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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

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

What listeners say about Essentialism

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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.

8 people found this helpful

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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

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Inspiring

A great dive into optimised human performance through subtraction and focus rather than addition. Excellent!

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great concept

an inspiring way to live, something I'll definitely recommend everyone read and implement in their own life

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So good I've bought the physical book as well...

Chapter after chapter of wonderful insights and examples demonstrating the principles of Essentialism, and contrasting non-essentialism.

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Such a wonderful book! Didn't want it to end

Probs in my fav top 5 books of all time. Full to the brim with ideas for getting clear on what really matters

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POWERFULLY INCREDIBLE

As a new business owner, this book made a massive positive impact on me on focusing on the right things at the right time!

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Excellent and essential

Best book I've listened to. Very relevant to all aspects of life and work. An excellent concept to refocus in an increasingly distracted world.

1 person found this helpful

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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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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 person found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Marcellus
  • 16-11-2017

A must read for Simplicity Seekers

If you desire an extraordinary life, seek simplicity. If you don't know where to start, read (or listen) to this book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-02-2020

Loved it

A must read if you want clarity in your business and home life. Thank you

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-01-2020

A must read for Type As

I really needed to hear this. I couldn’t stop I don’t think I have ever got through a book so quickly and am about to listen again and use the essentialist method to clean my closet this weekend and next week my life. I am so glad I stumbled upon this, hopefully before it’s too late.

1 person found this 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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Wired On Development
  • 14-06-2021

Pity the author doesn’t take his own advice

I’m sure there were some excellent nuggets in this book but the repetition and poorly delivered mission to create an Essentialist movement (I’m guessing) made it hard to wade through the self-righteous noise. The important points could have been condensed into an essential few ideas & action points. In addition the author identified every ideal human behaviour from being punctual to planning ahead & living a healthy life as a sign of being the coveted ‘Essentialist’. Eugh - I wanted to get through it to hear the essential points but eventually had to concede that the sunk-cost effort didn’t outweigh the irritation.

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  • Lolly Gwabavu
  • 09-02-2021

So much more than a book

This is a movement, a way of life, a religion so to speak. It's one simple principle well explained and motivated for in the many different spheres of our life. The author shares practical and inspiring examples from his own life. There is none of the fervour and persuasion of movements and religions - just sharing what has worked for so many. I'm most inspired that unlike minimalism it does not descend into a lengthy list of how to's. Instead it keeps going back to the why of Essentialism which in my understanding is simply that it is a better, easier and more fulfilling way to live. I will revisit this book again and again. What a gift!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-01-2021

Exceptional!

An audiobook I’ll refer to and listen to in its entirety many more times! Inspirational, with great suggestions for following a more conscious, fulfilling and meaningful life.

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  • Mario Fco. Mariño Chaix
  • 28-12-2020

Great book

This is a great book for all of us that try to hard a do so little ... it helps to get rid of useless an time wasting activities that don't help to pursue our goals.

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  • Brian
  • 11-11-2020

Life changing

This is a classic book that can change your life. If ever you feel the need to regain control, become more focused and productive, buy this book. Read it a few times too.

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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.

25 people found this 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!

11 people found this helpful

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  • Mick
  • 23-08-2019

Repetitive

Contains some good sound advice although ironically, I think this could have been put in maybe half the chapters.

9 people found this 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.

5 people found this 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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Muhammad
  • 11-03-2016

Good but NOT Extraordinary

Any additional comments?

It has been a fairly good listen. There were no extraordinary revelations but still the book was engaging with sporadic new insights about how to do few yet more productive and effective things. The book describes in a very consistent way as how to eliminate noise from our routine life.The book has very useful insights for someone who has not, for example, read Eat that frog or 7 habits types of books. But if your have read any of these two books you can skip this one easily.

8 people found this 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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-09-2018

Simple and Effective

Very few books have such a lasting impact. The author of this one also cited many other useful books as well as historians.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Renie Gray
  • 02-05-2016

It doesn't disappoint, 5 stars all round!

Having heard so much about this book I was overjoyed to find that it doesn't disappoint. Stories, experiences and easy takeaway make this book easily one of my top 3 and it's only just May!! It goes deep and wide all at the same time leaving me both thoughtful and motivated to fully live the life of an essentialist.

2 people found this helpful

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  • KG
  • 12-03-2016

Great reminder of the importance of focus

Well researched, with interesting stories used to illustrate the point. Very easy to digest, spoken clearly at a good pace.

2 people found this helpful

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