What’s it about? At the core of this book is the concept of Essentialism, which can be described as having a focus on only the essential elements of life. The concept is described succinctly and clearly as the disciplined removal of all non-essentials from your life in order to allow you to focus solely on achieving your “maximum point of contribution”.

How is it Structured? The book is in 4 broad sections; Essence, Explore, Eliminate, Execute.

Each section contains practical guidance on what it how to make changes in your life to live as an Essentialist, even going to the point of delivering scripts that you could use to help you remove the non-essential elements from your life.

The book also contains anecdotes, together with tables that allow you to identify behaviours demonstrated by Essentialists vs. Those demonstrated by non-Essentialists, and large text quotes in each chapter that distill the subject matter down to a few words.

What Subjects Does it Cover? There are some very familiar subjects in here; how to say no, how to discern your real priorities, how to decouple from things that you’ve already said yet to, how to hold your focus on your highest point of contribution, the importance of routine and of taking the time to set up routines, the importance of sleep.

Is it of Use? In short, yes. This was my second reading of the book, and it was well worth revisiting, there are lessons here that can be applied to the every day, and that I am, indeed, applying every day.

What’s Missing? There could be more detail on Essentialism as a skill for leaders, and how to apply these lessons from the perspective of a leader. More could have been made of simplicity as a guiding principle and of using the Essentialist principles to help with prioritisation in crisis or crunch situations.

However it is clear that if you we’re to apply the learnings from the book in your life from day to day, it would make management, leadership and specifically keeping a clear head in a crisis significantly easier.

All in all it’s an easy recommendation, well worth your time.

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