Essentialism: A Book Review

I suppose I’ve been on a minimalist journey for the past year and a half. Recently, I discovered the book, Essentialism, by Greg McKeown. I will be sharing some of the insights that I gained with you today.

It’s no secret that we live in a world that never seems to sleep. Now, more than ever, people are pressured to be doing something at all times. We call this “being productive.”

To keep up the pace of productivity, we overbook our schedules and constantly stay on the go.

In Essentialism, McKeown discusses how we need to shift from a productivity mindset to focusing on improved happiness and wellbeing. He argues that this is done through essentialism (minimalism).

Essentialism is a lifestyle that empowers people to live simple and fulfilling lives by cutting out the unnecessary noise in life. To me, this makes sense complete sense. I notice that my productivity goes down when I’m overwhelmed or overstimulated by the tasks and demands around me. This happens because when we are overwhelmed by the nonessential, we lose our freedom to do the things that matter the most in life. To a minimalist, having freedom to choose is power.

With essentialism, the focus is on doing less but doing it better. Quality over quantity.

The author gives several tips on how to apply essentialism to everyday life:

  • Allow for down time (leisure and rest).
    • Time with yourself will spark creativity and clarity. I talked about this in my last post.
  • Concentrate on the big picture.
  • Be ruthless in eliminating the nonessential
    • “If it’s not a clear yes, then it’s a clear no.”
  • Be ready for the resistance that this may create in your relationships.
    • You’ll need to explain to loved ones about your minimalism journey. Make sure that they know that your decisions are for self-care.


We live in what is called an “attention economy.” Google, marketers, social media, and a bunch of other companies and people are vying for your attention. Essentialism is a way to filter out the noise. You can find this book here.

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