Saturday, August 23, 2014


Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less 

by Greg McKeown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I preface this review with an apology to Mr. McKeown
and to the reader of this review. 
"I am sorry that I didn't read this book word for word." 
My husband read me parts of it. At least enough to entice me to go through it and pick out the parts that spoke to me. I find in reading the Self-Help genre I can find some part of each section that explains everything in a nutshell. This book was no different. Chapter 1 just about explains it all. What it didn't have was the magical words/phrases that find their way into my head and pop up every once in a while to remind me to lighten my load. My load is material, activities, and mental baggage. My goal is to identify what is essential and let go of what is non-essential.

Here are my notes:
Part I: Essence
A non-essentialist thinks almost everything is essential.
"I have to, It's all important, I can do both"
An essentialist thinks almost everything is non-essential.
"I choose, I can do anything, but not everything"

The essentialist knows that when he surrenders his right to choose he gives others not just the power, but also the explicit permission to choose for him. We can become a function of other people's choices or even our own past choices.

Part II: Explore
To discern what is truly essential we need space to think, time to look, and listen, permission to play, wisdom to sleep, and the discipline to apply highly selective criteria to the choices we make.
Exercise: 90% Rule-an option to think about the single most important criterion for a decision.
Give your choice a score for 0-100 on its importance.
Any score under 90: the answer is "NO".

Part III: Eliminate
#1 Eliminate the non-essentials "so you can make a higher level of contribution toward the things that are actually vital."
#2 "Remember anytime you fail to say "NO" to a non-essential you are really saying "YES" by default.
Note from me: No decision is a decision!

Part IV: Execute
#1 Break down each task into small steps. 
     Small steps = Small Wins = A Bigger Winner
#2 Design a routine that focuses on what is essential.
      I call my routine, My Rhythm. Routine sounds too much like 'a rut':)
#3 Do what is most important now.
Note: Do the easiest first only if it is the most important. I spend a lot of time doing the unimportant things first because most of the time they are the easiest.

Exercise for you in your closet:

Part II: Explore
Instead of asking: "Is there a chance I will wear this someday in the future?"
Ask: "Do I love this?" "Do I look great in it?" "Do I wear it often?"
If the answer 'no', then eliminate it.

Part III: Eliminate
Now you have a pile of clothes to eliminate. "If you're not quite there, ask the killer question: " 'If I didn't already own this, how much would I spend to buy it?' That usually does the trick."

Part IV: Execute
"If you want your closet to stay tidy, you need a regular routine for organizing it."
Personal Note:
I have a rule: for every one item that comes in another item(s) must go out. I have a 'Donation" box in my garage where I put my discarded items. Habitat for Humanity is on my path. When I am heading that way, I take the box to them and start a new box.

I also have another rule: It's called the '3x's Rule" If I see something I want, I must look at it at least three different times. The first time "I want that". The second time and its still there "I really do want that". The third time and its still there and "I love it and have got to have it"---It's mine!

What is in my head and won't go away?
"Do what is most important now."

"I don't love it. I don't think I look good in it. I try it on and take it off and wear something else every time. It will be out of style in a year." It's gone. There is probably someone that will love it and look good in it. It's theirs!

View all my reviews

Here's another good book
 for lightening your load:
Read my Blog: Throw Out Fifty Things

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