Ari Meisel – The Art of Less Doing

the art of less doingBeing struck with Crohn’s disease in 2006 several insights hit Ari Meisel. Treatment of symptoms instead of the cause is prevalent in Western medicine. And the fact that the illness limited his workday forced him to find new and innovative ways to accomplish more in less time. The sense of accomplishments from better decision-making was immediate. Blogs, reading books like David Kahneman‘s Thinking, Fast and Slow, Timothy Ferris‘s The 4 Hours Work Week, and Marie Kondo‘s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing resulted in the system of Less Doing, More Living, and the book The Art of Less Doing. What would you do if you only worked for one hour per day? Three concepts in Meisel’s framework help: optimize, automate, and outsource.

Optimize means breaking down challenges to the bare minimum, streamlining it, and eliminating anything that’s not completely necessary. Think of time management, inbox management, work-life balance, Getting Things Done, and taking care of your body, mind, and soul. The author emphasizes the analysis of your hour of peak productivity, Setting limits, getting into a flow, and have time and space available for inspiration. Respect and optimize your hour of power, and utilize ‘downtime’ by churning through low-focus tasks.

Automate is about not wasting your precious time and energy in repetitive tasks that can be automated. The author is enthusiastic about cloud solutions like Dropbox, IFTTT, Zapier, and Evernote. Lifehacking to meet the Pareto principle or at least offload 70% of the tasks you perform daily.

Outsource is the next step. Use virtual assistants. Generalists or specialists can provide all kinds of services to make you more productive. Meisel runs his own VA business and explains how this is accomplished. The good news is it is possible to make a significant change in your life without a huge amount of effort. Meisel is a living example. Let’s practice the lessons learned.

About the author

In 2006, Ari Meisel was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s is an incurable disease of the digestive tract. Ari’s case was severe and required over a dozen daily medications and several hospital visits. After reaching a personal low point in hospital, Ari decided he would do everything in his power to strengthen his by then weak body. Through a combination of yoga, nutrition, natural supplements and rigorous exercise (Triathlon and Crossfit) he was able to fight back the symptoms of Crohns until he was finally able to suspend his medication. Eventually, Ari was declared free of all traces of the ‘incurable’ disease and competed in Ironman France in June of 2011. Ari has since spoken at seminars and at a regional TED Talk about his struggle against a seemingly insurmountable opponent. Through the process of data collection, self tracking, and analysis, Ari helped develop Less Doing. This was a way of dealing with the daily stresses of life by optimizing, automating, and outsourcing all of his tasks in life and business.

The author provided me a free review copy in exchange for my personal, unbiased review upon reading.