The Power of Less Book Review

With the countless distractions that come from every corner of modern life, it’s amazing that were ever able to accomplish anything. The Power of Less demonstrates how to streamline your life by identifying the essential and eliminating the unnecessary freeing you from everyday clutter and allowing you to focus on accomplishing the goals that can change your life for the better.

The book was a quick read. It has some similarities to the book Essentialism, but is more “how-to”. The contents of the book are common sense, putting this into action is much more difficult. The author stresses small steps; setting small goals. It will be hard not to set obtaining goals much larger and quicker. Good overall book with similarities of GTD. For me, there were not too many concepts that were totally new.

Many other books of this type encourage and attempt to teach skills for handling an ever-increasing set of goals, projects, and tasks. These systems are complex in design and often involve myriad lists and charts and numerous steps of analysis and planning. Some people may thrive in this environment and truly enjoy taking on more commitments but there is always a twin pair of risks. The first is that the next task we take on might be the one that breaks us down. Second, these complex planning systems can consume our attention and become the focus themselves.

Babauta suggests a different approach: shedding distractions, simplifying and narrowing your focus in order to improve your life and increase your performance. His system is built around the notion of limiting yourself to only the most important things and ruthlessly treating everything else as a distraction to be avoided. As you read, you begin to realize how many things that you now see as necessary (the little chime announcing each incoming email) are really distractions that are keeping you from accomplishing the things that you deem most important.

Consider your list of goals right now. You may have two or three or even more goals. If you’re the type who sets goals for yourself then you probably also divide your attention amongst these goals as you work toward their accomplishment. Leo suggests a different approach. Select the most important goal and devote all of your attention to attaining it. Your attention will be more focused, your stress reduced (because you won’t be trying to keep multiple plates spinning), and your motivation enhanced as you work toward the goal. When the first is finished – and only then – you start on the next. Simplifying in this fashion will not only improve your overall performance, but you’ll also find yourself happier as you discover that those things you once thought were crucial were really just distracting you from reaching your most important objectives.

One of the BEST books on getting yourself organized and paring down life to a manageable amount of work to really effectively get done. I bought one for me, and one for each of my two sons and we are now on a mission to look at how to work with less…I highly recommend this to everyone, and his blog is great too!

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