I love fun, not-always-stiffly-serious blog posts. And yet, at the same time, I want to make sure you have something helpful to take away from every post. Hopefully, I can find a balance of that today.
4 books I’m reading right now . . .
Give Me This Mountain, an autobiography by Helen Roseveare
I’m roughly half way through this story. Helen is very transparent when it comes to sharing her spiritual life at different stages, and I’ve found that very encouraging because often I see myself in her shoes. Knowing someone has been there before really gives a new perspective on things.
I don’t like this cover. Underneath, it is a great story—I just hope they haven’t changed it to go along with the movie. Our version is the previous edition of this one.
The Eagle (previously Eagle of the Ninth), by Rosemary Sutcliff
This was first introduced to me as part of our school curriculum. Mom recently read it to the boys again, and I heard bits and piece—enough to make me want to read it again, but not enough to hear the whole thing! She’s been reading the two sequels to the boys lately, and they are loving them, as well. I’ve only read the first chapter so far, but hope to get back to it soon!
More Than a Carpenter, by Josh McDowell
Another “school” book. This small volume is both incredibly challenging, and incredibly reaffirming. Josh presents the facts without any apology, and seeing the pure truths of who Jesus really is—in all their beautiful glory—is very encouraging. This book is a great devotional, and even just reading one or two pages before bedtime is enough to give you much food for thought.
Ready or Not, by Chautona Havig
This is by far the most favorite book I’ve been reading lately. Mom finally convinced me to read it after all her ranting, and I’ve got to say I’ve fallen in love with the story too. Aggie, mother of eight inherited children, is so real in all her struggles of learning to be a mother—let alone learning to deal with her inherited mother-in-law! Even though Ready or Not is a long story, I’m enjoying every word—and glad to know there are two more books in the series waiting for me to read them! Oh, and did I mention I love the humor in the story?
Most exciting event this past week . . .
We had this big brush pile out back, and now that the fire ban has finally been lifted (we’ve had a bad drought all summer, so we were not allowed to burn fires for quite a while) the boys finally were allowed to burn it. Did they ever have fun, too!
From the yard, just after they lit it.
I got a few pictures of the proceedings, but soon had to get back to work—leaving it under the watchful eye of the firefighters.
I didn’t get any very good pictures of the main firefighter, because he was almost always running to put out small patches of grass that caught. This was the best—he was working very hard!
Most useful posts this week . . .
A random collection of posts I’ve found interesting and helpful this past week.
- Why Everyone From Beethoven, Goethe, Dickens, Darwin To Steve Jobs Took Long Walks and Why You Should Too — Both challenging and thought-provoking. I’d like to get more exercise, but actually getting out there and doing it is the trouble. What do you think? Is walking worth the time you spend doing it?
- How To Only Share Your Written Gems, Not The Rough — Interesting take on sharing your writings with others. Some really good tips here to remember.
- How to Work on Multiple Long-Term Creative Projects at Once — Must. remember. this.
- Don’t Do These 12 Things When You Write Your Draft — Too many of these strike home. Especially 2, 3, 5, 6, and 12.
- The Foolscap Method — Not technically a blog post—instead, it’s two teaching videos, but powerful all the same. Basically, Steven Pressfield is teaching you how you can hold your entire story on just one page. This has the potential to completely change the way I look at plotting my stories—and has already proved to be very useful!
- How To Make Cappuccino Using French Press — Also not a blog post—a video. And the only reason I was interested in it is the fact that it tells you how to use a french press to make a latte! That is like . . . the neatest thing all week! Now, to figure out what to turn into a latte next . . . .
This week’s resource . . .
I’ve been using this little calendar for three months now, and it has proved to be the most effective tool so far for tracking work chains—I can see at a glance what days I was very productive, and what days I was . . . shall we say, not so productive.
Seeing how well (or badly!) I did last week is encouraging, and challenges me to do even better this week. It is also a great way to keep a quick record of what I’ve been doing. At the end of each month, I tally up how many hours I’ve done on a particular project all together, and sometimes average that to each day I’ve worked, to see how many hours minimum I should try to do per day to beat that. (Side note: Time Calculator is very helpful for the calculation side of things—just input your times, and it will do the rest for you.)
I’ve been using this tracking system for almost three months now—tracking three different projects—and it’s still proving to be very helpful.
If you’d like to try it out for yourself, see the links below. I usually print it four-up (four pages per page) and just one-sided, so it’s a handy pocket-sized calendar that fits easily on my pin board. Do whatever works for you—I’d love to hear if it helps!
Download the free printable:
- Unmarked Version
- Marked Version (basically the first version, but with phases of the moon and a few select holidays—I like this one best, mostly because I like seeing what’s coming up next)
The idea for using a calendar like this was inspired by a passing mention in a blog post by Raychel Rose, so all credit goes to her. 🙂
Have you found any easy hacks for tracking the time you spend? Also, what’s the most useful post you’ve come across this week? Feel free to share below—I love hearing from you!