Monday, 10 September 2018

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. Greg McKeown



“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” 
― Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living



Book in one sentence 

More doesn't mean better. If it's not properly selected more often means worse. Choose the most important from the endless list of things, focus to achieve more and life happier life.


Main ideas

1. The essentialist's path
Before doing anything ask yourself: "Is that the most important thing among all for which I can use my time as resources?"
If you can't hardly say YES, don't do that.

The basis of essentialism: You can do really important deals only if you will allow yourself to not do everything else and agree on everything.

Almost everything in the world is a mess, it's not important chaos. If something is important it should be little of it. Your job is to filter our that mess and get only essentials.

Essentialism - less, but better. The aim of essentialist is achieving more by having less effort. We have much less time and resources than possibilities and things to do in the world. Many of them attractive, but in reality there are only few that are important. You should see the difference, filter out all variants and choose only undoubted ones. You should do only what is needed!

The path of essentialist is the way to control your own choices. Save your efforts.

You should drop out the idea that you can do everything!!!! You should create your life, not accept everything that is given.

You should always stop and ask yourself: Is that right what I'm doing. 

2. Definition
Essentialism is the systematic approach to getting known your most strong sides and the way to realize them with minimum effort.

We live in the world where almost everything is worth nothing and only something is particularly priceless.

The best programmers are not 10 times better than average ones. It's not even 100 or 1000 times. It's 10 000 times.

John Maxwell: "it's impossible to overestimate size of negligibility of almost anything.

Essentialist think that almost everything is not essential.

A lot of attractive possibilities are not worth few of really important ones. 

If employees are so busy that they don't have time to think, they are busy too much - we are either doing something not effective or we need to hire more people.

3. GAME
Game changes the way we think. We start to explore, create new ideas or redefine old ones when play the games.

GAME is the way to progress in life. Convert your life to a game and you will achieve a lot. Game is fundamentally important, all famous people achieved things due to the game.
3.1 Game increases the list of available variants. Game allows to see possibilities which we normally don't see. 
3.2. Game free us from stress. Stress on the other side is an enemy of productivity. 
3.3. Game positively affects such functions of brain as planning, setting priorities, timeliness, delegation, decision making and analysis. Game stimulates parts of the brain that corresponds for logic and perception.

Game is crucially important. Better your employees consider job as a game. Better you consider your business as a game.

Try to remember the games you were playing when young and try to move that experience to your life nowadays. 

So remember that your life is a game. Those who forgot about that will loose the game. They don't control their character. They are just crowding in the game. If you play the game you know what your character can do, his superpowers. You know that you can start over most of the time. You know that many things allowed.

4. Defense your actives
Sleep is more important than business or anything else. Health is more important than everything else.
You should explore your rhythm of life, know how long should you rest and recover to be able to think and work productively. 

If you really want to do something very hard - first give up that idea and have a sleep. All leaders sleep well. Most of the wrong decisions are made due to the lack of sleep.

You'd better introduce lunch nap in your company. That would increase productivity and effectiveness. 


Our first priority - defense the possibility to identify priorities (sleep and maintain the good state of mind and body).


5. Choice
If the answer to the question is not certain yes then it's no.

Ask yourself: Do I adore that thing? If not, give it up/threw it out.

The rule of 90%: when you have some alternatives to choose from, choose one the most important criteria that you will score your possibilties. Score it from 1 to 100. If the score is less than 90 - that authomatically equals it to 0.

When you threw out some thing or some opportunity that you have you should ask a question to yourself:
"If that thing wouldn't be mine, how much can I pay for it?" OR "if I wouldn't have that opportunity how I'm ready to do to get it?"
By accepting some "good" opportunities you automatically drop "the best ones". You must be perfectly sure in what you're doing otherwise it's not worth it.

When having a choice you should truly ask yourself doring each choose: "What I would refuse from my list of priorities if I accept that?"
You should inspire your workers and yourself by having precise goal for your organization. 


You should leave out all things that are not leading you to your goal. But first of all you should clearly understand your goal. The team should clearly understand the aim and role division, otherwise there'd be lots of problems.


Ask yourself only one question:

"If you can achieve excellent success in some field, what would that be (what would you choose)?"

Ask the person which doesn't do the stuff: "What obstacles or difficulties prevent you from finishing task X and how can I help to omit them?"

Final notes

This review is an author's personal opinion about the book and the topics discussed in it.

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