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“essentialism” by Greg McKeown- my notes

Today I started reading “essentialism” by Greg McKeown. The book is organized into four parts. Part 1 essence, part 2 explore, part 3 eliminate, and part 4 execute. There are 225 pages. My goal is to read a chapter 6 days a week so it will take me about 20–25 days to ready it. I’m part of the Unmistakable Creative Tribe and this is the book for November some of us are reading. I plan to apply what I learn to my personal and work life.

Chapter 1: The Essentialists pages 1–33

This chapter defined essentialism and non essentialism. It provided a model on what each thinks, does and gets. It described the essentialism system of explore and evaluate, eliminate and execute. It provided an overview of each of the steps and how the book will dive into them. It included a neat example of how an essentialism would approach a clothes closet. Here are a few notes/quotes.

  • less but better
  • it is about how to get the right things done
  • wisest possible investments of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.
  • there is a paradox of success with four phases
  • the pursuit of success can be a catalyst for failure
  • there is opinion overload
  • what is your highest point of contribution?
  • the right thing, for the right reason at the right time

Applying Chapter 1

  • How do I say no to projects when money is tight right now? Perhaps essentialism in my personal life will remove things/reduce my cost of living?
  • I enjoy learning and projects where I can make the learning easy to complete and look better. I enjoy projects where creativity is needed.
  • I often get stretched doing projects I enjoy but in unrealistic time frames. I don’t allow myself time to breath, create and step away from something.
  • I plan to purge my closet and bathroom sink of extra things. I think when I’m not busy or when I’m trying to avoid things I want choices and that’s when I buy things I don’t need.




I read as part of my morning routine. I’ll share my notes about what I read here.

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