cover image I Didn’t Do the Thing Today: Letting Go of Productivity Guilt

I Didn’t Do the Thing Today: Letting Go of Productivity Guilt

Madeleine Dore. Avery, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-0-593-41913-7

Extraordinary Routines blogger Dore debuts with a welcome sanity check that advises kicking perfectionism to the curb. Giving readers permission to accept that there are “days we don’t seize,” she preaches sidestepping the “if only” spiral by trusting the ebb and flow of life, realizing that balance is a myth, giving up on jealousy-inducing comparisons (while seeking “enriching” ones), avoiding the trap of busyness-for-busyness’s sake, taking an inventory of shaming “shoulds,” and beginning each day with delight (try clotted cream on porridge for breakfast). To achieve accomplishments and avoid burnout, Dore recommends focusing attention by identifying what breaks it (laundry lists and social media are prime examples) while acknowledging the reality that distraction exists, and overcoming the toxicity of perfectionism, which fuels the inner bully. “What if instead of expecting ourselves to completely overhaul our lives, we picked just one thing? Instead of expecting ourselves to write a thousand words each morning, we focus on just one paragraph?” she asks. With the tone of a wise friend, Dore will lighten the mental overload of type A readers. Agent: Georgia Frances King, Aevitas Creative Management. (Jan.)