The Joy of Missing Out Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: The Joy of Missing Out explores today’s idea of productivity and common misconceptions about what it means to be productive, as well as how eliminating unnecessary stress by prioritizing effectively can help us live a better life.

Read in: 4 minutes

Favorite quote from the author:

The Joy of Missing Out summary

If you’ve ever found yourself feeling unsuccessful and still not where you want to be, although you’re the type of person to seize opportunities and stay responsible busy throughout the day, we have some news – you need to learn how to better manage your time! 

For starters, learn that being busy does not equal being productive. If that were the case, people who work their entire days and even have two or three jobs would be the most successful ones. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case. Learning to work smarter and getting things done regardless of the time input are essential skills. 

The Joy of Missing Out  by Tanya Dalton will teach you how to do those things and more. Once you truly understand how to become more productive and start implementing the strategies from this book, you will notice how your professional and personal life will improve. You don’t even have to put in more effort or dedicate other resources. 

Here are my three favorite lessons from the book: 

  1. Prioritize your activities and give your most precious resources to the most important things on your list.
  2. Train your mind and body to adopt healthier habits and automate them throughout your day.
  3. Give yourself time to be curious, creative and explore areas outside your usual environment.

These lessons look a little stuffy, right? Let’s take them one by one and see what they have to offer!

If you want to save this summary for later, download the free PDF and read it whenever you want.

Download PDF

Lesson 1: Figure out what is most important to you from top to bottom and use your time accordingly.

Let’s start with a universal truth you should always keep in mind from now on: our lives aren’t perfectly balanced. So you shouldn’t try to achieve perfect equilibrium in all areas of interest. Why? Because you cannot dedicate the same time and effort to all of the things going on in your life.

Life moves forward, and trying to stay still in such a dynamic environment will eventually cause more damage than if you were to just ride along with whatever comes at you. For example, imagine you’re juggling three balls. At any given point, two of them are more important, as you’re holding them, and one will always be up in the air, being less of a concern for you at that respective moment.

The same goes for our lives. Learning how to juggle with all areas of your life and prioritize which ones are more important at a given time will bring more balance in the end. If you divide your life into three main areas, such as work, personal, and home, it will be much easier to prioritize. Normally, it would be almost impossible to take care of all those equally on a daily basis, right?

Also, you’d most likely end up not finishing anything at all. That can impact your well-being and have detrimental effects on your morale. Therefore, try to create a schedule for yourself and prioritize based on a daily or a weekly basis. Don’t aim for quantity, but rather for quality. Also, start from the most to the least important task. And always find time to take a break and enjoy life’s little pleasures.

Lesson 2: Start living better by developing good, healthy habits.

While prioritizing will now seem more relevant to you and you may already have some ideas in mind about how to put your life into a certain order, there’s more to achieving productivity and wellness. The next thing you’ll have to do is develop the right habits.

Build a strong, self-tailored, happy system. Automate healthier choices in your life according to your goals, such as including a piece of fruit in your daily breakfast if you’re looking to eat better, or waking up earlier to practice yoga if achieving mindfulness is one of your objectives.

Although it may not be easy at first, healthy habits will prove their worth in the long run. Keep in mind that it takes 66 days for the brain to get accustomed to a habit. Thus, give yourself time and be determined when you feel like giving up. Speaking of the brain, try not to overwork it with unnecessary information.

This remarkable organ already consumes 20% of all our daily calories! Overloading it will cause it to lose its energy and function poorly. Therefore, instead of helping you make good decisions, it will frustrate you. As such, you can help it save energy by automating the decision-making process through good habits that don’t require intentional thinking.

Lesson 3: Learn to press pause from time to time and enjoy the little things in your unstructured time.

Contrary to common belief, productivity also implies some time off. If you get too caught up in your work and leave no room for whitespace, you’ll become more likely to experience burnout and even deliver lower-quality work. To avoid these issues, find some time to relax and relieve stress throughout your day.

During this time, it is particularly important to not think about work or problems that you need to fix. Consider this part of your day as a time to do whatever feels right and give your brain the chance to recharge to its full potential. And most importantly, don’t feel bad for taking a break! This is a necessity, not a luxury.

Make it a habit to stop and recharge during your working hours, and you’ll notice how your productivity levels rise even as you lower the time input. This is because, as our brain regains its powers, it becomes more capable of solving complex tasks and operating at its full capacity.

When you decide to take your break, make sure to disconnect completely from your phone and laptop. You already spend a lot of time connected to many devices. Why not let this part of the day become a moment that’s just for you to enjoy? Look around and find happiness in the little things that are happening.

The Joy of Missing Out Review

The Joy of Missing Out is a practical guide for all of us who spend too much time being busy, yet see little results compared to the work we do. This book will help anyone who doesn’t know how to set boundaries between their professional and personal life. It offers many easy-to-implement tips that everyone can try right away and see incredible results in the long run in all areas of their life.

Who would I recommend The Joy of Missing Out summary to?

The 30-year-old who does it all and has no time for himself, the 35-year-old entrepreneur who can’t find the balance between his professional and personal life, or the 24-year-old graduate who just got a job and is looking to improve their time management.

Last Updated on May 22, 2023

Rate this book!
This book has an average rating of 3.5 based on 4 votes.

Maria Deac

While working with my friend Ovi's company SocialBee, I had the good fortune of Maria writing over 200 summaries for us over the course of 18 months. Maria is a professional SEO copywriter, content writer, and social media marketing specialist. When she's not writing or learning more about marketing, she loves to dance and travel all over the world.