Monday, September 08, 2014
Book Review: Essentialism - The Discliplined Pursuit of Less
When writing a book review, I am always hesitant to use phrases such as "life-changing" as they areso overused they have become meaningless. But when it comes to Greg McKeown's book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less life-changing is an apt description. In fact, I would go so far to say this book could totally revolutionize how you think about time management.
We've all felt it: the weight of being over-committed. We're too busy. We say yes to too many things. We are stretched too thin. As a result, we don't know how to set priorities. Our calendars are too full. We are rushing from one thing to another and never have time or energy to complete a single project.
It's those exact feelings that led McKeown to write this book. In fact, in the first chapter he tells a moving story about the day his daughter was born. While his wife was in the hospital he was off at a client meeting. At a time he should have been with his family he was away at work. It was that episode that led him to start thinking about how he should re-prioritize his life and become an Essentialist. (You can read the first chapter here.)
"The way of the Essentialist is the relentless pursuit of less but better. It doesn't mean occasionally giving a nod to the principle. It means pursuing it in a disciplined way." (Essentialism, page 5)
With amazing clarity, McKeown lays out the steps that one needs to follow in order to become an Essentialist. One cannot help but be dramatically challenged by the lessons from this book,
When I normally read a book I don't bother marking in it. But with this book, I was furiously highlighting as I was working through it. More importantly, this is not a book that I will be able to read just once. It's a book I will be coming back to repeatedly as I try to apply its lessons.
Of all of the time management books I have read, Essenitalism is the one that most directly addresses the fundamental problem that most individuals face: over-commitment. By applying the lessons of the book, the reader can truly transform their lives. This book's lessons are ones that we can all be served well by learning: say no to all that is unimportant and focus our time and energy on the things that are most important. I highly recommend it.
Note:I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.