The latest book from author Christy Wright is a refreshingly practical guide to getting on top of the things that matter most and away from the things that don’t.
In “Take Back Your Time: The Guilt-Free Guide to Life Balance,” Wright begins by redefining the concept of life balance—a term that has become, perhaps, a bit vacuous. She reframes the idea from vaguely describing balancing each aspect of life evenly to “doing the right things at the right time.” The aim, Wright says, is not to divide your time or energy between work and home equally all the time but to feel a sense of balance in your heart and mind, even when life gets busy.
Like a good coach, Wright encourages participation in exercises that are mapped out in a free, online printable that follows the lessons in each chapter. The exercises first guide you through your perceptions of balance and then the five steps of what she deems “The Path to Balance.”
What makes this book stand out from many others that have been written about ideas like life balance and time management is that Wright’s perspective is one of down-to-earth, relatable, lived experience. She’s a mom and a professional, and she’s walked through seasons when she felt pulled in a million different directions and wished she could just get it together.
This book is about walking away from that hamster wheel and being at peace with the way you spend your precious time rather than simply wasting it on being busy and feeling guilty.
Wright describes four common reasons why people tend to feel out of balance, namely, “doing too many things, not doing enough things, doing the wrong things, and not doing the right things.”
Her five steps aim to figure out what the right things are—in other words, your top priorities in life or the things that matter most to you. Next, she helps you identify the things that you’re doing—or at least adding to your to-do list—that don’t really matter. In step three, rubber hits the road when you create a schedule and add the right things to your calendar and task lists.
“If something matters, it needs to make it on the calendar or it won’t happen,” Wright says.
After mapping out what to do and when to do it, Wright pivots to working on mindset in her last two steps. Step four is “protect what matters.” Here’s where you look at those times where you say yes to things out of obligation or don’t put enough value on that family time at home. She talks about confidence and boundaries, and her words are encouraging and empowering. She gives you permission to steward your time in the best way you see fit.
In step five, “be present for what matters,” Wright reminds us that we can get our priorities straight and set up rock-solid boundaries, but if our attention is elsewhere—if our minds are wandering off thinking about the things we’re not doing, or if we’re distracted by our phones—we’re missing the time we’re spending anyway, so what does it matter?
One simple strategy she shares is that she asks herself, “What is right in front of me?” to redirect her attention to the present moment.
“Whether it’s my daughter grabbing my leg, my coworker talking in a meeting, a neighbor waving as we pass on the street, or just a beautiful sunset right outside my window, when I redirect my thoughts to what’s right in front of me—when I practice mindfulness—I allow myself to experience and actually enjoy the moment I’m in. I allow myself to actually enjoy my life,” she says.
“Take Back Your Time” is the perfect book for the overwhelmed mom, the professional with too much on her plate, or anyone who is feeling frazzled or pulled in too many directions. Christy Wright guides you back on the path from busy to balanced, simply, practically, and with kind-hearted encouragement.
‘Take Back Your Time: The Guilt-Free Guide to Life Balance’
By Christy Wright
Ramsey Press, 2021