Essentialism Summary 2023 - Deepstash

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Essentialism Summary

About Essentialism Book

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • More than one million copies sold! Essentialism isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done.
Featuring the new Essentialism 21-Day Challenge • “A timely, essential read for anyone who feels overcommitted, overloaded, or overworked.”—Adam Grant
Have you ever:
• found yourself stretched too thin?
• simultaneously felt overworked and underutilized?
• felt busy but not productive?
• felt like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people’s agendas?
If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the Essentialist
Essentialism is more than a time-management strategy or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution toward the things that really matter.
By forcing us to apply more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy—instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us.
Essentialism is not one more thing—it’s a whole new way of doing everything. It’s about doing less, but better, in every area of our lives. Essentialism is a movement whose time has come.

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Essentialism by Greg McKeown

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  • Essentialism is a systematic, disciplined method for identifying our greatest areas of contribution and for making those activities nearly effortless.


"Entrepreneurs succeed when they say 'Yes' to the right project, at the right time, in the right way. To accomplish this, they have to be good at saying 'No' to all their other ideas. Essentialism offers concise and eloquent advice on how to determine what you care about most, and how to apply your energies in ways that ultimately bring you the greatest rewards"




  • First and foremost, you need a place to escape, Whatever place we choose will be our safe space.
  • As you're choosing your space, you should be picky. Your area needs to be good enough to help you focus while completing your daily tasks. Not just any space will do.
  • Having the right room for you will improve creativity while boosting productivity. With that in mind, it may take a while to build the space you want to use for your personal and professional projects.
  • Finding your get-away room is the first step to achieving what you want in life without cluttering reality.


The Planty Age

The Planty Age

We live in a plenty age, nowadays we have access to an infinity quantity of information, opportunities, entertainment, etc. but this just shows up a truth: we are unable to develop everything, it doesn’t matter how productive you are, is humanly impossible to develop everything you wish or live every experiences or approach your goals and if you achieve all of these, it is likely that you wont get the happiness or satisfaction you are wishing for.


The Fundamental Mindset Of The Essentialist

The Fundamental Mindset of the Essentialist is to know how to make correct choices and being consent about how unimportant that is almost everything. So, you have to learn what is really essential.


What Is Essentialism?

What Is Essentialism?

The essentialism can be written in three words: ‘Less, but better’


GREGORY mckeown

"Only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone, can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter."



The Essientialist

Many of us stretch ourselves too thin trying to take on more work than we can handle. We say yes to requests before really thinking about it, we commit to doing things simply to please or to avoid trouble, etc. However, this can cause us to feel overworked, busy and stressed. More importantly, fulfilling all the requests of others means we won’t have much time to spend on working towards our own goals.


Essence - What is the core mind-set of an Essientialist?

You have the power to choose what you want to do. No matter how stuck in a situation you feel, no matter how little control you have over your options, you always have the control over how you choose what to do. When you do not embrace the power to choose, you are actually surrendering the power for someone else to choose for you.


Essentialism :

  • “Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it's about how to get the right things done.


What if :

  • What if we stopped celebrating being busy as a measurement of importance? What if instead we celebrated how much time we had spent listening, pondering, meditating, and enjoying time with the most important people in our lives?


Learn from mistakes :

  • There should be no shame in admitting to a mistake; after all, we really are only admitting that we are now wiser than we once were.


Basic value proposition of Essentialism

Essentialism is a disciplined, systematic approach for determining where our highest point of contribution lies, then making execution of those things almost effortless.



Essentialists spend as much time as possible exploring, listening, debating, questioning and thinking. But their exploration is not an end in itself. The purpose of the exploration is to discern the vital few from the trivial many.


Playing Politics

When we don't have a clear sense of our goal, our aspirations, and our values - we make up our own social games. we waste time and energies on trying to look good in comparison to other people.

We overvalue non-essentials like a nicer car or house, or even intangibles like the number of followers on twitter or the we look in our facebook photos.

As a result, We neglect activities that are truely essential, like spending time with our loved ones, or nurturing our spirit, or taking care of our health.


Saying "No", gracefully 😊

Saying "No", gracefully 😊

1. Separate the decision from the relationship

2. It doesn't have to mean using the word NO

3. Think about the tradeoff - you may be giving up something more important

4. Remind yourself that everyone is selling sth. - an opinion, idea, or a task in exchange for your time.

5. Make peace with the fact that saying no is usually trading popularity for respect

6. A clear "No" can be more graceful than a vague a Yes

Choose "No" more often than you say "No"


Grab all you get?

Grab all you get?

Conor says in the book,

"Making our criteria both selective and explicit affords us a systematic tool for discerning what is Essential and filtering out the things that are not"

If it isn't a clear YES, it is a clear NO




Essentialism is not the same as minimalism, which states that "less is more"; Essentialism is defined as "Less but better."

It helps you navigate a distracting world by focusing on things that are important to you. If something is not important, you eliminate it.



The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials



Responsibility - From “I have to” to ...

Responsibility - From “I have to” to ...

“If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.”

From bosses’ demands, plans and commitments, familial obligations, and friends in need, to text messages, emails, calendar invites, and day-to-day news, it is dangerously easy to fall prey to the illusion that these things control our time. 

We cannot control the events of circumstance, but we are always in control of our response. We are free to choose the destination to which we want to aim our lives.


Values - From “It’s all important” to ...

Values - From “It’s all important” to ...

 “It’s much easier to do good things than the right thing.”

We are free to choose what we want and where we aim to be. Charting our course means recognizing which choices will actually bring us closer to our destination. Learn to recognize what is important by understanding:

  • our values
  • what matters most to us
  • where our time and energy is best invested

There is only a narrow set of choises that will truly move us forward towards our most meaningful life.

Proactively measure the meaningfulness of your activities by placing yourself in the future as you weigh your deepest values.


Sacrifice - From “I can do both” to ...

Sacrifice - From “I can do both” to ...

“Every ‘yes’ equals a thousand ‘no’s’.”

Deciding where you are going and what is most important means also deciding what is unimportant and where is not worth going. To move in any direction is to move away from others.

To say ‘yes’ to any real choice is an action and trying to do everything accomplishes nothing. We need to learn to admit which desires are incompatible in light of what is important.

If we’re serious about getting what we want, we must confront and be willing to pay the price of sacrifice.

Accept the reality of trade-offs and ask the question ‘Which problem do I want to solve?’


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