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Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by [Mckeown, Greg]
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Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Review

"Do you feel it, too? That relentless pressure to sample all the good things in life? To do all the 'right' things? The reality is, you don’t make progress that way. Instead, you’re in danger of spreading your efforts so thin that you make no impact at all. Greg McKeown believes the answer lies in paring life down to its essentials. He can’t tell you what’s essential to every life, but he can help you find the meaning in yours.”
-- Daniel H. Pink, author of TO SELL IS HUMAN and DRIVE
 
“Entrepreneurs succeed when they say "yes" to the right project, at the right time, in the right way. To accomplish this, they have to be good at saying "no" to all their other ideas. Essentialism offers concise and eloquent advice on how to determine what you care about most, and how to apply your energies in ways that ultimately bring you the greatest rewards.”
-- Reid Hoffman, co-founder/chairman of LinkedIn and co-author of the #1 NYT bestseller “The Start-up of You”

"Greg McKeown’s excellent new book is a much-needed antidote to the stress, burnout and compulsion to “do everything,” that infects us all. It is an Essential read for anyone who wants to regain control of their health, well-being, and happiness."  
-–Arianna Huffington, Co-founder, president, and editor in chief, Huffington Post Media Group”


Essentialism holds the keys to solving one of the great puzzles of life: how can we do less but accomplish more? A timely, essential read for anyone who feels overcommitted, overloaded, or overworked—in other words, everyone. It has already changed the way that I think about my own priorities, and if more leaders embraced this philosophy, our jobs and our lives would be less stressful and more productive. So drop what you’re doing and read it..”
--Adam Grant, Wharton professor and bestselling author of Give and Take
 

“As a self-proclaimed "maximalist" who always wants to do it all, this book challenged me and improved my life. If you want to work better, not just less, you should read it too.” 
- Chris Guillebeau, NYT bestselling author of The $100 Startup

"Great design takes us beyond the complex, the unnecessary and confusing, to the simple, clear and meaningful. This is as true for the design of a life as it is for the design of a product. With Essentialism, Greg McKeown gives us the invaluable guidebook for just such a project." 
-Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO
 
  "In Essentialism, Greg McKeown makes a compelling case for achieving more by doing less. He reminds us that clarity of focus and the ability to say ‘no’ are both critical and undervalued in business today."
-Jeff Weiner, ‎CEO, LinkedIn

"While everyone else is still leafing through Lean In or Outliers, get a competitive jump on the new year with....Essentialism... learn how to identify the right things, focus on getting them done, and forget the rest. In other words, 'do less, but better.'” -Forbes


“Essentialism is a powerful antidote to the current craziness that plagues our organizations and our lives.  Read Greg McKeown’s words slowly, stop and think about how to apply them to your life – you will do less, do it better, and begin to feel the insanity start to slip away.” 
- Robert I. Sutton, Professor at Stanford University and author of Good Boss, Bad Boss and Scaling Up Excellence.

In a world of increasing chaos and complexity, the ideas and tools of Essentialism turn chaos into commitment and complexity into accomplishment.  This timely, well written book is a must read and do for any employee, manager, leader, or parent whoever  feels overwhelmed. It is truly the right book at the right time.
- Dave Ulrich, Professor, University of Michigan School of Business and Partner, the RBL Group

"Essentialism is a rare gem that will change lives.  Greg offers deep insights, rich context and actionable steps to living life at its fullest.  I've started on the path to an Essentialist way of life, and the impact on my productivity and well-being is profound."
  -Bill Rielly, Senior Vice President, Intel Security

"In this likeable and astute treatise on the art of doing less in order to do better...McKeown makes the content fresh and the solutions easy to implement. Following his lucid and smart directions will help readers fine "the way of the essentialist" -Success Magazine

"Essentialism will give you richer, sweeter results and put you in real control, giving greater precision to the pursuit of what truly matters.” -Forbes.com 


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Description

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES AND WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER 

Have you ever felt the urge to declutter your work life?

Do you often find yourself stretched too thin?
 
Do you simultaneously feel overworked and underutilized?
 
Are you frequently busy but not productive?
 
Do you feel like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people’s agendas?
 
If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the Essentialist.
 
The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done.  It is not  a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter. 

By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy – instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us.

Essentialism is not one more thing – it’s a whole new way of doing everything. A must-read for any leader, manager, or individual who wants to do less, but better, and declutter and organize their own their lives, Essentialism is a movement whose time has come.


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4759 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 1 edition (April 15 2014)
  • Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00G1J1D28
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,834 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was so happy with this book. Often, I have difficulty reading books (due to having a hard time paying attention) but I found this book so easy to read. I found it to be written in simple terms, similar to a sort of ‘conversational’ tone, that was extremely easy to follow and understand.

The concepts within the book (such as: allow 50% more time than you need, saying NO, knowing when to quit, and being good at one thing rather than mediocre at 10 things) really resonated with me, and I have actually put them into practice since reading this book (particularly the ‘if your answer is not 90% yes, then it’s NO!’ rule).

I can honestly say this is one of the most beneficial books I have read in a very long time, and it is perfect if you are looking to simplify your life by changing how you think about the way you think, and what you choose to do. The book really emphasizes it’s rule of “less but better”, which seems to counter what most people in today’s society thinks (more is better), and reshapes that idea into one that values quality over quantity, and helps you make better use of your limited time on this earth.

I really enjoyed this book, and I recommend it to anyone looking to simplify your life. It would make a wonderful college (or even high school) graduation gift to family or friends.

Overall:

Ease of reading: 5/5 – Good, simple language similar to written conversation. Lots of stories and examples, very easy to follow and understand.

Relevant Information: 5/5 – As said above, lots of relevant and good examples from real life (both the author’s personal experiences, and experiences gathered from mainstream successful people).

Ease of Application: 5/5 – For a self-help book, this book is easy to quickly apply to anyone’s life. Do less, but better. Say no if your answer is not 90% less, and allow yourself 50% more time than you need.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Busy people who have a habit of trying to be all things to all people really should read this book. It's about focusing on your priorities instead of letting yourself get sidetracked by the bombardment of secondary demands dictating our everyday lives. The secret is to concentrate your efforts on your immediate task and prevent others, coworkers, friends or even your boss to distract you away from the job at hand, unless of course the boss agrees that his new demands are now his first priority.. The task can be anything which is an immediate priority whether an assignment, a family matter or a lifetime goal. How you expend your time is a matter of choice. The author states in so many words that if you don't make the choice, others will make it for you and that someone else's choice may mean as an example that you won't get that report in on time. A few good hints too on how to "Just Say No " without being offensive. The strategies described in this book have to be tackled as a work in progress and the reader has to work at solving this age old problem of demands versus priorities but the formulas are doable and each person can determine how much or how little of these strategies to implement and under what circumstances. I was impressed enough by this book to give one to each of my harried children.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This just might be the most overhyped book I've ever read. I can't think of anyway to describe it other than "the emperor has no clothes!"

McKeown's definitely written a worthwhile book, but I'd seen so many of my favorite mediapreneurs working "essentialism" into their recent blogs, vlogs, and podcasts, that I had to check it out. I'm not the know-it-all type that dislikes challenging ideas; in fact, I read a personal development, self help, or philosophy book each week and take it all in with a humble smile.

This book, however, read to me like a bloated 20 page essay with a convoluted concept that seemed to transform over and over to cater to the egos of each circle it aimed to sell to. It also seemed to contradict its own foggy message while doing so. Ironically, what exactly an essentialist is seemed essentially impossible to gather.

I gave it three stars because it's stylish, and the sheer amount of nuggets and quotes embedded in the incessant stories was impressive in and of itself.

I think this book was a worthy read, but in spite of its status it stands out as one of the weakest reads I've taken in of recent.
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Format: Hardcover
As I began to read this book for the first time, I was again reminded of an Einstein observation - "Make everything as simple as possible but no simpler" -- as well as of Greg Mckeown's previous book, Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, in which he and co-author Liz Wiseman juxtapose two quite different personas whom they characterize as the "Multiplier" and the "Diminisher." Although they refer to them as leaders, assigning to them supervisory responsibilities, they could also be direct reports at the management level or workers at the "shop floor" level.

Multipliers "extract full capability," their own as well as others', and demonstrate five disciplines: Talent Magnet, Liberator, Challenger, Debate Maker, and Investor. Diminishers underutilize talent and resources, their own as well as others, and also demonstrate five disciplines: Empire Builder, Tyrant, Know-It-All, Decision Maker, and Micro Manager. They devote a separate chapter to each of the five Multiplier leadership roles.

In Essentialism, Mckeown focuses on what must be done to increase what is essential to an organization's success - as well as to an individual's success - by reducing (if not totally eliminating) whatever is not essential to such success. I agree with him: Almost anyone in almost any organization (whatever its size and nature may be) can choose how to expend time and energy; reduce/eliminate "noise" and clutter, preserving only what is exceptionally valuable; and decide which few trade-offs and compromises to accept while rejecting all others. Essentialists have what Ernest Hemingway once characterized as a "built-in, shock-proof crap detector," one that is especially reliable when detecting their own.
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