Less is More (Really)

This book is endorsed by Tim Ferriss who wrote the 4-hour Work Week. I really like Tim’s work so I read the book. Leo knows what he is doing and has a blog with 230,000 subscribers at zenhabits.net. Needless to say after reading this book, he has one more subscriber.

Why is this important to me? I don’t want to waste your time but do you ever notice that everybody is too busy. I realize this becomes the de-facto excuse for getting out of things you don’t want to do. Sometimes I wonder why people (including me) fill their lives with non-essential crap. Leo digs in and gives great examples of how to reverse the trend.

Two simple principles that Leo points are "Identify the essential and eliminate the Rest."

The Power of Less is broken down into two main parts – The Principles and The Practice. For the sake of time, I will touch on two concepts from each part.

In the first section on principles, Leo talks about setting limits. You need to do this in each facet of life. The best place to start is by asking the following questions. Which areas of my life are overwhelming? What would I like to simplify? Do I want to limit the number of possessions I have, information I receive and responsibilities I have? These questions will help you clear away the clutter.

The second principle is focus. The power of focus has to be one of the strongest human elements for effectiveness. Multi-tasking is overrated. It is an excuse to do several things halfhearted. Multi-tasking low level tasks is fine but if you are focusing on important things then focus and single tasking has to be the priority.

The practice takes energy, focus and motivation all of which are limited.
1. One project– We need to work on one project at a time until completion. If the project or goal is large then you need to focus on the three MITs (Most Important Tasks). Complete one task fully and move it to the completed section of your calendar. This will save you time and energy. The cost of interruptions in business is significant. Productivity drops every time a thought leader is interrupted.

2. Email – I am guilty of being buried in email. This is a problem that I created with multiple mailboxes and control issues. There are three things you can do to control email hell.

1. Check email and 12:00 Noon & 4:30 pm and respond. Give yourself 20 minutes to do this and limit responses to 5 sentences or less.

2. Do not check email first thing in the morning. This kills your mojo. If you have all your priorities and you start by working on your first MIT then checking email will get you pulled off the MIT (Most Important Task) and the rest of the day will be lost.

3. Tell people your email schedule. Let people know that this is how you work so they know that if it is a real emergency then they can call you. This is important and allows you to guard your time and focus on what is most important.
The Power of Less is a really good book. Leo knows what he is doing. He is an author, father of six kids, blogger and exercise freak. He does all of this because he focuses his attention on the essentials and eliminates the rest.

I hope you have found this short summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is make a list of your essentials. The information in this book will not work if you don’t know what your essentials in life are. You need to ask yourself this question and prioritize the top 5 or 10 things you want to focus on in life. Once you do that then you can start eliminating the non-essentials. If you have trouble doing this at first, make a list of things that annoy you. This will be a good start to eliminate.

Have a great weekend. Thanks for reading!
-Joe Mosed, Success Progress