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Essentialism

The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
Narrated by: Greg McKeown
Length: 6 hrs and 14 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (481 ratings)
Non-member price: $31.21
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Publisher's Summary

Have you ever found yourself struggling with information overload?

Have you ever felt both overworked and underutilised?

Do you ever feel busy but not productive?

If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is to become an essentialist.

In Essentialism, Greg McKeown, CEO of a leadership and strategy agency in Silicon Valley who has run courses at Apple, Google and Facebook, shows you how to achieve what he calls the disciplined pursuit of less. Being an essentialist is about a disciplined way of thinking. It means challenging the core assumptions of "we can have it all" and "I have to do everything" and replacing them with the pursuit of "the right thing in the right way at the right time".

By applying a more selective criteria for what is essential, the pursuit of less allows us to regain control of our own choices so we can channel our time, energy and effort into making the highest possible contribution toward the goals and activities that matter.

Using the experience and insight of working with the leaders of the most innovative companies and organisations in the world, McKeown shows you how to put Essentialism into practice in your own life, so you, too, can achieve something great.

©2015 Greg McKeown (P)2015 Random House AudioBooks

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Essential for me? YES!

To begin with I thought to myself "oh great, I'm going to listen to this book for hours when essentially all that needed to be said was "first things first" or "focus on what's important" but this book gives so much more.

I work two jobs, have a wonderful wife and 3 beauiful children (the oldest being 3). Life is stressful at the best of times and Ive always felt that I had to be working my ass off every minute of the day to stay on top of everything. I often felt like if I slept i was somehow losing ground and the idea of "getting ahead" sounded almost impossible.

Insightful and enlightening, this book gave me a strong and clear message that I really needed to hear. It will take a while to apply all the lessons in this book to my life but this is one book I will revisit often.

Thank you Greg McKeown

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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A discipline worth mastering.

I'm like an adult with ADD. My mind is easily distracted by things. My attempts at using organizational systems (like GTD) tended to do no more than generate massive to-do lists that I found difficult to prioritize. In my mind, EVERYTHING was important.
Mark has helped me to get in the habit of asking the right questions so that far fewer items end up on my list now. They're often tough questions to answer at times, however the sense of freedom that comes from being more on purpose, more in control, and more willing to say 'No!' is very liberating.
This approach helps me to 'audit' my headspace - keeping an eye on where my energy is being directed.
Like most 'self help' books, there's plenty of examples, but it's up to the reader to stop and consider how the issue is relevant to them. An example with a 'corporate' context can still have just as much relevance in one's personal life - e.g. 'Sunk Cost Bias'.
I highly recommend taking notes and making a true 'study' of this and how the ideas apply to your own life. A pity there isn't some form of 'workbook'.
I've read it twice now, and heard it once in full. I find the concepts so fundamentally important, there's either a printed, digital or audio copy always close at hand to continually reinforce the messages.
Definitely 'essential' reading/listening.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Game changer

This book is a game changer. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting more in their life. More joy, more control, more of the good stuff.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I TOLD you!

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

yes .. whilst driving but I got lost as it was a little hard for mr me to concentrate on - I would suggest he varies his speed and content to keep us with him

What was one of the most memorable moments of Essentialism?

the concept is the best

How could the performance have been better?

different narrator

Did Essentialism inspire you to do anything?

yes

Any additional comments?

Yes I love the concept but I felt like I was being TOLD to do something. the delivery was a little full on , or could it be the accent of the speaker/writer. He has great points and advice to make but it get a little complex or something , cant quite put my finger on it.'

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Look elsewhere

Nothing ground breaking or new just has put a name to it. Same information is abundant in other books that are more interesting

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Potent wisdom for people who take on too much!

I loved this book! The author has distilled the advice into a very easy to understand method for doing more by doing less! As someone who has struggled with overloading my schedule in the past or saying yes to things that weren't a top priority, this book spoke to me and was a clear, loud permission slip to let go of the excess and hone in on what matters.

Whether you are an entrepreneur, parent, creative or someone with a dream in your heart that needs your attention, this book could be the thing that sets you up to enjoy the journey, maintain your sanity and wellbeing along the way AND get better results.

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I’m breathing easier now

The ease and clarity with which this book explains the life balance brought about by “less” is a revelation. I’m breathing easier just from hearing it.

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Concise, as you'd expect

Excellent ideas, concisely expressed. I'm going to get a copy of this for my boss, who meets all the non-essentialist criteria and could really do with the help this book provides.

My main disappointment is the narrow focus of most of the examples: white collar, office-centric. It would have been nice to have more non-work, "life" examples (aside from religious figures, or Ghandi...).

I'm looking forward to reading more about this! Also, this is, I think, the first book read by the author where I've enjoyed the narration.

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Excellent!

Very well explained and compelling to make changes that help improve life and look at the essential aspects.

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Life Changing

Greg has skillfully used high level communication techniques to impart both what essentialism is and also the steps to take toward actually being an essentialist.

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  • Ian C.
  • 29-08-2018

MY FAVORITE BOOK

Life changing! I would consider this book a must read for every single human. Especially considering we live in a society filled with distractions.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • jensgud
  • 24-02-2019

This is it!!!

If I had to choose one self help book, this is the one. A lifetime of practice starts today.

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  • Fight Cellulite
  • 08-02-2019

I really enjoyed listening to this book

I loved the narrator, and the book is very valuable. Although I am already following some of the principles this book covers, I got some new insights on what can and should be improved.

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  • Arun Tripathi
  • 02-02-2019

a great read for clutter free life inspiring one

a great read for clutter free life I was thought minimalism was about materialistic things but now I have learnt to apply where I find an opportunity

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-10-2018

Life changing stuff

Life changing stuff. I've been lacking a sense of clarity in life, however this book has helped me take steps in the right direction.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 16-08-2018

Simple is not Cheap. A must read:

Through this book, I came to see how I pursue the least meaningful things in life. I am in the process of purging and redefining what is really essential in my existence. It is a reference book I go to each time I realize I need downsizing in every way possible. Most times meaningfulness and significance are archived when we drop out all the unnecessary clutter we surround ourselves with- be it physically or mentally.

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  • Alferio Njau
  • 13-03-2018

Enlightening yet practical

This book is life-changing.
I have enjoyed all of it. I think everything written on this book is useful. In a world where there is too much going on all around and too much noise in the outside and inside, this book helps one to persue wholly the most important things and only what matters most to get the best out life and lead a meaningful life for oneself and for the whole world.
I'm definitely re-reading it again.

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  • Neale Blackwood
  • 10-03-2018

Less is More

Essentialism is a great concept and well explained and described in this book. Lots of examples and ways to include it in your life.
It is a different mindset and will take a while to implement and incorporate. I read this book with Deep Work, they compliment each other.
Highly recommend.

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  • Ben Warren
  • 06-01-2018

absolutely loved it

what a great way to say the new year!

instead of looking to add new things in, it's all about minimising your priorities to the most essential

say no to more things to create space for the important things in your life

just awesome:

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  • Andrew Carr
  • 17-12-2017

Self-help but smart

Self help books rightly have a poor reputation for lots of salesmanship and little substance. But this is a smart, nuanced and pragmatic book. There are lots of useful insights and practical hints that can be applied widely. The basic thesis itself (less but better) is fairly anodyne, but the focus on trying to apply this in a disciplined way is what makes the book stand out. I also enjoyed hearing the author read the book, to give it the personal touch.

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  • Wayne Hutton
  • 03-01-2016

I don't usually write reviews.

This book probably made me feel more guilt than anything. After so many years in business, working for myself, I have realised where I have gone wrong. Trying to please too many people and reducing the quality of myself to the ones I care most about. The pursute of 'less but better' at home and work will be my goal. Wasting time and effort on meaningless things and time-wasting people or meetings will now stop and quality time with my family, by reducing the nonsense we convince ourselves we need in our working environment will now become my main driver. Thank you Greg.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Stefanie W
  • 10-04-2018

Essential reading for me right now

I have had this book for a while and finally decided to read it over Easter - it was the right book at the right time. I listened to it over a couple of very long bus rides with no interruptions, no distractions and my head in the right space. I found the many essentialist vs non-essentialist examples extremely useful - mainly to bring the learnings of the anecdotes from, mainly, famous and successful people to the everyday decisions we have to make. This is a book I've annotated and would come back to listen to again at various intervals to see how I'm doing. Also enjoyed the reader's voice - easy listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jordan Georgiev
  • 17-10-2016

Not a bad book

The book does have an interesting narrative. The overall idea is simple, achievable and useful.

On the other hand - this book is a hammer and most of the best literature on the subject is all nails. I've heard most of the common ideas with an "essentialist" attached to them.

Also there is a lot of introduction and a lot of "an essentialist does X". The really useful material is pretty humble.

Overall, this book is good for self-development "beginners" since they'll be learning the most. It would be amazing for them to read the original works mentioned, but this is a good starting point.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Halimah
  • 13-10-2016

First audio book I've finished since joining :)

Love this book, simple to follow. Case studies were very helpful. Worth the daily habit! I will no doubt listen again and again. First book I have finished and felt was worth the money!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Sunlight and Shadows
  • 21-09-2016

One of the smartest books Ever!

I always like a book that is read by the author - it gives an even greater insight to the knowledge they are sharing.
There are so many highlights within this book that I could share - however I couldn't do it justice. If you want a guide to working smart where you are given deep insights to the psychology why in a way that isnt preaching - but is real - then this is the book for you.
Im about to listen to it again as there were so many 'nuggets' within the pages.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ms L Pascoe
  • 04-03-2018

A really interesting read.

This will prompt you to rethink your priorities and how you spend your short amount of time on this planet.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Marie
  • 18-01-2018

Awesome

I liked it so much that I’m going to buy the actual book and annote each pages to fully grasp all the ideas, topics, stories. It was truly inspiring and not boring at all. I recommend it to anyone that wants to improve their life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephen
  • 26-11-2017

Great Book

Very eye opening, probably the best book I've ever read. You should definitely read this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dave Cooper
  • 25-06-2017

World Changing

A book so full of essential knowledge, you will listen to it more than once. With an inspiring reading by the author.

Ask yourself this, what do I have to give up in order to read this book? I assure you that whatever it is will be with the trade off.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sara P.
  • 20-10-2016

Awesome book if you can action it

It's important that this isn't a book you read nod your head in agreement too and then simply continue with life ignoring it's wonderful tips.

A great book and something I'll certainly read again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful