WWRW: Lenten productivity


So…back to Lent for a moment here.  Three back-to-back whole-family illnesses followed by a GI problem and brutal spring allergies made this past winter and Lent a season and a half I hope to never repeat. At one pediatrician’s visit, our doctor just looked at me sympathetically and said, “This too will pass.”

And it has (for the most part).

The low point of the past few months was Ash Wednesday, fittingly enough. Teddy, who was still hacking away with the remains of the whooping cough, came down with the flu that morning. The rest of us had already had it, so we could all feel for him when he then ran a fever for 7 days straight and started up all his whooping again.

During the hours I spent that week rocking with him in our rocking chair, I caught up on a blog I hadn’t read in awhile: Modern Mrs. Darcy. The author Anne had been reading and recommending lots of books on productivity and work, and I started downloading them onto my Kindle.

Needless to say, our home was far from feeling productive at that point! I knew I’d probably need some inspiration to get things back in order when we all got well.

I ended up spending most of Lent reading books on the topic, and here they are, along with my one line summaries.  Most of them are only available as e-books and can be read in a few days at most.

What the Most Successful People do before breakfast 

What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. This Kindle single is jam-packed with practical, actionable info on changing your mornings--and your life. Well worth the $3.

They wake up early to exercise and pray.

What the Most Successful People do on the weekend

What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend: A Short Guide to Making the Most of Your Days Off

They play hard and plan ahead for the next week.

What the Most Successful People do at work


They make space to plan and dream, and they don’t let email rule their days.









Manage your day-to-day: Build your routine, find your focus, and sharpen your creative mind

Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (The 99U Book Series)

Don’t mess around on social media all day! Use it wisely.

How She Does It: An Everywoman’s Guide
(by Modern Mrs. Darcy herself)

How She Does It: An everywoman's guide to breaking old rules, getting creative, and making time for work in your actual, everyday life.

She delegates as much as possible.

The Family-First Creative: 42 Tips for following your dreams while putting your family first  by Jennifer Fulwiler

(Decide what pursuits give you energy and ruthlessly eliminate all other unnecessary activities!)

and the blog archives of Simply Convivial (by the author of GTD for Homemakers).

Here are my takeaways from all that reading:

1. I have more in common with busy business execs than one would think and find their strategies for success very applicable to my life.

2. There are at-home moms who combine a lot of hands-on parenting (including homeschooling) with fulfilling their own creative pursuits.

3. Those moms and business execs manage their time and energy very carefully.

4. They use their electronic gadgets very consciously and at set times only.

Of all the books, the two most helpful to me were Jennifer Fulwiler’s (only a few more days to get this book) and What the Most Successful People do on the weekend.  The message in those two books particularly was you will do better at your primary job if you take time off to recharge with activities that give you energy.  And lying around and checking Facebook does not generally recharge us.  It takes some planning to use your windows of down-time well.

Linking up with Housewifespice for Reading Wednesday (even though now it’s Thursday)!






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