I was talking to a friend yesterday about some changes I have been making in my life to be more productive and make my life less stressful. Really they are simple changes, but they are simple changes that have a huge impact. They are also changes that can be so menial and require changes to the way you think to get them done.
Let me tell you about some books that I have been reading to and listening to that have been helping me make a difference in how I think about making these changes in my life. Hopefully, you can read them to and get something that is helpful to you as well.
Please note, I have shared affiliate links below. If you click on them and purchase the item I may or may not receive a few pennies from Amazon.
Growing Boldly by Emily Ley
First, let me just say that I love anything that Emily Ley says or writes. She always has a way of saying what I need to hear and says it in such a gentle, but matter of fact manner that I can receive it freely. I was introduced to her by a friend with her book Grace, Not Perfection. I became Emily's best friend after that book. She doesn't know it yet, but Emily if you are reading this, I appreciate every time you share a little bit of your life and wisdom.
In Growing Boldly, Emily shares her tips, strategy and heart about going out and doing that thing that God created you for. I would say the one huge difference is that Emily doesn't promote quitting your job and trying to make whatever that purpose is in to a full time job. She encourages you to go out and work in your purpose in whatever way it fulfills you. Maybe you volunteer your time or talents or do it as a part time side job to help supplement the family income or you grow your business slowly and purposefully. This stands out to me because so many inspirational leaders will tell you to just jump and set your up for failure. Emily encourages you to jump, but with a plan in place.
She also spends a lot of time talking about "turning down the noise". You know those things that can bring you down. Social media, the media, friends and family. Those things that are ever present in are life can be so loud and overwhelming. Especially during this time, when we are still in the midst of this pandemic, the noise is loud. Everyone has a thought. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone is right. Top that with all the people in your life that will tell you to be average. It can get pretty noisy. It is like having a bunch of radio stations on all at once. It can be so overwhelming.
But it doesn't have to be. "Turn that mess down" Emily says. Those friends and family who tell you that you are too much and too extra and that you should just get up every morning to take care of your little person, fold laundry and make meals. If it bothers you and goes against your calling and purpose. Turn it down. Turn it off even. Get out those police barricades in your life and let people know that there is only so far they can go in how they talk to you and treat you.
Social media, the news and all other forms of media are always on my list. More and more I find myself stepping away from social media for periods of time because the large amount of negativity that is portrayed by "Christians" is just downright too much! Put on top of that regular news channels and media... it can make a person just want to shelter in place for the rest of their lives. So, I turn it down when it is necessary.
Do More Better by Tim Challies
I will not spend as much time gushing about this book, but my feelings about it are just as strong as they are for Emily Ley's Growing Boldly. This book is a quick and simple read, but can revolutionize your productive time in a few short days. Tim gives valid advise and inexpensive tools that can help you organize your to do list. A few things that he says consistently throughout the book are as follows:
The concept is simple really. We so often think about getting our lives together by organizing the very physical things around us like our closets, work space, kitchen, file cabinets, etc, but we overlook the things that really need to be more organized like our schedules, to do lists, notes and the like. While these things are not able to be visibly seen by that person who walks in to your home or office, they are definitely the things that help you be more prepared and focused when it comes time to get things done.
It frees up your time so you can work and focus on some of those big things that you have been putting off or thought you would never have the time for. It keeps your thoughts organized so you are not forgetting important dates and meetings and gives great advise on keeping your notes all in one place so that if you have to quick reference something you can easily flip through your notes and find what you need. Saving you time, other people time and building your confidence that you, in fact, can do this!
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