Essentialism in one sentence is a disciplined, systematic approach for determining where our highest point of contribution lies and then making execution of those things becomes almost effortless.
The message in the book is that “ We need to live by design and not by default”. We are almost all the time stays in a reactionary mode and not able to distinguish the vital few from the trivial many. In essentialism, you explore all your options and spend a little extra time to find out the most essentials. This way you can focus on things which are so much important that they repay the invested efforts by tenfold.
Another concept explained in the book is Trade-Offs as an inherent part of life. Trade-offs are not something to be ignored or decried . They are something to be embraced and made deliberately, strategically and thoughtfully. The cumulative impact of this small change in thinking can be profound.
Essentialists look ahead, plan and prepare for the contingencies. They expects the unexpected, create buffer to prepare for the unforeseen, thus giving themselves some wiggle room for eventualities. Essentialists do not default to Band-Aid solutions. Instead of looking for the most obvious or immediate obstacles, they look for the ones slowing down the progress.
To operate at your highest level of contribution, it requires to deliberately tune in to what is important in here and now. Every second spent worrying about a past or future moment distracts us from what is important in the here and now. You will gain confidence in your ability tp pause, push back, or not rush in. You will feel less and less a function of other people’s To-Do Lists and Agendas. Remember that if you do not prioritise your life someone else will.