Reading 100 books a year may not change your life; but implementing just three of the most impactful ones will.
The solution to being caught up in a hole is first to STOP digging.
We all know, the solution to a “no-reply” to texts has NEVER been to keep texting, even to the one you love
The grass always seems greener on the other side; hence the quest for more; more money, more food, more love and appreciation; more choices etc. But MORE doesn’t always EQUAL better.
Sometimes the only way to appreciate and maximize what you have is to minimize how much more you seek especially at a particular point in time.
The better you get at your craft; the less you accept every single project offered. 𝐇𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐄𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐦. 𝐖𝐡𝐲 𝐁𝐞 𝐚𝐧 𝐄𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐭?
I first heard this phrase from a book from Greg McKeown on “𝑬𝒔𝒔𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒂𝒍𝒊𝒔𝒎, 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒄𝒊𝒑𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒆𝒅 𝒑𝒖𝒓𝒔𝒖𝒊𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒍𝒆𝒔𝒔” which is also the base on this whole write-up. Hence this can be seen like a book review.
The book was recommended by Tim Ferris on a podcast of his which he keeps talking about on why he gives himself slacks and breaks from even important stuff he cares about like Investing, and most importantly how he has succeeded in eliminating non-important activities otherwise seem urgent and important.
With Essentialism, you determine where your highest point of contribution lies, then focus on them and ultimately making execution of those things almost effortless through building a 𝐒𝐘𝐒𝐓𝐄𝐌. How much of your time are you spending on life’s urgencies rather than on things actually important to you?
𝐈𝐦𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨; 𝐢𝐧𝐯𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐲 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨; 𝐧𝐮𝐫𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐧𝐞𝐭𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨; 𝐛𝐮𝐢𝐥𝐝 𝐮𝐩 𝐯𝐚𝐥𝐮𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐬𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨. Essentialists practically 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐛𝐲 𝐃𝐄𝐒𝐈𝐆𝐍 𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐛𝐲 𝐃𝐞𝐟𝐚𝐮𝐥𝐭: saying NO to the good; so they can make room for the great.
To achieve this; it entails you questioning most of the things you do; especially you feel like doing; how many are actually childhood conditioning and mindless habits like checking social media first thing in the morning; listening to the news right away, or sleeping in. Effective people focus on delivering results rather than activities.
Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; but how to get the right things done. 𝐈𝐭’𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐛𝐢𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐝𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐁𝐄𝐓𝐓𝐄𝐑.The key is to explore and evaluate a broad set of options before committing to any. By learning to think independently and come to your own decisions. You then learn to spot patterns; which would help you create systems and develop your own mental models.
𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐥𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐨𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞.
⦁ Use Systems
⦁ Focus on Consequences.
You don’t want to spend more time on “pre-work” than on the work – the thing that delivers value. That wouldn’t lead to results. That’s why you need a SYSTEM. Make wiser and better decisions by making choices based on their consequences.
High consequences decisions >>>>>>> low consequences decisions.
𝐒𝐮𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐢𝐬: Focusing on things that have high potential consequences e.g. health, long term thinking, family, spiritual life.
𝐅𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐮𝐫𝐞: Focusing on things that have low or no potential consequences e.g. instant gratification, impressing others, social proof. If you want to follow this rule thoroughly; you can make a list of everything you have to do the following day, then write an A, B, C, D, or E next to each item on your list before you begin your work.
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐮𝐥𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐧𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐝𝐨 𝐚 𝐁 𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐧 𝐀 𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐥𝐞𝐟𝐭 𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐨𝐧𝐞.To get our time under control; you just have to stop doing things no longer necessary for you to do. Fact is, life doesn’t reward you for the number of swings you take; rather the most impactful ones. Hence the Strategies for essentialism are simple;
⦁ 𝐄𝐱𝐩𝐥𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐞𝐯𝐚𝐥𝐮𝐚𝐭𝐞
Almost every decision comes with a trade-off and most times we tend to associate our decisions to relationships. You choose to eat junk; you’d give your body less room to eat healthier.
You choose to multi-task always; you’d give less attention to what matters most. You choose to always follow the crowd, you’d drastically decrease the desire to be creative and innovative. Non-essentialists rush to say yes automatically, but after the rush comes the pain of regret.
Essentialists learn to say no firmly, resolutely and gracefully. Firmly as in they know what they want, so you can say yes to only what matters; resolutely not to feel guilty or be randomly enticed and gracefully either with kindness or a sense of humour.
The system you have built would help you remove obstacles and make execution seamless. E.g. a system where writing is prioritized first thing in the morning; would make journaling and publishing articles almost seamless; e.g. if you associate a certain table/pc with writing and avoid doing any major thing until you get your writing done.
There’s freedom, when we realize that we can eliminate non-essentials and that we can be intentional about what we do.