Friday, February 22, 2013

The Power of Less

I appreciate recommendations from my colleagues on resources that have helped them work more efficiently and effectively.  So I want to pass along a book recommendation to you:  The Power of Less (2009) by Leo Babauta.  Chinook Arch owns a print copy and a downloadable audiobook (WMA format only, sorry Apple users!).

Babauta grabbed my attention by outlining some of the good habits he established in a few short years by focusing on one change at a time.  These changes eventually turned him into a new man--fitter, happier, more productive, more social, more successful!

What I like about this book is that it offers principles that guide you in limiting yourself (what?!) the essentials, to what you identify as most important in your life, to smaller tasks that lead you towards your bigger, long-term goals.  Babauta provides tips for applying his principles at work and at home, and the potential for holistic benefits is exciting!

Here's a copy of the table of contents:

1. Why Less is Powerful
2. The Art of Setting Limits
3. Choosing the Essential, and Simplifying
4. Simple Focus
5. Create New Habits, and the Power of Less Challenge
6. Start Small

7. Simple Goals and Projects
8. Simple Tasks
9. Simple Time Management
10. Simple Email
11. Simple Internet
12. Simple Filing
13. Simple Commitments
14. Simple Daily Routine
15. Declutter Your Work Space
16. Slow Down
17. Simple Health and Fitness
18. On Motivation

So far, I've used his tips to help me with email management.  In the last couple days, I've dealt with a couple hundred emails using Babauta's recommendations.  Now I have 7 items in my work email inbox and a strategy for keeping that number low.

On the home front, lately I've declined a number of opportunities and activities that are well and good but that aren't in line with the "essentials" that The Power of Less has helped me to identify.  Babauta has also reminded me to focus on "single tasking" rather than multitasking (something I've never excelled at anyway), and doing the most important things BEFORE other tasks.  I've been experiencing the elation that comes from getting that one important thing done first thing in the morning, and it really helps build momentum for the rest of the day, both at home and at work.

People who work in the library world typically have many diverse tasks to handle in a day, and it's a challenge to develop tactics that make us feel successful in managing our responsibilities.  In a short time, I've gleaned some helpful, perspective-shifting tips from Leo Babauta, and I can't help but think he'll have some tips that work for you!

You can check out the author's website for this title - 
He also has a blog at

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