I try to only share really relevant books that I believe have the power to make your lives better and more manageable. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown is definitely one of those books.
How many of you feel like you can never get it all done and it seems like there are never enough hours in the day?
McKeown’s premise is that “there are far more activities and opportunities in the world than we have time and resources to invest in. And although many of them may be good, or even very good, the fact is that most are trivial and few are vital.” I think we can all agree with that!
Essentialism is a lifestyle that enables you to discern between the “many trivial” and the “vital few.” Being an essentialist means you are constantly asking yourself “Am I focused on the right activities?”
The number one thing I took away was the importance of tradeoffs. If I say yes to one thing I am automatically saying no to something else.
For example, if I consistently say “yes” to staying late at work, I am also saying “no” to those most important to me-my family. I certainly realize that life does not fall into this neat little box, but reading this book has enabled me to consider any new opportunity with a lot more critical thinking than I normally would have.
A friend just last week asked me to attend a weekly study with her every Tuesday evening for the next few months and as much as I wanted to, I knew that if I said “yes” to that, I would be saying “no” to both my family and to 8 hours of sleep that night-both of these are way more important than the study would be. It made the decision to turn down a fun opportunity easier.
Second is the power of choice. It can be difficult to remember that since you are an adult you have the power to choose what you do and do not do. It is so easy to let other people determine what fills your day instead of intentionally doing it yourself. Too many times, we spend most days REACTING and putting out fires rather than actually making progress.
You only have so many hours in a day therefore you must determine what you do and don’t do with your most precious resource-your time.
This is where creating your life plan can be so essential to figuring out what is actually most important to you. I only have 5 things in my life plan that are non-negotiables – those are what are most important to me and honestly I don’t have room for much else at this stage in my life.
Lastly, is the momentum of focus. How many times at work or at home are you trying to juggle five things? I actually used to be proud of my ability to multi-task and now I know that is nothing to be proud of. Numerous studies have shown is that multi-tasking is a myth.
You need to focus on what only you can do at work and at home and delegate the rest. Stop trying to be a multi-tasking superhero- it does not work and it certainly is not sustainable!
To be successful in both your professional and personal lives, instead of doing more you need to be doing less. I know it sounds crazy, but it works. You only have so much time and energy, so why not be certain you are focusing on the right things!
If you would like a free copy of Essentialism, leave us a comment below and you will be entered to win.
Do you struggle with focusing on the right things? If so what is your biggest obstacle?