Man oh man, this book couldn’t have come into my life at a more PERFECT time. Don’t Overthink It: Make Easier Decisions, Stop Second-Guessing, and Bring More Joy to Your Life by Anne Bogel is the exact self-help book that I needed to cope with the craziness of 2020 so far. But not only that, this book helped me with a lot of things that I’m hung up on currently but know I need to get over, things that have made me feel stuck in the past, and so much more.
This is a book that I’m going to read over and over again.
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on Don’t Overthink It: Make Easier Decisions, Stop Second-Guessing, and Bring More Joy to Your Life by Anne Bogel
So, first things first, a little shout out to Anne Bogel and Carmichael’s Bookstore for organizing the pre-order event! As soon as I heard Anne say the title of the book, I was already sold… When she then read the passage from the book about debating whether or not to buy flowers while at the grocery store, and getting so focused on that internal debate that she ended up forgetting something important that she needed, I knew that I needed this book ASAP.
I’m so grateful that I was able to jump in and snag a signed copy! While I usually treat my signed copies like treasures, this book is going to have some wear and tear because as I mentioned above, this one is going to be read over and over again!
On just my first pass through, I highlighted SO many passages. I cannot wait to re-read this already. I’m also excited to see what new passages stick out to me at different stages of my life when I pick it up for another re-read.
A couple of parts that really stuck out to me:
Listing your core values– The prompt to write down my core values and my shared family values with Alex! When I was thinking about this one quickly, the three that came to mind immediately were Kindness, Reliability, Creativity. I can’t wait to sit down with Alex to discuss this idea.
Taking breaks– Real breaks, not “fake breaks” like checking email or scrolling through social media… I have been historically awful at taking time for myself, let alone taking breaks. I’m always so GO, GO, GO, that I don’t give myself time for a breather. I will be making more of an effort to take breaks in 2020. REAL breaks.
Rethinking making a mistake– When making a mistake, we all know that it’s easy to dwell on that mistake and berate yourself. Alex and I are especially seeing that now that we have our house and we’re learning all these home-improvement things on our own. The key according to Anne is to recognize that the mistake happened, learn from it, let go of the irritation, and move on. I LOVE that so much.
Writing things down– Taking more notes just to get things out of my head and onto paper has been a major focus of mine since Spring of 2019 when my life got insanely hectic. I loved seeing “write it down” as a tip in this book because it really validate the fact that this can be super helpful.
Check out this passage:
“It’s easy to build things up in your mind to be much bigger than they actually are. Sometimes I’ll notice I’m feeling completely overwhelmed because it seems like I have so much to do, but when I stop to capture my swirling thoughts – or even better, my action items – in writing, it doesn’t look so bad.
This strategy works because it allows us to wrangle our unwieldy thoughts into a more manageable format, which restores our objectivity. This is old advice, but it remains useful. Many things don’t feel so daunting once they are written down, because the active writing forces us to clarify what’s actually happening and what we need to do about it.”
Just wonderful! I love it!
There were SO many other sections that I highlighted from or bookmarked for easy reference later!
Check out some of my favorite passages below! There are a bunch there, and this isn’t even close to the number of things I actually highlighted in my book!
My Favorite Passages from Don’t Overthink It
When we talk about overthinking, we’re talking about those times when we lavish mental energy on things that don’t deserve it. Those times when we can’t seem to think about anything else, even though we know our thoughts are better spent elsewhere.
Overthinking takes different forms. Sometimes it looks like worry… Sometimes overthinking looks like fretting about the small stuff… Sometimes overthinking looks like second-guessing ourselves.
When we assume we can’t, it’s guaranteed we won’t.
It’s hard today, but it won’t stay hard forever.
When we’re overthinking, the easiest thing to do is keep overthinking. To stop the cycle, we need to interrupt these thought patterns, and we can do that by taking a small step in the right direction. Then it becomes easier to take another right step, and another.
…it’s hard to choose anything when it’s past your bedtime and you’ve whipped yourself into a frenzy.
Completing the cycle isn’t a magic bullet. But it’s benefits are real, even if they aren’t all readily apparent. Open cycles consume mental energy, occupy brain space, and beg us to monitor them as “jobs in progress.” Our brains get anxious when too many cycles remain open, because it takes energy to maintain them. They register as clutter to our brains. We’re using mental energy and our limited working memory trying not to forget about them. Think about it as you would a computer’s memory- the more RAM that’s available, the smoother the machine operates. When a cycle is complete, that’s in less thing to keep track of so we can focus on the task at hand.
Clutter, by definition, distracts us from what’s important and makes it harder to focus on the things that matter.
But at a certain point, waiting time becomes wasted time. We think moving slowly will help us, but we can spend so much time considering our options that we get stuck in analysis paralysis. We need to remember that important doesn’t necessarily require slow every step of the way. There comes a time when a decision doesn’t need any more thought- and past this point, we’re overthinking it. We don’t need to keep pondering; we need to speed up- that is, make a decision and take some action.
When we put off doing something we don’t want to do, we keep the unpleasant thing right in front of us for much longer than we need to. As long as we are contemplating the issue, we’re dwelling on the negative. If we’re dreading something, we can serve ourselves well by dealing with it sooner rather than later. If we’re overthinking something we can actually do something about, the best thing we can do is speed up to move on. Take action as soon as possible.
As long as we are contemplating the issue, we’re dwelling on the negative. Nobody’s got time – or headspace – for that.
With our thoughts, we make our worlds. This is why two people can experience the same thing in vastly different ways.
Train yourself to appreciate the positive.
We don’t have to do it ourselves. When we get someone else to do it, we give ourselves the gift of one less thing to worry about, one less thing to handle, one less thing to manage so we can put our mental energy to better use.
My Final Thoughts on Don’t Overthink It
I absolutely loved this book. It was wonderfully organized and Anne’s way of mixing in her personal stories with really important life lessons was very powerful. There were so many little one liners that really packed a punch!
I could just go on and on about this book, but if there’s one thing you take away from my review, it’s this – YOU NEED TO GO GET A COPY OF THIS BOOK!!
I cannot recommend it highly enough! This is one that I will be gifting to others right away.
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Thanks for reading!
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