Essentialism by Greg McKeown
Ideas and methods to ensure you adequately prioritise that which is most important within your life so that you are able to achieve excellence in those defined areas.
The way of the essentialist is to eliminate all that is unnecessary and reduce friction to what remains. This enables increased focus and action on what matters. You are then able to make faster and more meaningful progress to your goals. Design your life such that there is no excess.
By defining a clear purpose you are able to use it to guide your decisions. Most everything you encounter will not be conducive to this purpose. If something is non-conducive to what matters, what is it’s purpose? Will it not be better discarded so you can use the time and energy it occupies elsewhere? You must be aware of the trade offs for your actions, sacrifices are inevitable and should be made ruthlessly. In doing so, you can have a previously unseen abundance of time. Utilize this time with a single focus that aids your purpose for meaningful progress.
In your striving for your defined purpose you must attribute time to both sleep and play. Adequate sleeps allows for high performance when it is required. Adequate play sparks exploration and creativity in solutions.
- Define a clear purpose which you strive to attain. This is used as guidance for what you allow your time to be occupied by.
- Identify and eliminate all that is non-conducive to this purpose. Such that you are able to focus on it’s achievement.
- Set high barriers for all that seeks to divert your time and energy. That which doesn’t aid in progress to your defined purpose in unnecessary excess.
- Ensure adequate sleep and play such that when you are working, you are able to do so to the highest of your ability.
Only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone, can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter.
You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.
The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.
To follow, without halt, one aim: that is the secret to success.
The crime which bankrupts men and states is that of job work; — declining from your main design to serve a turn here or there.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Without great solitude no serious work is possible.
Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sing of ambition.
W. H. Auden
Life is available only in the present moment. If you abandon the present moment you cannot live the moments of your daily life deeply.
Thich Nhat Hanh
If one’s life is simple, contentment has to come. Simplicity is extremely important for happiness.