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Effortless
Cover of Effortless
Effortless
Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A Times (UK) Best Book of the Year • From the author of the million-copy-selling Essentialism comes an empowering guide to achieving your goals. It all starts with...
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A Times (UK) Best Book of the Year • From the author of the million-copy-selling Essentialism comes an empowering guide to achieving your goals. It all starts with...
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  • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A Times (UK) Best Book of the Year • From the author of the million-copy-selling Essentialism comes an empowering guide to achieving your goals. It all starts with a simple principle: Not everything has to be so hard.

    “In a world beset by burnout, Greg McKeown’s work is essential.”—Daniel H. Pink, author of When, Drive, and To Sell Is Human 
    “At a time when fear, uncertainty, and our ever-growing list of responsibilities have come to feel like much too much to handle, Effortless couldn’t be timelier, or more necessary.”—Eve Rodsky, author of Fair Play

    Do you ever feel like:
    • You’re teetering right on the edge of burnout?
    • You want to make a higher contribution, but lack the energy?  
    • You’re running faster but not moving closer to your goals?
    • Everything is so much harder than it used to be?
    As high achievers, we’ve been conditioned to believe that the path to success is paved with relentless work. That if we want to overachieve, we have to overexert, overthink, and overdo. That if we aren’t perpetually exhausted, we’re not doing enough.
    But lately, working hard is more exhausting than ever. And the more depleted we get, the more effort it takes to make progress. Stuck in an endless loop of “Zoom, eat, sleep, repeat,” we’re often working twice as hard to achieve half as much.
    Getting ahead doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it. No matter what challenges or obstacles we face, there is a better way: instead of pushing ourselves harder, we can find an easier path. 
    Effortless offers actionable advice for making the most essential activities the easiest ones, so you can achieve the results you want, without burning out.  
    Effortless teaches you how to:
    • Turn tedious tasks into enjoyable rituals
    • Prevent frustration by solving problems before they arise  
    • Set a sustainable pace instead of powering through
    • Make one-time choices that eliminate many future decisions
    • Simplify your processes by removing unnecessary steps
    • Make relationships easier to maintain and manage
    • And much more   
    The effortless way isn't the lazy way. It's the smart way. It may even be the only way. 
    Not every hard thing in life can be made easy. But we can make it easier to do more of what matters most.

Excerpts-

  • From the book Chapter 1

    INVERT

    What If This Could Be Easy?

    “Four a.m. and I’m up photoshopping pictures? Really?”

    Kim Jenkins wanted to do what really mattered. But it was hard not to feel overwhelmed. For one thing, the university where she worked was undergoing an immense expansion. The client base had doubled in the last few years, but they were operating with virtually the same staff and resources as before.

    With the expansion of the organization had come an expansion of complexity everywhere. There were new and difficult-to-decipher internal policies. There was a tedious new system for handling compliance. Processes had grown cumbersome, and now all of their projects and programs took more energy and time. Well-intentioned people had added but never subtracted. They had taken work that used to be simple and made it maddeningly, unnecessarily complicated.

    As a result, the effort required to get her work done had become Herculean. And Kim had a tendency to be really hard on herself. She said, “I thought if I wasn’t putting in tremendous effort, sacrificing any time for myself, then I was being incredibly selfish.”

    Then one day, it hit her. This was all so much harder than it ought to be. And with that realization, she said, “I could see it all for what it was: layers and layers of unnecessary complexity. I could see how it was expanding all the time and how I was suffocating underneath all of it.”

    She decided it was time to make a change: When faced with a task that felt impossibly hard, she would ask, “Is there an easier way?”

    She soon had the opportunity to put this method to the test when a faculty member called her and asked if she could have her videography team record a full semester of a class. In the past she would have jumped in with both feet, put her team to work for four months, and looked for ways to go above and beyond: adding music, intros and outros, and graphics. This time she wondered if there was an easier way to get the desired results. A brief conversation revealed that the videos were intended for a single student who couldn’t make every class due to a sports commitment. He didn’t need a highly produced recording with lots of bells and whistles; he just needed a way to avoid falling behind in his class. So she thought, “What if they simply asked another student to record those lectures on a smartphone?” “The professor was delighted with the solution,” Kim said. And it cost her just a couple of minutes of planning instead of months of work for her whole videography team.

    Hard Work May Not Be Well Named

    All too often, we sacrifice our time, our energy, and even our sanity, almost believing that sacrifice is essential in and of itself. The problem is that the complexity of modern life has created a false dichotomy between things that are “essential and hard” and things that are “easy and trivial.” It’s almost like a natural law for some people: Trivial things are easy. Important things are hard.

    Our language helps to reveal our deeper assumptions. Think of these revealing phrases: When we accomplish something important, we say it took “blood, sweat, and tears.” We say important achievements are “hard-earned” when we might just say “earned.” We recommend a “hard day’s work” when “day’s work” would suffice.

    Then there are the ways our language betrays our distrust of ease. When we talk of “easy money,” we are implying it was obtained through illegal or questionable...

About the Author-

  • Greg McKeown is a speaker, a bestselling author, and the host of the popular podcast What’s Essential. He has been covered by The New York Times, Fast Company, Fortune, Politico, and Inc., has been interviewed on NPR, NBC, Fox, and The Steve Harvey Show, and is among the most popular bloggers for LinkedIn. He is also a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum. McKeown’s New York Times bestselling book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less has sold more than a million copies worldwide. Originally from London, England, he now lives in California with his wife, Anna, and their four children.

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