Similar to many of you I decided to make reading more one of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2016. More specifically I’m going to read 2 books a month for a total of 24 by the end of the year.
To be honest I may have already been reading this much in previous years as I tend to read a lot but I’ve never actually kept track of the books I’ve read. I guess my resolution is more about reviewing and recording the books I read each year.
So right on time I’ve completed my first book for the year: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. So here is my Essentialism book review, enjoy!
I’ve seen this book recommended by many high performing people through blogs and podcast interviews so it’s been on my list for a while. Overall I enjoyed it and found it to be an easy read.
The author discusses how in today’s world it’s very easy to become super busy and burn ourselves out. There is no shortage of people who will make suggestions of things we could or should be doing. There is always a new book to read, a new project at work, a new Meetup to attend or new skill to learn.
Unfortunately as much as we might like we can’t do everything recommended to us. So the solution presented here is to do less, much less! As suggested by the title of the book it is recommended to do only the essential things and eliminate everything else.
Less but better – eliminate the unnecessary distractions so you can focus on the things that matter!
I personally have fallen into the trap of doing too much on more than one occasion. In fact it’s almost a routine for me:
- I’ll realise I have some spare time in my schedule and so add some sort of commitment of project.
- Repeat until my schedule is overflowing.
- Try to keep up the hectic pace for a few weeks before burning out and being forced to remove a lot of commitments from my schedule.
- Spend a few weeks recovering and enjoying my new found relaxation.
- Realise I have some spare time in my schedule…
I’ve repeated this pattern many times so this book kind of touched a nerve. I agree that we need to say no to things and only commit to doing the essential things so that we can really concentrate on them and produce the best results.
The only issue I had with the book was that the author didn’t go into a lot of detail on how to determine what the essential things are. Without this knowledge how are we to know what to say no to. I think this is largely my problem because I try to cover all my bases by saying yes to a lot of things.
Overall though this is a very good book and especially suited to our modern world full of distractions.
If you’ve ever felt busy but unproductive, tired and yet unfulfilled then I suggest reading this book to see if you could benefit by saying no to some things in your life.