“Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done.”

Greg McKeown

When you say no to a nonessential, you are inevitably saying yes to the essential.

It’s not about doing more or less but about doing.

The right thing, in the right way, at the right time.’

Here are seven ways of finding the essentialist in you.

1. Just say “No” and feel the force

Who will you allow to make the choice for you? Feeling trapped at home and work? Family or the boss stretching you to the point of breaking?

To regain control of our own choices in regards to where we spend our time and energies learn to say no.

It is not going to be easy but the first No is the hardest; it gets easier with every no.

An entrepreneur will get the best out of a deal when they say yes to it at the right time and in the right way. Anything else deserves a no, no matter how lucrative it sounds and no matter the consequences.

2. From Motion Sickness to Momentum

Ask what and why it is essential?

People are always selling something – an idea, opinion, or directive. Being fully conscious of what is being sold gives you the power to make an informed decision on whether or not you should buy it.

Pursue less for more and regain control of our choices.

This way, we can channel our time, energy, and effort into making the highest possible contribution toward the goals and activities that matter.

Motion sickness comes from satisfying others needs at the expense of what is essential to you. Like the red queen, you’ll run to stand still. No matter hard she ran she was getting nowhere.

3. Focus on what is Vital — ‘Weniger, aber besser’ or ‘less, but better

It’s about quality, not quantity. And without focus, there is no quality.

The ideology is diverse and its philosophies are adaptable to just about anyone- depending on the role you are expected to play in the society.

For a student, it is best not to take up sports if they will affect your studies.

As an entrepreneur, it’s important to make deals that are best for your business instead of entertaining the nonessentials.

4. Learn to lead yourself

“To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, subtract things every day.”


Just as trade-offs are a bad strategy for businesses, the same applies to people. The philosophy behind trade-offs is not ‘what I am giving up’ but ‘what I can risk going big for.’

Begin by creating, cutting, condensing, and correcting your daily routine.

Sometimes the best way to achieve what you are seeking is by downsizing.

5. Be the change you want to see

Change your mindset and it will change your life.

It can be hard not knowing where to spend our time and energy.

Constantly ask yourself, is it essential? Why is it essential, you’ll be surprised you already knew the answer.

Once this becomes a habit you’ll notice the freedom and power of your decision making.

6. Design space in your life to escape

We need space to escape in order to discern the essential few from the trivial many.

How do you create space to escape?


There is a false association with the word focus. As with choice, many people tend to assume that focus is a thing.

However, ‘focus’ is something we either have or we don’t, it’s a muscle that needs to be developed. In this case, ‘focus’ is having the right mindset and ambition to work towards allowing only the things that are paramount.

By being selective of the things we put our time and energy into, we create space to escape and find our zone of creativity.

We can only make the highest point of contribution to the tasks that we need to accomplish if we create space for vital matters.

7. Nothing fires up the brain like Play and Wonder

There are two ways to consider essentialism: Something you occasionally do and something you are.

In the latter, it is more of a lifestyle because you apply it in everything you do. It is not just a selective decision.

If you believe that being extremely busy is evidence of productivity, then it is likely that you also have the misconception that creating space to explore and think should be kept to a minimum.

On the contrary, these are the very activities that are the antidote to the nonessentials. Play leads to adaptability and creativity.

Essentialists spend time in ‘wonder’, exploring, questioning, listening, and thinking. The purpose of their exploration is to distinguish the essential few from the trivial many.

As a result, they take their time exploring options so that they can discern more so they can do less.

Rightfully so, important things return the effort-invested manifold.

Decluttering by another name?

Decluttering is simplifying or minimizing. It is not about doing less just for the sake of it.

What is clutter?

It is the old shoes you’ve had for ten years, the bike you do not use anymore, or the stained couch that reminds you of your college days. The things that no longer add value to your life.

Decluttering is the process and essentialism is the lifestyle that takes effect after.

Essentialism is eliminating the unnecessary to deal with the essential to which you can give your best.

Making space for what matters.

Put more energy, time, and freedom on what really matters; the essential.

Living with purpose and intention by choosing to free up your resources for what’s important.

People often think “because I am good at fashion maybe I should open a cosmetics line, and since cosmetics go hand in hand with jewellery, maybe I should make it one big company. “

When you find yourself having so many ideas or plans that do not contribute to your end game, then it is imperative to take a step back.

If you do not do this, you will find yourself overwhelmed by the things that are not necessary.

Essentialism is making the wisest decision on how, where, and when to invest your time and energy.

To maximize all your efforts and energy on the things that are essential and getting the best result.

There was once a young man who graduated from University with a degree in computer science. His father had a prestigious law firm and asks for help from his son at his company.

Then his brother asks for help at his medical practice and wants his brother to come work for him. Not wanting to let either down, the young man decides to work part-time for both companies.

As a result, he has no time to pursue his career and after one year of working in both companies, he realizes he is getting further and further from his dreams.

He decides to do what is best for him and calls a meeting with both his father and brother. He thanks them for the opportunity they gave him but he asks them to let him go so he can actively pursue his passion in computer science.

The process of quitting from both jobs is decluttering. Removing the excess luggage to create space for the essential.

Actively looking for a job in his passion, computer science is essentialism. It is a whole lifestyle. It is gaining control over one’s choices and choosing what is essential.

IM: @dhirenharchandani