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Top 10 Books To Read Recommended By Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, And Elon Musk

Top 10 Books To Read Recommended By Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, And Elon Musk

Want to know what goes on inside the minds of billionaires, global leaders, and game-changers?

Read what they read.

No matter how successful people like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, or Barack Obama are today, they all acquired their knowledge and experience over time. And they admit that books were a big part of the journey.

I know what you’re thinking: what were these books?

Luckily for us, they’ve publicly shared their most recommended and impactful books that have helped them get to where they are today.

We’ve compiled the top 10 books to read, and brought it here for you to enjoy.

Enjoy these 10 books, and share the knowledge with others!

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Top 10 Books To Read

1. Atlas Shrugged By Ayn Rand

Recommended by: Steve Jobs and Mark Cuban
Topic: Politics & Business
One-sentence summary: “Solve the world’s problem through entrepreneurial solutions.”

When Steve Wozniak was interviewed about what influenced Steve Jobs in the early days of building Apple, he mentioned that Atlas Shrugged was one of the books that Jobs used as his guide to life & business.

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    2. Competing Against Time By George Stalk

    Recommended by: Tim Cook
    Topic: Business, Economy, Productivity
    One-sentence summary: “Time is now added to the other three critical factors in order to remain competitiveness in the market – money, productivity, and quality.”

    Competing Against Time is a book that Tim Cook passes out everywhere and makes it a recommendation for all new hires at Apple to read.

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      3. Business Adventures By John Brooks

      Recommended by: Warren Buffet and Bill Gates
      Topic: Business & Finance
      One-sentence summary: “A classic story about the American corporate and financial life.”

      What do two of the richest men in the world have in common? They love the writings of John Brooks. Gates writes in his essay about Business Adventures: “Brooks eschews ‘listicles’ and doesn’t ‘boil his work down into pat how-to lessons or simplistic explanations for success.’ Instead, he tells entertaining stories replete with richly drawn characters, setting them during heightened moments within the world of commerce.”

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      Buffett’s classic sayings, such as “you only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out,” fits right into the style of Brooks writing as well.

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        4. Influence By Robert Cialdini

        Recommended by: Charlie Munger and Guy Kawasaki
        Topic: Psychology, Persuasion, Marketing
        One-sentence summary: “Science-backed methods to persuade just about anyone you want.”

        Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s partner in crime at Berkshire Hathaway, attributes Cialdini’s work as having a big influence on his thinking process. His published work of the 25 Cognitive Biases of humans was very much influenced by Cialdini’s work.

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          5. Life Is What You Make It By Peter Buffett

          Recommended by: Bill Clinton
          Topic: Life, Purpose, Autobiography
          One-sentence summary: “Instead of taking the way of least resistance, choose the path to greatest satisfaction.”

          This autobiography book by Peter Buffett, Warren Buffett’s son, shares the wisdom learned from his family and his experiences. Here’s how Ted Turner, Media Icon and the Founder of CNN, describes it: “With home-spun, heart-felt wisdom Peter Buffett ponders how to make a meaningful life, while making a living.”

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            6. The Happiness Hypothesis By Jonathan Haidt

            Recommended by: Tony Hsieh
            Topic: Happiness, Culture, Philosophy,
            One-sentence summary: “Giving and serving are the way to happiness.”

            “This is probably the book that’s made the biggest impact on my life over the past five years. The author examines the beliefs about happiness of different cultures, religions and philosophers from different periods, and then compares those beliefs with research that’s been done on the science of happiness. The book is thought-provoking and the concepts can be applied to business and to life.” – Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos)

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              7. The Four Agreements By Don Miguel Ruiz

              Recommended by: Oprah Winfrey and Jack Dorsey
              Topic: Spirituality, Life, Happiness
              One-sentence summary: The book can be summarized in the following four precepts:

              1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
              2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
              3. Don’t Make Assumptions
              4. Always Do Your Best

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                As Jack Dorsey is in the process of running two publicly traded companies, Twitter and Square, he’s forced to mature as a leader. Throughout his journey, he acknowledges The Four Agreement as guiding him in the right path.

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                  8. Self-Reliance By Ralph Waldo Emerson

                  Recommended by: Barack Obama
                  Topic: Individualism, non-conformity and independence
                  One-sentence summary: “Hold on to your own convictions, despite what society and other people want you to believe.”

                  Self-Reliance is what put Ralph Waldo Emerson on the map as one of the most influential poets and philosophers of the 19th century. President Obama referenced this essay as one of the most significant books to him in an email to Jon Meacham from the New York Times, and even referenced the importance of self-reliance in his 2008 election victory speech.

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                    9. Autobiography Of Benjamin Franklin By Walter Isaacson

                    Recommended by: Elon Musk
                    Topic: Autobiography, Entrepreneurship, Benjamin Franklin
                    One-sentence summary: “The rise of Benjamin Franklin from the bottom to the top.”

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                    Elon Musk, the Co-Founder of Paypal, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX, has said that Ben Franklin is one of his heroes, and likely sees Franklin as the type of American he himself would like to be and become: a combination of statesman, inventor, and businessman.

                    “You can see how [Franklin] was an entrepreneur. He started from nothing. He was just a runaway kid.” -Elon Musk

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                      10. The Remains Of The Day By Kazuo Ishiguro

                      Recommended by: Jeff Bezos
                      Topic: History, World War II, Life & Regret
                      One-sentence summary: “A compelling portrait of the perfect English butler and of his fading, insular world postwar England.”

                      “Before reading it, I didn’t think a perfect novel was possible. I’m always interested in things that seem to be impossible, but are then achieved.” -Jeff Bezos

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                        Over To You

                        Which of these top 10 books to read caught your interest?
                        Is there a book that’s on your list, that didn’t make it to our top 10 books to read? Please share with us!

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                        Published on January 16, 2019

                        How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

                        How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

                        We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

                        You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

                        You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

                        That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

                        Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

                        1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

                        Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

                        We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

                        To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

                        At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

                        The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

                        2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

                        Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

                        The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

                        In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

                        It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

                        It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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                        So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

                        • Are you a great strategist?
                        • Are you an effective planner?
                        • Is Project Management your strength?
                        • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
                        • Are you the ideas person?
                        • Is Implementation your strength?

                        Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

                        3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

                        One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

                        Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

                        Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

                        Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

                        4. Take Time for Planning

                        “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

                        One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

                        You can take the time to think about:

                        • What’s the purpose of the project?
                        • How Important is it?
                        • When does it need to be delivered by?
                        • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
                        • What are the KPIs?
                        • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
                        • Who is working on this project?
                        • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
                        • What tolerances can I add in?
                        • What are the review stages?
                        • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

                        Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

                        5. Focus on Priorities

                        Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

                        Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

                        One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

                        1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
                        2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
                        3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
                        4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

                        James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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                          The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

                          If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

                          If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

                          6. Take Time Out

                          To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

                          If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

                          Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

                          In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

                          Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

                          7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

                          Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

                          I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

                          Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

                          If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

                          8. Stop Multitasking

                          Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

                          So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

                          When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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                          If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

                          9. Work in Blocks of Time

                          To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

                          I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

                          Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

                          Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

                          Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

                          Then take another 10-minute break.

                          Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

                          By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

                          10. Get Rid of Distractions

                          Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

                          “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

                          Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

                          If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

                          11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

                          You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

                          Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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                          Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

                          12. Take a Time Audit

                          Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

                          Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

                          You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

                          Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

                          Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

                          At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

                          If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

                          13. Protect Your Confidence

                          It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

                          When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

                          Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

                          When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

                          Final Words

                          A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

                          The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

                          If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

                          Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

                          Reference

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