Mar 26, 2015

Book Review: The 4-Hour Workweek

working, mini retirements, new rich, effective, efficient, work

I decided since I was giving away this book at the end of the month I would do a book review for you.  There is still time to enter the giveaway.  You can either enter on the blog or email me.  I know I have a few readers that would rather email.  See the details of this giveaway on the post about my March goals.

I really think this book is amazing.  It doesn't matter what you do.  If you are still working then it applies to you, if you are thinking of starting your own company it applies to you, and if you are a stay at home mom (guess what?) it applies to you too!  There are so many great ideas, quotes and advice in this book that I want to share with you.  This book review will be a bit different in the fact that I am just going to provide you with a list of my favorite quotes and ideas/advice.   

Bare with me.  I wanted to type out the whole book because the whole thing is amazing, but the points below are all fantastic and you will get something from each and everyone of them.  

Quotes I loved:

"What we fear doing most is actually what we most need to do."  -  Isn't that true?  It is for me. 

"The level of competition is thus fiercest for 'realistic' goals, paradoxically making them the most time-consuming and energy consuming..... There is just less competition for bigger goals."  -  This one made me scared a little bit, because I know it is true.  Timothy (the author) dives into it more.  

"Being busy is a form of laziness-lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.  Being overwhelmed is often as unproductive as doing nothing, and is far more unpleasant.  Being selective-doing less-is the path of the productive.  Focus on the important few and ignore the rest." - This is so true and I wish everyone thought like this.  There are a lot of bosses in the workforce that want hours and as long as you are busy (or in other words "look busy") then they are happy.  I hear many people complain about this all the time.  

"How is it possible that all the people in the world need exactly 8 hours to accomplish their work?  It isn't.  9-5 is arbitrary."  -  I was talking to my dad about this the other day because again this is a HUGE frustration with a lot of people in the workforce.  My dad completely agreed with me.  We were saying that you could give 3 people the same task and get the same result, but one might take 4 hours, one might take 6 hours, and the other might take 10 hours.  9-5 was set up for manufacturing companies because guess what 9-5 is 8 hours and 8 hours can go into 24 hours 3 times.  So that makes scheduling shifts easy.  However, for some reason it stuck for all industries and it has become the norm.  

"The end product of the shorter deadline is almost inevitably of equal or higher quality due to greater focus." - I love the way he breaks this down in the book.  There are so many good points he makes with this one sentence.  However, the main point he makes is that if we are given 24 hours to complete a task then we cut out the unnecessary steps.  If we are given a week then we start making a bigger problem of it.  If we are given a month then we stress about it for at least 3 weeks and then get it done when we are down to the wire.

"The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency.  The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency." - He was talking about this in regards to delegation.   NEVER NEVER NEVER delegate something that is inefficient.  It will only make the inefficiency worse. 

Great ideas/advice:

In regards to talking about being effective vs. being efficient he said, "1.  Doing something unimportant well does not make it important.  2.  Requiring a lot of time does not make a task important."  -  When I read the above comments I laughed out loud.  Seriously, my one of my biggest pet peeves is when people take SO. MUCH. TIME. doing something that is so silly and since it took so much time they try and make it seem important.  The two points above spoke to me because they are so very true.  Even in my personal life this can get me. 

He talks about the "80/20 principle".  This is not new news.  I know that.  It has been a "law" for more than 100 years.  Basically 80% of consequences come from 20% of the causes or 80% of results come from 20% of the effort and time.  It can be broken down many, many ways, but the main point is that you need to trim the fat.  You need to get rid of the things that are not making things happen.  

I am not a very fast reader.  I love reading, but I am quite slow at it.  He gives tips on how to read 200% faster in 10 minutes.  I am still not the fastest reader, but I am getting faster.  (See this book can be applied to everyone's life.  It's incredible.)

He talks about certain things we can set up on our computers so that it will lock us out of a website after we have been on it for a certain amount of time (the time is set up by us).  I think that is a great idea.  Think of all the time spent on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest.  It could all be controlled.  (I know we should be able to use self control, but really, who actually uses that all the time.)

Another piece of advice that he gave and that I have applied into my work and personal life and it is giving me tremendous results in both areas is to only check email twice a day.  Guess what?  The best time is not right when you get in the office either.  That blew me away.

He goes into great detail on how to make your own ideas or products come to life.  There are so many great resources and spreadsheets that he provides.  It is jam packed with amazing knowledge and information.  He has case study after case study where what he is talking about has worked for many many people.

The main point he wants readers to get out of this book is that he wants people to live like millionaires without having to be a multi-millionaire.  He wants you to enjoy "mini retirements" instead of hopefully having a good retirement when you actually get to that point in your life.

He does not say anything about shirking responsibility and not being a great representative to yourself, your company or the company that you work for, or even your family.  He wants his readers to be amazing members of society that help make the economy thrive.  I love this book.  I am sure you can already tell that.

If you can, enter for the giveaway and hopefully you can win.  If you don't win then the book then pick up a copy for yourself.  It is not that much money for the amount of knowledge that is packed in between the covers of the book.  I hope you enjoy it.

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Mar 25, 2015

Deco Mesh and Burlap Wreath

burlap flowers, decorative burlap ribbon, ribbon, hot glue, wire

This is one of my favorite projects I have made EVER.  Maybe it is because I used deco mesh for the first time and I love trying new things.  Maybe it is because I used burlap and I LOVE burlap.  It could be both of those, but my favorite part is the finished product.  I love the way it looks and I love the colors.  I am very happy with this wreath.  

I made this wreath for my future sister-in-law.  She had a bridal shower and the theme of the shower was around the house.  I was assigned the front door and I knew I had to do a wreath that she had been eyeing at Quilted Bear (local store).  I love everything about wreaths (I know I talk about it often) and so I was up for the challenge.  The only thing that made me a little nervous is that I had never used deco mesh before and I wanted the finished product to be fabulous.  

Come to find out deco mesh is so fun.  There are so many colors, but I stuck with the natural burlap color since I was using natural burlap for the flowers.  The colors work perfectly together and I am more than pleased with the outcome.

Mar 24, 2015

Quick and Colorful Easter Garland

paint swatches, bakers twine, Cricut Explore

I have an VERY quick tutorial for you if you have a Cricut, but if you do not then you can still do this project and it is not hard.  It just will take a little bit of time to cut out the eggs, but still very doable.  

This post contains some affiliate links, which means if you purchase the items using some of the links then I will be paid a small commission.  However, every item I talk about in this post I truly love and use often.  

  • Cricut and cutting mats
  • Paint swatches (I got mine from Walmart.  They are skinny so you can see the paint colors written on the front.  If you go to other hardware stores then they have the wider paint swatches and you can cut where there are not any words.  I did not care so I stuck with these since I was already at Walmart.)
  • Bakers Twine (I had some on hand, but I found these and I love these colors for Spring and Easter.  I might get some for myself) 
  • Small hole punch (I used a Crop-A-Dile)

Mar 23, 2015

Looks for the Office

This post is written by Cami, fashion contributor.

I am a firm believer in the adage, “dress for success” as well as “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”.  I think there are a few staple items every woman should have her in closet, and these items can be purchased on any budget.  

Mar 21, 2015

Footprint Easter Bunny Craft

I saw a craft on Pinterest that led me to Fun Handprint Art.  I decided to do a craft from this blog with Hannelore, but revised it a bit because of the supplies we had at the house.  I did not feel like going out and buying anything, because that requires energy and these days I do not have any of that.  (I know it is my word of the year and I am working on it, but this pregnancy is knocking me down.)

Mar 20, 2015

What's on my menu?-Week 2

I have not posted my weekly meal plan for awhile.  I know a lot of my readers like when I do that so I thought now would be a good time.  I always stick with my meal planning routine.  (and yes just like it says in that post...I have my meals planned out for the month)

Mar 18, 2015

Best invention for nursing mothers

You know those products that stop and make you say, "Man, why didn't I think of that"? I have a new one for you!  I found this product a few days after I found I was pregnant again.  So I thought I would tell you all about it.  In case you are pregnant yourself or know someone who is and you are looking for the perfect gift to give to them.  

Mar 17, 2015

Makeup for Work

makeup, work, office

This post is written by beauty/makeup contributor, Danielle!

5 out of 7 days a week I spend at work, so finding that office appropriate look for every day is essential! For me it needs to look and feel natural, last through it the day and be quick and easy for the morning. Creating a natural look for work is easily achieved through some of my favorite products. With these you can have a natural look suitable for any work environment. 

Mar 14, 2015

Stay Sane Cleaning Series Step 7: Laundry

laundry, wash, dry, fold, put away

How many of you have suffered from the "laundry mountain"?  Does the above picture look familiar at all?  It is such a daunting task when it gets this bad.  I founds a solution years ago that has helped me so much.  

Mar 13, 2015

Our big secret

big sister

We have been keeping a secret for a little while.  I think it is time to tell you all.  Our little princess is quite excited!  

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