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Before Buying, Check Out the Blog to See If You Need More Information
am 27. Januar 2009
Increasingly, popular bloggers turn their free online product into books and products that people need to buy. Unlike a blog, a book integrates individual ideas together better. If you seek that integrated approach, you may like this book better than the blog it is based on. But be sure you check out the blog first to see if you like Mr. Babauta's approach.
If you have read other books about simplifying life, you won't find anything here you haven't read before. But you probably won't find the ideas expressed as simply and briefly as here. That's the main advantage of The Power of Less over its competitors.
Most of the good books I've read on this subject didn't pay enough attention to dealing with the Internet, BlackBerry, and cell phone. I was pleased to see that Mr. Babauta paid lots of attention to keeping e-mails under control. However, he could have done more with reducing intrusions from your BlackBerry or your cell phone.
Mr. Baubauta is at his best when he is talking about breaking bad habits and building better ones. Conversely, he isn't an expert on many of the habit-making areas so his suggestions are at the modest end of what's possible.
As an example, a great way to get more done in less time and with less strain is to do tasks in ways that they serve many purposes while remaining a simple task. Here's an example: You might want to spend more time with your children, get lots of fix-up projects done at home, and learn some new skills. By picking the right fix-up project and organizing it to involve your children and some new learning, you can learn together and accomplish something that will endure and remind you of a good experience.
Aware of this limitation in the book, Mr. Babauta recommends that you seek out specialized information in the areas where you want to improve. I second that suggestion.
He also favors making lots of little improvements, focusing on one at a time, rather than making a breakthrough in one area and then not needing to change very much else. For instance, some entrepreneurs design business models that require only a few minutes a day of their time. As a result, they can have simple, stress-free lives in everything else they do. That seems like a better solution than simply getting a little bit better at a lot of things after months and years of reforming yourself.
As a result, this book is best for someone who wants to make a lot of little changes in many different areas, breaking lots of bad habits over time.
The book has one design quirk that bothered me. He addresses how to get work done in a simpler way before looking into looking into improving your personal life. When I teach people about simplification, I find that it works better to start with their values and goals for a whole life and simplify work and personal life at the same time in complementary ways.