How to Become an Essentialist & Change Your Life for the Better with Greg McKeown

Season #1 Episode #201

Episode #201


Seventeen years of running my own video business have taught me that success is not about getting the best shot, or having the best demo reel or the best gear. There’s so much more to it. It boils down to your priorities and how you choose to focus your energy and time. In short, you need to become an essentialist.

Key Takeaways

  • Not everything is equally important. Start your day with the question of what is most important today and focus on that. That will set your priorities in order and help assure that you focus only on what is most essential to you.
  • Set boundaries. It is up to you to decide what to do with your time. Stay in control of it and let others know when you are available and when you are not. This leads to efficiency and more overall satisfaction.

About Greg McKeown

Greg McKeown is the author of the amazing book and New York Times bestseller, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. He is also the founder of McKeown Inc., a company with a mission to teach essentialism to millions of people around the world. Their clients include Adobe, Apple, Airbnb, Cisco, Google, Facebook, and Pixar.

Creating boundaries and clarity for success

If you’ve ever felt busy without being productive (and who hasn’t?), Greg has some advice for you. You need to create the right boundaries around your priorities and stick to them. If you ask yourself every morning what the most important thing to do today, you will be well on the path to becoming an essentialist. 

Being an essentialist certainly has its challenges. Even for Greg, it’s an ongoing journey. Over time, he’s developed a planning system that he continues to revise. Consciously and continuously developing clarity on goals and priorities takes effort. Without it though, necessary clarity will remain out of reach.

Identifying what is essential to you

Greg wants us all to identify essential parts of our lives that we are underinvesting in. When we realize why these things matter to us, and truly visualize what achieving it would be, we can start to reprioritize our daily lives and be one big step closer to essentialism. Becoming an essentialist is tough. It takes vulnerability. However, striving to build your life around only what is essential to you is the key to everything.

In This Episode 

  • The role of community in implementing essentialism [7:20]
  • Retaking control over your life through proper prioritizing [10:50]
  • The struggles that come with being an essentialist [18:40]
  • Strategies to get more done by doing less [22:02]
  • Concrete ways to set boundaries to regain control over your time [26:45]
  • Questions and actions to identify what is most essential in your life [33:00]


 “If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.” [11:52]

“You have to create space to prioritize, plan, think, and reflect so that you can actually make thoughtful decisions. You become strategic.” [22:52]

“It’s so vulnerable. It’s so personal. Also, I think we think people know - but they can’t know.” [44:22]




Find Greg McKeown online

Follow Greg on Instagram | Twitter | Linkedin | YouTube

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

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