Book Review: Don’t Overthink It

TITLE: Don’t Overthink It: Make Easier Decisions, Stop Second-Guessing, and Bring More Joy Into Your Life

AUTHOR: Anne Bogel

PUB DATE: March 3, 2020AB-cover

GOODREADS REVIEW

NOTE: I received an advanced digital copy this book, in return for my honest review.

For those unfamiliar, Anne Bogel is the creator of the bookish universe encompassing the Modern Mrs. Darcy blog and two podcasts, literary matchmaking on What Should I Read Next? and book reviews on One Great Book. I can safely say that, since I discovered her work about 4 years ago, she is probably more responsible for adding books to my TBR shelf (that’s “to be read”, for those that are not up on this lingo) than anyone else. So, now my wife knows exactly who’s to blame for our burgeoning bookshelves. Ha!

Though I could go on about the blog and the podcast, today I want to talk about Anne’s third book, “Don’t Overthink It”, which will be released on March 3rd. In this one, Ms. Bogel takes us on a thought-provoking journey through talks us through the cycle of the chronic overthinker. And boy, did it resonate with me!

Like her two previous (and highly recommended) works, “Reading People” and “I’d Rather Be Reading“, this offering is authentically Anne. Her voice shines through. As I read it, I felt as though I was sitting with her over coffee, discussing both the root causes of overthinking, and strategies to help us overcome the problem. I loved the concrete examples she offered, both from her own life, and from the lives of friends, family, and listeners/readers. From small changes like “complete the cycle” and “everyday indulgences” to big ideas like “live your values” (which sounds easy, but when you evaluate your calendar against what you value, you may find it isn’t), she distills so much worthy information for the reader in this slim volume.

I have always been prone to overthinking. Since I was diagnosed with a chronic illness a decade ago, and as my health has continued to decline, that habit has accelerated. My life is one big decision point. If I attend this event, how much rest will I need? Is there risk of additional pain/fatigue? Do I need extra meds or other accommodations? Which toothbrush will be less painful today? What pants can I button? You get the idea. On top of that, since I’ve been unable to work for the past few years, I’ve been less likely to splurge on anything for myself. After all, I don’t earn income anymore. So, I overthink before I buy even a regular priced book, and frankly, I rarely do.

The questions as the end of each chapter allow the reader to delve more deeply into each principle for themselves. I’ve done some journaling with them, and realized that I often spin far beyond what’s necessary. For example, while chronic illness forces me to weigh clothing options, I can limit my options — and therefore my energy expenditure on getting ready — with a capsule wardrobe. I’ve started working through some of my own income guilt with respect to small indulgences too. And I’m starting to be more intentional about simplifying my routines, while keeping flexibility for life / my illness.

A readable book that inspires real change? That’s just about the best recommendation I can offer. Hope you won’t overthink it, and instead will get yourself a copy on March 3rd. 🙂 Can’t wait to hear what you think!