• Applicable
  • Well Structured
  • Inspiring


The next time you’re sitting at a red light, note how many of the drivers around you are talking on cellphones or text messaging. Do your co-workers scurry about, occasionally pausing to converse, even though they’re clearly preoccupied? Most people seem resigned to living in the fast lane, where stress and multitasking are unavoidable realities. Not Leo Babauta, even though he is the father of six children. Babauta believes you can stop the insanity by simplifying your life. His strategy for restoring order is based on six productivity principles, starting with setting limits, since it’s impossible to do everything. If you examine your core beliefs, values and goals, Babauta says you can begin trimming away things that complicate your life and focus on what’s really important (even if a three-item main project list seems a little short to you). Although the author does not break new ground, getAbstract believes his suggestions and ideas are reassuring and helpful. Plus, it's nice to know that someone has conquered the daily chaos.


Why Less Is More

Many people focus on time management to beat the hectic pace of modern life. You may think you can fit more into a 24-hour day, but that approach never yields satisfactory results. You inevitably will get overstressed and will spend too much time performing relatively unimportant tasks. Living a more sensible life means setting limits and focusing on essential things. Follow the six principles of “simple productivity”:

1. “Set Limitations”

Limitations are the cure to feeling beleaguered and overwhelmed. The key is determining which goals, obligations or responsibilities influence your life the most so you can focus on them. Ask if a work assignment significantly affects your job or career, or has an impact on your life a month or two from now. Living without limits may seem attractive, but it actually creates chaos. Choosing among five flavors of ice cream is easier than selecting from fifty.

Limits allow you to narrow your options and concentrate your energy. Setting boundaries can work in any area of your life, but it is particularly effective in the workplace. Many people feel inundated with e-mail, phone calls, projects, meetings ...

About the Author

Leo Babauta, the creator of ZenHabits.net, a widely read blog, lives in Guam with his family. He is the author of Zen to Done.

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