“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci
Constant learning is essential to daily growth and improvement. Many are the ways to brush up on one’s skills in order to keep their knowledge fresh and up to date. Even the most experienced experts need help when it comes to their productivity levels. Books are one of the greatest ways to keep learning new things or improve build up on what we already know.
I have therefore selected a list of 5 books recommended by experts to help you improve your efficiency and, as a result, your time-management and productivity as well.
1. Getting Things Done: How to Achieve Stress-free Productivity by David Allen
This book appears on every productivity must-read list. David Allen has been an executive coach and management consultant for 20 years. In this must-read, he introduced a simple and effective personal management method that has revolutionized the world of business. The GTD (Get things Done) method is a framework that you can use and adapt not only to your business but also to your life for improvement. It helps you get control over your life by categorizing all your tasks into through five main stages of mastering workflow. He shares his methodology for each of these stages and explains the benefits of this method on both your personal and professional lives. He also talks about the importance of relaxation for a productive life all around.
“If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention that it deserves”
2. 7 habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
This book is a classic for self-improvement and business productivity. This is Stephen Covey’s most popular book. This book describes the 7 habits required to be your most successful and effective self. Through it, Stephen Covey puts an emphasis on anyone’s and everyone’s capacity to develop a new habit. Therefore, if one is to be successful, the 7 habits developed in this book almost represents the rule book of natural laws to fully adopt.
Let’s look at the first three habits quickly:
Habit 1: Be proactive
Being proactive means taking initiatives and taking full responsibility for your own life. Take action and make things happen.
Habit 2: Begin with the end in Mind
Develop a personal mission statement that focuses on what you want to be and where you want to go.
Habit 3: Put First Thing First
This is the most effective habit for time and life management. Divide all your tasks into two categories: Urgent and important vs. urgent and not important. That way, you know which tasks to focus on first.
“We don’t manage time, we can only manage ourselves”
3. How to Be a Productivity Ninja: Worry Less, Achieve More and Love What You Do by Graham Allcott
Graham Allcott is the founder of one of the United Kingdom’s most popular productivity workshop Think Productive. This book is a modern, practical guide that proposes new ways to see and explore time-management in the age of information overload. With this book, becoming more productive is no longer an abstract idea.
This book includes techniques such as mindfulness, zen-like calm, stealth and Camouflage to help you minimize your inbox, maximize your attention span and learn to work smarter, not harder. Read it if you want to learn the way of the ninja 😉
“The way of the Productivity Ninja is about how we think about our work, not how we ‘do’ our work.”
More often than not, we evaluate our productivity by the number of tasks we have completed. This book serves as a reminder that less is more. Through it, Gary Keller encourages his readers to focus one task at a time, instead of focusing on multiple things at once. He also introduces some big ideas such as:
Developing a “someday” goal ( short or long term); the key to success is to figure out the ONE thing that is most important to your career/ business/ life and focus on how to achieve that goal.
Selecting a discipline and turning it into a habit. Take one task that is pertinent to the achievement of your goal and practice it until it becomes your second nature.
This book focuses on the importance of proper goal-setting to maximize results. Why not make it your goal to stop focusing on your meeting scheduling process, and let Julie take over? That way, you will have one less thing to focus on. Just saying! 😉
“Success is sequential, not simultaneous”
5. The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters and What You Can Do to Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal
Whether you are trying not to stop smoking or want to stop visiting your twitter timeline 10 times a day (unless you work on social media), this practical book helps you understand your willpower and how to gain self-control over your life and thus become more goal-oriented. Kelly McGonigal refers to willpower as a muscle that gets tired without regular practice, she explains why it is contagious and especially, why it is fundamental. This book offers stories, tips, exercises and ways to trick your mind into a healthier and happier self and how to use willpower to achieve more and reach your goals.
“Neuroscientists have discovered that when you ask the brain to meditate, it gets better not just at meditating, but at a wide range of self-control skills, including attention, focus, stress management, impulse control, and self-awareness.”
That’s it! This is a personal selection made in no particular order. Feel free to add your favorite time-management books to the list and help us learn with you 😉