Reviewing The 7 Minute Difference by Allyson Lewis

I was provided with a free copy of this book and planner so that I could review it and am not oblgated to write a positive review.

So here is my honest review of the The 7 Minute Difference by Allyson Lewis

About once or twice a year, I read a time-management type of book (usually at a Barnes and Noble). For whatever reason, I have always had a skepticism towards self-help books, including a particular type of leadership/management books. Over the years, I have softened a little bit and have usually found an idea or two that I tried to work into my life. I still use some of Stephen Covey’s ideas (like “Important and Urgent”, “Not Important but Urgent”, etc.) but since getting my Palm Pilot turned Treo turned iPhone days, I have never made used his stuff digitally and have never been compelled to examine what his system offers.

Which brings me to The 7 Minute Difference – I read the book, looked through the workbook, and have been slowly applying some of the practices.

What I liked about The 7 Minute Difference

I must say that I felt very validated with some of Allyson’s suggestions because I am “sorta-kinda” doing some of them. As one who has the habit of creating numerous to-do lists while I am driving, I often space out on my tasks and plan when i finally get to my desk or get online or whatever the case may be. My iPhone has been helpful in recording some of my thoughts too but have never been consistent with it.

What has helped me is writing things the tasks for the next day whether on paper or on my phone. I tend to do this at night and then again before lunch. I even break them up into sub-categories of “Office”, “Home”, “Online” and “WO (“While I am Out”). Allyson’s system is better organized and I appreciated the intentionality.

I really liked the idea of “micro-actions”. Yep, it’s what you guessed – little things. Though I came across that idea and others before, some of them might as well be new again because I found myself motivated by the concept. The idea is to do smaller things regularly with defined time limits as in “Do a little every day …” type of thing. There were many social/professional micro-actions like reading body-language, expressing notes of gratitude for clients, etc.

Like Allyson, I am prone to cluttering my workspace. She was very adamant in making sure at least one of your work-spaces is always de-cluttered. To insure this, she recommended some micro-actions like spending 15 minutes each day clearing out one drawer, 20 minutes of your weekend sorting through shelves in a closet and schedule 10 minutes three times a week to work on your office files.

There are many other elements that I’ll mention. Like there is an entire thread dedicated to client relationships that to put it simply, in ministry I do things a bit differently but still, many of her suggestions were helpful. Another helpful theme is devoted to the importance of reading a minimum of 10 pages a day, preferably non-fiction.

Further this is not a Christian self-help book but Allyson repeatedly mentions her faith and practices. I appreciated that she did that without sounding cheesy. Further, she repeatedly her values of having a strong marriage, healthy relationships with her children, and quality of life aspects. I admit, every so often, I found myself wrestling with some of the “success” language but throughout the book, Allyson undermines materialism, the pursuit of wealth, etc. Having the life “you want” is a complicated discussion for me and this is not the book to discuss it over but I did appreciate the spiritual tone of the book.

If you are looking for a resource to help you be more productive and need some motivation to de-clutter and take a bit more control of your life, I recommend you check this out at

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