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Published on October 9, 2020

15 Must-Read Books on Personal Growth That Are Recently Published

15 Must-Read Books on Personal Growth That Are Recently Published

Looking around the self-improvement world, you’ll find plenty of the best books on personal growth around. Over the years, there have been tons of brilliant minds talking about all kinds of different subjects.

With thousands of books available, we’ve decided to pick out some books that were published more recently to help you become a wiser person.

1. Emotional First Aid

    The premise of this book is to help you learn how to stop ruminating on everything. While there are some benefits to thinking deeply, sometimes it doesn’t help you. Ruminating leads to overthinking and in some cases, it makes problems worse for you and can negatively impact your life.

    Emotional First Aid is a book that’ll help with that by providing straightforward and readable advice on various topics—ones that can bring up feelings or even a lot of shame. There are several good lines to be found, and understanding yourself on an emotional level can help you become a wiser person.

    Buy one of the best books on personal growth here.

    2. How to Be Alone

      On the note of emotional intelligence, being alone is another sore spot for people. There are many people who struggle with being alone or think that being alone is dangerous. This book explains that being alone isn’t all that bad for you.

      No matter what stage of loneliness you are at, this book explains that it’s okay to feel the way that you feel during those moments. It’s okay to yearn for better relationships or that you’re lonely overall.

      While this book isn’t quite a self-help book, being comfortable with being alone and dealing with tricky situations (e.g. cutting ties with someone that makes you feel unsafe or anxious around) is helpful. Having stronger emotional intelligence is one aspect of a wise person.

      Buy one of the best books on personal growth here.

      3. The Mind of the Leader

        This is a book published by Harvard Business Review, and it is a powerful one—a truly inspiring piece that allows you to get into the head of a manager, specifically how a manager should be working. All in all, it’s a great book that teaches you how to manage with compassion, selflessness, and mindfulness.

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        Even if you’re not in a management position, having a grasp of how modern-day leaders and managers should work is big. The working environments have shifted a lot this year but have been changing even before then. You want to have newer tactics.

        Get your copy here.

        4. The Artist’s Way

          Published in 1992, this book revolving around creativity is still a keeper. Despite the title suggesting this is for creatives only, it’s still recommended for those who are outside of that loop. Funny enough, it’s writers—professional creatives—struggle the most with applying some of these tactics. If you’re someone outside of that loop, you may find it easier and advantageous for you to use.

          Buy one of the best books on personal growth here.

          5. Crushing It!

            This is the most recent of Gary Vaynerchuk’s published books at the time of writing it. It’s been out for a while, however, this book provides a strong blueprint for how you can be growing a business in this day and age. The book provides plenty of examples of creative ideas and has Gary’s own get-up-and-go motivation.

            Whether you run a business now or are thinking of running one, this can make you into a wiser person. Nevertheless, Gary Vaynerchuk does put out some of the best books on personal growth and business to help you succeed.

            Get your copy here.

            6. How to Get Sh*t Done

              Another common struggle for people is tackling that massive to-do list or marking things off the bucket list. There are tons of productivity books that you can look at, however, this one is one of the best ones out there.

              As the title suggests, this book provides a helpful guide in getting things done in the best way possible. Even if the advice can be weird—such as the first step suggesting you give yourself a break—there are tons of research backing this up. All of the advice will help unload anything nonessential and shift your focus to things that matter most to you.

              Buy one of the best books on personal growth here.

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              7. Tribe of Mentors

                Tim Ferriss, famous for his work “The 4 Hour Workweek,” recently published a book providing various tips, tactics, and habits you want to have in your life. The information he shares stems from conversations he’s had with over 130 of the world’s top performers at the time. In it, he writes about their personal stories and how that can help you make better decisions, achieve your goals faster, and achieve more results in your life.

                Get your copy here.

                8. Becoming: A Guided Journal For Discovering Your Voice

                  In 2018, former first lady Michelle Obama published a memoir of her life and what it was like living in the White House. It’s also a book talking about how she was able to find her own voice and become who she is today.

                  Even if you didn’t get the chance to read that book, you don’t have to worry too much about that. Recently, there was another book published that can provide the same benefits. Retaining the same title as the previously published book, this book is more of a journal as the title suggests.

                  In short, this book can provide you with a transformational tool to help you discover values, passions, and overall purpose. This is crucial since many people who want to grab some of the best books on personal growth don’t often know what they want in life. This book provides direction.

                  Get your copy here.

                  9. Burnout

                    For those feeling overwhelmed with everything, this book can provide a staggering amount of relief. The sister duo of Amelia Nagoski DMA and Emily Nagoski Ph.D. go into great detail on dealing with burnout— a phenomenon that both men and women struggle with a lot.

                    Inside, you’ll find tactics on overcoming stumbling blocks, external challenges, and pushing back burnout. These tactics don’t apply exclusively to professional lives but also to personal lives.

                    Buy one of the best books on personal growth here.

                    10. Can’t Hurt Me

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                      Written by David Goggins—a man who overcame depression, became part of the US Armed Forces, and has great athletic achievement—this inspirational book will aid you in overcoming mental and physical obstacles.

                      The overall message of this book is clear: mindset is everything. If you have the right attitude, you have better chances of overcoming the odds against you.

                      Even if your mindset isn’t a defeatist mindset, we often keep ourselves back at various points in time. According to Goggins, most people tap into only 40% of their own abilities. This book could be a gateway for you to unlock the other missing piece and help you strive for something higher.

                      Get your copy here.

                      11. Edge

                        To those who have made it past a large obstacle, one of the first questions people ask is, how was that possible? What’s the secret? Those questions come up especially when you are comparing yourself to others and wonder what they have that you’re lacking.

                        Instead of wondering about that, it’d be wise to look at this book as it provides a lot of answers. The truth is that those who have made it aren’t perfect people, and we can never be like them. Instead, it’s those same people who have looked at adversity in their lives and leveraged it. Thanks to this book, you can do the same.

                        Get your copy here.

                        12. Everything Is Figureoutable

                          It’s uncommon to run into hardships or challenges that dictate how much success and happiness you can get from them. For many people, whenever there are roadblocks, we tend to protect ourselves in various ways—be it victimizing ourselves, blaming others, or even giving up entirely.

                          To avoid those kinds of scenarios, this book provides personal stories from the author, Marie Forleo, and other readers. The goal is that through these stories and actionable insights, you’ll realize that everything in life is “figureoutable.”

                          Get your copy here.

                          13. Stillness Is the Key

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                            One great thing about Ryan Holiday is the incorporation of philosophy into his work. Since he passes this on to his readers, you can receive a nice dosage of philosophy into your daily life with one of his best books on personal growth.

                            This book is grounded on Buddhism and Stoic philosophy as Holiday introduces readers to remaining steady during times of strife and chaos. Holiday calls the concept “stillness” and points to many historical figures who maintained stillness.

                            Overall, this is a book to help you defend and be prepared for more emotional turmoil around yourself.

                            Get your copy here.

                            14. The Values Compass

                              Two big questions in life are “what are your values?” and “are you living in a way that reflects them?” It’s two big questions that people may not know the answers to upon careful reflection. This book in particular brings those questions up to the surface but does so in a unique way—by traveling to 101 countries that live in harmony with their values and tell you how they live their lives.

                              This takes you on a journey to a wide variety of places and from those places, Dr. Mandeep Rai takes insights and explains them in a way that you can apply in your own life. Considering the extensive journey, these chapters are very small making it one of the more easily digestible books on personal growth to get into.

                              Get your copy here.

                              15. Tiny Habits

                                Change is an inevitable part of life, but most people tend to resist it, especially when change is massive and in your face all the time. Whether it’s something that’s forced on you or you’ve done this to yourself, this book allows you to look at those big changes—or desires to change—and make them a reality.

                                How the book does it is by encouraging you to focus on the smaller habits and breaking goals into smaller and more manageable steps.

                                Even if this is something you do, you may still find this book helpful as the book teaches you how to identify small adjustments you can make to your existing habits to make them develop further.

                                Get your copy here.

                                Final Thoughts

                                The list of best books on personal growth is expanding all the time with more books published every single day. This industry is filled with all kinds of insights and ideas to help you grow and become a wiser individual. No doubt, if you pick out any of the books from this list, you are in for a treat and enlightening experience.

                                More Books on Personal Growth and Development

                                Featured photo credit: Joel Muniz via unsplash.com

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                                Last Updated on January 6, 2021

                                14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

                                14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

                                Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

                                In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

                                For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

                                For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

                                Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

                                Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

                                Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

                                How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

                                Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

                                1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

                                Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

                                For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

                                2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

                                Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

                                Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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                                Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

                                3. Create a System

                                Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

                                This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

                                You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

                                Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

                                Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

                                4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

                                We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

                                If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

                                Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

                                Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

                                5. Use a Ratings Scale

                                Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

                                Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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                                It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

                                6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

                                This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

                                You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

                                You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

                                7. Offer Feedback Forms

                                Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

                                First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

                                Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

                                You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

                                8. Track Cost Effectiveness

                                This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

                                Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

                                Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

                                9. Use Self-Evaluations

                                Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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                                Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

                                10. Monitor Time Management

                                This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

                                Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

                                  The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

                                  While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

                                  11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

                                  We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

                                  Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

                                  For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

                                  Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

                                  Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

                                  From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

                                  12. Utilize Peer Feedback

                                  This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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                                  Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

                                  Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

                                  It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

                                  13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

                                  When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

                                  Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

                                  Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

                                  14. Use an External Evaluator

                                  Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

                                  They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

                                  While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

                                  Final Thoughts

                                  These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

                                  The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

                                  The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

                                  More Productivity Tips

                                  Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

                                  Reference

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