I first found Grace Beverley on YouTube. As always, I was in my eternal search for a healthy lifestyle (on YouTube), and there she was, popping up as a result of my “healthy vegan meals to prepare” search. I clicked on the video and I saw a very young and fit blond girl, making videos about vegan diet, healthy & fast meals. At that time (2019), she was studying music in Oxford university. She also had videos in which she shared some organization tips to be more efficient when studying. At that time I was also studying journalism and I was interested in all her content so I became a regular visitor to her YouTube channel.
One of the things I remember her saying is that university is like a real job. She wasn’t receiving any wage. Nevertheless, she still needed to deliver a good quality job and have a real schedule after college so she could finish her essays or any task before or within the deadline.
In a very rapid time she became popular in the United Kingdom. Soon enough Grace Beberley also emerged as an instagram influencer. She started two brands, T/ALA and Shreddy. I continued watching her content because I like how she communicates. She is charismatic, authentic and in a way I agree with her on many things she says.
The time passed and she wrote a book, the one I will give my opinion about. Working hard, hardly working: how to achieve more, stress less and feel fulfilled, it is a very good book, 3 out 5 is the score I give. I’m a millennial and I have the distraction factor all around me 24/7. It is harder to focus when you have a smartphone and “many notifications to check”, plus, many phone apps and social networks are designed to keep you hooked on their platforms as long as possible.
With this in mind, Grace Beverly’s book gives a general panoramic about the current job market situation and its pitfalls. However, she recognizes how lucky she was to be born in a very supportive middle class family in England, to be white –in a very racist world, that sees whiteness as a sign of superiority–, and to study in Oxford University. Personally, I think she wrote a very honest book.
Tackling the hussle and the selfcare culture that the newer generations are “suffering”. She makes a distinction between being self condescendent and taking care of ourselves. The first leads to never achieving anything, while self care is more like a break from the hard work, but the job needs to be first.
Grace Beverly defines productivity in a way that relates to Millenials and Zennials (technology oriented), and invites her readers to get to know themselves; yes –we need to find out what works for ourselves for us, to be resourceful and learn to actualize ourselves–. Finally she invites people to train and practice over and over again to improve their skills, and if possible, give that little extra to give their best. Grace emphasizes focusing on the quality, not much on the quantity.
After sharing her productivity method… she remarked that it may not work for some of her readers, but still –was worth the try. Motivation for Grace Beverley is the key, if you like what you do, it is more likely for you to keep doing it than if you don’t find it very interesting, in that case you will probably quit. Defining our goals and being very specific is also recommended, we can set short, middle and long term goals with a plan to stick to. Persistence in life is needed to improve and achieve the things that one wants. Through our planned and daily routine we will build the foundations for whatever we want to reach. Just the actions count, daydreaming, wishful thinking or positive self talk don’t.
To conclude with this book review, I’d like to add that this is definitely a good book for anyone who wants to be “realistic” about how important it is to be consistent to our commitments and forming habits allows us to persist in the worst moments. As an influencer, Grace Beverley shares all her knowledge and experience to help us get things done, self-actualization (Maslow) is a good way to do it. She may not offer the bigger picture of the economic system and all the socioeconomic disparities within countries, but for people like her, who are lucky enough to have opportunities in life, it is definitely a book worth reading.