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8 Inspirational Productivity Books To Change Your Mindset Forever

8 Inspirational Productivity Books To Change Your Mindset Forever

The right book has the potential to change your mindset and significantly improve your productivty. By studying these productivity books and applying their concepts, your life will never look the same.

1. The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

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    Published in 2007, this book has inspired people around the world. If you have ever wondered how the lifestyle entrepreneur concept became so popular, much of that movement can be attributed to this book’s success. I’ve read the book twice and found it valuable both times. In mindset, this book shows us that time freedom is often more valuable than cash.

    A book sitting on the shelf cannot do anything to help you. One of the best aspects of the book are the challenges that Ferriss lays out for readers. For example, he suggests lying flat on the ground in a public space for 10 seconds. It’s a small unconventional act that demonstrates there is little actual risk from challenging an established norm.

    Favorite tip: propose solutions instead of asking for opinions. It moves conversations and daily life along much faster.

    Buy The 4 Hour Workweek on Amazon

    2. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

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    GettingThingsDoneCover

      David Allen’s classic book is the Bible of business and personal productivity. Unlike some business books that simply present a list of tips and other concepts, Allen delivers a full productivity system to the reader. In terms of mindset, “Getting Things Done” shows that we can maintain perspective and control over our ever growing to do lists. Truly, the book delivers on the promise of helping you to achieve stress free productivity.

      Favorite tip: I learned how to do a weekly review after reading Getting Things Done.

      Buy Getting Things Done on Amazon.

      3. The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) by Hal Elrod

      TheMiracleMorning

        They way you start your day has an incredible impact on your productivity. Many of us have read about the morning routines of successful people. The Miracle Morning goes much further. In reading this book and applying the ideas, you can find the time to reinvent yourself through fitness, reading and other personal development activities. When it comes to mindset, this book demonstrates that you can boost your productivity and results through an effective morning routine. It is possible to wake up early!

        Favorite tip: Build a morning routine with several components (e.g. read for 10 minutes, journal for 10 minutes and do 10 minutes of exercise) so you are ready for the rest of the day.

        Buy The Miracle Morning on Amazon

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        4. The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done by Peter F. Drucker

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          Published over 50 years ago, Drucker’s book is an outstanding resource for people in large organizations. For mindset, the early chapter “Know Thy Time” challenges the reader to make a log of how they spend their days. Simply understanding how you spend your time at work can be a shocking revelation. The book also teaches a great

          Favorite tip: The focus on contribution is an outstanding tip. As Drucker writes, “To ask, ‘What can I contribute?’ is to look for the unused potential in the job.”

          Buy The Effective Executive on Amazon.

          5. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

          Rich Dad Poor Dad

            Taking command over your money is an important aspect of productivity. With greater financial resources, you can outsource tasks (e.g. use cleaning services or hire a virtual assistant). Of all the financial books I have read, this book had the greatest impact on my view of money. For example, Kiyosaki defines an asset as something that generates cash for you – that means your car and personal home are not assets! For many of us, we are used to looking at our homes as assets. In fact, our homes usually drain cash! The book reminds us of the importance of building new income producing assets (e.g. dividend paying stocks, ownership in companies, royalties etc).

            Favorite tip: Kiyosaki recommends seeking work that gives you learning and growth opportunity, rather than a comfortable job – that’s a great way to grow your productive capability.

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            Buy Rich Dad, Poor Dad on Amazon.

            6. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber

            TheEMyth

              Many entrepreneurs cite this book as a key resource in growing their skills and taking control over their lives. Many people get into business because they are tired of working for someone else. Others are interested in focusing on their craft or passion – baking, writing or working on cars. Gerber’s book points out that it is vital to create systems and procedures for the business to grow – otherwise the business will never grow past your personal productivity.

              Favorite tip: Write standard operating procedures for every aspect of your job so that you the business can keep running whether you show up or not.

              Buy The E-Myth Revisited on Amazon.

              7. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

              TheChecklistManifesto

                Making mistakes is frustrating! The typical answer to avoiding mistakes and improving performance is more education and training. However, there are other options. The mindset lesson from The Checklist Manifesto is that a simple checklist can significantly improve performance. For example, Atul Gawande discuses examples where commercial pilots constantly use checklists so that flights run safely. Many medical professionals including surgeons, nurses and others use checklists to avoid mistakes in health care.

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                Favorite tip: Learn how to create a checklist to improve your productivity.

                Buy The Checklist Manifesto on Amazon.

                8. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

                Essentialism

                  Deciding where to focus your limited time and attention is a key choice in productivity. While hacks and tips will improve your results, those are secondary considerations. The mindset lesson from “Essentialism” is to say no to requests, people and tasks that are non-essential. It is a painful skill to master, especially if you have been a people pleaser. The book is an enjoyable read and includes illustrations from McKeown’s life experience.

                  Favorite tip: Follow the “protect the asset” suggestion by getting enough sleep and exercise. A sound body is key to staying productive.

                  Buy Essentialism on Amazon.

                  Featured photo credit: Library/James_Valma via pixabay.com

                  More by this author

                  Bruce Harpham

                  Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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                  Last Updated on September 18, 2019

                  11 Organizational Skills That Every Smart Leader Needs

                  11 Organizational Skills That Every Smart Leader Needs

                  Failing to organize will often lead to chaos or, at the very least, an increase in stress levels. This occurs as you attempt to make sense of everything that surrounds you for the sake of making life easier.

                  The need to have organizational ability becomes even more important when you are the leader. After all, people turn to you for inspiration and it will hardly be inspiring if they see you freaking out.

                  But where do you start by becoming more organized? Well, I’m about to guide you through 11 key organizational skills that every leader needs to know. By the end, it will mean that you are in a better position to be a more effective leader.

                  So, let’s get to it!

                  1. Time Management

                  Poor time-management is at the root of so many issues within a company. As the leader, it’s your responsibility to ensure that things run like clockwork. This is only possible by having a firm understanding of what it is to be organized.

                  Failure in this area will lead to you being unable to stay on the task in front of you. Suddenly, your ability to juggle everything at once diminishes before you. It won’t take much before it all comes crashing down, resulting in you being viewed as rather unreliable.

                  Be aware of the following: the tasks for completion, their deadlines, the amount of work required and anything that cannot be delayed or avoided at any cost. Make a note of it daily and see how you fare with your list.

                  Also, take a look at these 7 Effective Time Management Tips To Maximize Your Productivity.

                  2. The Ability to Plan

                  Planning makes organizing easier but we are often lacking when it comes to being able to plan ahead. Again, poor planning leads to disorganization and more pressure on you.

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                  Remember that planning takes different forms including dealing with time and how a project must proceed. However, a smart leader has to take things one step further to make a difference. You must also be aware of the plans of others and how they fit into your own approach if they are to make a difference. This becomes more important when dealing with a multi-disciplinary team where co-ordination can be problematic without adequate planning.

                  This is achievable even on a minute level although that is not always necessary. A complete absence of planning will only ever lead to problems.

                  3. Scheduling

                  Even though this skill does overlap with those mentioned earlier, it’s still important enough to merit its own individual point. Having a schedule, followed by keeping to it, is known to be an effective tool for organizing your life.

                  Scheduling indicates to others that you have an awareness about what they are doing. It also shows you have a firm grip on what is being done and that there are no issues with balancing a number of projects.

                  Thanks to scheduling, your understanding of the time taken for different aspects becomes improved. This helps you to keep control of a project as well as coping with problems thanks to an understanding of events.

                  4. Resources Organization

                  It’s important to get the most out of your resources and this too requires organization. Even knowing when to use those resources is important to prevent them becoming exhausted or used at incorrect times.

                  Organization in this sense means being acutely aware of the resources at hand and those you may call upon with a project. Your strength should also be in linking the correct resource to the right requirement to ensure it fits into their own abilities. Failure to do this means wasted resources and this will not reflect well on you.

                  To be certain of organization in this sense, you must first of all identify resources that may be relevant before beginning a new project. This prevents you from scrambling around searching for help when you need it the most.

                  5. Delegation

                  Delegation is an art form and not everyone has mastered it. An effective leader also understands its importance for a project to run smoothly.

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                  It’s impossible to handle each aspect of a project yourself, and that is where delegating tasks can help. Being aware of who is best for a particular task prevents that overwhelmed feeling which will free you to oversee each aspect of the project.

                  An organized leader will know their team and be aware of their strengths and weaknesses.[1] Being aware in advance means you will not stress when a problem arises as you know who to call for help

                  Thanks to organization, your team will work more efficiently and complete each task with less stress on your shoulders.

                  Take a look at this guide and learn how to delegate effectively: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

                  6. Priorities Management

                  Being capable of prioritizing things will make your life easier. Creating a ‘to-do’ list and understanding which deadlines come first then leads to better planning as well as less stress. As your experience builds, you become more confident at knowing which tasks are the most important.

                  Disorganized individuals tend to cope in a haphazard way and deal with things as they arise. This is incorrect as you put energy into the wrong areas, and the most important things fall by the wayside. Prioritization keeps you on track with the order in which you need to complete things.

                  For this, you must be aware of the tasks at hand and the process for each one. Check deadlines and other pressing details in advance to allow you to be better organized.

                  This article will help you prioritize better: The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

                  7. Cooperation Skills

                  The correct collaboration makes life easier. The only problem is that it does require organization on your part. An organized leader is aware of those individuals that may be the best person for a particular task. Not organizing leaves you in a position of searching for help when it should be plain sailing.

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                  This is about more than mere delegation. Instead, the skill is with knowing in advance who you can call upon to make a project run as smooth as possible. This may also involve other leaders of various departments, so working in unison is key.

                  With this skill, you must become aware of who you may need to collaborate with before the need arises. Do your research and know who to call upon at any point. This allows you to then cope with any problem in a cool and efficient manner.

                  8. Setting Targets and Goals

                  An organized individual will find it easier to set goals and targets, and then achieve them. A smart leader is able to show others that they can set goals, work towards them and ultimately achieve them. The only way in which this is done is by organization.

                  It will be impossible to reach a target if you are unaware of the path to follow. You must understand the actions that are required or you will never achieve anything. Organization also helps you to identify each step and any problems connected to it.

                  Here, you must identify the target or goal at the earliest opportunity and then bring forward the other organizational skills that I have mentioned.

                  9. Maintaining Efficiency

                  Organization and efficiency go hand in hand as you cannot have one without the other. Efficiency leads to the need for planning as the smoother something runs, then the fewer problems you encounter and the happier everybody tends to be.

                  Being efficient also allows you to know where you are in a project at any moment. This is due to you having organized things to such an extent that you are able to counteract problems before they occur. Remember that efficiency and your ability to identify issues work in unison. If you fail to be organized, then it is impossible for this to happen.

                  To learn this skill, you must set aside time for each project and break it down into individual segments. Understand how each step must progress and who will be responsible for each part. Identify problems and how to resolve them to allow in such a way that everything can run like clockwork.

                  Efficiency is a skill that develops over time, so continue working on it and how to improve problem areas to become a stronger leader.

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                  10. Clear Communication

                  A strong leader needs to be able to communicate clearly at all times.[2] With your organizational skills, you will find that this is easier to do.

                  Thanks to these skills, you always know what is happening and can clarify any issues. You are also able to communicate exactly what you need simply because you are organized and know the status quo at that point. You will find it easier to get things started in any way that you wish due to your ability to put things across in an easy and concise manner.

                  To have good communication, you have to be confident in your own abilities as a leader. If you use the different skills discussed above, you will notice a greater confidence in your voice which then has a positive influence on the rest of the team.

                  If you want to be more confident in your communication skills, check out this article: How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

                  11. Self-Care

                  Nothing mentioned above is possible if you are not organized in your own life. The ability to look after yourself is the glue that holds everything else together.

                  You need to eat and sleep well, along with taking care of your general health. Organization in each aspect of your life is essential to ensure you have a healthy balance. Feeling under the weather, tired, stressed or anything else negative will have a profound impact on your abilities as a leader.

                  Look at what people expect of you in each part of your life and adopt the same strategies for each aspect. You can then expect a certain synergy to occur between the different areas allowing them to work with a certain fluidity.

                  This simple guide will be helpful for you to take better care of yourself: The 5-Step Guide to Self-Care for Busy People

                  The Bottom Line

                  These 11 skills are, in my opinion, essential for any smart leader who wishes to be more organized in everything that they do. By bettering yourself along these lines, it will lead to not only a greater sense of confidence in yourself, but also towards those that look to you for both guidance and inspiration.

                  More Organizational Skills to Master

                  Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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