I have run across a significant number of life/time management books over the last few years. It seems that the entire world had suggestions for how to better organize my newly liberated life once I quit my job. I mentioned this to Pen, and she pulled out a slew of self-helpy kind of books that didn’t even begin to scratch the surface of her library. It’s safe to say that if you have an issue, there is a book out there for you—and Pen has probably read it.
Why then am I mentioning Allyson Lewis’s new book The 7 Minute Solution? I’m mentioning it because the description of her life when she decided to make a change sounded oddly similar to the situations that many of us have faced in recent years.
“In 2001, at the age of 41 I was completely out of shape. I was slightly overweight. I worked in a job I liked – but, didn’t love and I was tired…really, really tired. I felt empty and I knew I wanted MORE out of life. Though I didn’t know exactly what that MORE was – I had a stirring inside of my middle-aged heart that I wanted more hope, more joy, more purpose and definitely more meaning in my life.”
Okay, hands up if you see yourself in that description. Yeah… I thought so.
The 7 Minute Solution is not just a time management system. Being more productive at something that is unfulfilling isn’t going to improve your life. Instead, the book strives to help you prioritize your core values and determine what you want your purpose in life to be. The solution then teaches you how to focus your time, attention and daily activities in pursuit of goals that are in line with you what you are actual values are.
It sounds simple, but I think many of us work, for various reasons, in opposition to what we want our priorities to be and in opposition to our values. The book makes you take a real look at your values and then helps you prioritize them, organize your life (and daily tasks) so that it is in alignment with those values and then how to simplify your life. It then has suggestions for increasing your focused attention span in manageable time increments to start getting things accomplished. The idea is that once you’ve made these determinations and started focusing, after 90 days you will see real, positive change in your life.
Are you motivated? Are you growing and learning? Are you actively engaged in your life? My answer to these questions is “sometimes.” I can certainly agree that upping that to “frequently” would be a step in the right direction for me.
If any of this intrigues you, check out Allyson Lewis’s The 7 Minute Solution. And while you are waiting for you copy of the book to arrive, ask yourself this question: “What is my purpose in life?” Easy, right? I shook my head when I saw that, too. But I decided to brainstorm it anyway because if I can’t articulate my purpose, I’m unlikely to fulfill it. Brainstorm away!