Essentialism is a book all about focusing on the essential and ignoring life’s distractions. Here are my brief and unorganised notes of what I ressonated with the most.

Read a fiction book for 20 minutes in the morning, before starting to worry about the day’s professional and personal problems.

Keep a journal! Write your “kairos” moments in it. Kairos = the fully present moments in your day.

Focus on “one main thing” for the day. Focus on the now, it’s all you can change. Fully focus on task at hand, have your mind and body in the same place.

Spend 30 seconds after meetings reflecting on what was said, take some notes and gather actions if necessary.

Make some time “to just think”: no phones, computers or other distractions.

Find your essential intent. Values are often vague, whereas vision is often too broad.

Essential Intent = concrete + inspirational 

Establish a routine, do important things automatically.

Organise your work days by themes. For example, Monday can be “coding”, Tuesday “meetings”, and so on.

Pause before walking through the door home and breathe - creates a barrier between work and life.

How to say no

Say “no” to most things in your life so you can say “yes” to the things that most excite you. Some ways to say no:

  • I’m currently busy with X, but let’s catch up on Y
  • Let me check my calendar and get back to you
  • Yes, what should I de-prioritise?
  • You’re welcome to do X, I can do Y
  • I can’t, but [person name] might
  • Use humour