“Less, But Better”

by Andrew Forrest

Sure, we’re busy, but what are we actually getting done?


Rather than getting more done, what about getting the right things done? This is Greg McKeown’s suggestion in his book Essentialism. If you are anything like me, asking yourself the question “Where can I make the greatest contribution?” is embarrassing, as you’ll be forced to admit that though you are very busy, much of your effort is expended in activity that takes you sideways more than it takes you forward.

“Less, but better” is the shorthand summary for Mr. McKeown’s book–who could argue with that?

Like many of these sorts of business/leadership books, Essentialism is a bit too long and contains a fair amount of filler–as if the author had a page quota he needed to hit–but I still found it worth reading. I particularly liked Mr. McKeown’s insistence that every part of life involves a trade-off; instead of thinking we can avoid problems altogether, we ought to be asking ourselves, “Which problem do I want?”

Short, easy read. Recommended.

What can you say “No” to this week? (Very politely, of course….)

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Mike Orren July 27, 2014 - 4:06 pm

Comes from a different direction, but this book says essentially the same: http://smile.amazon.com/The-Power-No-Abundance-Happiness-ebook/dp/B00JU5YAKW/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1

Andrew Forrest July 27, 2014 - 7:27 pm

Mike, I read this kind of stuff and agree, and then I actually have to tell people “no.” This is why I need a really mean assistant….

Mark Miller July 30, 2014 - 6:47 pm

Helpful review Andrew. I read this book and agree with your assessment. Thanks for sharing.

What Trade-Off Do You Need to Make This Month? | Andrew Forrest October 1, 2014 - 10:16 am

[…] I read a book this summer that reminded me of a principle that I already knew but often choose to ignore: everything in life comes with a cost; everything requires a trade-off. ?If you say “Yes” here, it means saying “No” there. ?This principle obviously applies to time management, but it also applies to much bigger life choices. ?And it’s a principle that the Israelites learned at the foot of Mount Sinai and that we can read about in Exodus 33. […]

My 2014 Reading List | Andrew Forrest January 21, 2015 - 4:49 am

[…] by Greg McKeown. I wrote about this book here. ?Like most of these sorts of business and leadership books, it’s too long, but still worth […]


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