Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

Book Overview

In Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, author and speaker, Greg McKeown, introduces a productivity approach which involves a clear system for identifying which activities result in making the highest valuable contribution, and intentionally removing anything else.

Main Takeaways

(1) It's only as we give ourselves permission to stop trying to do it all and saying "Yes" to everything, that we make it possible to give ourselves to what really matters and make our most valuable contribution.

(2) When presented with multiple options, we're more distracted from what matters most. Eliminating non-essentials and any obstacles to doing what is most important, frees us to make our best contribution. 

(3) In failing to give thought to prioritising what matters in our lives, we by default give other people permission to prioritise what they think is important on our behalf.

(4) Our underlying beliefs and mindset shape how we approach what we do from day to day. Believing we have a choice, rather than thinking "I have to do X", moves us from learned helplessness to being empowered.

(5) In accepting the reality of trade-offs, we're freed from feeling a need to focus on how we can 'do it all', and can instead start to give thought to which problems we truly want to solve. 

Favorite Quote(s)

“If you don't prioritise your life, someone else will.”

“The ability to choose cannot be taken away or given away - it can only be forgotten.”

“An non-Essentialist thinks almost everything is essential. An Essentialist thinks almost everything is non-essential.”

“If it isn't a clear yes, then it's a clear no.”

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