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At the start of each new quarter I reassess. I take some time to think about how things have gone in the past 90 days and determine what I need to do to make the next 90 days even better, more productive, and full of purpose. Have I stayed on track? Are my goals working? Do I need to change my goals? Is this system working for me? If not, what do I need to change?

As I looked back at this past quarter (January – March), I realized I got pretty off track of where I wanted to be. This was a hard quarter. But it was just a season, and luckily seasons are just that…seasons. Seasons pass and change. Hard seasons allow us to better appreciate the beautiful ones. More of this to come in my goals post so I won’t go into too much of it here…stay tuned tomorrow!

As I was reassessing where I’m at, I decided one thing I’d like to share more with you all during this 90 day season is what I’m reading and planning to read. Books are a big part of my life, but I rarely share what I’m reading and focusing on. So it’s time for a change! I’m ready to share more with you all on what I’m reading and why.

I believe that reading changes things. Books have changed my life in so many positive ways. I want to share more with you all on what I am reading each month because all that knowledge and growth doesn’t do any good being bottled up in me. I believe it’s our duty to help other and disseminate the knowledge we do have.

So, here we go!

In April I’m going I’m reading two books:

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

AND

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

This will be my third time reading Essentialism, it’s SO good and is full of reminders I regularly need. Deep Work is new to me and I’m excited to dive in. Both of these books are great reads for anyone, so I’d recommend you join along if you’re interested!

If you’d like to join along reading with me this month, I’m posting my reading plan below. If you can’t join along this month you can always come back to this blog post and read at your own pace.

I’ll also be hopping on Facebook Watch each week updating and sharing my takeaways from my readings throughout the week.

Reading Plan for Deep Work:

To stay on track read ~ 12.5 pages / day , 5 days / week

Week 1 (April 1st) – Read to Page 63

  • Introduction
  • Part One – The Idea
    • Chapter One – Deep Work is Valuable
    • Chapter Two – Deep Work is Rare

Week 2 (April 8th) – Read to Page 126

  • Chapter Three – Deep Work is Meaningful
  • Part Two – The Rules
    • Rule #1 – Work Deeply

Week 3 (April 15th) – Read to Page 189

  • Part Two – The Rules
    • Finish Rule #1 – Work Deeply
    • Rule #2 – Embrace Boredom
    • Rule #3 – Quit Social Media

Week 4 (April 22nd) – Read to Page 252

  • Part Two – The Rules
    • Finish Rule #3 – Quit Social Media
    • Rule #4 – Drain the Shallows

Week 5 (Week of April 29th) – Finish the Book!

  • Part Two – The Rules
    • Finish Rule #4
    • Conclusions

Reading Plan for Essentialism:

To stay on track read ~ 11.2 pages / day , 5 days / week

Week 1 (April 1st) – Read to Page 62

  • Chapter One – The Essentialist
  • Chapter Two – Choose
  • Chapter Three – Discern
  • Chapter Four – Trade-Off

Week 2 (April 8th) – Read to Page 118

  • Chapter Five – Escape
  • Chapter Six – Look
  • Chapter Seven – Play
  • Chapter Eight – Sleep
  • Chapter Nine – Select

Week 3 (April 15th) – Read to Page 174

  • Chapter Ten – Clarify
  • Chapter Eleven – Dare
  • Chapter Twelve – Uncommit
  • Chapter Thirteen – Edit
  • Chapter Fourteen – Limit

Week 4 (April 22nd) – Read to Page 225

  • Chapter Fifteen – Buffer
  • Chapter Sixteen – Subtract
  • Chapter Seventeen – Progress
  • Chapter Eighteen – Flow
  • Chapter Nineteen – Focus

Week 5 (Week of April 29th) – Finish the Book!

  • Chapter Twenty – Be

 

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to fill this month with good knowledge and fresh starts! Happy April Friends! Are you planning to read along with me this month? Send me a quick note and introduce yourself.

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Y’all I spend countless hours either sitting at a computer, at a microscope, sitting in a lab alone, or driving. I don’t mind one bit because I utilize all that ‘alone’ time to listen to podcasts! I’m always looking for ways to keep learning and podcasts have been wonderful for that. Plus, music tends to make me tired after a while and sometimes audio books are just too long….but podcasts…they’re just right!

I have found some inspiring and some just plain funny podcasts that always brighten my day, so I wanted to share them with you. I hope you can check them out.

My 10 favorite podcasts

Goal Digger with Jenna Kutcher – A lifestyle podcast for all you creative ladies out there! You’ll get so many good ideas from this lady.

This American Life – An oldie but a goodie! I’ve been listening to this show for years and continue to love the amazing stories they put out! Ira Glass talks about a variety of stories…you’ll just have to check it out!

Start Up by Gimlet Media –  They interview businesses as they are starting up. Super interesting even if you’re not a business owner!

Gilmore Guys – All my Gilmore Girls fans you’ll love this one! These guys talk about each and every episode of Gilmore Girls. It’s hilarious and will make you feel better any day of the week.

Ted Radio Hour – If you want to feel inspired about anything, this is your show! I often feel more excited about any task after listening to an episode.

The Art of Photography – You know I couldn’t get through this list without having one photography podcast! There is some great information in this one, but it is in video form. Often I just listen, but it does help to sometimes watch it.

Magic Lessons by Elizabeth Gilbert – There haven’t been any new episodes in a while, but there is a lot of golden nuggets tucked away in this podcast.

Radio Lab – This is the scientist in me! They talk about a variety of mysteries in science. It’s super fun and it’s not technical at all…so everyone can enjoy this one!

More Perfect – This is made by the same people who make Radio Lab. It’s about the Supreme Court system. I know it doesn’t sound fascinating, but it truly is. Give it a try!

Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! – It’s kind of a gameshow podcast. They quiz people on current events and pop culture. It always helps me stay awake if I’m really dragging…

If you’re a podcast listener please comment below! I’d love to know what your favorites are! I am always on the hunt for great new shows! Also, if you check out one of these podcasts let me know what you think. 🙂

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