3 Takeaways from Essentialism by Greg McKeown

downloadA 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?