Book Review: The Power of Less

Well, either I am getting faster at reading books or this one definitely had my attention. The Power of Less by Leo Babauta took me a big 2 evenings to read! To break it down into bit size chucks … Do less and Get More Done!  At work I have way too many distractions. Our corporate culture or style of work is plenty of meetings, email and instant messages asking have you seen my email. This book, along with Getting Things Done by David Allen, has helped me try something new. 

 The Power of Less focuses in the on the how to of

·         Breaking down any goal into manageable tasks (MIT – most important tasks)

·         Focus on only a few tasks at a time

·         Create some new and productive habits

·         Hone your focus

·         Increase your efficiency

 Like everything you have to start somewhere. So, I took many of Leo’s points in the book and have started to force myself to give it a try. I am already 45 days in..

·         I have already removed all of the clutter from my office – telephone, computer screen, pen, notebook, picture of the family and my eco-friendly soda cup!

·         I have changed my morning routine – no more reading email first thing in the morning.  Wake up, shower, breakfast and plan out the day (no outlook, no emails)

·         Lastly (he says to only start with 3 to get the ball rolling – I have started to list all of my work to do’s, personal to do’s and the what I would want to do’s. After that exercise, I am now believer in getting just 3 items in front of my, complete them all and then add the next 3. The temptation is to complete one and add another one. I did that – and quickly found out that I did not focus on the top 2 that were left. Mistake learned and corrected.

 There is a big section on email! Yes, the killer of time and getting stuff done! As many that know me – I truly am not a fan of email. Leo’s approach is definitely more out there than I can have it, because us Intel folks love our email. So, I am going to do stuff definitely moving forward!

·         Email will be only opened 3 times per day. 9am, 12(noon) and 4pm (and the occasional evening review)

·         I am now limiting the sentences that I will write in email. Seven tops… anymore than that – is not effective anyways.

·         I got my email down to zero, but after a month – I can say that I have been able to keep the inbox to about 25 at the close of the day.

·         I also modified my IM presence to have to busy items. One that says, I actually working – don’t bother me! The other one is – I’m multi-tasking – ok to try – maybe slow. It seems that the normal busy just did not get it done

This is going to be an interesting 2009 – as I have picked my 3 top goals as

·         Health

·         Focus

·         Writing

Health because – since the middle of 2008, I have put on 25lbs… Add that to the already overweight individual – and I have minimum of 30lbs to drop. I am not getting any younger. Now back at the gym, trainer is setting up my workout and meal plan and I have for the past month, gone to the gym an average of 4 times per week.

Focus because – we all have lots of stuff to do. We have limited amount of time to do it in. So, time to put a focus on the list, get done as much as possible, in the right priority – this is where the book could come in very helpful. This is something for work and play!

Writing is something that I have had an interest in. I have been blogging internally with my employer for almost two years. With the external site now running – I have taken another leap. Next up is to start to really do some writing.