We’re almost done with the first quarter of the year and, as always, it’s flown by. How productive have we been, and how productive would we like to be? There are lots of great books out there to help, each offering mindsets and tactics that all of us could use. We decided to put together a quick list of ten of our favorites for you to pick from.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
It’s a classic for a reason. What this book has become legendary for is less about specific tactics (though there are plenty) and more about mindset, about getting your priorities in order. There’s no point in being productive if you don’t know what you’re being productive for.
The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
There are plenty of times you’ll pause while reading the 4 Hour Work Week to say to yourself, “you did what?” Tim Ferriss has pitched himself as a human guinea pig and many people have benefited from the experiments he has conducted on himself.
One part of the book that has ended up becoming a popular product is a journal, a practice that Ferriss championed long before it was cool.
The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield
One of the shortest books on the list, Pressfield puts his finger on the “resistance,” the siren song that is always calling you away from what you need to get done. Sometimes productivity doesn’t mean systems and tactics, it means simply being aware that your mind and body often want to do other things, and it takes discipline to stay on track. That’s productivity too.
Deep Work by Cal Newport
Multitasking has long lost its allure, as studies and people have realized it’s a lie. Newport goes further in this book by pointing out that setting aside just a bit of time every day for uninterrupted work is a powerful tactic for getting a lot done.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Productivity feeds off routines and habits, and Duhigg points to a three-step loop: cue, routine, reward, to help people form habits. The better you understand how to create habits (and break bad ones), the easier it will be for you to maintain those that help you get stuff done.
Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
Not a morning person? Willing to be convinced? That’s the premise of Hal Elrod’s book. He explains how he converted to being a morning person, adding routines that launched each day, changing his life.
Getting Things Done by David Allen
Another classic text, Allen’s book offers an interesting idea, that the mind is for having ideas, not holding them, so make sure you have something to collect anything that comes to your mind, whether that’s a notebook or an app on your phone.
If you want to get in the weeds with productivity, Allen’s got you covered, with an entire chapter on how to organize your desk.
Essentialism by Greg McKeown
It took having to choose between being near his wife as she was about to give birth and making it to a client meeting that made Greg McKeown realize he was doing it all wrong. Those realizations led to a book that hammers home the message that most of what many of us do in life is not essential, taking us away from the things that truly matter, that are essential.
Atomic Habits by James Clear
The idea that so many people share from Atomic Habits is the idea that every time you engage in a habit is a vote you cast for the type of life you want to live. Like Duhigg’s book we already mentioned, the book focuses on habits, which are the foundation of any routine of productivity.
This content originally appeared in our monthly Open Calendar Club newsletter.
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