If you have plans and hopes to get some areas of your life in order this coming year, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite 14 ebooks to help you organize your home and life, manage your time better, and be more organized in your grocery-shopping and menu-planning.
21 Days to a More Disciplined Life by yours truly
Do you have ideas, hopes, and dreams for what you want to accomplish in your life, but you feel like you’re being held back by a lack of personal discipline? Are you easily overwhelmed by your big ideas or projects, and you just don’t know where to start and how to make real progress? Do you find yourself making “all-or-nothing” plans for transforming your life, and then three days later you crash and burn under the weight of your plan?
What You Can Expect to Learn From This Book:
- How to prioritize and name your goals so that you can accomplish them faster than ever.
- How to expose the obstacles that will come up, and then make a plan to conquer them.
- How to break up a goal that feels insurmountable into bite-sized pieces.
- How to stop making excuses and get the job done now — and then enjoy the rest of your day!
- How to put accountability in place to help you stay on task and motivated.
Tell Your Time: How to Manage Your Schedule So You Can Live Free by Amy Lynn Andrews
This little ebook’s wisdom has done more for my efficiency than any other book or time management product I’ve ever read or listened to. It’s well worth your time — and it works, provided you actually do what the ebook tells you to do.
Do you feel like you’re always behind and late? I know the feeling. As I’ve often alluded to here, I’ve struggled with getting places on time all of my life. Some of you don’t have any issue with this — and I try not to envy you. Others of you can likely commiserate with me in the always-behind-and-barely-making-it-out-the-door issue.
By the grace of God, I’ve made some huge strides over the past year in getting places at least almost on time (we’ve even gotten some places early recently!). I’ve also been working diligently on getting things done early so I’m doing a better job at not waiting until the last minute for projects and deadlines.
I’m so encouraged at the progress I’m seeing and the fruits I’m reaping of various habits I’ve been working on putting in place. But I still have a long way to go! That’s why I so appreciated reading 28 Days to Timeliness.
28 Days to Timeliness was written by a Davonne Parks, a “semi-reformed late person” (as she calls herself) who wants to help others figure out how to streamline their routines so they can get out the door faster and stop being late. Each chapter is broken down into 28 short, easy-to-read segments that will take just a few minutes to go over each day. The beginning of each segment contains an inspirational quote, and included at the end of every chapter is a practical course of action that can be taken to really initiate the discipline of being on time.
Davonne and I might as well be two peas in a pod. She gets me. I laughed at her stories (I even shared her hilarious wearing PJs to church story with my husband — who thought it was so funny that he shared it at a recent family gathering!). I nodded my head in agreement with so many of her points. And I picked up new practical ideas for overcoming lateness.
What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam
Since getting up early has made such a difference in my life, I was especially excited to read Laura Vaderkam’s ebook, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. It’s a short read, but packed with lots of inspiration as to how to use your mornings well.
It’s not enough to get up early, though, you also need to make sure that you wisely prioritize your time and energy in the early morning hours so that it effectively benefits your day — and your life. In this ebook, Laura shares a peek into the lives of some very successful people — and how they are structuring their lives to make the most of the morning hours. What works for them might not work for you, but I promise you’ll be inspired to make the most of your mornings — whether or not you are an early riser.
One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler by Tsh Oxenreider
I love, love, love Tsh and her Simple Mom blog. She’s a huge inspiration to me in so many areas.
This book, as expected, is fabulous. I read it over the course of the past week and a half–in little bits in the morning as I was doing my warm-up and cool down on the treadmill before my morning run. I enjoyed the book so much that I had trouble getting off the treadmill every day because I just wanted to keep reading.
As you probably well know by now, I love the concept of breaking things down into bite-sized manageable pieces. And Tsh’s ebook does just that. It gives you 52 bite-sized steps you can take to become more efficient, streamlined, and organized.
You know those things you always say you want to do someday? Like planting a garden, switching to natural cleaners, composting, setting up a system for paper clutter, organize your photo collection, learning to cook from scratch, setting up menu plans, planning regular date nights, or regularly turning off technology? Tsh gives you the tools, motivation, and encouragement you need to slowly make those positive changes you’ve hoped to make. And she makes it simple and doable.
Now I have to tell you: Tsh suggests that you pick one project per week for a year–thus the 52 projects. However, I’d suggest to maybe slow the pace down a bit and just pick one project every other week or once a month. That way, you can really take your time and let the changes really sink in before moving onto something else.
This book is jam packed with practical ideas for prioritizing your time and life so that you make the most of your days. One of my biggest takeaways from the book was the challenge to start the day out by doing the things you like least first, you’ll get them out of the way so you can enjoy your day more and be more productive and fulfilled. Read more about some of the things I gleaned from this book here.
Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Simple Living by Tsh Oxenreider
I was excited to read Organized Simplicity by my friend, Tsh, from SimpleMom.net. I’ve long followed and loved her blog. Truthfully, though, I figured the message of this book would probably be something I was well familiar with. And I figured the book would be filled with ideas I was mostly already living out.
Well, I was wrong. In fact, it’s hard for me to describe in words how reading Organized Simplicity impacted me. The beauty of the book drew me in, but the message of the book convicted me more than I ever imagined it would.
As many of you well know, I love simplicity and I strive to only have a things we love and use in our home. But in the last few months, consumerism and busyness has inched its way into my heart and life — without me even realizing it.
Reading Organized Simplicity was a wake up call for me. It forced me to examine my life, stuff and to-do list in a whole new light. I realized that maybe I wasn’t as much of a minimalist as I thought I was — especially if you were to open some of my closets and cupboards!
I usually go through our whole house from top to bottom twice a year and aggressively eliminate things which we no longer love and use. And while this book inspired me to do another total house overhaul, more than just eliminating stuff, it caused me to dig down deeper and examine my heart and what simple living really means for our own family.
Tsh’s thoughts in chapter seven on streamlining your life so you can savor the moments that matter especially hit home for me. Life can become so busy. Organized Simplicity really challenged me to be purposefully intentional and prioritize my life so I don’t miss out on those precious fleeting moments.
168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam
We all have exactly the same amount of time: 24 hours in each day, 168 hours in each week. We all get to choose how we’re going to use those hours — whether wisely or frivolously. Laura Vanderkam’s book, 168 Hours, is based upon the premise that, if we were to step back and look at our week as a whole, we have more time than we realize. And we are probably squandering more time than we think.
This book gives real-life, practical examples for becoming a better manager of your time. It profiles a number of different individuals in different situations and shows how they are using their time well or specific ways they could improve their time usage. This book is not about stuffing our lives more full with longer to-do lists and more responsibilities, but about focusing on a life well lived. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants to better steward their time or find more fulfillment in how they spend their 168 hours.
I loved this book. The cover and layout have an instantly calming effect and the author did a great job of challenging you to consider the rhythms of your life and whether they are in sync with the priorities you want to have.
She encourages you to not just strip your life of all the non-essentials and pare down to the basics, but instead to really examine why you’re doing what you’re doing, why you own what you own, and why you’re leading the lifestyle you are. This book is deep, rich, and soul-stirring.
Today Matters: 12 Daily Practices to Achieve Tomorrow’s Success by John Maxwell
If you want to make the most of your days, Today Matters will give you practical, step-by-step help and inspiration. The author makes a case for why today is your key to success and outlines 12 decisions and disciplines you should implement into your life and work toward mastering in order to achieve greater fulfillment and success in life.
Want to get organized in 2013 but feel cramped for time? Get Organized Wizard just released a fantastic resource to help you out.
The Organize-In-5 2013 Diary gives you a 5-minute organization task for each weekday in 2013 and then you’ll get a 5-minute relaxation task for Saturdays. This plan tackles your home, closets, computer, health, finances, work, time management, relationships, family, and more! Even if you have a very full schedule and little extra time, you can still get your home and life in order with the Organize-In-5 Diary.
Plan It, Don’t Panic — This ebook on menu-planing is a fantastic resource for anyone who really wants to menu-plan but is struggling with how to do it. Written by my friend, Stephanie, it provides the tools, step-by-step help, and practical inspiration you need to successfully plan and follow menus.
Even though I’ve been menu planning for years, this ebook breathed new life into my resolve to menu plan and gave me lots of helpful suggestions and fresh advice. I found some new tips and websites to try out that I’d not heard of before and also found it very helpful to step back and examine if my current method of menu-planning is working well for our family or not.
This ebook covers menu-planning on a budget, eating from the pantry, how to create rotating menu plans, how to incorporate freezer cooking into your menu-planning to make life simpler, and how to serve your family healthful meals without spending hours in the kitchen every day.
The wide range of topics it covers includes:
- Find the method of meal planning that will suit you and your family best
- Tweak and perfect your meal planning style with unique tips and strategies
- Make it easier to work around special/restrictive dietary needs
- Become a grocery-shopping ninja and never go to the store without a genius plan in place for maximizing your money
- Learn how leftovers can become your best friends in the kitchen
- As well as how to store your recipes, easily find your favorites, plan for hectic times, and even what to do when you mess up…
You want to know one of my favorite parts of the ebook? She included full four weeks of meal plans at the back of the ebook. Reading through fully-laid-out menu plans that others have put together always gives me new ideas and suggestions to try at our house. I also loved all of the helpful printable forms and worksheets at the back of the ebook.
Your Grocery Budget Toolbox by Anne Simpson
If you are hoping to cut your grocery bill this coming year, but you want to still eat healthfully, I highly recommend this comprehensive ebook. Anne shows you — in detail — how to eat well on a limited budget and how to do so without spending a great deal of time and effort to do so.
This ebook is well-written, in-depth, and worth every penny — especially if you are new to frugal living and feeling discouraged about the high prices of quality groceries.
What organizational books or ebooks would you recommend that aren’t on my list? Have you read any that are on my list? If so, I’d love to hear what you thought of them.