Review: The Power of Less

Have you ever feel overwhelmed in your life or career? Do you want to have more free time for your loved ones and still be productive? The Power of Less by Leo Babauta aims to help you do that. The goal of the book is to help you do less but achieve more. In the author’s words:

Picture a life in which you have a fairly peaceful workday, where stress levels are minimal, where you’re able to focus on your work. Imagine that you only do a few tasks, but they’re chosen so that they have the most impact. You accomplish major goals without the stress of doing everything at once.

Sounds like a great life, doesn’t it? I definitely want to do less but achieve more.

Let’s look inside the book.

Inside The Power of Less

The book has two parts with a total of eighteen chapters. Part one deals with the guiding principles and part two deals with how to implement those principles in key areas of your life.

Part I: The Principles

1. Why Less Is Powerful

If you are trying to do too much, you will feel stressed and overwhelmed. Even worse, you can be busy without accomplishing anything important. By choosing the essential, you will do less but get the most impact.

2.  The Art of Setting Limits

To help you choose the essential, you should set limits in everything you do. The limits force you to choose which are essential and which are not.

3. Choosing the Essential, and Simplifying

With the limits in place, how do you know which things are essential? This chapter has a series of questions to help you decide whether or not something is essential.

4. Simple Focus

To be effective, focus is your most important tool. Don’t spread yourself too thin. At any time, focus on just one task and focus on the present.

5. Create New Habits, and the Power of Less Challenge

You need to create new habits to make lasting improvements in your life. To successfully create new habits, focus on forming just one habit a month.

6. Start Small

One more tip for creating new habits: start small and make small increments over time. Don’t make drastic changes.

Part II: In Practice

7. Simple Goals and Projects

You should focus on just one goal at a time to increase your effectiveness. And don’t work on too many projects to achieve that goal. Choose only a few and focus on finishing them.

8. Simple Tasks

Each day, choose the three most important tasks (MITs) and work on them first before doing anything else. This way you can be sure that you will get the important tasks done.

9. Simple Time Management

Keep your time management simple by reducing your tasks and appointments. And do similar tasks at once to save time.

10. Simple E-mail

Minimize your time on e-mail so that you can spend more time on important things. To do that, you should reduce the number of e-mails that come into your inbox and have clear rules to deal with them.

11. Simple Internet

Apply limitations to your Internet usage so that you use it productively. Don’t let it become a productivity black hole. Also learn to work while disconnected to minimize distractions.

12. Simple Filing

Don’t waste your time going through stacks to find the documents you need. A simple filing system will help you find what you need quickly.

13. Simple Commitments

One thing you should do to free up time for the important is cutting back your commitments. Choose only a few essential commitments and eliminate the rest. Learn to say “no” to new requests.

14. Simple Daily Routine

Having simple daily routines can help you boost your day. A morning routine can help you prepare for the day ahead and an evening routine can help you prepare for tomorrow.

15. Declutter Your Work Space

Having a decluttered desk will help you focus on the task at hand. So get your desk down to the essentials and eliminate the rest. Have a simple system to process incoming papers and store items.

16. Slow Down

Slowing down your pace will make you not only happier, but also more effective. There are several ways to apply it: move your attention slowly, work slowly, eat slowly, and drive slowly.

17. Simple Health and Fitness

By eating healthily and exercise regularly, you will have greater energy and productivity. So form the habit of exercise and healthy eating. Start small and increase it gradually.

18. On Motivation

Making the all the changes suggested in this book requires motivation. This chapter gives you a lot of tips on how to find and sustain the motivation you need to make lasting changes in your life.

Conclusion

The Power of Less is a useful book that helps you do less but achieve more. Trying to do a lot could make you feel stressed and unhappy. This book advocates doing less but doing the right things and doing them well. The Power of Less is the right book for those who feel overwhelmed in any area of their life or feel like they can’t achieve anything important although they are busy. This book can also help you maintain your life balance.

What I like about the book is instead of just talking about the theory, it is full of practical tips in each chapter. You can apply them right away and start feeling the difference in your life.

5 Comments

  1. I have always known that the less cluster you have, the more you are able to get done.

    This is because the more clustered your home, for example, is, the more that cluster takes your energy, the less energetic you feel.

    When you clean your home, your mind becomes clearer too, you are able to focus more and you can experience the flow state more often (the state when you are ‘in the zone’).

  2. […] Review: The Power of Less […]

  3. Less means saying no – I know that can often be the most difficult word to speak. With no I begin to set boundaries, slow down and start to feel what I want. At first we feel we are losing something precious, only to discover what we last is our stress. Less is more.

  4. Simona,

    When you clean your home, your mind becomes clearer too, you are able to focus more and you can experience the flow state more often

    From productivity perspective, I think this is the biggest benefit of having a clean home.

    Owen,

    Less means saying no

    I agree. We have too many things to do or think about because we say “yes” to them in the first place.

  5. Very nice tips. It tells how to streamline our life by identifying the essential and eliminating the unnecessary ””
    freeing us from everyday clutter and allowing us to focus on
    accomplishing the goals that can change our life for the better.

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