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Do You Ever Feel Busy, But Not Productive?

This section is all about filtering options and prioritising.

“Because Essentialists will commit and “go big” on only the vital few ideas or activities, they explore more options at first to ensure they pick the right one later.”

One question that McKeown asks in this section, that I’d like to ask you is: “When did you last take time out of your busy day simply to sit and think?”.

I know it’s tricky because we are surrounded by little people that depend on us. But this question really challenged me because I am always on the go, always busy, always trying to do something. But now I actively take time out each day to stop and think.

McKeown suggests that “the faster and busier things get, the more we need to build thinking time into our schedule”.


“The best asset we have for making a contribution to the world is ourselves. If we underinvest in ourselves, and by that I mean our minds, our bodies, and our spirits, we damage the very tool we need to make our highest contribution.”

Ouch! This hit home when I read this. In this chapter the author emphasises the importance of sleep, and how we need to “pace ourselves, nurture ourselves, and give ourselves fuel to explore, thrive and perform.”

I used to very proudly admit that I didn’t need much sleep, and I thought that was a good thing. However, recently hubby and I have prioritised getting to bed earlier. Our friends laugh at us because we try and get to bed by 9.30pm most nights! I know it sounds old fogey-ish, but we love it, and it makes a HUGE difference to how we feel in the mornings.