⏳RR #79: How to Simplify Your Life

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“thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.”

(Genesis 3:18 ESV)

Dear steward,

The great philosopher Avril Lavigne once wrote, “Why do you have to go and make things so complicated?”

Over the past month or so, I’ve been consolidating the number of services I use to run Redeeming Productivity. And I’ve slowly been moving several services, including my email service, to a single platform (It’s called Outseta, by the way, if you’re curious.)

As I was working on this transition, I was kicking myself for how messy and complicated all my systems had become.

How did things get so messy?

Why does everything tend to get so complicated?

And why do I feel like I’m constantly fighting to simplify things in my life?

I was reminded that this is one of the great frustrations about life in a post-Genesis 3 world.

Everything always tends toward chaos.

In physics, they call it the second law of thermodynamics, but the truth is entropy affects every part of our lives.

  • Our work areas tend to become messier
  • Our systems ever more complex
  • Our schedules overfull with commitments

Everything always wants to unravel. So unless we are proactively rewinding the proverbial ball of yarn, we can quickly find ourselves buried in a tangled mess.

We have to constantly be simplifying.

I’m convinced one of the most important areas a Christian can simplify in their life is how they spend their time. Fewer commitments with more time invested in them. The fact that you’ve constantly got too much to do and not enough time to do it in is not a badge of honor. It’s a problem.

Being spread too thin is a stewardship issue.

But you can’t get past this problem until you can see where your time is currently going.

And that’s where time tracking comes in.

Over on the blog this week, Rebekah Mambiar, our wonderful Operations Coordinator, wrote about how to track your time so you get back to giving your best hours to the things that matter most.

Check it out and download the included free worksheet, if you want to take up the challenge.


The best links I found this week

The Power to Bless: Six Dimensions of Good Leadership (6 mins)

“If we want to cultivate healthy families, churches, and communities, we need more than negative reactions to bad leadership; we need a positive vision and good examples.”

(Jonathon Woodyard)

How To Study With A Highlighter (5 mins)

Appreciated this article on effectively using highlighters when taking notes.

Here are the 3 big mistakes they list:

1. Not reading the text first

2. Replacing highlighting with your own notes

3. Only using one highlighter

Worth a read, especially for students.


Student and Teacher Notion Templates (6 mins)

If you’re a Notion user who also happens to be a student or teacher, surely you’ll find one of these templates useful.

(Andrea Lim / Notion) 

The Case Against Scheduling Your Fun (4 mins)

If you’ve ever heard the productivity advice that you should rigorously schedule every hour of your day—including your fun time—a new study has challenged the idea that scheduled fun is as enjoyable as spontaneous fun.

“The source of leisure’s pleasure is partly rooted in its free-flowing nature; by stemming leisure’s flow a bit by adding a schedule — turning it into an appointment — it seems a little less like fun and a little more like work.”

(Brett & Kate McKay / The Art of Manliness) 


On Redeeming Productivity

Not much new on RP this week, but here are a couple of interviews I gave on other people’s programs. 

🎙The Word at Work with Miranda Carls: Get more done, and get it done like a Christian (39 mins)

▶️ Christian Productivity: Theology, Tips, & Hacks (Matthew Everhard) (46 mins)


Here’s something I like

Matter: A Better Read It Later App

A good read-it-later app is absolutely essential if you read a lot of articles online.

A read-it-later app allows you to save articles you come across to… well… read later, usually in a more pleasing format. 

I’ve been using Feedly for the past year as my read-it-later app, and my pro subscription just ended this week. And having used both Instapaper and Pocket in the past, I was hoping maybe there were some new read-it-later players on the scene.

In my hunt for a new app I came across Matter and I’ve been absolutely loving it so far.

Not only does Matter save articles to read later, and format them beautifully. It also can:

  • Have any article read aloud to you
  • Let you read and search your articles while offline
  • Follow blog RSS feeds
  • Integrate with Readwise, Roam Research, Obsidian, Notion, & other notes apps.

Plus (at least for now) it’s completely free to use.

Check out Matter.


Thanks for reading!

I hope you enjoyed this edition of Reagan’s Roundup. I appreciate you reading it.

Registration for Redeeming Productivity Academy will be reopening next week. Add your name to the waitlist to be the first to know when it opens.

More details to come.

Have a blessed rest of your week and a God-honoring Lord’s Day!

In Christ,


Reagan Rose
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