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Sunday Book Review: Effortless by Greg McKeown

May 30, 2021

Culture and Society / Reading Books / Roque Recommends

I first read Greg McKeown’s writing around 3 years ago when I stumbled across his book Essentialism. I thought then, as I do now, that he was a competent writer who gave thoughtful information that was easy to understand. That particular book was both insightful and accessible through the numerous real world examples it gave toward building a meaningful life that serves one’s deeper purpose. It gave me a lot of helpful information to think about, and when I heard that his follow-up book Effortless had just been released last month, I bought my copy instead of waiting for months to read it through my local library.

I plowed through it in a couple of days (as one does), and I have to say that fans of his previous book will not be disappointed. It serves as the perfect companion to everything he highlighted in Essentialism. His first book outlined a vision for a meaningful life, and this book hands out specific strategies toward that end.

There is a commonly-known idea called “Work smart, not hard.” It suggests that you can achieve the same degree of success or excellence if you apply more efficient and thoughtful techniques toward how you work, as opposed to burning a candle at both ends and working long hours while you become increasingly fatigued and burned out from all of your effort.

This book expands and applies this principle to virtually all facets of life and envisions a daily existence in which unnecessary stress is significantly reduced. It gives concrete examples about the actions and mindsets needed to achieve this. For example, it looks at different ways that you can automate parts of your life such as setting up recurring doctor visits and prescription refills on your calendar and numerous other simple ways to reduce the mental strain and clutter that exists in your brain and on your to-do list. That’s just in one chapter. This book flows seamlessly through various actionable techniques, philosophies, and frameworks that can make daily life more calm, easy, and well, effortless.

To be fair, there might be a few points that will sound like common sense, but the beauty of this book is both its simplicity and the real fact that someone took the time to compile all of this useful information into one place.

If you are feeling stressed and burnt out every day, this may be a good book for you. It is designed to be easy to read and understand. I’m utilizing a lot of its tactics myself.

This book is uncomplicated and not stuffy. The way much of our lives really ought to be.