Run as fast as you can, but don't budge? Are you suffering from overwork and fatigue? There are so many opportunities and activities in the world that we do not have enough time or resources for everything.
Do you often answer “yes” to someone's request, personal or work, without even thinking about what you were asked? Paying too much attention to the little things? Hate what you do and think, "Why did I just sign up for this?" Remember, have you ever suffered from overwork? Feel like you are running as fast as you can, but not budging? If all this is about you, then the only way out is to become an essentialist (from the Latin essentia - essence).
The essence of essentialism: explore, then choose
The Essentialist's way is not to make a promise to yourself: “Starting January 1, I’ll say no more often,” and it’s not about finally cleaning your inbox in your mail, or even finding for yourself a new time management strategy.
The Essentialist constantly asks himself the question: "Am I doing this?" There are so many opportunities and activities in the world that we do not have enough time or resources for everything. And while many of them seem interesting to us, only a few are really needed.
Essentialists understand that concessions are an integral part of life, and not necessarily a negative part. Instead of asking "what should I give up?" they ask "what do I want to achieve?" The paradox of Essentialism is that its adherents consider more options than ordinary people, who enthusiastically respond to any opportunity.
The non-essentialist is ready to chase the first chance that comes along, which means that he does not have time to think about what he is doing. The Essentialist's way is to research and evaluate a large number of alternatives, and only then to choose the only one.
The 90% rule applies to any choice or dilemma. When evaluating an option, think about the most important criterion and rate it on a scale from 0 to 100. If a particular option gets a score below 90, drop it. This will help you avoid hesitation when choosing alternatives with scores ranging from 60 to 70.
Consider how you would feel if you got a 65% mark on a test. So why can you consciously choose this level of option when making an important choice? Remember this: if the answer is not definitely positive, then it is negative.
The Fighter's Philosophy is not for us
By giving up the right to choose, we are giving others not just power, but explicit permission to make choices for us. In George Orwell's allegorical story "Animal Farm" there is a character - a horse named Fighter. Faced with any setback and any problem, he says he will work even harder. He lives in accordance with his philosophy, until, exhausted and broken, he is not sent to the slaughterhouse.
Are we somewhat similar to the Fighter? Does failure make us work longer and harder? Do we sometimes respond to every challenge: “Yes, I can do that too”?
The Essentialist needs a place for solitude and reflection. Think of Sir Isaac Newton, who spent two years working on his Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, a famous work on gravity and the three laws of mechanics. All this time, he almost did not communicate with anyone, and it was voluntary loneliness and continuous concentration that allowed him to make a breakthrough in scientific thought.
Newton created a space in which he could concentrate on ideas of interest to him.
Refusing is good
The very thought of saying no brings us literally physical discomfort. It doesn't matter who we're going to turn down: an old friend inviting us to dinner, a boss asking to take on an important and big project, or a neighbor who needs help baking cupcakes for parents' meeting. We feel guilty. We do not want to let anyone down, we are afraid to ruin the relationship.
In fact, we can either say no and regret it for a few minutes, or we can say yes and regret it for days, weeks, months, or even years. The more we think about what we are giving up when we say yes, the easier it is to say no.
Don't be afraid to stop
Have you ever wasted time and energy on a meaningless project instead of giving it up? Or maybe you have invested money at least once in your life in something that turned out to be unprofitable, but could not stop? Have you ever run into obstacles in your work, but were afraid to admit to yourself that you just chose the wrong area?
The average person cannot break out of such a vicious circle, but the Essentialist has the courage and confidence to admit his mistakes and refuse to commit. When we admit a mistake, it becomes our past. If we deny that we are wrong, then we continue to drive in circles. There is nothing shameful in admitting mistakes. At least we show that we are wiser than we were in the past.
The most important asset
The main asset that is available to us is ourselves. The most common way people, especially ambitious and successful people, put this asset at risk is through lack of sleep.
For non-essentialists, sleep is just another burden of their crowded, busy, but always productive life. Therefore, they can be overwhelmed at any time. Essentialists do not shorten their sleep time. By protecting their assets, they fill life with energy, creativity, and problem-solving ability.
Marc-Andreessen-Netscape-Navigator Marc Andreessen, one of the founders of Netscape, talks about his sleep like this: “Seven hours of sleep - and I start to get dull. Six is a dangerous level. Five is a big problem. Four turns me into a zombie."
On weekends, he sleeps for over 12 hours.