Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less on

After having read Digital Minimalism, I thought Essentialism would be a good continuation of similar principles. Frankly, I’m seriously underwhelmed by this book.

All throughout, I couldn’t shake the feeling of being dragged into an elitist club I didn’t want to be part of. Every chapter compares “the way of the Essentialist” with “the way of the Nonessentialist”. If it wouldn’t have been the last chapter, I would have stopped reading entirely upon encountering this passage in Chapter 20, “BE: The Essentialist Life”:

Once the essence of Essentialism enters our hearts, the way of the Essentialist becomes who we are. We become a different, better version of ourselves.

There are some valid and helpful ideas in there but the way the whole concept of being an Essentialist is delivered, doesn’t make for an intriguing proposal. Furthermore, most of the pieces of advice have been told before. For example, while Deep Work doesn’t quite take the same line, it advocates similar guidelines while being more enticing and more pleasant to read.

Essentialism might still be worth it if you’re looking for a curated bundle of suggestions in the realm of minimalism and productivity but I’m afraid you’ll have to endure the cringeworthy setting.

Read in May 2020.