The Common Rule : A Book Review

The Common RuleOne of the best non-fiction books I’ve read this year is The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction. I was immediately drawn to the idea of simplifying life and reprioritizing my day in a way that I can feel good about. I was sold on the idea. How about the actual execution of it? Was The Common Rule going to present a solution to today’s hurried lifestyle that I can easily implement into my work and family routines?


I could easily relate to the author.

Justin Whitmel Earley desired to serve God and his fellow man, and at the same time was driven in both his law career and his family life. That drive led him to an anxiety-filled breakdown. He knew that there had to be a better way. This system of habits was born out of that experience.

To call it a system might make it sound stiffening. It is actually something very freeing. Throughout the book, I continued to see that this is really a set of habits combined with grace, rather than legalistic rules. Over and over the author recommends that the reader decides for themselves just how to form these habits.  He offers a variety of ways that people from different walks of life can use The Common Rule. For example, a corporate CEO might want to use a creative endeavor as a way to relax on their day of rest. A creative person like me would have to find something different since creativity is my work.

As the author moves from one habit to the next, he weaves his experiences into the text. This makes reading the book feel more like a conversation with a friend who is sharing their wisdom. He also shares resources that back up his ideas in the footnotes.

One of the most helpful resources is The Common Rule website.

There, you can watch a video of the author explaining how he decided to write The Common Rule. You can also download a study guide that includes a great visual depiction of the habits.

I am always trying to bring a measure of sanity into my crazy busy life. The habits outlined in The Common Rule are the perfect way to do that. If you are interested in more peace of mind and a well prioritized week, I highly recommend The Common Rule. It is currently available for preorder and will be released February 19, 2019.

About the Author of The Common Rule