Book review: An Edited Life by Anna Newton

Why we should all be reading this book

I’ve been meaning to review this book for sometime and as always, work and life have gotten in the way! I was initially introduced to the author via the lifestyle editor, Erica Davies. She hosted an event with the author that I attended.

Anna Newton
Anna Newton is a life-style You Tuber

The book’s sub-title “Simple Steps to Streamlining Your Life, at Work and at Home’ really does explain the book. There is no stone that is left un-turned, not only does it feel like a conversation with a close friend but it actually gives you the tools to actually follow what she is saying.

Broken down into chapters with clear headings and illustrations, you can dip in and dip out of this book when the need arises. I found the diary, budgeting and planning your working day sections really helpful. I’ve implemented a few of the suggestions and they have made a massive difference. Anna uses her own working life as the example to which you can apply to your schedule. She, like me, works from home and is self-employed. She needs to plan, remain motivated but also accepts that from time to time, she’s going to want to read a book all morning instead of answering emails. Her honesty is refreshing and reassuring at the sametime.

I am defiantly applying some of her rules to help me become more disciplined with this blog. I feel that in my working life, I do plan and schedule for work projects but with this blog, it gets a little…hazy. She’s also a big fan of bullet journals, something I’m considering but one baby step at a time.

An Edited Life by Anna Newton
This book needs to be read!

Lastly, the book is truly about the process of editing – editing your day, your home and your work life – choosing the elements that make you happy, keep you less stressed (there is a big chapter on financial planning) and also removing any of the ‘stuff’ that doesn’t add to your situation.

I found it really helpful and I can often be found heading back into it on certain subjects. I’ve subscribed to Anna’s You Tube channel and love her honest approach. She’s somebody that we can all learn from.

Inside pages of An Edited Life by Anna Newton
The inside pages are beautifully designed and clear to read

You can read Anna’s blog here: www.theannaedit.com . Subscribe to her You Tube or follow her Instagram: @theannaedit

An Edited Life by Anna Newton is published by Quadrille £16.99

Other recommended reads:

*This post is my opinion only. I bought the book as part of an event I attended to hear the author speak. *

Why I decluttered during a power cut and how it made me feel

Yes I hate me too. I thought I had better start with that! On Tuesday night, I arrived home after taking my daughter to her swimming lesson to discover my house in complete darkness. No security lights activated when we drove in and the lights I had left on as we left were no longer illuminated. Joy. After a quick walk round the house to establish that we hadn’t had a break in or a fuse had tripped, I called our local electrician. He told me to call the electricity board. To cut a long story short, the electricity supply to our house had stopped working. It ended up taking over 18 hours for the electricity to be back to normal and included at least 8 trucks parked up our road.

On Wednesday, it became clear that this was a serious problem and would not fixed in an hour or two. That meant I had no chance of doing any work as a) there wasn’t any internet b) my battery life on my laptop isn’t as good as it used to be and c) I wasn’t ‘feeling’ work. I was stressed, distracted and a bit twitchy.

So after trying to read a book, making drinks and doing a bit of tidying up, I decided to tackle the two shelves in our bookcase that holds all my work ‘stuff’. This included old Accounts files, many receipts, notebooks (new and old), a broken paper cutter, printer paper, card, label packs, random notes and lots of plastic wallets. There was also a hideous amount of old project files that I hadn’t emptied and removed. All piled together across two shelves and looking a bit of a state. It had sort of grown across the room as I couldn’t locate say, new A4 paper, so I would go and order more off Amazon. Ridiculous but I had been putting clearing it up for ages because I always had something more pressing.

This Girl Can Organise Instagram account
Fully recommend This Girl Can Organise – her stories are really helpful.

There are some brilliant organising and decluttering blogs and Instagram accounts out there (my favourites include: This Girl Can Organise, Just a Girl and her Blog and The Home Edit) so I’m not going to tell you how to declutter but I will share why it helped me:

  1. I couldn’t actually access my emails or any work projects because of the lack of power
  2. I still had 9 to 3 hours that I needed to use
  3. The mess was getting worse and I was wasting money buying stuff that I already had but just couldn’t be bothered to look for
  4. I didn’t have an excuse not to do it.

So, I pulled everything out off the shelves, created a bin, keep, recycle or shred pile system and just moved each bit to the according pile. It took awhile and looked terrible but I soon realised what I had, didn’t want and discovered a few gems that had been forgotten about including a few notebooks from Rome which I love.

I was then able to remove the bin pile out of the room which instantly gave me more space and made everything look so much better. Then I created smaller keep piles – segregating the stationary, finding a new home for the old accounts folders and popped the new notebooks together. Suddenly my massive mess was quite small and easy to put back onto the shelves.

As I’m a fan of organising blogs, I instantly went onto Amazon to buy in trays and box files, but actually I realised that I didn’t need any of them – yet. Instead, I used neat piles where I can see everything and after the declutter a lot of space was revealed. I could have fit everything onto one shelf but using two makes it more accessible. My takeaway – you don’t always need to spend money when decluttering, take time out after sorting through it all to see what space you actually have and then after a day or two see if you do need anything to help.

I will never declutter for the sake of it but it did keep me distracted from what else was going on outside my house, lowered my stress levels and gave me the ability to locate A4 envelopes instantly. I’m hoping I have also saved myself some cash by seeing that I do already own quite a bit of essential work ‘stuff.’ Hurrah!

Recommended reading:

An Edited Life by Anna Newton – I’m currently still reading this and I’m hoping to do a round up of great books that are helping me in the next month or so. Her YouTube channel is great too.

This Girl Can Organise Instagram – Nicola is currently writing a book but her account is really helpful – especially her stories.

This article in Psychology Today about the scientific reasons to declutter.

Ps I realise that I should have taken photos of my decluttering to help illustrate this blog but I’m not that organised!

This was the scene on Wednesday morning. What you can’t see are the other 6 vans down the road…

My Friday favourites: (08/02/19)

My Friday Favourites!

It has been awhile since I wrote one of these! Simply because I have been so busy with my working 9 to 3 that I haven’t had much of a chance to share what has been inspiring/helping me over the past month.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming by Michelle Obama: this was a very much wanted Christmas present and it didn’t disappoint. She’s quite something – what an inspiration and I loved the story that she had to tell. It felt very truthful and I don’t always get that feeling with every autobiography I’ve read. I read a lot of books for my work (I’m a book publicist) so it was lovely to switch off from work mode and just enjoy the writing. Her upbringing is fascinating and the first chapters are really what I enjoyed the most – you learn where she gets her drive from and yearning to keep learning. I particularly enjoyed the stories about her family and growing up in Chicago.

CTRL+ALT+DELETE podcast by Emma Gannon: Sarah Knight. I’m still getting my head round podcasts (I still get a small thrill when I hear them swearing – it just feels deliciously wrong!) and I know that a lot of people really enjoy these Emma Gannon podcasts. This episode with Sarah Knight (the author of the No F***s Given series of books) really shone for me. I think it has more to do with Sarah then Emma though! I’ve not read her books but have seen them everywhere (Jess Soothill wrote a great blog post about her reaction to reading one of Knight’s books) and was intrigued to hear what she has to say. Simply put – she’s another great one. Shoots from the hip, says it how it truly is and still has vulnerability when she discusses her books, life choices and how she learnt to really not care what people think. If I can just get a pinch of Sarah Knight attitude then I’ll be happy.

Vego mini choc bar

Vego Mini Choc Bar: this is the dreamiest dairy free chocolate bar I have ever eaten. It fits into my handbag and lets me have something ‘treaty’ when I’m out and about. I was introduced to it at my local Holland & Barrett and I’ve been in love ever since. Full of sugar though but it is just like Nutella. Yum! Even better, it comes as a spread in a jar too. Perfect for pancakes, toast and bagel toppings.

Sex Education on Netflix. This is a very funny, Skins -esque drama series that currently everyone I know is watching and with good reason. It stars Gillian Anderson and anything that she’s in is usually superb. Set in a school, it’s about a boy trying to make his way through the ravages of high school and counselling his fellow students with their sexual adventures. Hilarious, sometimes a bit emotional and brilliantly acted. My favourite is Eric. (love him!)

I’ve also read some other brilliant books (currently loving An Edited Life by Anna Newton and will report back on that one) and listening to podcasts such as I’m Absolutely Fine and The High Low. Oh and I’m watching Dancing on Ice with Amy. We both love it.

Have a lovely weekend!