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My friends call me inspector gadget. I have always been a pioneer, an early adopter... always living on the edge in terms of technology. However, the more I got connected, the emptier I felt in side. A few years ago, I stumbled upon Leo's blog, Zenhabits. I read an article now and then and thought "hey, this guys knows what he's talking about." Over the years, I have completely changed my lifestyle, and most of that knowledge came from Zenhabits and affiliates (guest authors that lead me to other blogs I am following now). Nowadays, I have a inbox zero policy, I got rid of television, don't follow the news actively anymore, minimized my RSS subscriptions and declutter my home (still not as much as I would like).
Because Leo has become my lifestyle Guru, I decided to support him by buying his book. And I can tell you this: this book, Focus Manifesto, accumulates all the knowledge from 3 years of Zenhabits in one easy to read, to the point book that should be thought in every high school. After reading this book, I decided to seriously cut down my time on the internet. I don't even go on the Internet till late in the afternoon, so my mornings are productive and creative and I am not distracted by e-mails, feeds and notifications. I am even considering a Digibattical or disconnecting the Internet in weekends. I think I am again at the front, many people will drop-out in the near future.... the Internet and television are draining all of us and we will pay the bill if we don't take care.
I can recommend this book to everyone... and if you combine it with David Allen's Getting Things Done (for some tasks, not everything in you life... it will make a difference.
To make a long story short: Highly recommend for everyone.
Leo, I wish you all the best. You are my guru, and I am sure I am not the only one who sees you that way. You did change my life more than anybody else. Thank you so much.
With that in mind, I found it a bit boring because it was a book full of things I already knew and accepted combined with a splattering of things that were just too out there, so to speak, for me. However, that's not to discount the value of this book. If anyone ever asks me about why I do certain things that aren't "normal" I will direct them to this book without hesitating. Babauta encompasses everything far more eloquently than I ever could and it's far easier to direct people to one book instead of the million and one blogs I've gained my insights from!
In fact, I think this book is most valuable as an introduction to others. Reading the whole thing beginning to end gets repetitive, but since it's so carefully organized into these sections and chapters, it's the perfect tool to be able to say "You've got problems? I bet this can help!" and show them the chapter with the title of their exact problem.
I sound like I'm trying to get people to join a cult, don't I? I've worked so hard not to become one of those people who talk constantly about how much better life is with meditation and stuff, but it's really hard to shut up when you find something that improves your life so much!
This book is thoughtful, fun, and easy to read. The advice is clear, and if you can even take up a few practices you will feel amazingly free. If you can do more than a few then you will feel truly blessed.
I have been working recently to help people use technology more effectively e.g. not be on e-mail all day long, but rather working on the things that are of greatest importance. Leo's book should be required reading in schools, particularly for teachers who are often pulled in so many directions simultaneously.
I must also say that if you are compelled by Leo's book, please read Tony Schwartz's "The Way We're Working Isn't Working." It is a higher-level book about optimizing one's life, but Leo and Tony have very similar ways of structuring change in small pieces that anyone can do.
My only critique of this book is that Leo doesn't cite any sources. Much of his thoughts seems to come from other books and studies I've read, but I didn't see them mentioned anywhere.