Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most

by: Greg McKeown (0)

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A Times (UK) Best Book of the Year • From the author of the million-copy-selling Essentialism comes an empowering guide to achieving your goals. It all starts with a simple principle: Not everything has to be so hard.

“In a world beset by burnout, Greg McKeown’s work is essential.”—Daniel H. Pink, author of When, Drive, and To Sell Is Human 

“At a time when fear, uncertainty, and our ever-growing list of responsibilities have come to feel like much too much to handle, Effortless couldn’t be timelier, or more necessary.”—Eve Rodsky, author of Fair Play

Do you ever feel like:

• You’re teetering right on the edge of burnout? • You want to make a higher contribution, but lack the energy?   • You’re running faster but not moving closer to your goals? • Everything is so much
harder than it used to be?

As high achievers, we’ve been conditioned to believe that the path to success is paved with relentless work. That if we want to overachieve, we have to overexert, overthink, and overdo. That if we aren’t perpetually exhausted, we’re not doing enough.

But lately, working hard is more exhausting than ever. And the more depleted we get, the more effort it takes to make progress. Stuck in an endless loop of “Zoom, eat, sleep, repeat,” we’re often working twice as hard to achieve half as much.

Getting ahead doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it. No matter what challenges or obstacles we face, there is a better way: instead of pushing ourselves harder,
we can find an easier path. 

Effortless offers actionable advice for making the most essential activities the easiest ones, so you can achieve the results you want, without burning out.  

Effortless teaches you how to:
• Turn tedious tasks into enjoyable rituals • Prevent frustration by solving problems before they arise   • Set a sustainable pace instead of powering through • Make one-time choices that eliminate many future decisions • Simplify your processes by removing unnecessary steps • Make relationships easier to maintain and manage • And much more   

The effortless way isn't the lazy way. It's the smart way. It may even be the only way. 

Not every hard thing in life can be made easy. But we can make it easier to do more of what matters most.

The Reviews

This book should be read by anybody who continues to struggle to make it through the day, the week, or the month and their job or whatever and ever stay struggle to keep pace with in life.

Effortless is seeping into my sub-conscious. I've read it 3 times, and it is truly starting to guide my actions in a new way. I am dreaming about letting go of the struggle, and I wake refreshed and committed to the Effortless, Essentialist life!

Very relative and provides valuable insights to improve yourself.

This book is terrible. It's nothing but a bunch of cliches and platitudes strung together. Don't waste your time. I bought it expecting something actionable - instead, it's a bunch of disconnected and oversimplified stories with vague and unusable principles following them.

There is a surprise personal ending to this book that at first just seems a list of more things to do. Measure twice and cut once for instance. But the ending puts it all in perspective.

Greg is a giant among thinkers and writers - I bought the book immediately when I found out Greg had written a new one. This book is a great asset for helping you design "a life well lived" and make it easier to accomplish what matters most.

Another gem from this fantastic author. Thank you so much for continuing to empower your readers with effortless essentialism! I will reread this many times!

This book gives you tools to approach challenging situations. It was a timely read for me as I face some specific things that feel the exact opposite of effortless to me, because I need some new strategies and tools to overcome the challenges we face. The personal touch at the end was the most valuable part of the book for me.

Some books come along just when you need them. This one came along at a time I needed it. And, in the wake and aftermath of a global pandemic, this book is timely for all of us.

This book by author Greg Mckeown aims to help reduce the feeling off burnout by focusing on working more efficiently; instead of over-complicating our lives and constantly working harder with minimal success. The book contains 16 chapters divided into three main sections: Effortless State, Effortless Action and Effortless Results. Mckeown uses many analogies and diagrams to explain how to first change your mindset and identify more simple solutions to problems, and then chose the easier path that leaves more time for all of the essential things in your life. Some of the analogies seemed a bit off (that isn't exactly how computers work), which was slightly distracting, but I still understood the points Mckeown was making.There is a nice summary of the concepts at the end of each section, and honestly if you are looking for a succinct list of actions to take you could just start there. Page 90, for example, lists all of the main ideas of the first five chapters, and in just two pages you get a good idea of what that entire section is about. Now that I've read the entire book, I feel like I could have saved some time by using these summary pages as a guide, and only reading more into the chapters that I felt needed more of an explanation.It seems like this book could best be summed up by the phrase “work smarter, not harder.” While many of the suggestions and ideas in this book could be helpful reminders of how to use your time more efficiently, it does seem like the author really stretched this premise to try to fill an entire book. Not a terrible book at all, but ironically enough I felt like reading the entire thing wasn't the most efficient use of my time. 3.5 / 5

After reading (and loving) Essentialism, I was so excited to learn about Effortless that I signed up for a pre-release purchase (a very, VERY rare thing for me to do!) And I'm so glad I did.I believe this book has arrived at a really important time. It's an antidote to the tunnel-visioned mindset of "no pain, no gain", showing us that there is another pathway to achieving our dreams and that easy or effortless doesn't mean value-less.Weaving together research, stories, and examples of how this approach can be applied in myriad ways, this book is an effortless read. And it's one that I will be coming back to over and over again for inspiration, encouragement and motivation to seek smarter, kinder ways to pursue my dreams and achieve my goals.

Effortless is the exact message I needed at this moment. More and more often It feels like the only answer is to accomplishing the endless responsibilities we all face is to simply power through - to work harder, longer, with more effort. Effortless offers an alternate path by asking the question, "What if this could be easy?"It seems simple, but just that tiny shift in thinking has already changed the way I approach my most important tasks - and it really works. The idea that important tasks don't have to be grueling challenged my current thinking. What I love most are the quick, actionable ideas. Today, I've already paired working out with listening to my favorite podcast.I'm starting a new project this week and instead of being overwhelmed by everything I have to do, I've identified what done looks like and the first action I need to complete.If you want to make your most important tasks easier - you need to read this book.

We live in a world that never sleeps. There is always something (or someone) vying for our time and attention. But what happens when we simply have no more to give… When we reach the point of burnout?Do we step back to analyze and evaluate what needs to change? Or do we (like so many others in our society) wear our burnout as a badge of honor, as something to prove our abilities and work ethic?Before the book really begins - in the Introduction - McKeown points out, “Burnout is not a badge of honor.”We know this to be true, and yet we still struggle to “fit it all in,” and to out “hustle” the next person. It’s as if we’ve been conditioned to burnout - and then brag about it.Fortunately, Effortless offers us a chance to reprogram our thinking and challenge our assumptions. McKeown provides a clear roadmap for not only discovering what’s essential, but for ensuring we are doing them in the right way: Effortlessly.

It's pretty rare that an author in this genre comes out with one life changing book (Essentialism), and then their second book is *totally different* and also completely transformative. But Greg McKeown has done it again. This book is everything. It is that one long exhale of a breath you've been holding for years.After a year of trying sooooo hard, I'm left with more work than I could ever complete, and a medical condition caused by the combination of stress and bad posture (I'm literally writing this review from the doctor's office). I've been waiting for this book for months, and it definitely delivered.Most of these things are ideas that you might have heard somewhere before, but seeing them all codified into a single trajectory is immensely helpful. I used to read Essentialism, his first book, every year or two since it came out -- I will definitely be reading Effortless over and over again as well.Interestingly: there are some people who write books because they have a detached, breezy mastery of their subject. This is not the case here. You get the sense that this author has struggled and still struggles with everything he talks about. Which I think makes the book incredibly effective, because he's laying out a practical, tested method that he himself has had to use. He's writing from lived experience.

How can we become effortless in what we do? There are so many things covered by this book, but these are the essentials:Make the most essential activities the easiest ones. Stop filling our head with unnecessary thoughts or needless emotional burdens, clear up the clutter in our head and heart. Make our tasks fun to do. Rest properly and don’t overload ourself or push ourself to burnout. Break our tasks down into several steps and make the first step very easy to do. Set a manageable pace. Start with trash and edit as we progress forward.Moreover, get rid of unnecessary add-ons. Simplify. Automate functions that can be automated. Have a checklist or a cheat sheet. Seek to understand the principles of things (the why and the how) rather than only the isolated info (the what). Write clear messages that are hard to misinterpret. Leverage trust. Prevent problem before it happens. Define what “done” looks like. Produce residual results. Find ways to make every day a little easier.McKeown then ends the book with a very moving story that completes it in a full circle, story that inspired him to produce the effortless principles, which prompted him to conclude that “Whatever has happened to you in life. Whatever hardship. Whatever pain. However significant those things are. They pale in comparison to the power you have to choose what to do now.”Indeed, whatever tasks or challenges we have in front of us we can choose to tackle them by overcomplicate things or we can decide to do them effortlessly. The way we respond is still within our control. And this is deep, coming from his own personal experience.“The Effortless State is an experience many of us have had when we are physically rested, emotionally unburdened, and mentally energized. You are completely aware, alert, present, attentive, and focused on what’s important in this moment. You are able to focus on what matters most with ease.” McKeown couldn’t summarize it any better. Hope Eve can recover and get back into her old vivacious self.

Unexpexted ending, the summary wrap it all, make me revisit about hustle and push through, give me inspiration for effortless workflow for my life

I read/listened to this book while on sabbatical and it has given me the strategy to step back into the complicated world of ministry, community development, and life! Thankful for this read!

Life is now filling with waste, email chains lacking true actions and just passing tweets. Empty distractions. This books is a guide with ideas to make a better plan for now and tomorrow

Loved how simple and easy to read!

I was such a fan of Essentialism when it came out. I wasn’t sure if I would like this book as much, but immediately after finishing it, I can say that it was just as full of great information and helpful tips for establishing a rhythm of working smarter. As an entrepreneur I continually seek ways to do more with less effort, so I feel like this book and the highlighted passages will be useful to me for quite some time.

I really love this book because it give a new framing on my mindset on many problem that ewa used to handle everyday. We always think something great must be from super hard work. I got some a really kicking of new approach and how to be more effortless doing anything but with great result. Definitely very impactful from me.

Very practical for anyone, not for any specific audience. Has many quotes and examples from well known people. Makes the book personal from his own experiences.Provides a nice summary after each section to use for reference (be nice in the digital version if they were quick links to the specific area in the book).Truly enjoyed the book. Plan to read his first one.He doesn’t just write the book and move on, he also has podcasts and one-minute emails for people to continue to grow and improve to make as many things at work and in life effortless.

If you are someone that has a limiting belief that all worthwhile things must be hard, then this book is for you.I once had this naive belief that all things worthwhile must be hard, when in reality that is not the case. How much mental effort we put into something is completely up to us.Now only caveat is at first this does sound like BS, and initially when starting out it will feel hard to change the belief. But once you accept that the mental difficulty is completely up to you, then you have the power to make changes in your life.

After reading Essentialist from him, I was expecting something spectacular in his next book and Greg Mckeown accomplished my expectations.It’s easy to read, enough introspective to think about it and easy to apply step by step in an ordinary life.Effortless is an inspiration and the confirmation about what I believe is life: a path of non resistance.

I initially checked out this book from my library because a friend recommend it to me, and I enjoyed it so much I had to buy my own copy. It spoke to the work-o-holic, overachiever in me and gave me some good tips to make life easier. Two that come to mind are:• When I catch myself complaining, turn it into something I’m grateful for, and• When I catch myself ruminating over past situations where I felt wronged, ask myself what I’ve hired that grudge to do for me. Odds are I’m wasting needless energy on something I need to let go of. 😬Greg McKeown says that the effortless way isn't the lazy way. It's the smart way. And while not every hard thing in life can be made easy, we can make it easier to do more of what matters most. 🙌🏻I highly recommend this book. It encouraged me. ♥️

Great book if you're looking for help managing your life, in general

I’m speechless! . . . I was thrilled to see that there was another book following on the heels of the life changing Essentialism that I read last year during lockdown. I’m still listening to and applying that one. As soon as I saw that Effortless was to be released, I pre-ordered it. I have been reading it since it arrived on my Kindle. I tried to stretch it and apply it, but I couldn’t put it down. I gave it five stars because it deserves so much more. In addition to being very well written, it is also very human. It’s popular in business circles, but it’s so much more it’s about life. He explains how to make it easier to do what is essential to us because he has done so. Those who have read Essentialism will not be disappointed. Those who have not will want to read both books more than once. One thing, though, is that the first one has professional narration available with whisper sync. I hope this becomes available for Effortless, because it makes re-reading practically effortless. You will want to read it again. It’s so human! Read the book!

Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most
⭐ 4.6 💛 2189
kindle: $8.99
paperback: $16.63
hardcover: $11.99
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