8 essential tips for doing less but better
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DESCRIPTIONHave you ever found yourself stretched too thin? Do you simultaneously feel overworked and underutilized? Are you often busy but not productive? Do you feel like your time is constantly being hijacked by other peoples agendas? If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the way of the Essentialist. The way of the Essentialist isnt about getting more done in less time. Its about getting only the right things done. It is not 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 towards the things that really matter. By forcing us to apply a 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 its a whole new way of doing everything. Its about doing less, but better, in every area of our lives. Essentialism is a movement whose time has come.
8 Essential Tips for Doing Less
Create a technology
designate a room at home (or work)
banish all computers and put a basket by the
door for phones and other devices.
instead of checking your email one last
time before you go to sleep, write down
anything that is still on your mind so you
aren’t distracted by it as you try to fall
Get the noise out of your head before bed
Create a tight
agendabefore going into your next meeting, pause
and ask yourself,
“what is the one thing i really want to achieve
coming out of this meeting?”
don’t walk into the meeting until you have your real purpose clear.
Conduct a project audittake a long hard look at all the projects you are currently involved in,
either at work or in your community.
ask “if i wasn’t already
involved how hard would i work to attend?”
if the answer is “not hard at all” then ask to be released from your
Set internal boundaries
anytime you feel internal pressure to do something to help save someone else’s time,
ask yourself if that person would make
the same sacrifice for you.
if the answer is no, you can eliminate without
One obstacle in one minutethink of one essential thing you are having
ask yourself what is the one obstacle getting in the way of getting this
now, think of the next action you can take to begin eliminating it.
write down the top five items you want to get
then estimate for how long you think each will
add 50% to each and then budget your time
Apply the 90 percent rule
think of any simple request that has been
made of you in the past week.
make a list of the “minimum” criteria for
you to say yes.
if it doesn’t meet 90 percent of those criteria then it should be politely
the disciplined pursuit of
By Greg McKeown
Learn more at gregmckeown.com