The Power Of Less
By Leo Babauta
Productivity, Inspiration, Minimalism
“Simplifying isn’t meant to leave your life empty — it’s meant to leave space in your life for what you really want to do.”
- from The Power Of Less by Leo Babaua
About The Author – Leo Babauta
Leo Babauta is well known as a productivity expert and author. You may already be familiar with his work: he has previously authored three ebooks
- The Zen Habits Handbook for Life
- Zen To Done
- The Essential Motivation Handbook (a collaboration with Eric Hamm)
Always choose the essential to maximize your time and energy.
In addition, Leo Babauta is a published author – in 2009 he published his first physical book, The Power Of Less. Leo is a recognized expert in the field of productivity, and has built a large following of loyal readers with his philosophy of simple productivity. Leo followed up The Power Of Less with a book discussing his minimalist philosophy, The Simple Guide To A Minimalist Life.
Summary of The Power Of Less
The Power Of Less is Leo Babauta’s first print book. The Power of Less is divided into two sections. In the first section, Leo discusses the guiding principles underpinning his philosophy of less.
Guiding Principles The Power Of Less
- Set limitations. By setting limitations, we must chose the essential. So in everything you do, learn to set limitations.
- Choose the essential. By choosing the essential, we create great impact with minimal resources. Always choose the essential to maximize your time and energy.
- Simplify. Eliminate the nonessential.
- Focus is your most important tool in becoming more effective.
- Create new habits to make long-lasting improvements.
- Start small. Start new habits in small increments to ensure success.
Learn to move at a slower pace and you will be happier, and just as importantly, you will become more effective and productive.
In the second section, Leo really gets down to business. He applies these principles and provides actionable tips for how to apply them to to your goals and projects, daily tasks, commitment, fitness and daily routine. Some of the specific areas he covers include simplifying your email and declutterring your workspace. The final chapter closes with a discussion on motivation.
Some of the specific examples he provides include having One Goal and limiting yourself to 3 most important tasks a day. Many of the themes for accomplishing tasks and goals are echoed from his previous ebook and productivity system, Zen To Done.
Wait – What’s The Difference Between The Power Of Less and The Simple Guide To A Minimalist Life?
After reading both, the first thing I should mention is they are very different books. The Power Of Less contains a high level overview of some of the concepts discussed in The Simple Guide To A Minimalist Life, but where The Power Of Less contains really shines is in the discussion of how to use the power of small changes to change your habits and change your life
The Simple Guide To A Minimalist Life on the other hand is focused on maximizing quality while minimizing quantity in your life, both in physical possessions as well as time and commitment clutter. Both books are easy reads, and I got a lot out of each book. If I had to pick one as a favorite, it would be the The Power Of Less, because I really enjoy discussions of how to change our lives and change our behavior.
My Personal Review The Power Of Less
My favorite chapters in the The Power Of Less were the early ones where Leo discussed the guiding principles for his book. Reading the later chapters provides lots of solid, actionable advice – but I’m always more interested in an author’s foundation and philosophy.
My favorite line in the whole book is “Simplify. Eliminate the nonessential.” I think if that is all you get out of the whole book it will have been worthwhile.
I think it speaks volumes that almost a year after it was published, The Power Of Less continued to dominate the Simple Living category at Amazon at #1. I think both The Power Of Less and The Simple Guide To A Minimalist Life provide practical advice on simplifying and decluttering your life. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who feels they have taken on too much, or to people looking to make habit changes to streamline their life and tasks. The specific examples he provides for streamlining your work would apply mostly to information and office workers.
Power Of Less Video
Leo Babauta created this video as an introduction to the book =)
Chapter Listing The Power Of Less
PART I: THE PRINCIPLES
- Why Less is Powerful
- The Art of Setting Limits
- Choosing the Essential, and Simplifying
- Simple Focus
- Create New Habits, and the Power of Less Challenge
- Start Small
PART II: IN PRACTICE
- Simple Goals and Projects
- Simple Tasks
- Simple Time Management
- Simple Email
- Simple Internet
- Simple Filing
- Simple Commitments
- Simple Daily Routine
- Declutter Your Work Space
- Slow Down
- Simple Health and Fitness
- On Motivation