This week I’m sharing 8 books I recommend and why I think they’re worth reading.
Sharing books I recommend, because as part of our lifelong learning and growth,
reading can help us be the best, most productive version of ourselves
I mentioned last week the idea that many successful people recommend setting aside an hour a day (or 5 hours a week) for learning. Lifelong learning is an important component of a meaningfully productive life. Whether learning about a job-specific skill, or generally broadening your mind and life by learning about other perspectives, it's important.
One way to learn is by reading.
Today I'm sharing 8 books I recommend and why I think they’re worth reading. I stuck with nonfiction for this list, but I believe there is great value in reading good fiction--relaxation but also exposure to other ways of thinking. The best fiction not only entertains us but also makes us feel and think.
1. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, by David Allen
This is a longtime favorite because in many ways it lays the foundation for my thoughts about and approach to productivity.
Back cover copy:
“Allen’s premise is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective results and unleash our creative potential. From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done will teach you to:
* Apply the “do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it” rule to get your in-box empty
* Reassess goals and stay focused in changing situations
* Plan and unstick projects
* Overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety, and being overwhelmed
* Feel fine about what you’re not doing”
That says a lot about the value of this book, which describes a bit of the philosophy behind and purpose of the GTD system, then goes into great detail about the specific actions you can take to implement it.
Some favorite quotes:
“Managing commitments well requires the implementation of basic activities and behaviors. First of all, if it’s on your mind, your mind isn’t clear. Anything you consider unfinished in any way must be captured in a trusted system outside your mind, or what I call a collection tool, that you know you’ll come back to regularly and sort through. Second, you must clarify exactly what your commitment is and decide what you have to do, if anything, to make progress toward fulfilling it. Third, once you’ve decided on all the actions you need to take, you must keep reminders of them organized in a system you review regularly.”
“The purpose of this whole method of workflow management is not to let your brain become lax, but rather to enable it to be free to experience more elegant, productive, and creative activity. In order to earn that freedom, however, your brain must engage on some consistent basis with all your commitments and activities. You must be assured that you’re doing what you need to be doing, and that it’s OK to be not doing what you’re not doing. That facilitates the condition of being present, which is always the optimal state from which to operate. Reviewing your system on a regular basis, reflecting on the contents, and keeping it current and functional are prerequisites for that kind of clarity and stability.”
2. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones,
What are some simple steps we can take to maximize our productivity at work?
Focusing specifically on our productivity at work
I’ve received a few emails in the last couple of months asking really good questions about being productive at work. I’ve been pondering this for a few weeks....
Important things can get overlooked in the daily hustle. As we approach the end of this year's first quarter, let's pause, think, and commit to spending just a little of our time, energy, and attention taking better care of what matters.
Let's take better care of what matters...