Essentialism – Book Review

I must admit, I am definitely an overachieving, workaholic, perfectionist, multi-tasking lady. I like to have a variety of things going at once and have no problem keeping myself busy, sometimes even when there is nothing I need to do at that moment. That being said, I am also a hard worker, scheduler, and love to prioritize. There are many important things in my life and I feel I want to make sure nothing gets overlooked. While I sometimes feel overwhelmed, I find that taking a bit of time to sit and prioritize my to do list will get me back on schedule again.

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This is precisely why I was excited to read Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. A self-help, discipline to help create order in an otherwise chaotic life might help me understand how to prioritize even better, and hopefully lose that feeling of overwhelm in those moments of chaos.

The book was delivered in the morning and by lunch I was working my way through it, highlighter in hand. It is a very simple read and one I did not want to put down. I found myself carrying it around with me, reading it while cooking (those waiting minutes when the kids are preoccupied with daddy and you can take a moment to just sit and relax), and before bed; pretty much any free moment I had it was in my hands.

I was highlighting like crazy, making mental notes and realizing that the book was written for me! There are so many great tips for realizing that you are taking on too much. Tips for why and how to say “no” to those things that crop up and end up taking over without your desire to be doing them. I feel like a new person when I look at the things happening in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I am still taking on a lot of projects and day-to-day tasks but I am feeling more confident in my prioritization, and how I handle new random things that don’t really need to happen.

Essentialism: only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying “yes” to everyone, can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter.

I have made more time for myself, allowing myself to really dig deep into the things that matter to my family and my companies. I feel that this time has been the best thing I’ve taken from the book.

Whether you can invest two hours per day, two weeks per year, or even just five minutes every morning, it is important to make space to escape in your busy life.

What I’ve realized is how true space and quiet thinking time is for making the most of the day and your life. In the craziness of raising two crazy kids, working and doing the mundane daily tasks time to sit quietly and reflect on the day and our lives in general has never made it to the priority list. Until now, and it has made me really know what is important and why it is important. I feel more in control of the craziness, I feel that “me” time has allowed me to prepare for the day/week ahead. My priorities have stayed the same, but the additional tasks are being rearranged to work better and more efficiently. I feel more in control, happier, less stressed and the icing on the cake is that things are being done more efficiently as well.

I highly recommend Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less to anyone feeling overwhelmed, overworked, stressed, or just wanting to find more time in their lives. It was a great read that will help lead you in the direction of a more controlled and substantial life.

Disclaimer –  I received this book free from the publisher through the Blogging For Books book review bloggers program. The opinions stated above are my own.

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