I Didn’t Do the Thing Today is a self-help book that looks at embracing the unpredictability of life and letting go of preconceived ideas of busyness.
Topics discussed include looking at wasted time, routines, ambition, balance, and other such notions. This book is not a cover-to-cover read, nor does each chapter need to be read in its entirety. As some of the concepts discussed are quite similar, I did find some parts of the book quite repetitive and found myself thinking Have we not already talked about this? Hence, if not every chapter is read, it’s likely that the same points will be discussed in a similar way later in the book. Some chapters will stand out more than others, and those are the ones I recommend the reader engage with, rather than feeling the need to read the whole book chronologically.
I found most enjoyment by taking my time with this book. I would read one chapter, then put the book down for a few days or even weeks. In doing so, it gave me time to think about and apply some of the learnings from each chapter, and it made the repetitiveness less noticeable.
Despite the repetitiveness, the book has some great insights and learnings. It is written in an engaging style and uses real life examples most readers will be able to relate to, such as finding the balance of work and life, or how we got through during the Covid-19 pandemic. The author also does not shy away from using personal examples and I appreciated the vulnerability of this. A lot of research did go into this book and a range of schools of thoughts were covered and referenced. The book could have been more inclusive however, in regards to looking through socio-economic or cultural lenses, as ‘not being able to do the thing today’ may be far easier for people of certain socio-economic or cultural backgrounds.
The topic of this book feels very relevant to the current time we are in, where we feel the pressure to always be doing more, bigger and better each time. This is a one-way ticket to being burnt out and is not sustainable, and yet we punish ourselves if we aren’t constantly grinding. I Didn’t Do the Thing Today is a great starting point in breaking down some of these notions and challenging what we feel is expected of us. I enjoyed this book and it has inspired me to continue to do the things I enjoy without needing to compare, do more or do better. Living each day to its fullest potential is a good mantra to live by, so long as we also respect that each day’s potential is vastly different.
Review by Hannah Longley – Child and Adolescent psychotherapist | @readwithhannah_