Less is More

516TXpkm6+LGreg McKeown is the author of the acclaimed book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. His website offers this description:

“The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s not about getting less done. It’s about getting only the right things done. It’s about challenging the core assumption of ‘we can have it all’ and ‘I have to do everything’ and replacing it with the pursuit of ‘the right thing, in the right way, at the right time’. It’s about regaining control of our own choices about where to spend our time and energies instead of giving others implicit permission to choose for us.”

In an early 2015 Harvard Business Review article, McKeown argues that success is a catalyst for failure. The opportunities that we are bombarded with due to success causes us to lose the clarity that provided success in the first place.

His simple rules apply to both our personal and professional lives. To paraphrase:

  • What am I absolutely passionate about? In the absence of passion, don’t waste time on what is simply average.
  • What is absolutely essential? Once that is determined, eliminate the rest.
  • Beware of the weight of “sunk costs.” Just because you own something, don’t feel you need to keep it. Just because you’ve always done something, that doesn’t sentence you to keep doing it indefinitely.

I’m sure there are things at both work and home where I am holding onto something that I’m not passionate about and/or is not essential. It must be valuable because why else would I hold onto it, right? Perhaps its time for a little soul searching and spring cleaning to purge some of the “more” to fully appreciate the value of “less.” The tough question is where to start?


2 Comments on “Less is More”

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