Hands Free Life by Rachel Macy Stafford

In addition to blogging more, I’ve also been challenging myself to do more reading.  It is so easy to waste away hours on Facebook or Pinterest or other mindless things, that I decided reading, even just a few minutes a day, night be a more productive use of my time. So when I had the chance to get a free copy of Staffords, Hands Free Life: 9 Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, and Loving More in exchange for a review on my blog, it seemed a good fit.

SUMMARY: This book outlines nine helpful ways to, as I was seeking to do, put down the phone and pay attention more to what is going on around you.  I appreciated this timely reminder in a world centered around going more, multitasking, and going, going, going.  I could identify with the author’s, at times  perfectionistic attitude as well as her desire to live life on purpose and the joy that comes in choosing that intentionality over perfection.  Here were the nine key concepts presented in the book:

  • Fill the Spaces
  • Surrender Control
  • Build a Foundation
  • Take the Pressure Off 
  • See What Is Good
  • Give What Matters
  • Establish Boundaries
  • Leave a Legacy
  • Change Someone’s Story

In each of the chapters about these habits, Stafford uses personal experiences from her life to outline simple ways to be less distracted and experience more of the things that matter most.

MY THOUGHTS ON THE BOOK: I have to admit that if I hadn’t committed to finish and review it (and had some spare time on vacation), I might have given up on this book in the second or third chapter.  This is not because it is not a good book with great insights, it is. However, despite advertising about how this book can be life-changing for men, women, parents, and singles, I would say that 90% of the content all related to her being a mom. It made me wonder inference actually is between this book and her first, Hands Free Mama.  All that being said, I am thankful at I did have a reason to finish the book.  As I stepped back and looked at the broader concepts of the book, I found each of the concepts really are applicable to all ages (even kids), stages, genders and more.  

WOULD I RECOMMEND IT TO OTHERS: I would say that if you’re a parent who often feels overwhelmed with trying to balance all the demands of life with intentionally loving your children (pretty sure I just gave the definition of ‘parent’) I think it’s safe to say that you would identify well with this author and find freedom in the midst of that balancing act. For any non-parents, I would say that if you’re willing to put in a little extra effort to figure out non-parenting applications, then this read is definitely worth your time.  I will also add that the book is filled with various poems and “declarations” related to the concepts which support the content well but do break it up a bit.  So if that’s not your thing, then maybe just check out some of her blog posts to get the general ideas.


(Scale: 1-“I Couldn’t finish”;    3-“Eh, I’ve read better”;    5-“Contending for a Top 10 This Year”)


I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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