Book Review: The Power of Less

The Power of Less: The fine art of limiting yourself to the essential… in business and in life

Leo Babauta


170 pages

I was first referred to this book by Leo Babauta’s popular blog Zen Habits. The title of book is fitting; it’s a very quick read that can be done one sitting. But in terms of content, Leo’s book definitely surpasses many of its peers.

Unlike many self help writers out there, Leo doesn’t try to convince you that his book will turn you into an automatic millionaire or start a thriving real estate business. He just provides simple, actionable tips that have the potential to improve your life. While each tip may or may not work for you, you’ll find that most of them are at least worth trying.

The technological aspect of The Power of Less is something that many popular productivity books lack. Babauta refers directly to the use of modern web applications that increase his productivity. While he definitely has a Google bias, (a bias that I share) I’m happy to see that physical books are finally starting to address this and catching up to the digital world.

Leo’s advice covers everything from decluttering, improving your physical fitness, and time management. I felt one of the best pieces of advice centers around his use of batch processing – the process of organizing similar tasks into groups and doing the them all at once.

Leo’s story is also definitely one to admire. He was a workaholic, a smoker, overweight, and heavily in debt. After simplifying his life, he now runs multiple successful blogs, spends more time with his six kids, and has run two marathons. Some critics have chided Leo for his simplistic approach, but I think they’re missing the point. The fact that Leo’s advice is so simple and approachable is what makes it worthy of your reading list.

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