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The Power of Less Summary

Here’s The Power of Less summary. Learn how to focus on the essentials. The tips from the book applies to both personal and business life.


The Power of Less author Leo Babauta explains how less can lead to more happiness and success. He creates how to create habits that support your focus.

He also explains how to set simple goals and tasks that deliver results. He also enumerates practices that can be applied to email, daily routine, commitment, and physical health.

About the Author

Leo Babauta is one of the most popular minimalists. Check out his Zenhabits blog and see what I’m talking about. He is all about simplicity and how less can actually help.

His blog is about finding simplicity and mindfulness. Our fast-paced lives leave us overwhelmed, tired, and confused. Read his articles and apply his tips. That way you will find some peace.

Aside from The Power of Less, his other works are 52 Changes, The Effortless Life, Focus, and Zen to Done. Check them out here.

Main takeaways: The Power of Less Summary

Let’s discuss the key takeaways from his book:

  1. Know and live your priorities.
  2. Focus on the small wins.
  3. Start your day with MITs

Know and live your priorities

Today list your priorities. You already know what you want. Maybe you just didn’t take the time to list them. Those priorities should cover your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual areas.

Next is you should live by them. Priorities are not just fancy things. You have to live them if you still want to call them priorities. You should always set aside time for those things.

In any plan or activity, you have to devote time and resources. It works also the same way when it comes to your priorities. You might do other things besides those. But your focus should be on the most important things.

To apply the power of less, do less. Focus on your priorities. This way you’ll have more time to do the things that matter. You’ll avoid overwhelm and find relaxation. You have far fewer things to think about each day.

Focus on the small wins

Big goals and habits are overwhelming. They’re inspiring. But they can also be disappointing.

Why? Because many of us will give up before getting any results. Just one week and we throw in the towel. Here’s the solution. Break it down to small goals and habits. Focus on the small wins.

For example you’re planning to run 5 kilometers each day. That’s a lot especially if you don’t have the habit of running every day. Yes it’s inspiring. Your friends will also say “Wow!” But that’s it. There’s a good chance you’ll give up the first day.

Instead of 5 kilometers, just run one. It’s more doable. It’s not intimidating. You can finish the 1 kilometer in less than an hour. You don’t need to wake up 2am just to start.

As you get comfortable, you can make it 2 kilometers. The key here is to focus on the small wins. Start small. Feel the success first. There’s nothing more motivating than having achieved success already.

Break down your big goals and habits into small ones. Aim for the small wins first. Those small wins add up. In time you get the big wins if you’re persisting daily.

Start your day with MITs

MITs stand for Most Important Tasks. You should start your day with those MITs if you want to achieve your goals.

Yes life gets busy. You’ll often be distracted by the petty things and small tasks. But you still have to focus on your Most Important Tasks. One way to focus on those is to start your day doing them.

Here’s the reasoning. You still have the energy and willpower to take them on. You can still do the other small tasks. But if you put those small tasks first, you might run out of energy before you do your MITs.

I also mentioned about the distractions earlier. Just a few hours later after waking up, things can get out of control. Before you know it, it’s bedtime already. Those MITs are lying there. You didn’t get closer to your goals as a result.

Today and from now on, list 3 MITs after work that you’ll do the next day. This way you always know what to do each day. Just list 3 and focus on them. You don’t have to list dozens of things. 3 is manageable and it will give you peace of mind.

Living your priorities, focusing on small wins, and using MITs. Those are just 3 of the lessons you’ll learn from The Power of Less. Here are other things you can learn from the book:

  • How to simplify your time management
  • Why you should declutter your workspace
  • How to set limitations for yourself
  • How to simplify both your personal and work life
  • Why you should focus on small continuous changes

My personal takeaways

Many people today are consumption-driven. They want to get more out of life. They try to accomplish several things in one day. Here’s the result. Overwhelm and lack of sleep. Another is the lack of actual accomplishments.

Why? Because we think more is necessary better. The key is to take and do less. It’s the key to focus and achieving more.

We just need to set small goals and focus on the small wins. They’re much more manageable. But we have to focus on the few things that matter. This way we find peace and simplicity.

When our mind is peaceful, we become more productive. Our mind becomes clear. It’s like having a new life.

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