The Power Of Less

| January 22, 2009

I just finished reading the Power of Less by Leo Babauta, who is also the creator of the Zen Habits blog. The idea is to maximize productivity while simplifying your life. This is based on the following six principles:

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

By setting limitations, we must choose the essential. So in everything you do set limitations. By choosing the essential, we create great impact with minimal resources. Always choose the essential to maximize your time and energy.

By following the first two principles we are on the path to simplifying and accomplishing more. Every thing else in the book is really just an extension of these two principles. Depending on, where you are in life, each person will get something different out of this book.

What stood out to me, was using my time more wisely and simplifying the clutter in my life. I really like the idea of deciding which goals are actually important, in my life, and then breaking them down to smaller more accomplishable tasks.

In order to get the important things done we need to focus on one task at a time, and do the most important things first. If you want to create a new habit in your life choose one new habit for a thirty day period, make it easy, and measurable, after thirty days you can move on to the next habit.

I also like the concept of breaking difficult tasks into easier, small tasks, that can actually get accomplished. Another tip, I picked up from the book was to set filters on my email. Now those PayPal receipts and newsletters, automatically get filed away in their own folders.

Having the Power of Less, to refer to, will help motivate me to focus, when things begin to get out of hand. My first task after reading this, is to finally organize the papers in my office, and some closets and drawers, I’ve been neglecting.

I believe it was Oprah, who once said, “success is being ready when an opportunity presents itself.” When you get rid of distractions and learn to focus on what is important, you will be ready when an opportunity presents itself. Thanks Leo, for a great book, with such an inspiring message.

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10 Comments on "The Power Of Less"

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  1. busby says:

    Honestly, this thing of breaking difficult tasks into easier takes the cake ! I know it’s also all about point of view. Anyway, I don’t see great future in loosing time with that kind of principles. I’m not sure it’s something greatly appreciated by people. I think Oprah is right (“success is being ready when an opportunity presents itself.”)

  2. This is a very good point of view. How we see things and how we balance things have a strong impact on the outcome of everything.

  3. Sometimes things need to broken down to the simplest level in order to be understood. I always say it like this:

    When you are at the buffet line you have a choice. I could 1) pile my plate high with anything or everything, and have it become too overwhelming and not finish or I could 2) take what I want for now, and when finished, go back for more.

  4. Michelle says:

    I really wish I could get the hang of this stuff. I believe it is absolutely true, but I am somewhat…scattered. I know I would be more successful if I could just get things in order and focus!

    Michelles last blog post..Ouch.

  5. Emma says:

    You and me both. I hope you feel better soon. :smile:

  6. Jamie Cohen says:

    I agree with this concept. I believe one of my college professors said it best “K.I.S.S” Keep it simple stupid. I like to keep my life pretty simple and I do believe it has helped me out. Thanks for the good post and keep up the good work.

    Jamie Cohens last blog post..Messner’s Lawn Care and Landscape Design

  7. Josh says:

    Definitely good advice, trying to work on too many goals at once is the recipe for failure. Simplifying has made a huge difference in my life.

  8. Can’t resist buying the book..

    Thanks for the review

  9. Dara says:

    I think I can agree with most of this…the Oprah quote is a bit too passive for me. It implies that anyone can be successful if they take advantage of opportunities presented, and I don’t necessarily believe that everyone has these opportunities to take..I’d prefer a more active approach to success, personally.

    Daras last blog post..Kids – Ages.

  10. Emma says:

    The point of the Oprah quote is that too many people don’t take advantage of opportunities when they come along, because they are not ready. This is quite the opposite of being passive.