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spark*sessions 
essentialism: the disciplined pursuit of less 
written by Greg McKeown 
presented by Krystal Clark, M.Ed. ...
outcomes. 
Participants (You) should be able to: 
• Define essentialism. 
• Differentiate between the mindset of nonessent...
overview 
• This is the book you’re 
NOT reading . 
• Mindset 
• Explore 
• Eliminate 
• Execute 
#vuspark 
11/7/2014 spa...
Basic value proposition of 
essentialism: only once you give 
yourself permission to stop trying to 
do it all, to stop sa...
mindset of an essentialist 
• CHOOSE 
• DISCERN 
• TRADE-OFF 
#vuspark 
11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt...
“The ability to choose 
cannot be taken away or 
even given away—it can 
only be forgotten.” 
#vuspark 
11/7/2014 spark*se...
mindset of an essentialist 
• CHOOSE 
• DISCERN 
• TRADE-OFF 
#vuspark 
11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt...
“You cannot overestimate the 
unimportance of practically 
everything.” –John Maxwell 
#vuspark 
11/7/2014 spark*sessions,...
mindset of an essentialist 
• CHOOSE 
• DISCERN 
• TRADE-OFF 
#vuspark 
11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt...
“What do I want to go big on?” 
#vuspark 
11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 10
mind rewind 
Nonessentialist 
CHOOSE 
• “I have to.” 
DISCERN 
• Everything is essential. 
TRADE-OFF 
• “I can do both.” &...
Explore. 
• escape. 
• look. 
• play. 
• sleep. 
• select. 
#vuspark 
11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 1...
escape. 
“I’m talking about deliberately 
setting aside distraction-free time 
in a distraction-free space to do 
absolute...
sleep. 
The best asset we have for making a 
contribution to the world is ourselves. 
PROTECT THE ASSET. 
Our highest prio...
select. 
“If it isn’t a clear yes, then it’s a clear no.” 
#vuspark 
11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 17
rewind: explore. 
Nonessentialist 
Escape 
• Is too busy to think about life 
Look 
• Hears everything being said and is 
...
Eliminate. 
• clarify. 
• dare. 
• uncommit. 
• edit. 
• limit. 
#vuspark 
11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderb...
clarify. 
“If we could be truly excellent at only one thing, 
what would it be?” 
AND 
“How will we know when we’re done?”...
essential intent. 
general concrete 
inspirational 
bland 
Vision/Mission Essential 
Intent 
Values 
Quarterly 
Objective ...
dare. 
1. The awkward pause. 
2. The soft “no” (or the “no but”). 
3. “Let me check my calendar and get back to you.” 
4. ...
uncommit. 
“Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to 
saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon 
enough.”—Jo...
limit. 
Enforce your limits. 
#vuspark 
11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 25
rewind:eliminate. 
Nonessentialist 
Clarify 
• Has a vague, general vision or mission 
statement 
Dare 
• Avoids saying no...
Execute. 
• buffer. 
• subtract. 
• progress. 
• flow. 
• focus. 
#vuspark 
11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vander...
buffer. 
Add 50 percent to your 
time estimate. 
11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 28
progress. 
“Of all the things that boost 
emotions, motivation, and 
perceptions during a workday, the 
single most import...
subtract. 
“What is your “slowest hiker” in your job or your life?” 
What is the obstacle that is holding you back 
from a...
focus. 
What’s Important Now? 
#vuspark 
11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 32
rewind:execute. 
Nonessentialist 
Buffer 
• Forces execution at the last minute 
Subtract 
• Piles on quick-fix solutions ...
be. 
Beware the barrenness of a busy life. 
-Socrates 
#vuspark 
11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 34
“I have a vision of people 
everywhere having the 
courage to live a life true 
to themselves instead of 
the life others ...
questions? 
Thank You. It is great to see you. 
FREE! 
Say CHEESE! 
You’ve been incredible and I’ve been Krystal Clark. 
#...
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Essentialism

Spark Session of Gregory McKeown's Essentialism.

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Essentialism

  1. 1. spark*sessions essentialism: the disciplined pursuit of less written by Greg McKeown presented by Krystal Clark, M.Ed. Student Leadership Development September 17,2014 #vuspark
  2. 2. outcomes. Participants (You) should be able to: • Define essentialism. • Differentiate between the mindset of nonessentialists and essentialists. • Discuss the benefits of pursuing the lifestyle of an essentialist and the challenges of living and working as a nonessentialist. • Identify ways that essentialism could be applied in your personal/professional lives. • Devise a plan to begin incorporating essentialists principles into your life and/or work. #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 2
  3. 3. overview • This is the book you’re NOT reading . • Mindset • Explore • Eliminate • Execute #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 3
  4. 4. Basic value proposition of essentialism: only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone, can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter. 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 4 #vuspark
  5. 5. mindset of an essentialist • CHOOSE • DISCERN • TRADE-OFF #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 5
  6. 6. “The ability to choose cannot be taken away or even given away—it can only be forgotten.” #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 6
  7. 7. mindset of an essentialist • CHOOSE • DISCERN • TRADE-OFF #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 7
  8. 8. “You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.” –John Maxwell #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 8
  9. 9. mindset of an essentialist • CHOOSE • DISCERN • TRADE-OFF #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 9
  10. 10. “What do I want to go big on?” #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 10
  11. 11. mind rewind Nonessentialist CHOOSE • “I have to.” DISCERN • Everything is essential. TRADE-OFF • “I can do both.” & “How can I do it all?” Essentialist CHOOSE • “I choose to.” DISCERN • Thinks almost everything is nonessential. TRADE-OFF • “What is the trade-off I want to make?” & “What can I go big on?” #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 11
  12. 12. Explore. • escape. • look. • play. • sleep. • select. #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 12
  13. 13. escape. “I’m talking about deliberately setting aside distraction-free time in a distraction-free space to do absolutely nothing other than think.” #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 13
  14. 14. sleep. The best asset we have for making a contribution to the world is ourselves. PROTECT THE ASSET. Our highest priority is to protect our ability to prioritize. #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 16
  15. 15. select. “If it isn’t a clear yes, then it’s a clear no.” #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 17
  16. 16. rewind: explore. Nonessentialist Escape • Is too busy to think about life Look • Hears everything being said and is overwhelmed by all the information Play • Thinks play is an unproductive waste of time Sleep • Sleep gets in the way of “doing it all.” Select • Says yes to almost every request or opportunity Essentialist Escape • Creates space to escape and explore life Look • Hears what is not being said and scans to find the essence of the information Play • Knows play sparks exploration Sleep • Sleep enables the highest levels of mental contribution Select • Says yes to only the top 10 percent of opportunities #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 18
  17. 17. Eliminate. • clarify. • dare. • uncommit. • edit. • limit. #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 19
  18. 18. clarify. “If we could be truly excellent at only one thing, what would it be?” AND “How will we know when we’re done?” #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 20
  19. 19. essential intent. general concrete inspirational bland Vision/Mission Essential Intent Values Quarterly Objective #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 21
  20. 20. dare. 1. The awkward pause. 2. The soft “no” (or the “no but”). 3. “Let me check my calendar and get back to you.” 4. Use e-mail bounce backs. 5. Say, “Yes. What should I deprioritize?” 6. Say it with humor. 7. Use the words, “You are welcome to X. I am willing to Y.” 8. “I can’t do it, but X might be interested.” #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 22
  21. 21. uncommit. “Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.”—Josh Billings #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 23
  22. 22. limit. Enforce your limits. #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 25
  23. 23. rewind:eliminate. Nonessentialist Clarify • Has a vague, general vision or mission statement Dare • Avoids saying no to avoid feeling social awkwardness and pressure Uncommit • Asks, “Why stop now when I’ve already invested so much in this project.?” • Thinks, “If I just keep trying, I can make this work.” Edit • Thinks that making things better means adding something Limit • Thinks that if you have limits you will be limited Essentialist Clarify • Has a strategy that is concrete and inspirational Dare • Dares to say no firmly, resolutely, and gracefully Uncommit • Asks, “If I weren’t already invested in this project, how much would I invest in it now?” • Thinks, “What else could I do with this time or money if I pulled the plug now?” Edit • Thinks that making things better means subtracting something Limit • Knows that if you have limits you will become limitless #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 26
  24. 24. Execute. • buffer. • subtract. • progress. • flow. • focus. #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 27
  25. 25. buffer. Add 50 percent to your time estimate. 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 28
  26. 26. progress. “Of all the things that boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions during a workday, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work.” – Amabile & Kramer 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 29
  27. 27. subtract. “What is your “slowest hiker” in your job or your life?” What is the obstacle that is holding you back from achieving what really matters to you? #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 31
  28. 28. focus. What’s Important Now? #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 32
  29. 29. rewind:execute. Nonessentialist Buffer • Forces execution at the last minute Subtract • Piles on quick-fix solutions Progress • Goes for the flashiest win Flow • Tries to execute the essentials by force Focus • Worries about the future or stresses about the past Essentialist Buffer • Practices extreme and early preparation Subtract • Removes obstacles to progress Progress • Celebrates small acts of progress Flow • Designs a routine that enshrines what is essential, making execution almost effortless Focus • Enjoys the moment #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 33
  30. 30. be. Beware the barrenness of a busy life. -Socrates #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 34
  31. 31. “I have a vision of people everywhere having the courage to live a life true to themselves instead of the life others expect of them.” 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 35
  32. 32. questions? Thank You. It is great to see you. FREE! Say CHEESE! You’ve been incredible and I’ve been Krystal Clark. #vuspark 11/7/2014 spark*sessions, K.Clark, SLD, Vanderbilt 36

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