In reading “Breaking Busy,” I had a hard time relating to busy and burned-out Alli Worthington. Alli shares stories of flights, speaking engagements, blogging, founding Blissdom events, consulting, business coaching, writing a book, becoming executive director of Propel Women, raising five sons, and being a full-time working mom with a stay-at-home-husband. The decisions and stresses Alli faced seemed foreign to my life as a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of three. In fact, the very first story in the book (about falling asleep on an airport shuttle and misplacing her cellphone in her bra) and analogies to capacity overload so failed to capture my attention that I was ready to stop reading by page 20. I was also perplexed by Alli’s decision to quit Blissdom on page 79, with no idea what her next job would be, when she was the primary breadwinner in her family. It wasn’t until page 155 that Alli was offered the position at Propel Women, so for most of the book I was left wondering what she would do next. As a result, most of this 218 page book dragged for me.
However, Alli does share many helpful lessons that she learned along the way that anyone can relate to. As she addresses her need for better time management, she talks about relationships, calling, choices, worry, expectations, decision-making, communicating, and finding your worth. “Breaking Busy” progresses almost chronologically through Alli’s life, explaining how she dealt with each of these things along the way. She shares a lot of scripture, prayers, and advice from Christian friends and writers. I enjoyed her practical applications and was able to glean new insights from her use of things like a “Time Diary” (pg. 140) and a “Stop-Doing List” (pg. 146). She also introduced concepts like “Analysis Paralysis” (pg. 158), the “10-10-10 Analysis” (pg. 168), and “Communication Style” (pg. 176) that I thought were very interesting. The story I enjoyed the most was on page 133, when Alli described her desire to join a sewing class and make smocked rompers just to fit in with a new group of friends, even though she hates sewing.
In conclusion, “Breaking Busy” has many good thoughts to offer. As the percentage of full-time working mothers continues to increase, I am sure that many other women will be able to relate to Alli Worthington’s lifestyle in a way that I did not. Even if her “crazy busy” lifestyle is not universal, the lessons she has learned about time management can be successfully applied to a wide range of lifestyles.