At Your Best

Last year, the time management genre added two highly acclaimed books to its repertoire — Redeeming Your Time and At Your Best. Still, on a high from reading Jordan Raynor’s Redeeming Your Time masterpiece, I was hopeful that Carey Nieuwhof’s At Your Best would live up to the hype as well. Unfortunately, it did not shine quite so brightly.

“The wrong things will always want your attention. It’s your job to focus on the right things.” ~ Carey Nieuwhof

For years, Carey Nieuwhof found himself burning out with his many responsibilities as pastor, father, husband, employer, counselor, and more. He wondered how he could get everything done with so many hats to dawn in a day. “There’s just not enough time in the day,” he would say. However, after realizing that he had the same amount of time in the day as, say, the President of the United States or his greatest role model, Carey learned that it’s not so much about how much time we have but how we’re utilizing our energy to complete specific tasks each day. Believing that he has cracked the code of burnout and time management, Carey Nieuwhof complied his discoveries into At Your Best so others could benefit as well…

“The first step to focusing your time is to start telling the truth about time. Stop saying you don’t have the time. Start admitting you didn’t make the time… I had the time. I just didn’t take it. I was time rich. But I felt like I was broke.” ~ Carey Nieuwhof

I think it was pretty presumptuous for Carey to preach that this book would radically change everyone’s lives. Don’t get me wrong, there were some great pearls to find, and I’m sure many people have benefited from reading At Your Best; however, I couldn’t help noticing the lack of the Holy Spirit in his writing and examples. Considering that Carey Nieuwhof was a pastor for so many years, I was surprised at his desire to reach all audiences rather than explain how God has used these revelations for His glory. I feel like there could’ve been more depth and connection within the pages had this been Carey’s approach.

“Doing what you’re best at when you’re at your best unlocks potential and freedom on a scale that shocks a lot of people who try it. It has the potential to change everything.” ~ Carey Nieuwhof

While I wasn’t enthralled by this book, I did enjoy Carey Nieuwhof‘s points on being aware of your energy levels and using the time when your energy is at its highest to complete your top priorities rather than waste it on small jobs that take little to no energy or brain power. I also liked his section on recognizing that most people don’t consider your time when needing something, so boundaries are essential because our time has worth and shouldn’t be dictated by other people’s agendas. That said, we should always be open to the Lord’s interruptions and have grace when we are taken away from our tasks. It’s okay to serve others over ourselves, but we need to be aware when people start to take advantage and think our time is not as precious as theirs!

“Hijacked priorities happen when you allow other people to determine what you get done.” ~ Carey Nieuwhof

So, what are my overall thoughts on At Your Best? I liked reading it with my accountability group and discussing the topics with them every other week. Nevertheless, you won’t find me raving about this book. In my eyes, the reigning champion of the time management genre remains Redeeming Your Time, though there are always pearls to find in whatever we read, listen to, or watch.

“In the end, who you’re becoming is so much more important than what you’re doing.” ~ Carey Nieuwhof

Here are a few pearls I gleamed from reading At Your Best:

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