Essentialism: Less, But Better


Do you sometimes feel over-worked or tired all the time while trying to fit into some agenda? Have you ever said “yes” to something simply to please others and regret doing that? Have you ever been out of focus because of all the distractions around you? If you have or felt those things, you should try out the way of an essentialist.

What is essentialism?


  • Essentialism is a mindset, a way of life.
  • It’s a discipline you apply constantly and effortlessly.
  • Essentialism is not about getting more done. It’s about getting the right things done.

In his book “essentialism”, Greg McKeown paves the path to being an essentialist. He introduces different concepts and simple strategies we could follow.

As Greg McKeown explains in his book “essentialism”, becoming an essentialist is a long shot, but well worth trying.

“An essentialist produces more, bring forth more -by removing more instead of doing more”

– Greg McKeown

Why you should try out essentialism?


  • There are so many things that are important, and it is worth it to figure out what your priorities should be. And once you allow yourself to say NO to things that are not that important you will be able to focus better and feel less anxious.
  • Your life will be simpler and happier.
  • You will find yourself looking at the bigger picture. You will look for more options rather than jumping into things.
  • You will be listening to people more than you speak.



“It is the ability to choose which makes us human”

– Madeleine L’Engle

Choices are hard. Sometimes we have to say no to something or several things. The thing is we forget we have the ability to choose because of the path laid out for us by the people around us. But what are we really, without our choices? Always question yourself,

  • ‘Is this what I want?”
  • “Am I investing my time in the right things?’
  • “Will it make me happy, or will I regret it?”
  • ” Is this the right thing to do or the easy thing to do?”
  • “Is there a point at which doing less will produce more outcomes?”
  • “When I have a look back at my life, what do I want to see myself achieve?”

Just remember this, we ALWAYS have a choice.



  “A non-essentialist thinks almost everything is essential and essentialist thinks almost everything is non-essential”

– Greg McKeown (Author of the book, essentialism)

From the early years of our lives, we are taught that hard work is the key to productive results. What about the people who are already working hard? Is there a limit to this hard work?

Working hard is important. But more effort does not necessarily yield more results. Only doing the right thing at the right time will lead you there. Just because you’re not “busier” than others doesn’t mean you are not working. Most of the people who have these tight schedules and call themselves “busy people” don’t get much done. Because they’re overwhelmed with work, they don’t even have the consciousness to make choices. So, choose carefully in order to do great work.

Steps you should follow to be an essentialist


  • “Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs. It’s about deliberately choosing to be different.” — Michael Porter
  • Start small. Don’t try to fill your days with impossible goals. Let the momentum be built.  “Try to be 1% better than yesterday.” —James Clear (Atomic Habits)
  • Prepare for the unexpected. Look ahead and plan all the possible outcomes of a situation.
  • Try out different routines. Try out new methods of working, and experiment with yourself to find out better ways to get things done while having fun.
  • Do your own work. Stop yourself from always asking for help. Don’t wait till the last moment to get stuff done.
  • Give yourself permission to be more selective about what you choose to do.
  • Accept who you are. Accept the fact that there are always going to be people who are smarter, prettier, and more talented than you.
  • Lead a life of virtue. Virtue teaches us that we must think, act, and speak based on moral principles, not based on how society or the media tells us to.
  • Cut off all the things that slow you down from achieving what you want.
  • Stop being a people pleaser. You can never make everyone happy. So don’t live your life for others.
  • Start Journaling. Journaling helps you to collect your thoughts. It helps you to be present in the moment. It’s not like the cliché type of journaling, be original about what you write. Start by writing your goals and inspirations and then about your daily or weekly achievements. You will be able to track down your progress.
  • Digital minimalism: take time out from using your smartphone. Disconnect yourself for a while from others once a week. Be unavailable.

Are you an essentialist? If you haven’t tried this way of living give it a go and see how this affects your life.

Better late than never, right?

Written by: Ravisha Kawindi Dodampe Gamage


Featured Image Courtesy:

References: essentialism – By Greg McKeown

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