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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller

A Times (UK) Best Book of the Year

From the author of the million-copy-selling Essentialism comes an empowering guide to achieving your goals. It all starts with a simple principle: Not everything has to be so hard.

"In a world beset by burnout, Greg McKeown’s work is essential." (Daniel H. Pink, author of When, Drive, and To Sell Is Human)

"At a time when fear, uncertainty, and our ever-growing list of responsibilities have come to feel like much too much to handle, Effortless couldn’t be timelier, or more necessary." (Eve Rodsky, author of Fair Play)

Do you ever feel like:

  • You’re teetering right on the edge of burnout?
  • You want to make a higher contribution, but lack the energy?  
  • You’re running faster but not moving closer to your goals? 
  • Everything is so much harder than it used to be? 

As high achievers, we’ve been conditioned to believe that the path to success is paved with relentless work. That if we want to overachieve, we have to overexert, overthink, and overdo. That if we aren’t perpetually exhausted, we’re not doing enough. 

But lately, working hard is more exhausting than ever. And the more depleted we get, the more effort it takes to make progress. Stuck in an endless loop of “Zoom, eat, sleep, repeat”, we’re often working twice as hard to achieve half as much. 

Getting ahead doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it. No matter what challenges or obstacles we face, there is a better way: Instead of pushing ourselves harder, we can find an easier path. 

Effortless offers actionable advice for making the most essential activities the easiest ones, so you can achieve the results you want, without burning out.  

Effortless teaches you how to:

  • Turn tedious tasks into enjoyable rituals 
  • Prevent frustration by solving problems before they arise  
  • Set a sustainable pace instead of powering through 
  • Make one-time choices that eliminate many future decisions 
  • Simplify your processes by removing unnecessary steps
  • Make relationships easier to maintain and manage
  • And much more   

The effortless way isn't the lazy way. It's the smart way. It may even be the only way. 

Not every hard thing in life can be made easy. But we can make it easier to do more of what matters most.

©2021 Greg McKeown (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“An empowering guide to achieving your goals without wrecking your health, your sanity, or your relationships.” (Rodger Dean Duncan, Forbes)

Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most...gives us the much-needed permission to take the path of least resistance.... In a society that expects hard work, but then rewards hard work with more hard work.... Effortless is profound in its simplicity.” (Vice)

“Based on behavioral economics, philosophy, physics, and neuroscience, in his new book, Effortless, Greg McKeown unveils tips to working smarter, not harder. They are simple yet brilliant strategies, and therefore easy to apply.” (Ruth Gotian, PhD, Forbes)

Editor's Pick

Not everything has to be so hard
As a recovering perfectionist and workaholic, I’ve experienced my fair share of burnout. I used to feel like I had to work my hardest if I wanted to achieve anything, and when I did reach a goal, I barely had enough energy to celebrate. Greg McKeown’s latest listen offers a more hopeful message about progress: there is always a simpler way. I’m looking forward to this listen as much as I’m looking forward to a future where reaching my goals can come without sacrificing my mental health. —Rachel X., Audible Editor

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  • 04-28-21

Laced with mistakes!

See if you spot the mistakes, yet approach with an open mind and get rewarded. Narration is driving as if toward a singular conclusion you can't afford to miss. The deeper I got, the more I expected him to resolve suspense by touting a new technology or meditation.

Here's an example of what I consider a mistake. The author draws a critical analogy to how a top professional basketball player makes free throws. You need to be in the flow like that with your difficult tasks - tune out the noise, go effortless and then swish. However, consider the fact that basketball's elite shooters make 1,500 shots a week. He doesn't mention that side of it. Likely, your difficult tasks can't be unlocked by similar repetitive practice. The analogy doesn't apply to what you procrastinate, does it?

Here's one that may or may not be a missed shot. The author suggests pairing a difficult task with a reward, allowing yourself something you like just after you've done something you don't like. I guess it works if what you like is easy to pair, if you're able to go back and forth between what you want to do and what you don't want to do. I don't think he means for us to surf the internet for a half hour every time we knock out a task we don't like doing.

This one may leave you in the dust. You're advised in the most demanding way to go effortless by leveraging what you spend your time doing. Do the sort of things that pay off over and over, high-leverage things that pay a kind of dividend. Well, isn't that easy to say? The author didn't do the difficult thing which is to explain how an individual can distinguish between the choices that are realistically within their reach. These business self-help authors frequently make this noise without demonstrating actual skills to do it other than the fact of their building their own personal brands.

The author's speaking tone is insistent. You'll be expecting a definite conclusion based on tone. This keeps you on your toes, engaging your spider sense problem-solving skills while you anticipate where the author is going. That's the reward, because THERE IS NO CONCLUSION. You do get aha moments. He gets results this way, oddly. There's no conclusion unless you state that the goal itself can serve as the conclusion. The author does state the goal with sufficient repetition. It's to make essential tasks effortless, repeatedly.

30 people found this helpful

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Nothing groundbreaking

Let me start by saying I am a fan of Essentialism. Though the advice in this book is good, the concepts are not original. If you've devoted time to adopting a productivity system the concepts and themes in Effortless will likely not be new or groundbreaking. This book is a mishmash of productivity classics such as: Checklist Manifesto, 7 Habits, GTD and Getting Results the Agile Way with the addition of entertaining short stories and amusing historical references. If you are looking to go beyond being entertained to actually enhancing your productivity this book is not for you.

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Awesome!

I didn’t want this book to end! I had some huge paradigm shifts, super grateful!

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essentialism did it better, not much new

Essentialism was great. This book is mostly an addendum to the first. While there are some great stories, points, and new nuggets, it lacks day-to-day physical, practical implementation. I wish the author and his family well. Great stories there. I liked the multiple main point summaries, Ill use those. What was missing was a method of implementation beyond principles and ideals.

5 people found this helpful

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Essentialism Leveled Up.

The first book was a game changer. This was a life changer. Type-A’s, perfectionists, business owners, parents, teachers, humans.... there’s something for everyone. Just doesn’t have to be a badge of honor and reading this book will prove it.

4 people found this helpful

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Great Book, Great Tips.

I really enjoyed listening to this book. Excellent tips that seem to be falling by the wayside in this more, more, more culture. Well read by the author - an easy listen.

I listen and read a lot of self help and still found powerful nuggets that I plan to implement into my life and workflow as a student.

I think this book will help a lot of people isolate what is most important and do it better than ever.

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OMG. Life changing

Thx so much for giving and serving with so much wisdom. Everyone should read this

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Great book

Greg wrote another wonderfully practical, useful and important book. Multiple takeaways each chapter—and he doesn’t waste your time trying to prove the same point over and over again. Well done!

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Great counterpart to Essentialism

All in all, this is a great counterpart to his first runaway hit Essentialism. For anyone who tends toward the fast-paced, achievement-driven approach to life, Effortless is a tactically helpful book on how to meet one’s goals with less effort, strain, and subsequently, burnout. One line summary of the book: “What could this look like if it were easy?”

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Inspirational & practical

Though I was amazed with Greg's book - Essentialism - this one takes it to a new level. the intermixing of stories with guidance and principles takes a reader to a place where they feel like they can achieve anything.at my moment in my time in my life this is exactly what I need and so I say thank you to Mr McKeown in his whole family.

2 people found this helpful