Book Club Notes #1

I participate in our church’s book club. Our pastor selects a book, we read it, then meet for food and discussion. I’m not always able to participate in the discussion, so I decided that this would be a great place to publish my notes. Today’s post contains my notes and thoughts on “Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity” by Tim Challies.

As a SAHM, I struggle with productivity, and my “next thing” (to do) list often seems to be never ending.I find it difficult to focus, and I often multi task to varying degrees. My desire to be social is often at odds with my workload, and rest often seems like a waste of time. I also find myself allowing circumstances to dictate how I spend my time. For example, I get a notice about a bill I’m certain that I’ve paid, and I immediately stop whatever I’m doing to try and solve the problem before I “forget about it”.

“Do More Better” is one of the most helpful books on productivity I’ve read in a long time. The first three chapters helped me to narrow down my focus, as well as to write out my priorities using the worksheets provided on his website. As a result, when I’ve been asked to participate in other book clubs, or to assist someone with a minor project, I was able to refer to my lists, and say “no”. The “Serve and Surprise” worksheet was also helpful in focusing some of our time on fun things. As a result, our family is taking a trip to the aquarium that I’ve been postponing, and I’m planning another “field trip” to the planetarium. The aquarium trip will save us money, as they are running a ticket special that expires at the end of the month. Continuing to postpone the trip, would have meant missing out.

I appreciate Tim’s organization system, and recommendations for information storage and productivity apps. However, committing to Evernote long term will eventually involve paying money for the service as users of the free service are only permitted to upload and store a certain amount of data each month. I found ToDoIst helpful at first, but I get distracted by other things on my phone (texts, Facebook, email, Feedly) each time I picked it up to add a task. My phone doesn’t access the Google store, and using a third party app to access this system wasn’t as effective as I hoped. Attempting to keep the computer available for this purpose also lead to more distractions. I’ve personally found the analog bullet journal system to be helpful. So my biggest challenge is disciplining myself to add tasks to the bullet journal, and then follow through on referring to it and setting up each day’s tasks. I’ve found that we all function better when I have a list to function on each day. The ideal time to set up this list is the night before. If I wait until the morning, I find that I’ll put it off or forget about it until lunch, which isn’t helpful.

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