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Less: Accomplishing More by Doing Less Paperback – February 1, 2009

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Less: Accomplishing More by Doing Less + Know Yourself, Forget Yourself: Five Truths to Transform Your Work, Relationships, and Everyday Life + Z.B.A.: Zen of Business Administration - How Zen Practice Can Transform Your Work And Your Life
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This wise, beautifully written book is grounded in a refreshing new way to understand busyness and filled with concrete strategies to recapture your quality of life — for good.”
— Cheryl Richardson, author of Take Time for Your Life

“A wise, compassionate, and insightful guide to finding spaciousness in the only place it truly exists: inside your own mind, heart, and life.”
— Jane Hirshfield, poet and author of After and Nine Gates
 
“With gentle wisdom and real-world common sense, Marc Lesser effortlessly integrates profound spiritual wisdom into a clear and doable program for sane self-improvement, whatever the challenges of your work or life.”
— Norman Fischer, Zen abbot and teacher, poet, and author of Sailing Home
 
“Marc Lesser dives into one of the most pervasive and persistent difficulties of our time — overwhelming busyness — with courage, deep practical know-how, profound spiritual understanding, and kindness....Less goes way beyond most self-help books — yet stays within everyone’s reach. Quite amazing.”
— James Flaherty, founder of New Ventures West Integral Coaching and author of Coaching: Evoking Excellence in Others

“This valuable work is so loaded with practical, applicable insights and suggestions to simplify work and daily existence that after reading it I felt that I should be studying at Marc’s feet....Give your daily life and work a spring cleaning by following the practices and path suggested in this book.”
— Peter Coyote, actor and writer

“This Buddhist teacher-cum-lifestyle coach has come up with a very practical life plan.”
Mandala magazine

“Less is more, as the old saying goes. Author Marc Lesser takes this to heart in his new book, Less: Accomplishing More by Doing Less. 'Too often we mistakenly believe that doing less makes us lazy and results in a lack of productivity,' Lesser writes. What it really does, he argues, is make us better appreciate the things we actually do get done. The author offers a 'Less Manifesto' aimed at getting more of those kinds of things you can’t put your hands on: patience, love, kindness, generosity, and quiet self-reflection.”
Body + Soul magazine

About the Author

Marc Lesser is the founder and CEO of ZBA Associates, a management consulting, coaching, and training company. A Zen teacher with an MBA, Marc speaks and leads workshops throughout North America.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: New World Library; Original edition (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577316177
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577316176
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Kami Gray on February 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
LESS is a must read. The principles outlined in this book can be applied to work or personal life. The first concept that struck a chord with me was the idea of approaching each moment and task in an open, relaxed, and fully engaged manner. I gave this approach a test-drive at a potentially high-stress work situation where I was to wow a small group of business development executives with my great design ideas. I walked into the meeting open, relaxed, and fully engaged and I blew their minds as well as my own. One idea I came up with is now at the center of the entire campaign and I hadn't even thought of it before entering the meeting room.

In addition to countless other simple, but powerful concepts like the one I just mentioned, LESS also teaches readers how to practice meditation as a way to slow down the busyness in your life. "The Less Manifesto" which is introduced in Chapter 3, focuses on the core of self-defeating habits - fear, assumptions, distractions, resistance, and busyness and eloquently and simply describes how to change these habits and have more productivity, but also how to have better relationships with others. My book club is reading LESS next month and I'm looking forward to a lively discussion. FIVE STARS for LESS!
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Christy Reveles, Ed.D, CEC on June 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
Marc Lesser's book, Less: Accomplishing More by Doing Less is a thought-provoking, inspiring, and refreshing read. This book offers an excellent recipe for cooking up a calmer yet more productive life both personally and in the workplace. The author is paradoxically both a Zen priest and a highly successful entrepreneur. He brings real-life examples of practical ways he and others he has coached have crafted lives and businesses that are productive, fulfilling, and totally free of frenetic "busyness."

How does anyone manage to be highly successful and productive, while doing less? Lesser (and yes, don't you love his name!) presents his framework in what he calls the "Less Manifesto," where he addresses five "core" categories of thinking and being that get in the way of accomplishing more: 1) fear; 2) assumptions; 3) distractions; 4) resistance; and 5) busyness. He dedicates an entire chapter to each of these categories, and includes practical exercises with real-life examples to really make it all come alive.

For example, in the chapter called, "Fear," Lesser discusses what he calls "...one of the more insidious anxieties of modern life...fearing a lack of time." To help us wrestle with this fear, he presents the concepts of "relative time," meaning clock time, and the alternate "absolute time," which is psychological time, the present ongoing "now moment." He provokes the reader's thinking as he explores these ideas. Then, he offers some simple strategies to reduce the fear of time, such as playing with your time by stepping out of time for a few minutes a day, or by meditating each day. He also offers tips for journal writing, reducing stress, establishing positive routines, as well as ideas for implementing these strategies in the workplace.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
Marc Lesser has written a very concise book about the dilemma of being too busy. WIth numerous clear examples that a reader can practice pretty much anytime and anywhere, Marc describes his Less Manifesto and its 5 main components: Fear, Assumptions, Distractions, Resistance, and Busyness. My only minor gripe is that I wish there was some form of appendix that listed all of the various activities for reducing busyness, as this book really functions as a daily tool and resource for regaining composure.
If you feel busy and generally frustrated with your life management skills, these are definitely 158 pages that are worth the money and will produce results fairly quickly if you do the work!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dinah Sanders on April 23, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
This review is of the physical book, apparently no longer available. That makes some sense because it is a pretty quick read and well-suited to reading in smaller bites to allow time for reflection.

Less would be particularly valuable for those who haven't had many classes in interpersonal communication. It's succinct but deep on the practices which can make us more effective and less anxious.

Unlike many works which offer philosophical principles, Marc Lesser's provides practical, actionable steps to achieve those laudable goals.

Tip: if the word "meditation" makes your woo-woo alarms go off, substitute "contemplation" or "big picture time". Though it offers spiritual depth, the book is valuable for the practical tips alone.

If you had a hard time getting into Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, this is a much more approachable book with many of the same lessons.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Thomas F. Curry on April 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
Marc does a very good job integrating his knowledge of business, coaching and spirituality in setting forth a plan for minimizing the distractions in daily life. The exercises presented in his book are good tools to help us focus on minimizing the non-productive activity or "busyness" which keep us from realizing our desired goals. Through his book, Marc helps us take stock of our routines, and our activities, setting a vision for who we want to be in this world with useful tools for accomplishing that vision.
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