Essentialism The Disciplined Pursuit of Doing Less

Is it possible to be more successful by actually doing less? Yes, says leadership expert Greg McKeown - provided you choose to do only the most important things and apply yourself to these activities with total focus.

Although you may be capable of doing many  things,  most things in life don't really matter. It's your right to choose which ones to do and eliminate  the rest by following this…


Three-Step Formula


  1. Explore and evaluate your options. Create the time and space to regularly escape your routine, so you can  properly reflect on what's truly important.  Make time to relax and switch off through leisure pursuits and get enough sleep. When you're  in the right frame of mind, you're  better  equipped to identify and pursue what's essential.

If the answer to the question "Is this essential?" isn't a definite yes, it should be a no.


  1. Eliminate the non-essentials.  Remove time-wasting elements (even of essential tasks.) To do this, clarify the objective of each activity, its essential intent. This clarity not only helps  you determine whether a particular  task or activity aligns with your own goals and priorities; it also helps your team understand the goal. And it provides a metric for judging success.

For non-essential tasks, develop the art of saying  "no."


  1. Execute your Essentialist strategy by making it central to the way you operate. Prepare well in advance for projects, looking for opportunities to save time and eliminate  obstacles. If you've  defined  the essential intent of projects and activities,  you'll also be able to mark progress as it occurs, which is a great motivator for further action. The aim is to make  Essentialist thinking part of your daily routine  and keep  your focus on the task in hand.


Follow these steps with determination and ultimately you'll purge  your life of the non-essentials. Essentialism will become the essence of who you are.


By Greg McKeown