Book Review: Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Essentialism book review

If I’m going to be honest with myself and you – last year I was stretched too thin.

I had so many balls in the air last year that by the time I went on leave in December, I was so burnt out. My body felt it. My lower back was in a complete spasm. I felt exhausted all the time and I could literally just sleep all day every day! My body was literally forcing me to relax and take it easy.

While on leave I read a few books, one being Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg Mckeown and it’s just what the Doctor ordered! 

Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

First of all – I don’t want to do a spoiler – I instead recommend that you read the book if you’re longing for simplicity in your life.

Essentialism is basically the act of Doing Less, But Better”

It’s saying “I choose to” vs “I have to”. So if you’re someone that finds it extremely hard  to say no to others, then the techniques in this book will teach you to say no to everything except the essentials! It will guide you in removing obstacles to make execution easy and help you to choose carefully in order to great work!

There are so many learnings I have taken from this book. One being the importance of sleep!

More Sleep = More Productivity

I always one to survive on very little sleep. Over the last few years I was averaging about 5-6 hours of sleep per night. I believed that it enabled me to get the most out of my day (basically still having a life of my own after the kids go to bed) but in fact, I was doing myself a huge injustice.

It’s actually been proven that if you’re not getting 8 hours of sleep every night, you are not being productive at all. The next day you are still fatigued, find it difficult to concentrate and basically need litres of caffeine to keep you awake (sound familiar?)

Just an extra hour of sleep every night actually allows for several more hours of productivity! I’ve been aiming for 8 hours over the last few weeks – and wow!!! I can feel the difference. I’ve also invested in an essential oil diffuser as well as a good pillow just to promote good sleep in my bedroom – and I AM A NEW PERSON!

Taking time out to have some fun is just as important….



After reading the book, I feel more equipped to make decisions and whether or not to explore new opportunities. Greg Mckeown says that “If it’s not a clear yes, then it’s a clear NO! 

But at the same time, the book coaches you how to say no firmly yet gracefully.

Routines And Early Preparation 

Another important takeaway for me, is the importance of routines and building buffers for unexpected events. I applied the learnings to our new morning routine with Alyssa starting Grade 1 and all. Our routine is now totally different compared to last year. Alyssa starts school an hour earlier and has to be on time. There’s also school uniform that needs to be ready and ironed, lunches packed etc.

Early preparation and building buffers for time (i.e. Traffic sucks) is the only way that both kids get to school and Mom and Dad get to work on time – most importantly, without any tantrums and rushing! Its basically finding ways to execute most effectively – which is essentialism….

In Summary

This is a book I would like to read at least once a year! So many important takeaways and definitely worth the buy. I loved the practical examples given to explain each concept and makes it so relatable.

I purchased the book from Exclusive Books, if you’re keen to check it out.

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