Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher

Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher

I came across this book, Refuse to Choose, while I was looking at different VA services website and one of them had recommended this book. I am so glad I found this book. It’s a lovely book about how to follow all the things that interest you and you are passionate about. The author calls these people ‘Scanners’ and it makes being indecisive and wanting to do everything acceptable.

Another Notebook!

The things that she suggests you do are not really new concepts but they way she writes about it makes it all feel ok. As with nearly every single book or course I read now, they all start with buying a brand-new journal in which to write in. For this book, your notebook or journal needs to be new and special for you to write, draw and doodle all your fantastic ideas. Something like Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks. I dutifully complied.

Even though I did start my new notebook, I haven’t actually kept up to date with it. It’s currently sitting pretty in my bookshelf along with my notebooks on accounting, tax, blogging, writing and the 3 page a day(!) diary.

Chapters

The book is split up into two parts and 19 chapters. The first part describes what is a scanner and the second part describes what kind of scanner are you? These are the chapters in the book:

Part one
1. All about Scanners
2. What’s Wrong with me?
3. Scanner Panic
4. Commitment Phobia
5. Too busy to do What I Love
6. I won’t do anything if I can’t do everything
7. I can’t get started
8. I never finish anything

Part two
9. About Cyclical Scanners
10. Are you a Double Agent?
11. Are you a Sybil?
12. Are you a Plate Spinner?
13. About Sequential Scanners
14. Are you a Serial Specialist?
15. Are you a Serial Master
16. Are you a Jack of all Trades?
17. Are you a Wanderer?
18. Are you a Sampler?
19. Are you a High-Speed Indecisive?

Type Of Scanner

In Part two, at the beginning of each chapter is a list of questions about that particular type of scanner and if you can answer yes to a lot of these questions then that is the type of scanner that you are. You can be more than one type of scanner. When I went through this, I got Jack of all trades and Double Agent. It then gives a few examples of people in that group and what they do and then lists out potential careers of types of careers and finally what type of tools a scanner needs. There is a list of tools for a scanner in the appendix which is useful as most of these things I’ve not really ever heard of. Some of favourites are the portable dream deck where you can keep several different projects going at the same time, the scanners day book, A ring binder for all your different projects and a catalogue of ideas with potential. Actually, I think I would probably like them all.

The Good Enough Job

Another big theme I found in the book is to find a good enough job if you can’t find the perfect job and then you can spend the rest of your time pursuing the things that you enjoy. There are several chapters that I want to go back and read again but it really does make you feel better that its ok not to have a niche figured out and pursuing. You don’t need to be a specialist and focus all your energies on the one thing, if you enjoy doing several things at the same time.

If, like me you are wanting to everything that you find interesting without giving up anything, this book is for you. I can see why the VA feels like this book is a must for all other VA’s out there because you can offer lots of different services that you are good at as a VA.

The author, Barbara Sher, also has a website and mailing list which can be found here: http://barbarasclub.com/

Go and enjoy this book as I try and figure out how to organise my life so I can do everything I want to pursue!

Buy the book from amazon here:

 

My top 5 planner/stationery websites

Since I decided to create my own planners (as nothing I see or buy has the right amount of details that I want), I’ve become obsessed with planners and diaries and then stationery in general.  I’ve listed my top 5 that I keep going back to have a look and drool over.

1.Erin Condren

I discovered these through another blog.  These you can tailor them with your own cover which you can personalise and even create the inside diaries how you like.  You can have monthly diaries, weekly or even hourly for appointments etc.  The website also sells a huge variety of stickers and other accessories for your journal to make it more colourful and personal.  I do love drooling over these but they are a bit expensive especially when you add postage onto them.  Possibly for this reason only, I’ve been holding back buying anything.

https://www.erincondren.com/

2.Edie and Rona

This is all things stationery and again something I just look at and love and enter as many competition as I can to see if I can win something  (still trying!).  They have notebooks in lovely modern colours and cards and little bags and postcards. Basically all things beautiful.

https://www.edieandrona.co.uk/

3.Michelle Rohr – Secret Owl society

This has got to be the first time I had seen planners being created and sold.  This is based on buying a folder which they do sell and then downloading printables to insert into your folder to tailor make your own diary/ journal. In principle I do like this idea as you can really personalise it. However, I’m not so keen on carrying folders as I find them too bulky.  I like carrying slim diaries but with as much information as possible inside.

http://www.secretowlsociety.org/

4.Toad

This is quite similar to the first one where you can customise your diary to suit your needs and customise the cover and personalise it too.  Also, as they are based in the UK, the costs of postage is not so high.  These are printed diaries starting from 6 months in duration to 18 months. I love the flexibility of these but need to check that quality of them.

https://www.toaddiaries.co.uk/

5.Fearne Cotton – Happy  The Journal

The final one on this list is Fearne Cotton’s Happy The Journal which is based on her autobiography. These have dates and months but no years or days so you can literally start it anywhere and do what it says for the day.  Ironically for my birthday, it says to make a list – I love lists! Each day takes half the page and it gives you a question to think about and a little space to write notes about it. I bought it as a present for my niece but I am having a quick look through before I wrap it up.

 

When you start obsessing about diaries and planners, you find there are so, so, so many planners out there that I hadn’t even heard of.  Here are some more links to even more planners!

11 of the best planners for Bloggers

Best Planners for You Moms {Giveaway}

https://www.thebettermom.com/blog/2016/11/26/10-best-planners-for-moms

Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford

Hands Free Mama is an amazing book and Rachel has a way of writing which is very emotional and very raw.   The book starts with turning off your gadgets so you can spend more time with your children and partner.  However, it goes into more depth and just turning off your mobile phone is not enough, you need to connect and be present for your kids. Continue reading “Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford”

Get Rich, Lucky Bitch! by Denise Duffield-Thomas

The title ‘Get rich, lucky bitch’ aims to reflect what people think when a women is rich.  Not the hard work that she has put in but that she is lucky and she is a bitch. I had this book in an audio format for quite a while. It came as a bonus for buying another book but I never got round to listening to it. To be honest, I prefer reading to listening so I kept putting it off. Then something happened which reminded me of this book and I started listening to it. Continue reading “Get Rich, Lucky Bitch! by Denise Duffield-Thomas”

The Price of Privilege – Madeline Levine, Ph.D.

The Price of Privilege is another parenting book highlighting the plight of parenting in this day and age. The author is a psychologist who treats a lot of wealthy family kids – especially teenagers.  The case studies themselves are enough to make you feel unbelievably sad and unhappy. It gets you thinking about your childhood and that of your kids.  You hope and pray that you are doing everything right and the doing your best is enough. But there are so many little incidents that ring true that make you think, is that me? Will that happen to my girls? Continue reading “The Price of Privilege – Madeline Levine, Ph.D.”

September 2017 – planner for one month

Do you ever get to the stage when you’ve been using your diary or planner and then almost out of nowhere you just hate it?  Or you just want a change in your diary but you’re bound to your diary for another 9 months? Or you want to go from an academic year diary to a full year diary but only need the diary for 3 to 6 months because the only other options is 18 months? Continue reading “September 2017 – planner for one month”

How to live on 24 hours a day by Arnold Bennett

This book, ‘How to live on 24 hours a day’ is about how to use your time more effectively during a working week.  It assumes you get home for about 7, eat and rest and then you still have about 3 hours to do something productive.  I’m not too sure what I think about this book. At times it can be a little condescending and patronising but I have to remember that it was written in 1908 originally. Continue reading “How to live on 24 hours a day by Arnold Bennett”