Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

Book Review

Ever walked into an office and seen everybody busy but not sure what they’re busy on? Over the years, just about every business book I’ve read keeps repeating the same concept in many different ways. One of the major concepts being that of time management. The book ‘Essentialism’ is about managing your priorities by saying ‘no’ to tasks that unnecessarily take up time – it’s also a good reminder of why it’s ultimately important not to over-promise and under-deliver by making sure that anything you decide to sign up for is, in fact, worth the value it will have for the time you spend on it.

“Sleep is the new status symbol of success” – Greg McKeown, author of ‘Essentialism’

Essentialism - The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

It’s no easy thing to say ‘no’ to your manager the next time you’ve been assigned with a random task or project and Greg McKeown certainly does not encourage being rude about it – the lesson in ‘Essentialism’ is simple: organize and own your time or somebody else will.

Probably one of the key chapters I found in this book is about the importance of getting enough sleep. Once upon a time, sleep was considered a luxury by successful people. In a post-millennium world, the author argues, getting more sleep is a sign that you have your world under control, your time is being managed properly, that you live a balanced lifestyle, and that when you get to work the next day, you are energized for a fresh start to the day. Other lessons in becoming an “essentialist” discussed in the book is about importance of spending time with family and breaking down the famous term ‘multi-tasking’ into critical components of focus, time and value.

It may be time for some of us to free up our time from the busy-ness of every day work so we can focus on what’s important and what really matters to being productive in the office and also for individual professional growth.

Recommendation: For people who find it difficult to say ‘no’ politely to tasks given to them at work.

Rating: 6/10


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