This book can change your life. It's about finding what's important and essential in your life and getting back control and personal time to do the things you love. The book is easy to read and could be a fast read, but I suggest you take your time. If you want to make changes in almost any area of your life, read this book.
There are two types of people in this world: those who don't like reviews that start by sorting people into simplifying categories, and those who do. -1's won't read this book, (although frankly they cd benefit from the holistic, Zen-like approach of this guru) -- so the book is not for them. -3's have developed a way to force external structure on themselves (which they can respond to), and so will write the next instantiation of this book -- so it's not for them. But the author already had a blog just like this, just as I described, already, before he wrote the book.
It's all simple and useful, but for a book on setting limitations, it could have a much simpler hierarchy of things, so you don't get lost in what's a Goal, what's a Task, what's a Habit and what's a Commitment. Of course the reader can apply the tips to her or his own life, but it would be nice if the author himself included some examples showing a different lifestyle than his own (instead of repeating himself quite a few times). That being said, I would recommend this book anyway, especially as a guide to setting and pursuing important goals in life.
Because the author is just repeating standard advice from all over the place, some of the details are somewhat incorrect (e.g. low fat diet) or self-contradictory or trite, but the general approach is to spew out all kinds of tips to choose from to see what works for the reader. In a world where burn-out and related problems are rampant, useful advice along these lines could help lots of people.
Additionally, much of his advice regarding the workplace will seem very familiar to those of you who have read anything by David Allen.
3 stars I read a few books about minimalism lately, because truth is I tend to be both a hoarder and excessive buyer, habits I need to stop as they're wrecking havoc with my nerves every time I open my closet, as well as my finances. In order to live a better/more peaceful life, you have to set some priorities about what you consider a 'need' and what a 'want' and also set time limits about certain tasks. The author uses the example of surfing the Internet or checking one's emails only at certain times each day, so you don't get carried away and ignore other stuff that's in fact more important to you. Even for those few pages, the book is worth reading after all, because it helps you realize that time is finite and your most valuable asset, so you'd better decide how you really want to spend it, insted of spending it doing a thousand meaningless chores that are neither necessary, nor joyful to you!
Since there are many other (excellent) reviews for this book, I won't repeat what has already been said more than this: this is a great book that explains how effective and powerful minimalism can be in your life.
There also has never before been an age in which we were so overwhelmed with information and tasks, so overloaded with e-mails and things to read and watch, so stressed by the incredible demands of our lives. The day starts with an in-box full of e-mails, and ends with an in-box just as full, and each e-mail represents a request for information or for actions that we don't have time to fulfill. The author proposes a dramatic middle ground for the way we consume information but not let ourselves be overloaded by it: That is "one where we can still enjoy access to vast amounts of information, still have instant communication when we want it, still get things done quicklybut one in which we choose how much we consume and do." In fact, everything in the book comes back to this simple statement: "Focus on the essential and allow everything else to drop away." While the first part of the book deals with the principles of living with less, the second part gets more practical in how to actually implement some of the theoretical ideas at the beginninggoals, projects, tasks, time management, e-mail, internet, filing, commitments, daily routines, decluttering your work space, slowing down, health and fitness, and motivation. Break the sub-goals down into weekly actions, and those weekly actions into daily tasks.