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<anon I1="BLANK" I2="BLANK">CONTENTS PART ONE: WHEN DID LIFE GET SO COMPLICATED? PART TWO: WHAT REALLY MATTERS PART THREE: A 'LESS IS MORE' LIFE PART FOUR: ACHIEVE MORE BY DOING LESS CONCLUSION INTRODUCTION ' Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. ' I've been known as the queen of multitasking for too long. Whether from a misguided sense of duty to 'do everything', a constant fear of 'losing out' or an innate need to be 'in control', I've tried to juggle more things than any sane person should attempt or want to do. My phone has been like an umbilical cord and email has ruled my life. Mindfulness was remembering to pick up my keys before I left the house. Sound familiar? Have you ever found yourself checking your emails or texts while having dinner with your family or friends? Do you feel like there aren't enough hours in the day, that you run around getting nowhere fast? Do you wish you could put what really matters first in your life, but struggle to figure out how? It's so easy to justify why we do the things we do, but when we take a closer look we begin to see and understand the true consequences of our constant 'busyness'. Are we genuinely enjoying our lives, doing what we love and being with the people who matter? Or are we rushing from one task to the next, trying to be all things to all people, and not feeling like we have the time or energy to give anything or anyone the attention they deserve? The comfort of being busy Some time ago my world fell apart when my gorgeous, wonderful partner passed away. He wasn't just my partner, he was my beautiful son's dad, and he was an awesome dad. My coping mechanism was to occupy every minute of my time so that I would have none left to think. It helped me survive, but now I realize I let it possess me like an inner demon. I became trapped in a straitjacket of my own making; if my mind wandered I'd just pull the ties tighter with more responsibilities, more emails, projects, people, more, more, more . . . And then my son said to me, 'Mummy, you're always busy.' I looked back at him. It had taken the eyes of a child to show me what was happening. The light bulb went on. It was time for me to make some decisions about what was really important and start filtering out the noise to hear my own voice - and listen to what it was saying. When I did that, I realized that the successful projects and relationships in my life - the ones I really connected with, the ones I really wanted - all had something in common: they worked because I gave them my attention at the right moments . When I work with entrepreneurs and people starting up their own businesses, I always encourage them to identify the one thing they can do that day that will make the biggest difference. Not the five things or even the three things: the one thing. Most people seem to believe they need to do more, when really they just need to do what matters. To filter out the distractions and focus on the things that make the difference between surviving and thriving, between playing catch-up and being in the lead. To become world class at this, you have to give yourself a bit of time and space to let go, let the real you unfold. (Reading this book is perfect.) When you are thinking clearly, you can more easily discover what it is you really want, and then you need consciously to prioritize it; to discriminate between the things that help you grow and the things that set you back - or at least keep you standing still. To make this a reality requires honest, deep thinking, and you must follow that with action. We all place limitations on ourselves, often subconsciously, and until you uncover them, face them and free yourself of them, you'll be stuck on life's hamster wheel. It's time to look your fears and excuses in the face and prepare to jump out of your comfort zone, to start taking control of your life and to forge time for yourself and the things that matter. Your destination is happiness, and you can enjoy every moment of the journey. Why are you waiting to be truly happy? According to recent research from the Royal Economic Society, most people's lifetime happiness curve is U-shaped. Our happiness is high in our youth, starts to trail off by the time we are just twenty-five and doesn't pick up again until we retire. Unsurprisingly, this research indicates that our happiest times are when our lives are simplest, and the pressures of expectation from work and family commitments are at their lowest. That leaves forty years in between - the period when we are considered to be in our mental and physical prime, but during which too many of us settle for being 'crazy busy' and just moderately happy. That's scary. Do we really want to defer living life at its best until we retire? Of course, this book isn't a 'how to find happiness' manual, much though I'd like it to be. Sadly, there is no secret formula that will solve all life's problems. The best we can do is help each other illuminate the dark corners. My aim is to provide a wake-up call to remind you that it's possible to grab your own happiness and show you how to do it. This book is about living life to the fullest and not squandering it. It is for anyone who has something to change and the desire to do so. It's particularly useful for those with short attention spans and tight schedules. People who want to know how , not just why. I thought about calling this book How to Get More Out of Life, but it isn't about 'getting more stuff'. This book is about taking what you already have and making the most of it - and in order to do so you may need to let go of a few things in the process. It's about squeezing every last drop out of life while you have the time to appreciate it. Getting the best from life is about digging down to the core of who you really are, what you really want and what makes you truly happy, then making the changes necessary to focus on those things. It's about reconnecting with the things that make you smile and your heart sing, the pursuits, the people and the work that give you lasting happiness, the dreams that linger unfulfilled, the adventures you've yet to set off on, the businesses you've always wanted to set up, the places you've wished you'd travelled to, the restaurants you've never eaten in, the lives you want to change, the house by the sea, the yoga at dawn, the book that's never been written, the life you imagined. This isn't a fairy tale, and neither is it wishful thinking. Many, if not most, of the things that will create your best life are perfectly attainable if you are willing to stop doing what's not important and start prioritizing what is. You can do anything . . . but you can't do everything. At least not at the same time. Relight your fire This isn't a book about time management either, but it will help you to prioritize how and where you invest your time to create a life you love. I'm not going to suggest you sell everything you own and go backpacking around the world (although if that's your dream, I'm certainly not going to advise against it). What I will teach you are practical ways to create change, now. It's about appreciating the life you already have and making it better. We're renovating here, not rebuilding. Most of you reading this book already have a pretty decent life - you just might be so caught up in being busy you've forgotten what it looks like. You have a roof over your head, whether you rent or own; you go on holidays; perhaps you have kids and/or a partner; you definitely have friends and colleagues; you have a job or run your own business. Most of all, you have dreams. This book is about how we resurrect those dreams and bring more of them to life, by spending less time doing the things we are conditioned to believe we ought to do and more time doing the things we love to do. It's about relighting your fire and discovering your courage. It's about knowing that you can't please all of the people all of the time . . . and that's OK. ought: used to give advice, indicate duty or correctness; an expected state There will be tough times, when you're going to have to face up to your own culpability in holding yourself back (we all do it), but there will be plenty of eureka moments, too. Moments when you realize a few simple changes can make a big difference. That getting the best out of life is possible for everyone, not just a select few. THE PLACES YOU WANT TO GO THE THINGS THAT MAKE YOUR HEART SING THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE YOU SMILE THE LIVES YOU WANT TO CHANGE THE BUSINESS YOU'VE ALWAYS WANTED THE HOUSE BY THE SEA THE YOGA AT DAWN THE BOOK THAT'S NEVER BEEN WRITTEN THE LIFE YOU DREAMED OF Excerpted from Do Less, Get More: How to Work Smart and Live Life Your Way by Shaa Wasmund All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.</anon>
Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
Wasmund (Stop Talking Start Doing), among the UK's most prominent female entrepreneurs, urges readers to spend less time performing the tasks they believe they ought to and more time doing what they love. She discards multitasking and asserts that people can hone the nonessentials and focus on priorities by first inspecting their own needs and life callings. A multitude of questionnaires and exercises to help in the self-examination process are provided. Helpful charts include guidelines on "when to say yes," "when to say no," how to develop a dream, and escaping the "when.then" trap. VERDICT Amusing and pertinent quotes make this book a source of motivation and practical support. © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* Keep things simple is the mantra of this British public speaker and small-business advocate as she admonishes people in the workplace and in their private lives to pare down their existences to the essentials. The essential to her is doing what we love and being with the people who matter. Her philosophy arises from her work with business start-up entrepreneurs, who, she insists identify the one thing they can do that day that will make the biggest difference. Her inspiring book, then, is a course in prioritizing your life's efforts and endeavors, which, as she demonstrates, can take you on a journey to personal happiness. The key to her program is focusing on learning what it is you truly want out of life and that certainly does not mean taking on more. It means getting in touch with the things that make you smile and your heart sing, the pursuits, the people, and the work that give you lasting happiness. Wasmund ultimately brings her reader to a place where they believe, along with her, that the things that will create your best life are perfectly attainable if you are willing to stop doing what's not important and start prioritizing what is. Sage and sane advice.--Hooper, Brad Copyright 2015 Booklist