Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the rise of You Tubers as authors has been tremendous over the last 2 years and Anne Newton’s An Edited Life contribution is the latest book from such a source to hit the shelves .
The tagline of the book is “Simple steps to streamlining your life at work and at home” and is really Anna’s interpretation of the minimalist craze that has been gaining pace. A typical millennial consumerist, moving house was the catalyst in identifying that the sheer amount of stuff she had was a little excessive. She mentions rooting through items like a broken Ipod Shuffle, unread university textbooks and a 2 sizes too small sequined Topshop number which gave her the impetus to review exactly what was occurring and how these excessive possessions were making her feel.
She makes clear that she had a natural disposition to organising from an early age but, like many of us, found herself organising an unncessary amount of stuff. The stand out point that she makes is that none of us can really chuck out everything and live a clinical and extremely minimalist existence. But we can make small changes to different parts of our life that can cumulatively make an impact in our overall well being and, in a lot of instances, our wealth as we move away from the era of instant gratification.
Her view is to have an edited life rather than a minimalist life and how we choose to edit is ultimately personal to us.
The book is split into three key sections with a number of sub categories i.e.
- Life (diary, money, self care and setting goals)
- Work (workspace, planning, task management)
- Home (organisation, capsule wardrobe, running a home)
The concept of An Edited Life is to be able to dip into the book and focus on the key areas that you feel need attention rather than commit to reading it from cover to cover, skimming over sections that don’t really float your boat. In Anna’s words “Are there some parts that you feel like you should tweak but really can’t be arsed”. And I think this really helps to cement one of the main premises of the book, in that we all kind of know what we should be doing but sometimes we need guiding through the practical steps to enable us to just crack on.
The author makes several disclaimers about her lifestyle and working pattern being fairly unique and whilst it tackles any prospective critics head on, it’s really an unnecessary statement as I think the book speaks to a wide range of people such as your average working mum of two like me!
Sections like ‘How to organise the ‘shit drawer'” and phrases such as “lovely jubbly” makes the book feel as though you’re just having a chat with your organised mate about how you really should be saving more each month or scheduling some time with friends. Anna manages to provide some real substance to what could otherwise be fluffy aspirational and impractical subject area. Within the book are a bunch of checklists, cleaning schedules, budget planners and practical productivity tips that you can relate to and apply easily. Whether your a 20-something work from home blogger or a 30 something frazzled full time working mum of two, there really is something for everyone.
Now I’ve followed Anna on YouTube for a number of years and have seen her evolve, but throughout that time her genuine approach has really shone through. This isn’t just another book where the author has sold out in order to suit the mass audience appeal they have captured. This book is genuinely Anna in all her organised glory. Her kind demeanour and modest, almost apologetic, narrative means you feel like you’re being supported to get your shit together rather than being patronised for not being ‘good enough’.
For me, this book will be by my side for a good few months as a work through her suggestions for the various areas of my life where I can edit, improve and achieve. And to be able to empower people with those tools and methods to succeed is testament to the quality of this book.
It’s only March but An Edited Life is a strong contender for my read of the year – well done Anna!
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