Simplify

As a slight interlude to the conversation we are having about compassion I just wanted to let you know about an excellent ebook I have come across recently (I haven’t done a good book review for quite awhile!):

Simplify by Rob Westwood


On the face of it, this ebook appears to be another one of those minimalist tracts, in a similar vain to Ev Bogue or Leo Babauta, but it, for me at least, is much better than that.  Rob even, rather cheekily, suggests in Chapter 27 to avoid such guides, quickly distancing himself form the other productivity/minimalist guru’s out there!

This short but beautifully presented ebook’s goal is to create “ventilation” or gaps in your life as “things are simpler when they are spaced out”. He says you can do this in several ways:

Minimising  Meta-Work. unnecessary levels of work such as meetings or form filling that waste time but don’t actually do anything productive.

Manage Information Flow. Being choosy about what to pay attention to in this flood of information.

Live More Work Less. As most people find themselves “living to work” rather than “working to live”.

These ideas are then explored in more detail in the following 50 short chapters. With advice from the obvious that you never seem to get round to (Chapter 2: Delete Your Emails); to the more profound (Chapter 14: Stop Lying); to the much more difficult (Chapter 17: Stop Competing – easier said than done); to the utterly brilliant (Chapter 43: Get a Big Fat Letterbox!). It embraces the flexibility of the ebook format to give suggested chapters at the end of each section that you can jump directly to by clicking the link.

I am not sure I could go to the extremes that Rob has here, I doubt I could live without my car or mobile phone for example, but like he says “The book is not a set of rigid guidelines. You should pick and choose exactly which pieces of advice are applicable to you.”

A cut above most minimalist guides this has a unique approach and Rob’s voice is conversational and chatty with a seam of absurdist humour. I found it a more fun and original take on the minimalist/productivity scene, and a much easier read, than some of the more preachy tomes out there that tend to just gather up and regurgitate the same old advice.

If you are a fan of simplicity and minimalism I highly recommend it.

You can get it at lulu.com here.

Matt