Listen free for 30 days

Essentialism

The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
Narrated by: Greg McKeown
Length: 6 hrs and 14 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,488 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

Have you ever found yourself struggling with information overload? 

Have you ever felt both overworked and underutilised? 

Do you ever feel busy but not productive? 

If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is to become an essentialist. 

In Essentialism, Greg McKeown, CEO of a leadership and strategy agency in Silicon Valley who has run courses at Apple, Google and Facebook, shows you how to achieve what he calls the disciplined pursuit of less. Being an essentialist is about a disciplined way of thinking. It means challenging the core assumptions of "we can have it all" and "I have to do everything" and replacing them with the pursuit of "the right thing in the right way at the right time". 

By applying a more selective criteria for what is essential, the pursuit of less allows us to regain control of our own choices so we can channel our time, energy and effort into making the highest possible contribution toward the goals and activities that matter. 

Using the experience and insight of working with the leaders of the most innovative companies and organisations in the world, McKeown shows you how to put Essentialism into practice in your own life, so you, too, can achieve something great. 

©2015 Greg McKeown (P)2015 Random House AudioBooks

More from the same

Author

What listeners say about Essentialism

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,075
  • 4 Stars
    306
  • 3 Stars
    81
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    13
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    911
  • 4 Stars
    265
  • 3 Stars
    61
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    9
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    857
  • 4 Stars
    267
  • 3 Stars
    94
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    16

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I don't usually write reviews.

This book probably made me feel more guilt than anything. After so many years in business, working for myself, I have realised where I have gone wrong. Trying to please too many people and reducing the quality of myself to the ones I care most about. The pursute of 'less but better' at home and work will be my goal. Wasting time and effort on meaningless things and time-wasting people or meetings will now stop and quality time with my family, by reducing the nonsense we convince ourselves we need in our working environment will now become my main driver. Thank you Greg.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

First audio book I've finished since joining :)

Love this book, simple to follow. Case studies were very helpful. Worth the daily habit! I will no doubt listen again and again. First book I have finished and felt was worth the money!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Repetitive

Contains some good sound advice although ironically, I think this could have been put in maybe half the chapters.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Essential reading for me right now

I have had this book for a while and finally decided to read it over Easter - it was the right book at the right time. I listened to it over a couple of very long bus rides with no interruptions, no distractions and my head in the right space. I found the many essentialist vs non-essentialist examples extremely useful - mainly to bring the learnings of the anecdotes from, mainly, famous and successful people to the everyday decisions we have to make. This is a book I've annotated and would come back to listen to again at various intervals to see how I'm doing. Also enjoyed the reader's voice - easy listen.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not a bad book

The book does have an interesting narrative. The overall idea is simple, achievable and useful.

On the other hand - this book is a hammer and most of the best literature on the subject is all nails. I've heard most of the common ideas with an "essentialist" attached to them.

Also there is a lot of introduction and a lot of "an essentialist does X". The really useful material is pretty humble.

Overall, this book is good for self-development "beginners" since they'll be learning the most. It would be amazing for them to read the original works mentioned, but this is a good starting point.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Good but NOT Extraordinary

Any additional comments?

It has been a fairly good listen. There were no extraordinary revelations but still the book was engaging with sporadic new insights about how to do few yet more productive and effective things. The book describes in a very consistent way as how to eliminate noise from our routine life.The book has very useful insights for someone who has not, for example, read Eat that frog or 7 habits types of books. But if your have read any of these two books you can skip this one easily.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Simple and Effective

Very few books have such a lasting impact. The author of this one also cited many other useful books as well as historians.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

One of the smartest books Ever!

I always like a book that is read by the author - it gives an even greater insight to the knowledge they are sharing.
There are so many highlights within this book that I could share - however I couldn't do it justice. If you want a guide to working smart where you are given deep insights to the psychology why in a way that isnt preaching - but is real - then this is the book for you.
Im about to listen to it again as there were so many 'nuggets' within the pages.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

It doesn't disappoint, 5 stars all round!

Having heard so much about this book I was overjoyed to find that it doesn't disappoint. Stories, experiences and easy takeaway make this book easily one of my top 3 and it's only just May!! It goes deep and wide all at the same time leaving me both thoughtful and motivated to fully live the life of an essentialist.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • KG
  • 12-03-16

Great reminder of the importance of focus

Well researched, with interesting stories used to illustrate the point. Very easy to digest, spoken clearly at a good pace.

2 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ian C.
  • Ian C.
  • 29-08-18

MY FAVORITE BOOK

Life changing! I would consider this book a must read for every single human. Especially considering we live in a society filled with distractions.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Marcellus
  • Marcellus
  • 16-11-17

A must read for Simplicity Seekers

If you desire an extraordinary life, seek simplicity. If you don't know where to start, read (or listen) to this book.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 07-02-20

Loved it

A must read if you want clarity in your business and home life. Thank you

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 24-01-20

A must read for Type As

I really needed to hear this. I couldn’t stop I don’t think I have ever got through a book so quickly and am about to listen again and use the essentialist method to clean my closet this weekend and next week my life. I am so glad I stumbled upon this, hopefully before it’s too late.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for jensgud
  • jensgud
  • 24-02-19

This is it!!!

If I had to choose one self help book, this is the one. A lifetime of practice starts today.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Emma Coomber
  • Emma Coomber
  • 28-08-20

Less is more

Do yourself a favour and check out this book.
Great if you are struggling to find free time.
Simplify and re design your life so you can have more free time to do what you want by saying no to trivial things a that do not matter.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you for writing this book!
Cheers.
Charlie.
Australia

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 17-08-20

Absolutely fantastic!

I’ve already decided to listen to it again at least three times through! I really love the book and all of the concepts! It ties in minimalism, mindfulness and many other very important ways of living so smoothly and gives you a completely whole picture of the kind of life we need to continuously strive for. I’m so grateful to Greg for teaching me to say ‘No’. I really struggled with that before. I’ve gained back so much more time!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jannik Skovgaard
  • Jannik Skovgaard
  • 09-08-20

get simple

such a relief to reach great inspiration on how too NOT make things, life, yourself complicated and what else will face your way.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for GS
  • GS
  • 08-08-20

Decisiones simples para una vida relevante

El autor describe a principios sencillos para tener un estilo de vida sencillo, y una vida relevante con propósito y significado. Tiene consejos para evaluar las decisiones diarias desde tu familia, incluyendo tus rutinas diarias y cómo tomar decisiones como un líder.
La narración es sencilla y el mensaje es claro.
Conjuntando este libro con otros como "Getting things done" de David Allen ayudan a dar estructura y simplicidad a la vida diaria.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Levan
  • Levan
  • 02-06-20

This book changed my life.

Do more by doing less. A sublime truth that the author eloquently posits across many engaging chapters. Read this if you're feeling lost and seek clarity among a life of chaos.