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Taming the To-Do List: How to Choose Your Best Work Every Day Paperback – August 18, 2015
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"Refreshingly real and extremely practical. A must-read." ---Ruth Schwenk, author of From Grouchy to Great --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
From the Back Cover
Ever just wish the world would stop for a day so you could catch up?
No matter how much we accomplish in a day, we nearly always feel a little guilt over what we didn't do. But do we really have more to do than the women who came before us? Maybe not.
In Taming the To-Do List, Glynnis Whitwer exposes a seismic shift in society: from one in which most of us were proactive to one in which we carry the burden of having to respond--to every email, text, tweet, and message we receive. This creates a cycle where everyone else sets the priorities for our days rather than us directing our own lives. The result? We procrastinate, putting off the important stuff for later while we tend to the "urgent" stuff right now.
It's time to take back your schedule! Ready to tame that to-do list? This book shows you how.
"Wow! I never knew how much procrastination costs us and how rich the rewards can be when we overcome it. My friend Glynnis nailed it!"--Lysa TerKeurst, New York Times bestselling author of The Best Yes and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries
"Glynnis Whitwer will empower you to take that stress-inducing task list from 'to-do' to 'Hey look! It's done!'"--Karen Ehman, Proverbs 31 national speaker and New York Times bestselling author of Keep It Shut
"Refreshingly real and extremely practical. A must-read!"--Ruth Schwenk, author, speaker, and creator of TheBetterMom.com
"Live the life that you truly love rather than your life living you. Glynnis Whitwer shows you how in her book Taming the To-Do List!"--Tamara Lowe, New York Times bestselling author and founder of ChristianExperts.com
Glynnis Whitwer, executive director of communications for Proverbs 31 Ministries, is a regular contributor to Encouragement for Today, the Proverbs 31 email devotional. She is the author of I Used to Be So Organized, When Your Child Hurts, and work@home: A Practical Guide for Women Who Want to Work from Home, and the coauthor of Everyday Confetti. Glynnis, her husband, Tod, and their five young adult children live in Arizona. She blogs regularly at www.glynniswhitwer.com.
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In all seriousness, I had first looked forward to this book because I thought it would help me to become more efficient at the tasks that I juggle everyday. For example, I thought maybe there would be some divine idea that would shine a light on how to make my bathrooms shinier much faster or help me not to look at sweeping as such a chore to loathe. Or perhaps it would show me where that magic fairy was that could help me put up my clothes that have now sat in the laundry basket for um....3 weeks. This book did none of that.
However, it did tell my what the root of my problem is. It revealed to me why I look at my mess and just shut down instead of becoming motivated to do it all. It explains why I feel so much more progress when I write down every little step so that I can mark it off. It also told me why I figure that if I can't do my best then I shouldn't even start. I am a procrastinator. Of course, I knew I was in small ways, but I really didn't think it carried over to housework. I was wrong!
I really appreciated her tips of journaling out a huge master to-do list and then making it one-step tasks vs. multiple-step tasks. I'm the one with sticky notes dividing up my other sticky notes. This sounded like a glorious idea to me, and one that I'm already taking to heart.
The book does include some soul-searching and action steps. I found this helpful because I have a tendency to keep on breezing through the book and forgetting some of the ideas the book mentioned.
If you're a procrastinator or don't have a clue if you are or not, this book is for you! Seriously. Don't procrastinate in getting this book. It is a one-step decision to go to the store and get it or go online and add it to your cart.
Oh, and it has the cutest cover that makes every task-oriented person want to grab this book and devour it right away. I mean, who doesn't love a check list as a cover?!
I received this book free from Revell Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.
These days, we are all busy. It seems like there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. And, if you’re like me, there are always some tasks that, for whatever reason, we keep avoiding by filling up our schedules with things that matter little (answering emails, scrolling through Pinterest) rather than those that would make a greater impact on our lives (scheduling appointments, writing a blog post). Glynnis notes, “My goal in dealing with procrastination isn’t to get more done. I want to get more of the right things done.”
The book starts out by describing procrastination as: “an intentional delay of something we could do but choose not to. Although it might include a shifting of priorities, its root cause is our resistance toward the task.” Glynnis says that once we identify the why, or the reasons for our delays, we can then strategize the how for dealing with them. Following are just a few reasons why some of us procrastinate:
We make choices against what we know is best to avoid physical or emotional discomfort.
We are bombarded by texts, emails, phone calls, private messages, and social media connections. Others often expect a prompt response, and so we drop everything to reply, which then derails our own projects and plans for the day.
When we are overwhelmed with too much to do and we are faced with the choice between an easy accomplishment that we can check off our list or a harder, more demanding task (that would require facing a weakness), we often take the easier route. So the hard stuff doesn’t get done.
Some of us are perfectionists. If we can’t do something perfectly, we tend to not want to do it at all. “Perfection is the enemy of learning and growing and enjoying areas of life where we haven’t achieved mastery.”
Whatever the reason, there is always a cost for each decision we make to choose one task or thing over another. Glynnis details the price we pay in the ways of character, calling, unmet potential, health, and relationships. But procrastination may also cost us in peace, disorder, hurry, and disobedience to God. She then goes on to share some suggestions for replacing bad habits with good as well as some guidance for strengthening willpower and becoming a wise time manager. (I can’t cover all of that information here, so you’ll just have to read the book yourself.)
At the beginning of the book, Glynnis suggests that readers identify two tasks or projects that they have been procrastinating on — one small task and one larger, personal goal. At the end of each chapter, she asks us to revisit these two items and write down some practical applications between them and what we just learned. While reading this book, I have to admit that I did not make as much progress as I had hoped in my larger, personal goal. I still have some of my own procrastination issues to work through for that. However, I am pleased to say that I did have success with the regular task that I had chosen to manage better. Perhaps Taming the To-Do List would be helpful to you as well.
A couple excerpts from the book:
“Always remember that procrastination doesn’t
define you. Your worth and value will never be found
in how quickly you complete a task or how many items
you check off your to-do list.”
“All procrastination is delay, but not all delay is procrastination. … Sometimes the right thing is to reschedule, reevaluate, or change our plans. Sometimes we have to abandon preset goals for a greater goal. Other times God has us do a 180-degree turn, and it would be disobedient to keep going the same direction. Sometimes God gives us a blessing, or allows a challenge, that requires us to postpone our plans. A wise woman listens and watches to see what God might be doing. And she adapts her plans to His when necessary.”
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, Revell, in exchange for my honest opinion.