(Un)Finished

My latest in the Christian Courier.

___________________

Over the past months, a few friends and acquaintances of mine have been reading Jon Acuff’s book Finish: Giving yourself the gift of done—it’s a book you will find on the “motivational” or “self-help” shelf (or would, if we still had bookstores!). Acuff has written Finish with the goal of helping readers get beyond their perfectionism and busyness so they can actually finish something—finish reading a book, finish an exercise regime, or finish a personal project.

Acuff is the kind of writer who makes you think anything is possible. Reading the book is like listening to a hilarious and wise friend tell stories over a beer. There’s the time his young daughter said she was going to live off his dead fund once he was gone (his life insurance!). He wonders aloud about sending his kids foraging and dumpster diving, rather than prioritizing meal preparation. He admits that his lawn is 1-part grass to 10-parts weeds, and that he’s ok with it. His writing is smooth and funny, and a profoundly inviting vision for getting things done!

Among other advice, Acuff suggests that we bomb some things—suggests that we need to intentionally stop doing some things in order to get other things done. Expressed in less war-like terms, it’s about deciding what we won’t care about, so that we can give time and energy to something we want to finish. A simple example, he suggests burying the email app deep in our smart phone (in a file on the third page) so that it doesn’t incessantly demand attention. It’s about caring less about email so that we can, for example, get a column written!! Continue reading