You’ve more than likely have heard the words simplicity and minimalism, but have you heard the word essentialism?
For months now, I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about a book called “Essentialism”. It has been highly recommended and it got me curious. What finally got me motivated enough to get my hands on a copy of the book, was listening to a podcast with the author on MichaelHyatt.com.
After listening to the podcast, I understood the hype. His ideas are contagious.
The author, Greg McKeown, had a defining moment in his life when he realized that his choices and decisions in his career did not align with his personal values. From that he created a filter through which he would start making decisions about how to use his time. He calls it Essentialism.
Greg defines Essentialism as the “disciplined pursuit of less”. This is not just about fewer possessions or getting rid of stuff, it is about what we focus on, what fills our calendars, our minds, and what we say yes to.
To be honest, I’ve only just started to read the book, what really caught my attention in this interview was a concept that evolved after he wrote the book. It is the idea of a personal, offsite review – every 90 days.
What is a Personal Offsite 90 Day Review?
This is a block of time set aside specifically to look back at the past 90-days and evaluate what worked, what didn’t, as well as what adjustments need to be made in the next 90 days. It is a time to get clarity on where you are headed and what course changes you need to make to reach your goals.
What Questions Do You Ask During Your Review?
I couldn’t find any concrete examples to use as a reference, and as I listened to the podcast, I began to see why. Your review will be unique to you and different from mine. The questions we need to ask will be different.
It is something that at the core will remain the same but the questions themselves will probably evolve over time
So I started my own list of questions I will be asking:
- What worked well in the last 90 days?
- What didn’t work well?
- What did I say yes to that I enjoyed and/or moved me towards my goals?
- What should I have said no to?
- What is important right now? (Family, Friends, Career, Personal etc.)
- What can I get rid of or stop doing?
- Are my goals still worth pursuing? Are they in alignment with my values and priorities?
As you can see, these are not lightweight questions. You will need time to think about them, pray over them and journal your answers.
Tips For Your First 90-Day Review
This one, is pretty much a must. I know from personal experience how difficult it is to try and do this at home. There are way too many distractions. You will think about and find all sorts of “need to be done” items that make it hard to focus on this important block of time.
There is something powerful about putting pen to paper and ignoring our digital world for a while. So grab your favorite pen, some nice paper or journal, turn off your phone and start writing.
Create An Environment:
Start noticing when or where are you best are able to focus. What time of day do the creative juices flow for you? Where do you feel inspired? Do you need the right music, essential oils diffusing or a great smelling candle burning? Where can you go that takes you out of your everyday routine?
Keep A Journal:
Make notes, document your thoughts, ideas, plans and any aha moments you discover.
Keep It Simple:
Don’t complicate this. If you make it expensive, ultra time-consuming, or an event that you need a lot of supplies for, you won’t do it.
- Click here to watch or listen to Michael Hyatt’s podcast with Greg McKeown and read the blog post.
- Click here to read more about the book.
- Check out James Woosley’s Simple Strategic Plan. James suggests doing quarterly reviews of your business.
- In this post, “I Decided To Sell My Business”, Stu McLaren shares how the book “Essentialism” became a catalyst for big changes in his life.
- Michael Hyatt’s post, “The Importance of the Quarterly Review” is a post I have referred back to often.
The more I read, the more I see that by creating a habit of consistent review and evaluation I am laying a foundation for success and growth in my life. I can see that this is an investment, a necessity and not a luxury.
It’s time to cultivate a new habit.