Cover Image: At Your Best

At Your Best

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Member Reviews

A good personal development and productivity book. I didn't learn a lot, but that's most definitely because I read a lot on this topic already - not by any fault of the author. This was well structured, and I really liked the way it was written ! Read it very fast during my commute time, and would definitely recommend it to my stressed-out and overworked friends.
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Maybe you look back longingly at the work you used to do, at the projects you used to finish, and the milestones you used to reach. COVID's been a strange beast, hasn't it? It's affected everybody. 

Maybe you're feeling stressed and almost at the end of your rope, fighting for equilibrium in this strange and unknown season. If so, this book is for you.

Nieuwhof is always an interesting writer, and this volume on avoiding burnout is no exception. He helps the reader diagnose things that aren't working (and maybe some things that weren't working in the past for you.) He invites you to look at stress points and where you are functioning at less than capacity.

The author offers choices for going forward: what is the life you are designed to live? How do you get there - to live at 100% rather than surviving day to do. I'm not giving away his advice or secrets. Read them for yourself!
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This is a really informative book! I loved the energy zones that the author establishes and had found that utilizing them in my own life is very effective. The book outlines how we only have a few truly productive hours a day, but we can hack the system by timing the most important items of our day in our green, or most productive time zones, and placing less important items that do not require as much brain power, in the other zones. He provides a lot of real life examples and inspiration. While his examples are especially relevant to those who are going into work every day, I found that the principles could also easily be applied to myself, a busy homeschooling mom who never seems to have enough time. Yet, the premise of this book is that we do have enough time! We all have the same amount of time, we just need to prioritize and work with our energy levels throughiut the day via strategic planning. This is the perfect read for anyone wanting to be more productive and spend more of their life doing what they actually enjoy!
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Good book - nothing earth shattering but helpful reminders. Have you ever found yourself struggling to push through mid-afternoon but super productive at 6am? This happens to me frequently. To be my best, I can stop forcing a 3pm administrative or creative push and plan my day around when I am strongest. While it is not a "religious" book, I appreciate that it is written by a person of faith and takes into account spiritual needs to maximize being our best.
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"At Your Best: How to Get Time, Energy, and Priorities Working in Your Favor", by Carey Nieuwhof, is a fantastic self-help book. Nieuwhof postulates that each person has three resources: time, energy, and priorities to use to our benefit or our detriment. This book was filled with a lot of practical advice that was reasonable and yet I had never heard of them before. I especially liked the idea of Green Zones, and using your most energy-filled times of the day to get the most done. I also enjoyed the chapter on not just using your gifts, but further developing them. Each chapter ended with a bulletpoint summary that was a great conclusion.

I think many people will find this book useful, and I highly recommend it! Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. All opinions are my own.
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This book had a lot of good food for thought about how we use our time and who we let control our time. I enjoyed digging into the zones to discover and protect your green zones where you have higher energy and productivity. Carey Nieuwhof delivers on his tagline’s promise: “How to Get Time, Energy, and Priorities Working in Your Favor.”
Lots of great quotes in this book including these:
“Stop saying you don’t have the time. Start admitting you didn’t make it.”
“The reason other people don’t value your time is because you don’t.”
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In the book At Your Best, author Carey Nieuwhof, writes about living in a world where people are over-committed, overworked and overwhelmed. Nieuwhof writes: “Most people have only three to five deeply productive hours in a day when their energy is at its peak. That’s it. Claire Diaz-Ortiz, who worked at Twitter in the start-up years, made a similar observation: even the most brilliant Silicon Valley engineers have about three creative and highly productive hours in them daily. Cal Newport, author of Deep Work, has researched this quite extensively and argued that our capacity for intense, focused work comes in at around four hours a day.”
So how can we leverage these 3-5 hours a day and accomplish the right things to not only check off our list but to develop our gifts? And developing our gifts are important. Nieuwhof writes: “You cheat your gift when you use it but never take the time to develop it. And when you do that, you cheat the world out of your best too.”
Nieuwhof gives a step by step process and even a website with templates to help you develop healthy patterns in your management of life. This was a great read! I would highly recommend this book. I received a copy of this e-book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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You've got a great deal to do and feel overwhelmed. You feel you are on your way to burnout. Many productivity books will suggest you evaluate your tasks and cut some out. You know that is just not a possibility. 

Nieuwhof's philosophy is different. As a previous lawyer and current business owner, he knows the amount of tasks that must be accomplished. Cutting some out is just not an option. He suggestions fall into the working smarter category. He delves into best utilizing the three resources every person has: time, energy, and priorities.

Nieuwhof advocates doing what we do best at the time when we are at our best. That means finding out the rhythm of our day. We all have the same number of hours but not all hours have the same potential for us. It was surprising to find out that most people have 3-5 productive hours each day. That's why finding one's highest energy time is so important. One can accomplish much more in fewer hours when utilizing the proper time. I'm a morning person and I'm at my best before noon. I'll focus on what's most important then. But that means I have to establish priorities and Nieuwhof helps me do that too.

This is a good book for people who want to make the best use of the hours God has given them. You'll have suggestions for finding your most productive hours and determining the tasks you want to do in that time. You'll find ways to protect that time and your priorities, including preventing people from distracting you with their priorities. You'll have suggestions for getting back on track when life is disrupted. Soon you'll be doing your best when you're at your best.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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A must read for anyone that has a busy life, which is everyone! I'm sorry Carey had to suffer through the frustration of burnout, but what he discovered on his journey to getting out of the crazy cycle of stress and burnout will help so many either avoid it or get through it. I could see myself in his story and could not put the book down, as I wanted to know what to do to get my life in order! I highly recommend this book...it's a life changer!
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I read this book in a day. For a book about time-blocking, it doesn’t once mention the term and I thought that was funny. If you’re well-versed in the practice (as I am), you may not get much out of Carey’s “zones.” Even so, I highlighted a lot because he’s a communicator who explains things well.

I have enjoyed several of his podcast episodes (the one with his assistant is gold), and he does a good job with this system, albeit a bit cheesy with the naming (just call it time-blocking, dude). If you want to try it, you will probably get a lot out of this book. If you want the cliff notes version, just read a blog post about time-blocking (Kalyn Brooke’s is my favorite) and look up Michael Hyatt’s ideal week calendar.
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Reading this book on time management, I felt like getting many aha moments. The author introduces new concepts like  stress spiral, energy clock, but also approaches old subjects like priorities, saying no, dealing with people. The writing is surprisingly  accesible and engaging to any reader.
In each chapter you can find practical ideas and assignements based on sheets available on his site.
At the end of each, you will find key points summarised. 
This book is a gift for any reader!
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Carey knocked It out of the park with this book.  I was so engaged by the way this was written.  I could tell this book had been on his mind for years and he actually cared what he was writing about so much it motivated me to change my entire work day.  I didn't know how messed up my work day was when I would pretend to work for 8 hours a day.  I was wasting my time doing rushed important tasks in my red zone and little meaningless tests in my green zone.  Carey did a great job explaining the RED, YELLOW, and GREEN zone so well the book didn't leave you wondering if you really knew what he was talking about.  It was so clear anyone from high school to a CEO could take this book and apply it to their lives that day.  

I did find it a littlest annoying all the worksheets were online on his website but that is just a personal opinion of mine.  For some people to have that personal chart they can make online might be just what they need.  I would have rather had more diagrams in the book.

Overall this is one of the best books I have read in the last couple years and has really helped get my life back together.  I am excited to show this to my team and students so we can thrive together.
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"You do your best when you're at your best" - this book talks about how to live at your best, personally and professionally. I love these kinds of books, thinking that if I only get one or two good tips, they're worth the read. This book was worth the read. Others don't love self help, or think that every page has to be life changing for it to be worthwhile, and that's where other reviewers might have questioned this book. Overall this was a good read, with good advice, personal stories, and a focus on reducing burnout. Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I’m sorry but this book really wasn’t for me...
The book starts with all the reasons why people are burned out. Then the author proceeds by explaining the ‘green yellow and red zones of the day’ that divide the day in times where you are most and less productive.
The tips and tricks, for me, are pretty much foregone.
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“You do your best when you are at your best”. This philosophy lies at the heart of Carey Nieuwhof’ s upcoming self-help book. a former lawyer and the founding pastor of Connexus Church in Barrie, Ontario, Nieuwhof contends that there are three obstinate culprits who contrive to create a “Stress Spiral” in our professional as well as our personal lives. The trifecta of Unfocused Time, Unlevered Energy and Hijacked Priorities leaves us overwhelmed, overcommitted, and overworked. Sounds familiar? Reminds you of a spoilt old wine in a spanking new bottle? Fret not. Stitching together tidbits of conventional wisdom gleaned from the likes of Cal Newport and Stephen Covey, with some unconventional tenets of his own Nieuwhof lays down a primer for getting one’s life back on track. 

A lot of the virtuous transformation from a worn down bundle of nerves to a successful and serene high energy optimist imbued with a Nirvana state in perpetuity, has to do with manipulating calendars. Not the calendars that hang from a rusty nail adjacent to the kitchen cabinet, but the calendars that determine which meeting will have you entering it like a Forrest Gump and exiting like Don Vito Corleone. The ultimate objective is to enable the stressed out soul from making the transition from the Spiral of Stress to the Thrive Cycle. 

Nieuwhof argues that the secret to a well balanced and even fulfilling professional and personal life lies in the management of time. Every person according to Nieuwhof needs to divide the time available in a day into three specific zones: The Green Zone, The Yellow Zone and the Red Zone. These Traffic Lights might end up being your unwitting saviours. As Nieuwhof illustrates by drawing on the works of Claire Diaz-Ortiz of Twitter and Cal Newport, the bestselling management author, even the most talented and cerebral genius at work would have at the most three to five ‘deeply productive’ hours every day. There are the hours when the worker’s energy is at its peak. The remaining hours are characterised by a waning of energy and a seeping in of unintended lethargy. The trick, therefore, is to capitalize on the peak productive hours. 

As you might have deciphered by now, the productive hours represent your Green Zone. Bt when does this Green Zone manifest? Since there are nocturnal strivers and dawn fanatics it is essential for you to identify your ‘Energy Clock’. This is a clock that depicts when your energy dips and peaks. This is the very key to figuring out when your Green Zone is. Consciously observing your pattern throughout the course of a day will facilitate one to identify your Energy Clock. One surefire way to identify your Green Zone would be to map the 3-5 hours every day during the course of which you are “creative, alert, engaged, efficient, effective, productive and accurate.” In lockstep with these positive attributes, would also manifest virtues such as kindness, optimism, cheeriness and reflection and magnanimity. Once you are done with identifying your Green Zone, schedule all the activities that you are best at performing, to fit within the confines of this Green Zone. For example, mundane, routine and repetitive meetings can be pushed to the Yellow Zone (more of this later). Ensure minimal to no distractions when you are working in the Green Zone. Turn off all notifications from electronic gadgets, place a Do Not Disturb Board outside your room and forget the existence of the phenomenon called Internet (unless such a remembrance is vital to your most productive chores themselves). 

If your Green Zone is the panacea for all ailments, the Red Zone represents the biggest ailment itself. This is the period of time which finds you listless, devoid of creativity, “tired, disengaged, inefficient, ineffective, unproductive and inaccurate.” In sync with these merciless demons, negative state of mind attributes such as frustration, pessimism, short-temper, selfishness, miserliness and a hardened disposition rule the roost. Ensure that you do not reserve the tasks that you are best at for this stretch of time by any stretch of imagination. Keep reserved for the Red Zone tasks that are unimportant, uncritical and insignificant in terms of negative and costly ramifications.

So that leaves you with the Yellow Zone. Sandwiched in between the astonishing and the abject, the Yellow Zone is an ambivalent chunk of time that is benevolent as well as stubborn. According to Nieuwhof, this time zone is characterised by states of mind that are “moderately creative, partially engaged, fairly efficient, relatively effective, mostly productive, somewhat accurate, and producing decent work.” The moods associated with this Zone are “pleasant, realistic, civil, introspective, slightly bothered by others, and somewhat generous.” Since this time zone does not signify collapse or disaster, tasks that are not absolute priority but still visibly important can be adjusted to fit within the confines of the Yellow Zone. 

Similarly energy levels may be leveraged to produce the maximum impact by introspecting on three critical questions: “What tasks do I most look forward to doing? What things energize me as I do them? When do I lose track of time because I’m enjoying what I’m doing so much?” 

Nieuwhof also warns that a blank calendar is nothing but a recipe for unmitigated disaster. A calendar which looks squeaky clean for the next three months might just be a canvas waiting to be painted on by someone other than the painter (this is the reviewer’s own analogy). Nieuwhof urges you to prioritise your calendar by setting out reminders and tasks for the foreseeable future so that your much anticipated family time is not ruined by a sudden invitation to a party which no one is keen on attending. 

The message purveyed in “At Your Best: is neither new nor novel. A multitude of authors have already waxed eloquent on almost every concept that is addressed and attested to by Nieuwhof. However, what makes the book a very engrossing read is the simplistic and easily implementable manner in which it has been written. 

(At Your Best: How to Get Time, Energy, and Priorities Working in Your Favor by Carey Nieuwhof is published by WaterBrook & Multnomah and will hit the stands on 14th September 2021) 

Thank You Net Galley for the Advance Reviewer Copy
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