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The Essentialist Mindset: Doing Less, But Better

Focusing On The Essentials In Life

Focusing On The Essentials In Life

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

Being constantly interrupted by many different tasks isn't going to make you successful, only distracted. So clear away the distractions and put most of your energy on the essentials and create something worthwhile.

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Distinguishes the vital few from the trivial many and eliminate the nonessential.

When you are doing too much at a time, you are constantly switching from one task to another, constantly interrupted, constantly distracted. Do less, clear away distractions, single-task, and get more done.

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Focus on a single "priority," not on multiple "priorities." The key to living an essential life is understanding what your priority is. Is it your family? Your career? Your hobby?

You will know your real priority once you know what you want out of life.

Oliver Emberton
"The secret to mastering your time is to systematically focus on importance and suppress urgency."
Oliver Emberton
Important vs. urgent tasks
  • Important tasks are things that contribute to your long-term mission, values, and goals.
  • Urgent tasks are tasks that have to be dealt with immediately: phone calls, urgent deadlines, and situations where you have to respond quickly.

Sometimes important tasks stare you right in the face, but you neglect them and respond to urgent but unimportant things.

Don't be available all the time

Time, not money, is your most valuable asset. Invest your asset:

  • Allocate time to each task you need to get done every day. 
  • Each task of the day should be attainable, realistic, and time-bound. And it should advance your goals for the day, week or month.
  • Don't get distracted by everything others expect you to do.