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Effortless - Book Summary

Effortless - Book Summary

by Greg McKeown

"In a world beset by burnout, Greg McKeown's work is essential"
Daniel H. Pink
"Effortless shows that achieving more doesn't have to be as hard as we make it out to be"  
Arianna Huffington

The book is divided into III parts.
Part I: Effortless State
Part II: Effortless Action
Part III: Effortless Result

Part I: Effortless State

It is the state where we feel rested, fresh, alert and energised.

  • Invert: Ask how the action can be done more easily. Remove the unnecessary steps. We must stop thinking that everything must come with a sacrifice or with a high level of effort. We must try to look at the problems from a different perspective and try not to see things as harder/more complicated than they are.
  • Enjoy: We must try to make the action more enjoyable, and try to combine the to-do with a nice activity. Create happy habits.
    Example “Agatha Christie wrote her best mysteries while eating apples in the bath.
  • Release: Let go of outdated goals, suggestions or ideas.
    Gratitude, “It starves negative emotions of the oxygen they need to survive. It also generates a positive, self-sustaining system wherever and whenever it is applied.

    “When you focus on what you lack, you lose what you have.”
    “After I complain I will say something I am thankful for.”

  • Rest: Learn to do nothing, have quality sleep and take naps if you need them.
    We can do the following:
    - Dedicate mornings to essential work.
    - Break down that work into three sessions of no more than ninety minutes each.
    - Take a short break (ten to fifteen minutes) in between sessions to rest and recover.
  • Notice: We must concentrate on the important task, and train the mind to let go of the less important.

Part II: Effortless Action

Taking the action.

  • Define: We must visualize what done looks like to the task at hand. Seeing this done will help us get started.
  • Start: The simple and obvious step. When you’re not sure, try to see the next action through the lens of 2.5 seconds.
  • Simplify: No matter how easy is a step, it will be much easier if it not existed.
    Example: Amazon one-click order.
  • Progress: “There is no mastery without mistakes.” Embrace the imperfection and allow yourself to explore.
  • Pace: Try to have a slow and steady pace, a fast pace will make exhaust you faster and you will need more time to rest. Finding the right range for the daily to-do will help.

Part III: Effortless Results

The linear result is good, and the exponential is great.

  • Learn: Some knowledge can be useful more than once. “When you understand why something happened or how something works, you can apply that knowledge again and again.
    After reading a book try to summarise it, this will help you to remember it.
  • Lift: Teach others through stories because they are easier to remember.
  • Automate: Try to automate as many important tasks as you can.
    Use Checklists.
  • Trust: A trusting relationship is effortless to maintain.
    Warren Buffet hiring criteria: “We look for three things when we hire people. We look for intelligence, we look for initiative or energy, and we look for integrity.
  • Prevent: “Just as you can find small actions to make your life easier in the future, you can look for small actions that will prevent your life from becoming more complicated. ”

Note: Some pieces of information are left out of the book.
Get the full experience by reading it!