Cover Image: Effortless

Effortless

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Some useful thoughts, and a readable style, but the underlying work ethic and seeping religion put me off a bit.
Was this review helpful?
This is not rocket science or deep psychology. What it is, is a clear mandate to accept that sometimes working harder is not going to help you achieve your goals. There are times when you need to pause, reflect, and find another way - or indeed another goal. Mr McKeown follows up his previous book with a similar manifesto on being present and being aware. He tells us that we need to consider what success looks like, so that we don't keep striving to get somewhere then not be sure when we get there that it’s the right place. 

I like the style of writing and the layout, with the recap tables at the end of each section. It might not all be new to people but it is a gentle reminder that there are other ways to go through life than just pushing all the time. A section I found particularly helpful was about how we learn and how we castigate our selves when we make mistakes.

“…teaches his language students to imagine they have a bag full of one thousand beads. Every time they make a mistake talking to someone else in the language they take out one bead. When the bag is empty they will have achieved level 1 mastery. They faster they make those mistakes, the faster they will progress.” Mr McKeown says “There is no mastery without mistakes. And there is no learning later without the courage to be rubbish.” I’m thinking that last sentence could be my new mantra. 

The author also says “The goal is to find the most annoying thing that can be solved in the least amount of time.” This is in reference to how we put up with stupid annoying things rather than just take a moment to address them.

As I say, maybe there isn’t much new in this book but what will be new to you will make it worth the read and I certainly have learned many useful and interesting things.

I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley in return for an honest review
Was this review helpful?
I had no preconceptions prior to reading this book, however I didn't find that I learned anything that isn't common sense. The only thing is that we don't always take time to consider ways to make things simpler and sometimes get stuck in a way of doing things which could be simplified. 

Overall I like the concept of working smarter and not harder and maintaining a good work life balance, although the book gave some ideas on how people have accomplished this, I don't feel that there were many solutions that would work for everyone. It was an easy read, well written by the author and simple to understand.
Was this review helpful?
I have never read a self help book before but this one made me think I should.

It was well set out and although the advise is simple, it is well presented and easy to understand.

I think I will be able to implement some of it and will return to this book again.
Was this review helpful?
Effortless, will encourage you to make it easier to do what matters and to learn what's important and how to prioritise it in the most productive way for you.

It will make you think and consider all your options before choosing your own way.
Was this review helpful?
It is not often a book really changes you.  There is nothing startling in this book and is all common sense.  But I lost my way in the last 14 months due to illness and after six months I went back to work initially on a phased return.  Because I couldnt work as much I sat back and did things differently but because everyone else was working all the hours under the sun,  I felt so guilty that I was accomplishing things in reduced times.  

It was only when I read this book and Greg covered similar instances that I realised what friends had been telling me and to stop feeling like I was. 

So recommend this book - nothing earth shattering but for me just so helped me by giving impartial support. 

I was given an advance copy by netgalley and the publishers but the review is entirely my own.
Was this review helpful?
I had heard and read good things about Essentialism, so I jumped at the chance by NetGalley and the book publisher to read a copy of Effortless.
Greg McKeown is a good writer and has an enjoyable, easy-going technique in delivering his ideas. Some of the points he conveys in this book are common sense, such as make hard things easy and make unpleasant tasks fun or remove steps in a plan and maximize those not taken. These points are then followed by an anecdote as to how they have been successfully applied. Rather than just creating an effortless state, Greg McKeown is applying and promoting a state of flow in your everyday life, be it personal or work. As per Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, take your time with actions as the fastest option is not always the most productive.
Effortless is a good book with some good ideas that can be easily applied. The problem I had was that the content was not something I had not read about before or applied through basic common sense. It is worth a read as the practices conveyed are condensed in one place and will help in everyday life.
Was this review helpful?
Effortless : Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most is a guide to making the most important tasks effortless and easier.  There are three main steps involved : Effortless State, Effortless Action, and Effortless Results.  The book is full of anecdotes and personal stories and while it is an easy and enjoyable read, it is a bit padded out.  The key concepts could have been covered more directly.  It isn't rocket science and to most people it will just be common sense. All that said it is still inspiring and might be just the ticket and the 'kick' someone needs to get motivated and back on track squeezing the juice out of life.  While it might not have been the most suitable self help book for me personally, I am confident it will be for many other people.
Was this review helpful?
I found reading this very refreshing. I don’t know that I want to describe this as a self help book but rather a book that looks at everyday obstacles and offers refreshing advice rather than telling you what you need to do.
The fact that is offers advice, I feel it gives you a chance to take a step back and reflect on the issues and approach them methodically without being overwhelmed.
I suggest if you get a chance to read this book, then please do!
Was this review helpful?
We're all overwhelmed and stressed with too much to do (even post pandemic). But it doesn't have to be that way, says Greg McKeown. Effortless seeks to show you a way that you can simplify the different tasks and responsibilities in your life, so you can live more freely, with more joy and less stress. Divided into easy-to-consume chapters, Effortless teaches you that just because you want to do something doesn't mean it has to be hard. Sometimes the best things in life do come fro free(ish).
Was this review helpful?
I have dipped into this book and liked what I found.  I am not sure it is one I would want to read in one sitting but I did find some enlightening and thoughtful bits so look forward to reading more in due course.

Thank you to Net Galley & the publishers for allowing me to review this book.
Was this review helpful?
Greg McKeown's work in essentialism was invaluable last year when navigating the practical and emotional fallout of the pandemic. As we re-enter the world again, this new book is an equally handy reminder of those basics of essentialism framed around approaches to work and home engagement. McKeown's breakdown here of the State, Action, Results philosophy is a step-by-step reminder to focus on what's important and to clear away the excess guff in our environments and our brains to knuckle down into essential practice. The overriding goal being to make (perceived) difficult tasks easier. A lot of this feels like common sense, but McKeown's lively engagement in these topics makes for a fun read, and offers real-life anecdotes and easy-to-follow pointers that remind us to simplify and consider: what is important, how can I make this easier, and don't forget to have fun. A good book at a good time.
Was this review helpful?
I chose to read this self help book by Greg Mckeown because a number of reviews lured me in. I went into it with the expectation of learning more than I knew, although that doesn't mean I am good at getting all the essentials done in my life. In the end, this turned out to be largely commonsense, although commonsense presented well and in a simplified manner. It begins with an introduction named Not Everything Has to be so Hard, and the rest of the material is divided into three sections, the effortless state, effortless action and effortless results. McKeown illustrates his methods with real life examples from our contemporary world, such as from those that have done well, the military and successful sports people. I can see many people finding this helpful to get what needs to be done in their lives, its just that for me, I wanted and expected more, something that surprised me more. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.
Was this review helpful?
This was a readable self-help book built around various ways in which to make tasks easier to accomplish. It is built around three sections - firstly, putting yourself into an effortless state; secondly, making action more effortless; finally, effortless results.

I find now, a few days after finishing this book, that very little has stayed with me. It is the usual mix of wise quotes and anecdotes, along with various tips and checklists. I don't think there is sufficiently original content here to make it one I will go back to.
Was this review helpful?
This book has certainly changed my view on things.  

I enjoyed the stories told throughout, they helped bring to life the meaning behind each one and the message being shared.  

Inspiration to try a different approach with real conviction and be confident the approach will work and make things better. 

Effortless is filled with examples of shortcuts or ways to make things easier.  Working smarter not harder .
Was this review helpful?
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC version of this book though I found it it so so.  Good enough for me to finish but I actually can't remember it that well though it seemed to jump around a little and was based on case studies rather than tips on how to make life effortless.
Was this review helpful?
McKeown's first book Essentialism was all about how to cut down to the essential things and focus on what really matters. Effortless is about how to make working on those essential things as effortless as possible. Specifically how to structure your work with this end in mind. As such the book is far more practical andwill have a greater impact on my approach to my work than its predecessor. Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
The main point of this book could be described simply as: “Do not work harder, but work more effectively.”

This book came out of fruition after the author experienced burn-out following the success of his debut book, "Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less". He attempted to live in his theory of essentialism, to only strive for the essentials after eliminating non-essential activities and thoughts. But it turns out even after removing the non-essentials, he still felt overwhelmed. Frankly, I think that is the real problem of most self-help books, that they tend to discount real-life problems by taking into account personalised experiences to solve larger problems that might be unique to every person depending on the context.

‘Effortless’ is a way to supplement the problems that the author could not cover in his previous book. He describes three steps to reach ‘effortlessness’, namely: Effortless State, Effortless Action, and Effortless Results. I do not know how it feels like for other readers, but to me, it feels like 80% of this book could be removed and we are still left with the ‘essentials’. At the end of each part, the author provides a summary for each step for ‘effortlessness’ that highlights the important points from each part. What comes in between are various examples, sometimes scientific, sometimes taken from other books, and sometimes could also be taken out of context to fit the narrative.

I personally think that many facts described in this book are things that we already know, and even most of the things described are common sense that I have been practising for quite a while (for example, the way we use technology to automate several processes to make our daily life easier). While I appreciate the way Greg McKeown draws many of his examples from various types of literature and fields, I hardly see anything new offered in this book. Perhaps I will forget I have ever read this book sooner or later.
Was this review helpful?
Well written with lots of practical advice. The ideas encouraged me to think about my habits and where I might be able to make changes.  Definitely worth a read.
Was this review helpful?
Full disclosure; I did not finish this book. This is not a reflection on the book. It was written well in an easy, engaging style. Ironically the subject it tackled – namely how to prioritise what you need to do in order to make you life run more smoothly (ok there are more bells and whistles than that but essentially that’s what it’s talking about) – was one I had already more or less mastered in my own life. It didn’t add anything new for me personally and I did not receive any value from having what I already knew worked confirmed by the book. Basically, this book was for me circa twelve years ago not me now. No slur on McKeown’s work and I am certain that people who feel they are drowning in tasks and need to learn this skillset will benefit immensely. I just wasn’t the target audience.
Was this review helpful?