Could essentialism be the key to your success? Yes or no?
Well, before you answer that question, let’s first dig a little deeper into this unique approach to see how it can be applied to both your personal and professional life.
New York Times Bestselling author Greg McKeown wrote a book called ‘Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less’ and in it, he talks about the self-discipline we can use to eliminate things that are not essential when it comes to the productivity and fulfillment of our lives.
So maybe you often find yourself feeling stressed out or stretched too thin. Or perhaps you feel constantly busy with work but you’re not accomplishing your goals. Or you seem to be catering to everyone else’s needs but forgetting your own.
And that’s where this practice comes into play! Essentialism provides us with the tools to make informed decisions that empower us to reclaim our time, our choices, and our energy – rather than allowing our external environment or those around us to make decisions for us.
You see, we often feel the need to say yes to everything thrown our way – and I know I’m guilty of that sometimes. But what I love about the concept of essentialism is that it highlights the fact that it’s important to decide what you don’t want. When you say no to those things, you’ll have more time and energy to focus on the things that truly matter.
So if you’re looking for guidance on how to manage stress or how to simplify life, this discipline technique for deciding exactly what is essential –or what we now know as essentialism – may be the secret code for how to be happy.
So, where do you even begin to start incorporating essentialism into your life?
Well, it starts in the mind! The first step to successfully utilizing essentialism is to ask yourself the right questions to help you first discover what’s most important to you. To help you do this, you should determine the answers to questions like:
What are you passionate about?
Where do you find inspiration?
What’s the most important thing you should be spending your time and energy on?
If you could only do one thing with your life, what would that be?
Finding the common denominator in these types of questions will then help guide you toward where you should be focusing your energy. You are essentially determining what’s most important to you.
And then, how can you practically apply essentialism to your life to be happy?
Embrace and define your purpose: This is where you focus on your passions to pinpoint what gives you that spark in life.
YOU make your own choices: When it comes to our emotions, our goals, who we spend our time with, etc., understand that you have a choice. So when it comes to the countless choices we are faced with every day, you hold the power in the choices you make.
Narrow it down: We often try to multitask and juggle too many balls in the air. Unfortunately, this level of multitasking is not sustainable. It can become too heavy and cause burnout and exhaustion. So, instead of focusing on all of the minor or often negligible tasks, shift your focus to the few things that are the most important.
Make important tasks the priority: Once you have narrowed down your tasks, make a plan to check things off in order of importance or urgency. This allows you the time to get the important stuff done and leave space for things that bring you joy.
Say no: Get comfortable with saying ‘NO’! Sometimes defaulting to a yes can feel like the easy way out but saying no to the things that do not serve you will benefit you in the long run. Remember the questions we went through above? This is a great time to revisit those to better determine what you should say no to.
Give yourself permission to think: When you embrace the art of taking time to think before you speak, answer a question, make a choice, etc., you are doing yourself a favor. Life can get busy, and we are making lots of decisions all of the time. Being mindful and taking time to process our thoughts and feelings is vital to our productivity and helps us make better decisions and establish priorities.
Sleep: Yes, sleep should be at the top of your priority list! Running on only a few hours of sleep each night is not a part of the essentialism plan. Quality sleep allows us to reset and perform at our very best to then make the very best decisions for ourselves, so don’t skip this step.
So are you ready to embrace essentialism in your life? Whether it’s in your professional or personal life, essentialism can help you focus on the things that make you happy and fulfilled, instead of constantly feeling stressed and busy. This concept can help you achieve your goals in a healthy, productive way by helping you focus the right things, for YOU. Once you decide what’s essential in your life, you’ll find it much easier to feel productive and to achieve your long-term goals.
And if you still need a little more inspiration to live life on your terms, I’d like to provide you with a free copy of my book, Never In Your Wildest Dreams. Inside, you’ll discover the exact steps the main character uses to achieve all of her goals and how you can too. It’s a feel-good story of inspiration and self-love you can use to live your greatest life. So go here now to get your free copy and learn to start believing in the dreams that are possible for you.
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.