The Power Of Less by Leo Babauta

dont-you-wish-life-was-this-simple

I wish life was simpler.

This is something I’ve said to myself many times before and I’m sure you have too. Feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and unmotivated is often a product of our own doing. We try to do too much, too fast, and too soon.

Short Answer is Simplify. For detailed answer please read the book The Power Of Less by Leo Babaua.

“Simplifying isn’t meant to leave your life empty — it’s meant to leave space in your life for what you really want to do.”
– from The Power Of Less by Leo Babaua

True to its name, the Power of Less is short. 170 pages, this non-fiction work follows the traditional how-to book formula to employ numbered lists of steps.

The main principles he outlines are as follows:

  1. Set limitations. By setting limitations, we must chose the essential. So in everything you do, learn to set limitations.
  2. Choose the essential. By choosing the essential, we create great impact with minimal resources. Always choose the essential to maximize your time and energy.
  3. Simplify. Eliminate the nonessential.
  4. Focus is your most important tool in becoming more effective.
  5. Create new habits to make long-lasting improvements.
  6. Start small. Start new habits in small increments to ensure success.

My favorite line in the whole book is “Simplify. Eliminate the non-essential.” I think if that is all you get out of the whole book it will have been worthwhile.

Still go ahead buy the book and read it fully, it’s full of ideas. The best parts were when the author wrote of his own personal experience and used specific details of life changes he made and how he went about that.

Simplicity boils down to two (very simple) steps:
1. Identify the Essential
2. Eliminate the rest

All in all, this is a good little book with some great logic in it, as well as links and suggestions on how to use today’s tools to make your life better. A short book that combines technology advancements with wisdom of the ages is just the kind of focus that we multi-taskers need to help us calm the chaos that surrounds us online and off.

Learn to move at a slower pace and you will be happier, and just as importantly, you will become more effective and productive.

Bonus: You can visit the this link to read the 10 big ideas from this book.

A checklist for every day

One ought, every day at least,
to hear a little song,
read a good poem,
see a fine picture,
and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship

I like this advice because it is about appreciating, not creating. And the good thing is it can be used as a Checklist for Everyday.

In the professional world, checklists are a huge component to the daily work of pilots and surgeons. Detailed step-by-step checklists help fight complacency in the cockpit, and maintain safe operation of the aircraft during all phases of flight, from gate to gate. In hospitals, medical teams use checklists to ensure surgical procedures go smoothly.

The Art of Manliness provides a historical look at checklists, along with a detailed primer in deciding which lists will work for you, sourced from the excellent book The Checklist Manifesto. You can implement the similar checklist(routine) in your daily life to help give you a greater shot at success.

Here’s a problem worth solving:
Am I doing the thing I am most needed to be doing right now?

Here is an example of my daily checklist:

  • Start your day with a prayer.
  • Think of three things you’re grateful for. Be specific.
  • Never start your day with a newspaper or TV.
  • Workout or go for a walk – don’t sit all day!
  • Think of one thing you learned today. Journalize it, why not!
  • One day a week, ignore this list entirely.
  • Forgive yourself for your imperfection and remember that everyday is everyday. Tomorrow will soon be today. There’s more time.

Notice that social media, reading news, watching TV, checking email, browsing my favorite sites, sharing photos … none of these are on the list. If I’m doing one of these things and not one of my daily checklist items, I’m probably not doing the right thing.

Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night’s repose
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

What else would you add to the list?