Reporting from the front lines, Douglas Heddings brings us “True Gotham” – your source for NYC real estate tips, advice, anecdotes and general market insights that aim to inform and enlighten.
I just returned from a family vacation where I decided to truly drop off the grid. I left both my smartphone and my laptop at home and decided to focus on relaxing and spending quality time with my wife and two teenagers. I believe that it was for this reason that I would rank this vacation as one of my top three of all time. Coincidentally, my boss and the CEO of CORE, Shaun Osher recommended that I read Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. It was an appropriate read on the beaches of Mexico, where it is quite easy to eliminate noise and be in the now particularly when you’ve decided to “unplug.”
As the Director of Sales at CORE, I’m often pulled in so many directions that at the end of a day I lack any real sense of accomplishment. All too frequently I seem to get caught up in busy work and simply spin my wheels. The doing “less but better” mantra in this book appealed to me. Who doesn’t want to simplify their lives in an effort to become more productive?
Essentialism lays out a road map of exactly how to eliminate the noise from your life, both business and personal, in an effort to live a more meaningful and mindful existence. We have the ability to choose that which we focus on and McKeown does a fantastic job of illustrating how the choices we make, including the things that we consider yet eliminate are all part of the voyage toward a better and more productive life. The author discusses things like the necessity of implementing play in our lives as a means of stimulating creativity and clarity. Play is not just for kids. He also illustrates that an essentialist is not one who simply cuts things out of their lives but rather someone who considers all options in an effort to choose the best and most productive path.
If you are feeling stretched at home or at the office, this is a must read. Being busy does not necessarily equate to being productive and trying to be all things to all people can be overwhelming and unhealthy. As someone who has some experience with meditation, Essentialism provides additional tools to help anyone on the journey to true mindfulness. I have already begun to implement strategies from the book that have helped me to focus on the task at hand whether it be a project that needs my attention at the office or a meaningful father-daughter conversation during an evening ride to soccer practice. The relatively simple act of determine what is most important and productive to you is incredibly liberating!