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The Power of Less: The 6 Essential Productivity Principles That Will Change Your Life Paperback – July 6, 2009

179 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

According to Babauta (Zen to Done), employing the power of less will propel readers from chaos to blissful and productive minimalism. Learning to set limitations, such as penning a three-item Most Important Task list every day and restricting e-mails to five lines, is a cornerstone for the authors plan for increased simplicity and satisfaction. With new boundaries in place, readers can discover flow, become wholly absorbed in tasks and live the paradox of doing less and achieving more. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

Certainly one of the best and most practical books of its kind. The Scientific & Medical Network Review Just the thing when you're feeling overwhelmed, his strategies for organising stuff (email, admin, life generally) are easy to follow. Red Magazine

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Hay House UK Ltd (July 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848501161
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848501164
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #478,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Leo Babauta is a simplicity author and creator of Zen Habits (http://zenhabits.net), one of the most-read blogs in the world.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

241 of 251 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Hendrickson on January 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My copy of Leo Babauta's new book, Power of Less, The: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential...in Business and in Life, arrived Friday evening, and by late Friday I'd read it cover to cover. Now, on Sunday, I'm starting it again. It may be about "less", but is contains more than my brain could take in with a single read.

Leo, the owner of the wildly popular ZenHabits blog, has written one of those classics that apply to both our business and personal lives. In brief, The Power of Less is a treatise on the small steps (see my blog post on the Kaizen way) we can take to simplify our lives and in the doing find far more joy and success than all of our manic behavior could produce.

The book begins with Leo's own story of being an debt, overweight, smoking, workaholic who rarely saw his family. His life was chaotic and he never had time for the things and people he loves. (Sound familiar?) Then, he made the choice to simplify his life in small continuous ways; first he quit smoking by focusing all of his energy on that one goal.

Then, he attacked other goals, one at a time, like becoming a runner, eating healthier, starting a successful blog, and getting out of debt.

One by one the goals were met (and exceeded). Leo has run two marathons, has doubled his income, became a vegetarian, decluttered his home, lost 45 pounds, and spends quality time with his family. Today, Leo's blog is one of the top 50 blogs in the world, with more than two million readers a month. If that doesn't make you want to adopt his principles, nothing will!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 1:31 Mins
I love the Zen Habits blog and really connect with Leo's simple message of cutting the clutter and living a simpler life in order to do and achieve the things that are of real value, so I got a lot out of this book's simple reminders and encouragement.

I didn't like it in audio format, though, which I explain in my video review, so while the content deserves five stars, the robotic, slick narrator and the way the format of the book worked with being read aloud brought the star rating down.

One other minor quibble was that Leo mentioned "previous posts" and "later posts" in his book a lot. Some of the content was obviously written for a blog format and it wasn't edited vigorously enough to catch these mistakes.

Other than that, though, the content is exactly what I expected from reading Leo's blog and I enjoyed the book a lot. It's a good kick in the rear if you need help getting fired up to achieve your goals through simplicity.
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281 of 306 people found the following review helpful By Dan S on January 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, let me say this: The content in this book is worth 5 stars. Leo is the absolute best at making anyone realize what is important in the world, and act on it. If you've had it with other self-empowerment books, the kind that use phrases like "thrive off of synergy" and "discover the true version of yourself" and "unlock the millionaire within you" and other absurdities that clog the self-improvement industry of books, then The Power of Less will be an absolute relief. The general mantra is easy to swallow and understand: focus your efforts on one thing and you will be more effective.

The book is simple and direct with little fluff. It's aimed at everyone, not just the big-time business managers and the yuppie type. As a student and writer, I find that 7 Habits and Getting Things Done and the like, while they're great, just don't feel like they're aimed at me. The Power of Less is, though. And it's undiluted greatness. There's no New Age-y stuff in here, nothing really abstract. Just solid, practical approaches to the problems that everyone faces.

Here's the one catch, though: at least 85-90% of the content in this book is fundamentally equivalent to what's been posted on his blog, Zen Habits (zenhabits dot net). Leo's techniques rely on simplicity so much that there are really only so many ways you can spin it.

There are a lot of reasons to buy this book: it goes a little bit deeper in its explanations, it is a great summary and introduction to everything on Leo's site, it supports Leo after all of the hard work he has put in to helping your average Joe like me make his life and his world a little bit better, and it introduces his ideas in a logical order.
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82 of 95 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
First, let me say that the BIG ideas in this book - about single-tasking, focusing on completion, not taking on too many projects at once - are simple yet brilliant and very helpful. However, when Babauta gets down to specifics and his "system," things fall apart a bit. Ironically, this philosophy, based on simplicity, gets a bit convoluted, complicated, and at times doesn't seem completely thought-through. For example, the book prescribes that we focus on one habit at a time, focus on one goal at a time, focus on 3 projects a time, and work on only 3 tasks per day. That's a lot of confusion and multi-focus for a single-tasking book. Also, his strategies seem to fit better for someone, like him, who is self-employed and can work how and when he likes. As a teacher, I cannot focus on three projects at any one time, as I have 35 kids on my caseload with a multitude of needs. Not everything fits neatly into "projects" when you are not a free-lance writer. So, all in all, good ideals, not so great strategies.
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