The Art Of Essentialism - Deepstash
The Art Of Essentialism

The Art Of Essentialism


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The Art Of Essentialism

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What is Essentialism?

  1. Essentialism is a form of discipline, described by author Greg McKeown.
  2. Essentialism is the art of discerning between external noise and internal voice.
  3. It’s not a task and time management tactical list. It’s more than that.
  4. It’s a mindset - a way of life.


10K reads

Know tradeoffs or trade what is most dear

  1. Essentialists are eager to explore new opportunities but have an insanely selective criterion for what they’ll take on.
  2. Many Essentialists are born from becoming frighteningly aware of the enormous cost they have paid in trying to do it all.
  3. Essentialists train themselves on the “tradeoff” and live by it each day.
  4. Essentialists are a highly discerning folk and are armed with the logic that less means more and more = mediocre.
  5. Be open and honest on the tradeoff and be ok communicating it to others - it benefits everyone.


3.38K reads

Live by the delayed yes

  1. It’s a good idea to recognize the value of contemplation versus impulse.
  2. Create pause with your decisions, even with your boss, and properly identify the essential.
  3. Make a decision based not on external pressure. Make it based on internal clarity of purpose.
  4. The pause is imperative to determining if something is truly essential - something many of us struggle with.


2.85K reads

Practice Makes Perfect

  • Remove the impulse to just say yes - remember that being impetuous can create unhealthy/non-essentialist decisions.
  • Learn the phrase, “Let me get back to you.”
  • Being useful does not require an immediate answer.


2.99K reads

Know the Joy Of Missing Out (JOMO) vs. Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)

  1. There’s a misconception that if you can fit something in, you should. This is the Fear Of Missing Out (commonly referenced as FOMO).
  2. Most of us pride ourselves on taking advantage of all opportunities and think that having a packed calendar is valuable.
  3. Instead, relish in missing out on the non-essential, also known as the Joy Of Missing Out (or JOMO).
  4. Place value on making the decision to pass on something and understand that missing out can manifest opportunity in its own ways too.


2.28K reads

Be an anti-endowmentalist

  1. The Endowment Effect has tricked us all at some point. The Endowment Effect is the idea that we value objects and also opportunities higher if we own them versus if we don’t.
  2. This is a classic heuristic trick—it’s a myth. The idea that you must own something to find value is not true.
  3. Not having something or letting go of something has real and sometimes the most value.
  4. Ask yourself, “If I did not own this today, how hard would I be willing to work to get it?” and trick your brain by classifying things as if you don’t own them during the evaluation.


1.75K reads

Stop making the fool’s bargain

  1. Ever heard of The Planning Fallacy ? It means almost all of us, all the time, underestimate the time it takes to get something done.
  2. The planning fallacy has tricked all of us. Things inevitably take longer, doing fewer things and choosing more carefully is essential.


2.02K reads

Lose the popularity contest

  1. Do not attend meetings that are not important - when people question your absence, apologize and ask what they need you to contribute.
  2. Be okay with what you lose short-term from a drop in popularity.
  3. The long-term respect you gain from real results, real work, real contributions, and real tangible value free of politics outweighs the loss in popularity votes.
  4. Real results are where the rewards lie. Do the real work, let the non-essential fall away.


1.59K reads

Priority vs. priorities

  1. Not everything is important.
  2. Life is not a set of almost equal activities.
  3. Life is not an all you can eat buffet. Essentialism is about finding the right food.
  4. More and more is valueless. Staying true to my purpose and being selective in what I take on results in a more meaningful, richer, and sweeter quality of life.


1.66K reads

Protect against rampant moment erosion

  1. One way to live in the moment is to reduce the impulse to always have something to do.
  2. Many have no idea what to do without outside stimulation - downtime is when imagination gets engaged and true creativity happens.
  3. Remember when you were just bored? What will it be like to live in a world and society that no longer has time to ponder? The subconscious needs to talk to the conscious and this cannot happen with constant, digital preoccupation.


1.39K reads

In the end, what truly matters?

  1. Greg brings up something powerful from the article, The Five Regrets of the Dying.
  2. The article states that the number two regret of the dying is working too much
  3. There is an unspoken hierarchy in our society about what is valuable; higher on that hierarchy are career success, fame, and wealth. Lower on the list is family, health, wisdom, and personal fulfillment.
  4. When you have an Essentialist mindset, career is important - but as it relates to how you are able to provide for your family and gain true fulfillment. It should not be an end in and of itself.


1.34K reads

Summary - Essentialism

  • Reduce yourself to zero—we have only enough time in each day to fulfill our essential missions; be consumed in your purpose.
  • Learn the art of saying no and be okay with it—place value on this as well. Be particular.
  • The planning fallacy—remember there’s real science on why you have to do less.
  • Implement the life test mantra—ask yourself, “If I had a week left to live would I value this?”
  • Implement a rating scale to measure true value and effectiveness. Evaluate where each thing falls on a 10pt scale. Give yourself space for the 8-10s. Drop anything lower.


1.36K reads

The Do's and Don'ts

  • Discern more and do less. Elevate value and get the real results.
  • Don’t misinterpret pressure for purpose.
  • Don’t mistake effort with output.
  • Don't comment. Join fewer calls. Attend fewer meetings.
  • Newness may not be news - do you really need to give your brainpower to everything that pops up?
  • Stay on the primary contributions and real results.


1.65K reads


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