Book Review | Breaking Busy

Breaking Busy
by Alli Worthington

Alli Worthington, the executive director of Propel Women, adds her voice to books about busyness and rest in Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace & Purpose in a World of Crazy.  Alli’s style is funny, honest, and easy to read.  With all of the books I’ve read in recent years on simplicity, Sabbath, saying ‘yes’ and saying ‘no,’ cutting busyness, etc., I wasn’t sure another book on the topic would have much to add to the discussion.  I’ve gleaned some tips and wisdom from Breaking Busy, though, that I felt were fresh, truly helpful, and from a new perspective.  That’s a win!breaking-busy-cover

In this book, Alli covers topics like finding your own capacity for activity, discovering your calling, editing your options, choosing what traditions to let go of, making decisions without paralysis analysis, improving communication, and monitoring your time.  She knows that all women aren’t the same.  Some of us are more comfortable with a great deal of activity and others need more unscheduled time to be healthy.   She says, “Embracing our personal capacity allows us to live out our calling.”

When writing a book like this, it can be so difficult to engage women in all situations: stay-at-home moms, single women, work-outside-of-the-home moms, etc.  I think Alli’s fun personality helps make her relatable and accessible to most women.  Other books probably lean more to the stay-at-home mom’s perspective; this book doesn’t.  That can be a good thing!  Sometimes women in the traditional workforce can be left out of these discussions in Christian books.

Alli is the primary breadwinner in her home, an entrepreneur and executive, so many of her stories are about flights around the country, business lunches, running companies, and the like.  For a woman who is overwhelmed by busy because she’s trying to make ends meet as a single mom, some of Alli’s advice might not help.  Stay-at-home moms might feel a little left out of her stories that sound so much more valued and successful by the world’s standards.  I didn’t mind so much as I read the book, but some days you really do want someone to say they totally get your carpooling, homework, dinner-making, after-school-activity kind of crazy instead of the I-run-a-hugely-successful-ministry/business kind of busy.

For many women, the sections on monitoring social media time might be some of the most helpful sections in the book.  I personally thought her chapter on making decisions had the most impact partly because I’m so stinking indecisive at times, and partly because she had advice I’d never read before and plan to try.  I also liked the perspective of ‘editing’ our activities.  When I think about it as editing, things start to click for me. I realize that this is a matter of refining my choices and eliminating what is good so that the best has more impact.

Each chapter ends with a few Action Steps for you to consider or implement.  These would be great for individuals reading the book.  Reading group guides, decision making tools and other resources are also available for free on her website, making this work for book clubs and women’s small groups, as well.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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