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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

FourHourWorkWeek

    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

        TheEffectiveExecutive

          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

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                  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 17, 2018

                  How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

                  How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

                  Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

                  Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

                  All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

                  Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

                  How bad really is multitasking?

                  It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

                  Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

                  This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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                  We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

                  So what to do about it?

                  Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

                  Now, forget about how to multitask!

                  Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

                  1. Get enough rest

                  When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

                  This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

                  When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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                  2. Plan your day

                  When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

                  When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

                  Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

                  3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

                  I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

                  I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

                  Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

                  4. When at your desk, do work

                  We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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                  Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

                  5. Learn to say no

                  Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

                  Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

                  By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

                  6. Turn off notifications on your computer

                  For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

                  Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

                  7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

                  Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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                  You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

                  The bottom line

                  Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

                  Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

                  Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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