“No is a complete sentence and so often we forget that. When we don't want to do something we can simply smile and say no. We don't have to explain ourselves, we can just say "No".”
“...there are often many things we feel we should do that, in fact, we don't really have to do. Getting to the point where we can tell the difference is a major milestone in the simplification process.”
-Elaine St. James
“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say “no” to almost everything”
I recently finished reading Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown after reading a blog post by Shane Parrish on FarnamStreet (a blog I highly recommend). Without a doubt, the thing I took away most from the book was the realization of how many things I volunteer my time to. Things that are often in direct contradiction to what I see as my overall goal.
It is intuitive to believe that productivity, execution, or efficiency can be achieved by addition. McKeown argues that the Essentialist, focuses on what needs to be removed.
Below are some of the selections from the text I found thought-provoking:
“Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.”
“Today, technology has lowered the barrier for others to share their opinion about what we should be focusing on. It is not just information overload; it is opinion overload.”
“In this example is the basic value proposition of 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.”
“The killer question: “If I didn’t already own this, how much would I spend to buy it?”
“The way of the Essentialist means living by design, not by default. Instead of making choices reactively, the Essentialist deliberately distinguishes the vital few from the trivial many, eliminates the nonessentials, and then removes obstacles so the essential things have clear, smooth passage. In other words, Essentialism is a disciplined, systematic approach for determining where our highest point of contribution lies, then making execution of those things almost effortless.”