Essentialism: The disciplined pursuit of LESS

Kunvuth MonyKanchna / Khmer Times No Comments Share:

ON what scale would you say “no” if someone approaches you with a new tempting project of high pay while your schedule is already cluttered with unfinished tasks? I don’t want to throw in judgments but I bet if the circumstance does arise, there’s a very high chance you would seriously consider adding the new project to your already cluttered schedule. Believe me, I know a lot of people who would, I would do that too.

However, while having many tasks to complete may seem like an appealing professional life, you should take a look back and see how much impact your work has. Can you really give full undivided attention to all your tasks at hands? Can you be an entrepreneur to all companies you ever created? Do you feel like you have invested so much energy into work but still feel no sense of satisfaction or pleasure gaining great achievement?

And do you think that by eliminating your sleep, you can get more done? If you do, you should consider getting rid of that way of thinking because it’s downright unhealthy. Sleep is very crucial, research shows that sleep can boost brain energy and make us more productive.

People have this tendency to please, to say “yes” to anything and anyone who think they can achieve whatever comes their way.

Learn to say “no”. Successful individuals like Steve Jobs and Warren Buffet have reached their success by constantly saying “no”. They didn’t just say “no” to bad opportunities, what made them so successful was they would say “no” to even good ones. Essentialism suggests a way called “90% Rule” where you should reject something if you’re less than 90 percent sure, because “If it isn’t a clear ‘yes’, it’s a clear ‘no’.” When there’s clarity, people thrive.

The book goes on to suggest ways to make eliminating tasks and prioritising easy for readers, such as “reverse pilot” where you try to eliminate something and see whether it would create negative consequences, another one called “buffer” where you prepare so that you could prevent two things from clashing.

Essentialism is highly recommended to leaders, managers and the like. The author Greg McKeown is a business writer, consultant, researcher, public speaker, and on top of that a CEO of THIS Inc. which is a leadership and strategy design agency headquartered in Silicon Valley. He also taught at well-known companies such as Apple, Facebook, Google, etc.

Be an essentialist. Be the captain of your own ship. Choose how you want to spend your time and energy, do not let people choose for you.

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