When you put a product on Amazon, you can expect reviews. Currently, my ebook, Tell Your Time: How to Manage Your Schedule So You Can Live Free (free through Dec. 30) has 83 of them. Many are good, some are not so good.
Naturally, I am extremely grateful for all the positive reviews (thank you!), but I do have a favorite not-so-good review too.
Someone who goes by the name "DB '1988 boy'" gave my ebook 2 out of 5 stars. This is what he (I'm assuming "he" is the correct pronoun) said:
Interesting until the last page.
This book was well written, and the author was nice enough to email me back when I couldn't find the reference material on her web site. I actually took the book seriously until I got to the last page where she showed HER weekly schedule. Not too demanding. She has a lot of free time on her hands, which doesn't make her the best candidate to write this book. Working 4 hours a day? 2 hours of family time a day? If I had that kind of time, I wouldn't need a book like this. Good for her. I wonder what her husband's schedule looks like…
I like this review because it's honest. I like honest.
But there's just a tiny problem.
So I responded,
Ah, but I think you may have missed the point of the book. Our schedules are not as they are in spite of the book, but because of the book! We have purposefully made not-so-common career, financial and educational choices, affording us more flexible work time and more substantial family time in our schedules. If you spent a week in our house, I think you'd find we have just as much to do as any other family of 6; we've just set things up a bit differently than most.
Thanks so much for your honest feedback.
Amy Lynn Andrews
I get what DB "1988 boy" is saying. To the outsider, our schedules might look significantly less full than the average American family.
But we've made it this way on purpose!
A few years ago, we were both working our tail ends off. My husband was working full time, plus he had another job on the side. I was working full-time hours from home. Our kids (now 12, 10, 6 & 4) were homeschooled 3 days a week and in school 2 days a week.
We were tired.
We were stressed.
We saw each other less than we'd like.
And then one day God surprised us with new direction, and we took the opportunity to switch everything right up.
My husband quit the full-time job he did not enjoy. I scaled back on my work hours. We crunched numbers to figure out how much we need to bring in per hour between the two of us to make ends meet. We've deliberately pursued opportunities with that figure in mind.
We've consciously decided to focus on careers we enjoy and allow plenty of time for our family too. We've both turned down jobs that don't fit within our new framework. We've made other significant sacrifices, financial and otherwise. This is what works for us. It is a gigantic blessing and we do not take it for granted.
Now we both work part time and we tag team when it comes to homeschooling. At any given time during the day, at least one of us is at home with all four of our kids. We spend a lot of time together as a family and our work schedules are very flexible.
This is not to say it's all butterflies and rainbows. It's not. Some months, if money is tight, we toss around the idea of full-time job(s) again. When homeschooling is frustrating, we talk about sending our kids to school.
But in the end, we're convinced life is about relationships, and the pursuit of good ones drives us. We're simply trying to cut out the to-dos (even the good ones) that just take up time. It's amazing how many "to-dos" are totally unnecessary.
And that's the point of Tell Your Time too. It outlines my own personal approach to time management–time management with relationships in mind first. I hope you'll pick up a copy while it's free through December 30.
(It's available in the Kindle store, but no Kindle is required. Read more about that in this post.)
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.