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


It is the organized, systematic approach for determining what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.


The way of the Essentialist

  • The way of the Essentialist is the relentless pursuit of less but better. It means asking yourself frequently, “Am I investing in the right activities?”
  • The Essentialist rejects the idea that we can fit it all in; we have to deal with trade-offs and make tough decisions.
  • The way of the Essentialist means living by design, not by default. It is the path to being in control of our own choices.


Greg McKeown

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




  • 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.


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.


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’


Chapter 15 - Definition Of A Buffer

Something that prevents two things from coming into contact and harming each other.


What Would An Essentialist Do?

They look ahead. They build a buffer for unexpected events, and practices extreme and early preparation.


How To Create Buffers?

  1. Use extreme preparation
  2. Add 50% to your time estimate
  3. Conduct scenario planning / risk management strategy


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.


These ideas helped me reflect on how I was spending my time, focus and energy. This introspection allowed me to re-allocate my time to things that truly matter!

Ever felt overworked and underutilized at the same time?

Do you ever feel busy but not productive?

Like you are always in motion but not getting anywhere?

If your answer to any of the questions was yes, the next few ideas from this book called Essentialism will be at your rescue!


What is Essentialism?

The reason we experience this feeling is because we try to fit in 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 that we come across, be it 𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗮𝗹 (𝘁𝗿𝘂𝗹𝘆 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘁) or 𝗻𝗼𝗻-𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗮𝗹.

This massively hinders our productivity, thereby making us feel unproductive and even frustrated at times. Fortunately, we can get out priorities straight by adopting a concept called 𝗘𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘀𝗺.


What should you ask yourself everytime?

There are far more activities and opportunities in the world than we have time and resources to invest in - most of them are trivial and only few are vital.

The way of the Essentialist is the relentless pursuit of less, but better. It's not about getting more things done, it's about getting the right things done.

An essentialist constantly questions, "Am I investing in the right activity?"


The Essentialist

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

------- Lin Yutang


Motto of the essentialism

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


Most of what exists in the universe- our actions, and all other forces, resources and ideas - has little value and yields little result; on the other hand , a few things work fantastically well and have tremendous impact.

by- Richard Koch


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


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