The Power of Less

The Power of Less

  • The 6 Essential Productivity Principles That Will Change Your Life
  • Leo Babauta

Well, so much for trying to read some of the books that I’ve already bought before buying any more. That’s going to be a rule, not a resolution, for 2011, to try and have only 10 unread titles on my shelves.

The Power of Less is the first book I’ve bought just from reading the Kindle preview. It did strike a chord with me. This past year I’ve been trying to clear out lots of stuff that I won’t use or won’t wear. There have been many trips to the local charity shop.

The main thing that I have learnt from the book is to just concentrate on one thing at a time until it is complete. I’ve switched from project to project, started new projects that don’t get completed, gone back to old projects when I had a new idea. All of them haven’t been finished. There is a new software development application that I want to start but I haven’t because of loose ends that need to be tied in other places. I’ve had Omnifocus for a few years now and it has just been a dumping ground for things that I’ll never do, even single tasks.

Even before I’d finished the book I decided to clear things out. I printed all my Omnifocus tasks and projects to a PDF held in Yojimbo and ruthlessly deleted anything that simply wasn’t going to get done. Folders, projects that had sub-tasks all went. Now I just have a Next Actions, Day-to-day, a Project List folder with two projects in it and a Someday/Maybe folder with just 4 sub-folders. I had spent too long creating folders for every new idea I had. Now I just have 3 tasks flagged as ones that I want to complete today. We’ll see how it goes.

I could certainly see where Leo has taken inspiration from. I noticed references to: Getting Things Done, Flow and Mindfulness in Plain English. But that is no bad thing. The whole book revolves around the principles of the Power of Less:

  1. Set limitations.
  2. Choose the essential.
  3. Simplify.
  4. Focus.
  5. Create habits
  6. Start small.

These are designed to increase your productivity whilst simplifying your life.

It’s a really quick and easy read that’s packed with ideas that will make you look differently at how you’re managing personal projects and your life.

  • Reviewed on Tuesday, 28 December 2010
  • Tagged with book review