cook meals and/or go to the gym due to always working. But, this book applies to so much more than just my example. It can help anyone who feels overwhelmed or spread to thin in any aspect of their lives. I personally listened to the audio book, since my main job allows headphones, and the artist narrates it and it was fantastic. Highly, highly recommend.
Profile Image for Dru Pagliassotti.
Author 19 books90 followers
May 11, 2014
Over the last twenty-odd years I've moved from frugality to voluntary simplicity to minimalism, and now I have a name for my post-minimalism stage in which I've found myself: essentialism. The idea of paring down to the highest quality essentials, to only those things that absolutely do what you need them to do -- whether we're talking about physical possessions or time commitments -- is exactly what I've been striving toward over the last two years, with mixed success. As a writer and a university department chair, I struggle with my time commitments and often make choices that others think are bizarre (like not watching TV, or wearing the same basic outfit of jeans-and-black-tee every day) in order to create the time and mental freedom I need. McKeown's Essentialism doesn't offer any magic-bullet answers to someone already on board with its core concepts -- less is more, quality over quantity, focus on only those things that further your passions -- but it does reinforce and encourage those concepts and speaks frankly to the fact that making such choices isn't easy or "normal" in this world.
Profile Image for Roxanne Russell.
379 reviews24 followers
March 10, 2015
This is the kind of book you can imagine yourself buying in bulk and passing out to everyone you know. I've already recommended it to more people than I can remember.

After reading just the first few pages, I made a very big decision to quit a part-time job I've had for 11 years. This book's simple offering gave me that kind of clarity. It also validated some of my already current good habits of boundary laying.

Direct quote takeaways:

"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. Only in the 1900s did we pluralize the term and start talking about priorities."

"When we are unclear about our real purpose in life-- in other words, when we don't have a clear sense of our goals, our aspirations and our values-- we make up our own social games. We waste time and energy on trying to look good in comparison to other people."

"Apply the principle of zero-based budgeting" to your life and time. Don't budget based on existing commitments- start from scratch.

Can I buy you this book? Say the word.

Profile Image for Undrakh.
176 reviews124 followers
February 5, 2017
Invaluable lessons learnt, plans made, what remains is to execute them. "The life of an Essentialist is a life without regret "

"The life of an Essentialist is a life of meaning. It is life that really matters."

"The problem with being sleep-deprived is that it compromises our ability to tell the difference, and thus our precious ability to prioritize."

"When there is a serious lack of clarity about what the team stands for and what their goals and roles are, people experience confusion, stress, and frustration"

"If you have correctly identified what really matters, if you invest your time and energy in it, then it is difficult to regret the choices you make. You become proud of the life you have chosen to live."

"Done is better than perfect."

"There should be no shame in admitting to a mistake, after all, we really are only admitting that we are wiser than we once were."
Profile Image for Laura Noggle.
682 reviews396 followers
January 9, 2020
Less is more—but better.

Will read again! 5+ stars!

Definitely one of my favorite books of 2017.

*2020 Update* I still think of this book as one of my favorites, and fancy myself as a bit of an essentialist. Might have to revisit soon.

“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.”

“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?”
Profile Image for Christy.
3,913 reviews33k followers
January 10, 2018
This book could be summed up with these two quotes:
“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.”

“Remember that if you don’t prioritize your life someone else will.”

I enjoyed the book and felt that it was helpful, but I also feel like this book won't be for everyone. Don't get me wrong, I think that everyone can take away SOMETHING from this book, but depending on your job and your life circumstances, I think it will be more helpful to some than others. I could relate to a lot of the work chapters, and the overall message of feeling overwhelmed and not prioritized. I hope I can put some of McKeown's ideas in place and have more Essentialism in my life.
Profile Image for Melissa.
135 reviews13 followers
May 6, 2014
I loved this book! As someone who's trying to implement simplicity in my life, I found this book to be informative, intuitive, and interesting. Greg McKeown shares the idea of "less, but better" from the famous designer Dieter Rams. We don't have to run ourselves ragged trying to do everything. We have the power to pursue those things that we deem better. By limiting our options, we can find success. Do less and receive better outcomes. Do less and be happier. Do less and be more driven. Definitely a lot to think about. I listened to the audiobook (can we say nice British accent?) but will be purchasing this book to read. There were so many good points, so many good stories, that I'll be reading and rereading it to adopt his simple and easy way to have a better life.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
778 reviews38 followers
June 27, 2014
This is a case of me finding exactly the book I needed at exactly the right time. (So the rating reflects that--it may not be helpful in the same degree to others.) McKeown offers a simple but profound idea: that we accomplish more when we are choosier about where we direct our efforts. I've been in the process of pulling back from things that once seemed important but have left me feeling frustrated and empty. To read a book that articulates many of the deep urges I've been struggling with, makes me want to attack this struggle with renewed purpose. I think the author's points about boundaries and mindfulness will resonate with many readers, whether they're in the business world or trying to carve out quiet time for artistic pursuits.
Profile Image for Mario Tomic.
159 reviews319 followers
July 18, 2015
This book is a life saver! If you feel like you're overwhelmed with tasks in your life, you're doing more but accomplishing less and your time is being stolen by trivial matters you definitely need to read this. The big idea of the book is instead of spreading yourself too thin and taking on a lot of tasks you would deliberately focus on doing less tasks but doing those tasks better. The Author gives you tools how to slowly cut trivial commitments, say no, ruthlessly eliminate everything that is not essential and focus your effort on what remains. Obviously this is a very oversimplified description... and you DO need to read the book. It was very inspiring for me and contains some amazing insights!
Profile Image for Marysya Rudska.
196 reviews71 followers
January 9, 2021
Чудова книга, щоб з неї почати свій рік. Я почала її читати, бо стала писати ненормально великий план на 2021 і вона допомогла багато чого повекрееслювати, спростити, переосмислити. У ній так багато толкової інформації, що варто напевно перечитувати щороку, щоб освіжати пам'ять про життя Есенціаліста.
Часто такі слова як есенціалізм, дисципліна, мінімалізм - асоціюються з якимись болісними обмеженнями і життям без насолод. А насправді це навпаки. Це стиль життя, який дозволяє не робити мільйон сумнівних спарв і таким чином мати час для головного, для того, що приносить задоволення, наповнення і відчуття мети. І то того ж ці принципи допомагають організувати робочий процес так, щоб він не скидався на нескінченний спринт.
Profile Image for Andreea Chiuaru.
Author 1 book765 followers
July 21, 2022
Suntem obișnuiți să deținem multe lucruri. Avem șifoniere pline cu haine pe care nu le purtăm. Colecționăm cărți. Plătim abonamente pentru servicii pe care nu le folosim. Avem mai mult mobilier decât ne este necesar. Exercițiul propus în carte este să-ți imaginezi viața ta ca un șifonier, înaintea unei clasice curățenii de primăvară și să privești fiecare aspect cu un ochi critic. Dacă nu ai avea job-ul pe care-l ai cât ai fi dispus să sacrifici pentru el? Nu prea mult? Atunci de ce renunți la viața de familie pentru un job care, în teorie, nu este ceea ce-ți dorești în mod clar de la viață?

Review complet aici: https://blogdeidei.ro/esentialism-5-i...
Author 0 books249 followers
March 22, 2023
"The main thing is keeping the main thing the main thing."

Motivational and self-help books are best enjoyed when they're lengthy, with a detailed explanation, and take time to imbibe a thought process in the reader's mind. It is essential to wrap up your learnings in as few sentences as possible. If I had to know only the necessary things, I would instead read the index and move on because I already know what 'focus', 'choose', and 'escape', means.

The only thing remaining now is implementing these techniques in my daily life which I feel motivated to do.

My main takeaway from this book would be the importance of family and health.
Profile Image for Moh. Nasiri.
299 reviews100 followers
July 31, 2020
“Remember that if you don’t prioritize your life someone else will.”
منابع همیشه محدود هستند. چه در سطح فردی، چه سازمانی و چه جمعی. و چه منظورمون از منبع، منبع انرژی و توان باشه، چه منبع ارتباطی و چه منابع مالی. مهمه که بتونیم راهی پیداکنیم برای کنار اومدن با محدودیت. کتاب اصل‌گرایی اهمیت این انتخاب رو نشونمون می‌ده و تلاش می‌کنه بهمون ابزاری بده که بفهمیم چه چیزهایی ضروری‌ان و چه چیزهایی غیر ضروری. چی‌ها اصل هستن و چی‌ها فرع. اون وقت میشه محدودیت منابع رو مدیریت کرد. به اصل‌ها رسید و فرع‌هارو گذاشت کنار.
لینک پادکست بی پلاس
February 12, 2018
Книга проповідує одну просту істину - визначай головну ціль і йди до мети.
Основна ідея книги закладена в гаслі "Роби менше, досягай більше".
Сфокусуйтесь на одному, аби мати успіх у цій справі.
Багато людей і компаній взвалюють на себе багато функцій і задач, намагаючись бути успішним у багатьох сферах. Але дайте відповідь на запитання, до кого б Ви пішли на прийом охочіше: до широкопрофільного спеціаліста, чи до фахівця, що блискуче знається саме на Вашій проблемі?
Profile Image for Ellen.
1,000 reviews22 followers
January 16, 2023
This was just what I needed to hear. With any self-help book, some speak more to others, but this was what spoke to me now. While a lot of the book deals with simplifying your work life, it is applicable to every part of your life, which the author mentions. When you focus on those things that are essential to you, you live a fulfilling life. I have purchased a copy of this book and will be referring to it again and again because it rang true.
Profile Image for Sebastian Gebski.
981 reviews896 followers
November 30, 2015
Essentialism's review is supposed to be ... essential, so:
1. read it
2. don't mind a bit of repetitiveness between ~30% & ~60%, it gets better
3. examples that do not feel naive (some do), are great
4. actual message is extremely concise, book is more about convincing you how crucial it is
5. I agree

Have a nice day
Profile Image for Cindy Rollins.
Author 20 books2,150 followers
January 14, 2019
I enjoyed reading this book very much. I am at heart an essentialist so he was preaching to the choir, but he was doing it with a British accent on audio and it is hard for me to hate books with lovely narrations.

Since I am in the middle of big business changes and decisions, the timing on hearing these reminders was perfect for me.

Profile Image for Mehrsa.
2,234 reviews3,650 followers
December 15, 2017
Sure. This is all sound advice and I like to be reminded of it every 6 months or so. It's basically Stephen Covey 2.0 or 3.0. Just say no to everything that is not essential. After reading it, I did cancel a bunch of superfluous commitments.
Profile Image for Prakash Loungani.
138 reviews14 followers
May 24, 2014
Could have been a 100 pages shorter without losing anything essential
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