To be a mom—really, to be a human—is to constantly be pulled in a million directions at once. Our days are spent juggling housework, meal preparation, and kids’ schedules as we attempt to keep our houses clean, our families fed and entertained, and our selves somewhat sane. To complicate this already-precarious caseload, we are met with a barrage of experts and well-meaning “friends” (i.e., people we follow on Facebook) offering feedback on how we should be managing our lives. And for the perfectionists among us, there’s the additional unwelcome presence of an incessant inner critic who monitors our every move and demands continual improvements.
Seeking external guidance for “life management” can be a gateway to even more frustration and confusion; however, I have personally found it helpful to turn to a few trusted sources for some handholding in this overwhelming game of life. One such source is Kendra Adachi, whose podcast has been an invaluable guide for me in recent years as I’ve learned to be—in Kendra’s words—”a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don’t.” Not only does Kendra have a great name (*wink wink*), but her advice on everything from doing laundry to surviving the holidays is the perfect blend of useful and grace-filled. Of course I don’t know Kendra personally, but I trust her good friend Emily P. Freeman who describes Kendra as “an expert at creating systems to finish task [and] a master at doing the right things in the right order for the right reasons.” I have found this to be true of Kendra in the many years I have followed her, and I could hardly contain my inner “squeeee!” when she announced that she was writing a book disclosing her brilliant tools for how to “embrace what matters, ditch what doesn’t, and get stuff done.”
The Lazy Genius Way officially goes out into the world tomorrow (August 11), but as part of the book’s launch team, I’ve already had the opportunity to read it, and I cannot say enough good things about this book! Here’s a brief summary, lifted from the book page on Kendra’s website:
“Be productive without sacrificing peace of mind using Lazy Genius principles that help you focus on what really matters and let go of what doesn’t. If you need a comprehensive strategy for a meaningful life but are tired of reading stacks of self-help books, here is an easy way that actually works. No more cobbling together life hacks and productivity strategies from dozens of authors and still feeling tired. The struggle is real, but it doesn’t have to be in charge.”
As somewhat of a self-improvement junkie, I’ve read numerous books that don’t live up to their promises, but I can assure you that this one DOES! Kendra begins with the premise that “when you care about everything, you do nothing well, which then compels you to try harder” (or, eventually, to just give up). Kendra helps readers combat this all-or-nothing mentality by showing us how to determine our values and priorities so that we can begin to think and act like lazy geniuses who expend our energy on what matters to us.
A majority of the book is devoted to thirteen core principles for figuring out what needs a shortcut and then knowing how to create one: some strategies (like Start Small, Build the Right Routines, and Go In the Right Order) are more about practical tools, while others (such as Essentialize, Let People In, and Be Kind to Yourself) get to the heart and purpose of the becoming a lazy genius by helping readers adopt a new mindset in our approach to our priorities, our stuff, and our day-to-day lives.
For each principle within the Lazy Genius methodology, Kendra shows the ineffectiveness of both the not-caring-enough “lazy” approach and the trying-too-hard “genius” one, and she explains how to strike a smart balance between the two. She then models the application of each principle to scenarios from her own life and situations that many of us are navigating on a regular basis. Each chapter ends with a helpful recap and one small step to get started. As Kendra explains in her intro to the book, “one principle on its own will have a tangible impact, but as you apply each to your daily life, you’ll see how the thirteen principles can harmoniously create personalized solutions to your problems and illuminate the ones that don’t matter so much.”
Life hacks and habit-formation strategies are fairly easy to come by; thankfully, The Lazy Genius Way offers much more than dry expert advice. The principles in The Lazy Genius Way are 100% actionable and effective, but Kendra’s humorous writing, touching vulnerability, and relatable stories take this book beyond “mundane tutorial” and make it an entertaining—and therefore memorable—read. Kendra seamlessly balances the roles of expert, coach, and friend, striking a tone that is authoritative yet humble and providing a model who has mastered her own strategies, but not so perfectly as to make them seem unattainable for the rest of us. I especially appreciate Kendra’s overarching themes of kindness and grace, as well as the ways in which she incorporates her Christian faith into her advice.
The Lazy Genius way releases tomorrow (preorder it today to gain access to some great bonuses) and it couldn’t be entering our world at a better time. This year has thrown us all a curve ball, and I think I speak for just about everyone in acknowledging a need for a little extra support in these crazy times. With The Lazy Genius Way, Kendra Adachi has earned her place as mentor to all of us looking to loosen our grip on things that don’t matter so that we can become geniuses about what does.