60before60: #13 read no personal development books for a year (so it begins) ^^

^^ I wrote this fairly lengthy post last night – firstly on the laptop and finally hitting publish on my phone while in bed. It definitely showed as published at the time, but weirdly it is not showing up on the blog at all, but did come through as a new post in the feed reader – and now is showing as draft in both dashboards.

How very baffling!

Anyway … apologies if this is the second time you’re seeing this!


I am rather a desprit hoar** for personal development / self-help books and churn through probably at least 6 a year, often more.

So I’m calling it quits for a while in the hopes that I cut myself a break, start to be satisfied, but also to maybe implement some of the (many!) things I’ve read. This doesn’t mean I won’t read the occasional personal development article of course – but I’m avoiding clicking through immediately to buy a book just because I’ve read an interesting excerpt or thinkpiece.


The last book before the ban was make time: how to focus on what matters every day which scraped in in the final death throes of 2018.

I ended up there from a link on swiss miss, which led me to this medium post (6 years with a distraction free iphone) by one of the authors, and then this medium post (why it’s more important than ever to ignore the news) by the other author. That last one coincided rather nicely with my self-imposed news ban.

Do you ever look back and wonder “What did I really do today?” Do you ever daydream about projects and activities you’ll get to someday – but “someday” never comes? This is a book about slowing down the crazy rush. It’s about making time for things that matter.

If by “today”, you mean “the past several months”, why yes, I’m totally there! I’ve no idea where 2018 went.

This aligns pretty well with a conversation Don and I were having in Thailand – we observed time passed really slowly and the holiday seemed to last a really long while, whereas at home in the routine, time speeds by in a relentless parade of sameness, you look up wonder where the last 3 years went.

The general idea of the book is to counter this by making each day memorable, that you sit down and work out the one thing you want to accomplish each day (your highlight), then you actively make time for that thing. Along the way you get strategies to clear the decks to enable you to make that time.

There’s quite a lot about removing digital distractions – a few of which I’m trying to implement or already have implemented. The biggest takeaway for me was probably to single task. Among other things this means not having 847583456 browser windows open and endlessly flicking between them. Just have open what you need, do the task and close the tab, repeat. Radical stuff indeed. I have tried it and it has worked well – of course then I forget and have all manner of stuff open for days and days. It’s a work in progress.


But has all this reading done much improving? Honestly I suspect not. I really do adore the exposure to different ideas and ways of thinking. But if something resonates with me, I’d like to do more than simply noting it and moving on to reading about the next idea.

So while I’m on the book break, I’ll have time to give a few of my favourite ideas from the mountains of books I’ve read a crack.


** thanks to ganching for this most excellent phrase.

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