A friend of mine loaned me a book that she said was worth my time – Essentialism by Greg McKeown. She wasn’t kidding – wow. This is going to be one of the top ten books I’ve ever read. Very insightful, very challenging.
Among the many things I walked away from this book with, here are three:
- The importance of clarity. According to McKeown, essentialists say no to about 90 percent of opportunities. That’s challenging. 90 percent. If I am clear on what I do, then it becomes much easier to filter out and say no to what I shouldn’t. But that means I have to ask hard questions. And I have to exercise some serious discipline to make it stick.
- The freeing possibility of no. When I say no to what I need to say no to, I say yes to what matters most. It frees me up to do what only I can do. How many times have I said yes to something that I regretted saying yes to? How many times have I completely filled my calendar to the point of no margin, then realized I wasn’t really doing anything well? Essentialists understand that when you say no, you create margin and possibilities for what you have said yes to as a priority in your life.
- The power of choice. Oh man. When I forget that I choose what goes on my calendar and my to do list, when I forget that I choose what I will commit my time and focus to, I allow other people to determine what my calendar and to do list look like. By remembering that I have the power of choice, I determine what I will (and will not) focus on.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough to you. Whether you lead in a small context or a large, or whether you’re in a church, non-profit, or business context, this book will be profitable and useful to you. You can get it at Amazon here.
If you’ve read Essentialism, what were some of your takeaways?