Summer Read #1 – The Power of Less by Leo Babauta

It is my last vice.  I don’t drink, smoke or do drugs but I do seek out and read books with the same lack of self-control as a crack addict.  I love everything about books, their tactile nature, as a repository for information and as a way of getting inside someone elses skin and walking around for a while.  So the summer usually sees me increase my reading and over the next couple of weeks I’m going to write little mini blog posts about what I’ve been reading.  Hope you enjoy them.

The first book that I’ve really been enjoying reading is ‘The Power of Less’ by Leo Babauta.  I picked the book up in San Francisco while there on business recently after being suggested it by Tim Ferriss.  Leo Babauta is the author of the top ten blog Zen Habits and writes in a very fluid and sharp style.

The book is about how with the mental and material explosion we in the Western world have experienced, where we have wealth and possessions that would be the dreams of Egyptian Pharoah’s, why are we more stressed than ever?  Our constant desire for more, more, more is creating huge pressures on individuals, society and the planets resources.

So Leo’s book is a manifesto in praise of leading a simpler life.  He talks about the importance of setting limits on our wants, how to simplify and focus on the essential, creating new habits and a general small is beautiful approach.  He then breaks his overall theory into practical steps to dealing with email, filing, daily routines, health and fitness and speed of living.

For me the book boils down to living a simpler life, more in tune with your body and nature.  It is about identifying the essential and eliminating the rest.

Leo talks about his six principles of simple productivity which are:

1. Set Limitations
2. Choose the Essential
3. Simplify
4. Focus
5. Create Habits
6. Start Small

So if you feel your life needs a bit of de-cluttering and you yearn for ideas on how to live a simpler and more fulfilling life then check out Leo Babauta’s ‘The Power of Less’.


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