This book's ideas are mostly a rehash of time management books' ideas, from authors such as Brian Tracey, Covey family, and Julie Morgenstein--authors with superior methodologies and better research. The book's usage of "essentialism" is similar to "lean and mean". Why create a definition for another unnecessary term?
As examples, book's theme is "Less but better is a principle whose time has come." Yet, military has known this since man's existence--just look at military backpacks. Lean and mean is also such principle--been around for centuries. Author's Stanford Business School (mentioned excessively) experience teaches essentials in design development, apparently as novel. Yet, there is an old advertising saying--the more a client pays, the less he gets. Essentialism in design has been around for centuries. Chapters on sleep, play, and escape; yet none on exercise or family?--blog style writing that's incomplete analysis.
Additionally, many of book's conclusions are simplistic. For example, book states SW Airlines achieved high profitability, by focusing on essentials; thereby, advocates all businesses ought to do such. This may be partially true for SW Airlines, but there were many other variables involved. And book's essentialism "mantra" or "philosophy" may be inappropriate. The Model T may have been an essentials car to begin with, but its innovations were very sophisticated. Yet, by staying too long with its essentials... "Customer can have any color, as long as it's black"..., Ford nearly later bankrupted the company. Freddie Laker's "essentials" airline, modeled after SWAir, and famous at one time, bankrupted.
The key word to lifestyle, in my opinion, is balance (or harmony), as in John Wooden's balance, Plato's harmony, or even Buddhism stilling of desires to attain harmony. Essentialism creates time, but balance manages the essentials. A balanced, essentials SW Air thrived. An imbalanced, essentials Laker's Airways bankrupted.
Superior alternative books are available, incomplete-thinking blog style writing, and the book's research is inadequate.
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