The author of three The New York Times Bestsellers, Greg McKeown is originally from London and presently lives in California.

McKeown is also widely recognized for his Essentialist Idea. His book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, was voted the number one book in the Leadership and Success genre on Goodreads.

His other works include Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most. He also co-authored Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter with Liz Wiseman.

Apart from being an accomplished author, McKeown is also a well-known public speaker. He is also the CEO of McKeown Inc., a California-based leadership and strategic design agency. The agency caters to reputed clients like Apple and Google.


Simply put, Essentialism essentially defines an Essentialist, who is somone who chooses the essential few from the trivial many. To elaborate upon this, McKeown has divided the book into four parts. The first part outlines an essentialist mindset. The other three parts are aimed at fine-tuning our minds to become essentialists ourselves.

The author has explained the benefits of focusing on the essential things in life to achieve the highest point of concentration. He has expounded the core principles of essentialism with the help of real-life scenarios. Most of these examples are fairly relatable, helping the audience to buy into the idea at once.


As a book, Essentialism is all about life-changing ideas through a series of practical suggestions. The author has also included illustrations to facilitate understanding, making this a suitable read for young adults as well.

The book is especially helpful for people struggling to strike a balance between their personal and professional lives. For instance, while setting a project deadline, most of us take the ideal scenario into account. The author, however, insists on creating buffer time by accounting for all unexpected events.

McKeown has also stressed the need to start small to make it big, while also driving home the importance of stopping to celebrate the small victories.

Arguably the best thing about Essentialism is how the author has put forth actionable steps for readers to adopt an essentialist mindset. His constant comparison of the Essentialist and the Non-Essentialist in several respects makes for a seamless reading experience.

His concise, to-the-point explanations of complex concepts like The Paradox of Success,Β Power Law and The 90% Rule, among others, are another highlight of the book.


The author has used real-life anecdotes to support each idea. While this does aid the readers’ understanding of otherwise complicated concepts, it comes across as rather superfluous in some instances. In several chapters, the numerous examples have a repetitive feel to them.

As mentioned earlier, McKeown has shared various practicable plans to achieve an essentialist approach. As simple as they might sound, they may not be relevant to everyone. For instance, the plan to prepare a speech a month in advance may not be a realistic goal for everyone.


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

The right “no” spoken at the right time can change the course of history.

An Essentialist produces more – brings forth more – by removing more instead of doing more.


Ameya Score:

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less is a must-read for anyone looking to get their professional and personal lives on track. With an avowed goal of boosting productivity and concentration, the book can be extremely helpful to help set our priorities right. Despite its repetitive nature, this continues to be one of the best books around for fans of the self-help genre.

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