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The Lifehack Productivity Bookshelf

The Lifehack Productivity Bookshelf

Skillings - Escape from Corporate America

    I just received my copy of Lifehack contributor Pamela Skilling’s new book Escape from Corporate America: A Practical Guide to Creating the Career of Your Dreams. Pamela’s book is a guide for people fed up with the corporate lifestyle — the lack of creative expression, the lack of spiritual reward, and ultimately the lack of control over the conditions of your own employment — who are looking to “make a break for it” and follow their dreams. I’ve only managed to read the introduction and a few pages of chapter 1 so far, so I have no real review to offer — I have, however, asked Pamela to come on Lifehack Live next month to talk about the book, so keep your eyes open for that.

    Pamela isn’t the only Lifehack contributor who has published on themes related to personal productivity, organization, creativity, and the other topics Lifehack covers. In fact, you could fill a pretty nice-sized bookshelf with the work our contributors and former contributors have written. Which is just about what you’d expect from a group of such talented writers, all of whom are experts of one kind or another in their fields. 

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    Here, then, is a guide to the work of Lifehack’s contributors. Where an author has written several relevant books, I’ll pick one I think is representative and try to give you links to the rest of their work. With summer upon us, maybe you’ll want to tuck a couple of these into your carry-on bag or into your suitcase as you set out on vacation!

    Aitchison - Making Friends
      Steven Aitchison, Change Your Thoughts Guide to Making Friends

      In this short e-book, Steven discusses the value of true friendship, and how you can attract more true friends to yourself. Also look at the Change Your Thoughts Guide to Lucid Dreaming.

      Babauta - Zen to Done
        Leo Babauta, Zen to Done

        Ex-Lifehack Contributor Leo Babauta offers his take on the popular GTD methodology, combining it with his own take on simplicity to create an easy to adopt and maintain system for anyone.Check out my review of Zen to Done.

        Devalia - Get the Life You Love
          Arvind Devalia, Get the Life You Love and Live It

          Part philosophical guide, part workbook, Arvind walks readers through the process of figuring out their goals and dreams and changing their lives to make those dreams a reality. Check out my interview with Arvind on Lifehack Live.

          Harper - Fattitude
            Craig Harper, Fattitude

            Craig takes on the psychological and emotional blocks to weight loss and healthy living. Check out his other books and DVDs too, including his Little Books for Life such as So you’ve decided to get into shape (again).

            Manahan - Where's My Oasis?
              Rowan Manahan, Where’s My Oasis?

              With wit and humor, Manahan guides job-seekers through the process of “career hunting”, from deciding where to apply though sending resumes, interviewing, and finally negotiating terms. Rowan emphasizes long-term planning throughout, hoping to help you avoid getting yourself stuck on a path that isn’t your own.

              Marrero - 30 Ways to Find Time to Get Organized
                Lorie Marrero, The Clutter Diet

                Not a book per se but an ongoing membership providing regular updates on home organization — with newsletters, tutorials, videos, and all sorts of other content. Download Lorie’s e-book, 20 Ways to Find Time to Get Organized, from her blog. I talked with Lorie about The Clutter Diet on Lifehack Live.

                Roosen and Nakagawa - Overcoming Inventoritis
                  Peter Paul Roosen and Tatsuya Nakagawa, Overcoming Inventoritis: The Silent Killer of Innovation

                  Peter and Tatsuya take on the corporate world’s obsession with it’s own creations, even when there’s no market for their products. Check out my interview with the pair on Lifehack Live.

                  Sabo - Manage Your Email & Paper Mail
                    Susan Sabo, Manage Your Email & Paper Mail

                    In this e-book, Susan tackles the #1 problem for many people: dealing with email overload! I talked with Susan on Lifehack Live about her work.

                    Savage - Slow Leadership
                      Adrian Savage, Slow Leadership: Civilizing The Organization

                      Adrian Savage challenges the macho, take-no-prisoners approach to leadership, what he calls “hamburger management” – all fast food and quick fixes — showing how ineffective it is and ultimately how much it damages companies.

                      Say - Managing with Aloha
                        Rosa Say, Managing with Aloha: Bringing Hawaii’s Universal Values to the Art of Business

                        Former Lifehack Contributor Rosa Say explores ways to bring the values of traditional Hawaiian culture to the modern workplace.

                        Sloane - The Innovative Leader
                          Paul Sloane, The Innovative Leader: How to Inspire Your Team and Drive Creativity

                          Lateral thinking is a model of creativity and innovation that approaches problems “sideways”. Paul has written a number of books of lateral thinking puzzles to help exercise this skill; here, he applies the lessons of lateral thinking to leadership, advocating vision and innovation over control.Check out the entire body of work at Paul Sloan’s website.

                          Young - Learn More, Study Less
                            Scott Young, Learn More, Study Less

                            Former Lifehack writer Scott Young applies his understanding of how the mind works to the question of lifelong learning in this e-book on studying and learning more efficiently.I interviewed Scott on Lifehack Live back in January.

                            That’s a baker’s dozen of good books and e-books right there, and for some of our authors, there are several more as well. If you’ve read any of our contributors’ books, why don’t you let the rest of the Lifehack community know what you thought in the comments?

                            More by this author

                            How to Become an Expert (And Spot out One Nearby) The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works) Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed Back to Basics: Your Calendar Learn Something New Every Day

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                            1 How to Motivate Yourself: 13 Simple Ways You Can Try Right Now 2 15 Ways to Cultivate Lifelong Learning for a Sharper Brain 3 How to Overcome Procrastination and Start Doing What Truly Matters 4 10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur 5 Why Do I Have Bad Luck? 2 Simple Things to Change Your Destiny

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                            Last Updated on October 30, 2018

                            How to Motivate Yourself: 13 Simple Ways You Can Try Right Now

                            How to Motivate Yourself: 13 Simple Ways You Can Try Right Now

                            Who needs Tony Robbins when you can motivate yourself? Overcoming the emotional hurdle to get stuff done when you’d rather sit on the couch isn’t always easy. But unless calling in sick and waking up at noon have no consequences for you, it’s often a must.

                            For those of you who never procrastinate, distract yourself or drag your feet when you should be doing something important, well done so far! But for the rest of you, it’s good to have a library of motivational boosters to move along.

                            Whether you’re starting a buisiness, trying to los weight or breaking a bad habit, you’ll learn how to motivate yourself with different techniques in this article.

                            13 Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself Right Now

                            Despite your best efforts, passion, habits and a flow-producing environment can fail. In that case, it’s time to find whatever emotional pump-up you can use to get started:

                            1. Go back to “why”

                            Focusing on a dull task doesn’t make it any more attractive. Zooming out and asking yourself why you are bothering in the first place will make it more appealing.

                            If you can’t figure out why, then there’s a good chance you shouldn’t bother with it in the first place.

                            2. Go for five

                            Start working for five minutes. Often that little push will be enough to get you going.

                            3. Move around

                            Get your body moving as you would if you were extremely motivated to do something. This ‘faking it’ approach to motivation may seem silly or crude but it works.

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                            4. Find the next step

                            If it seems impossible to work on a project for you, you can try to focus on the next immediate step.

                            Fighting an amorphous blob of work will only cause procrastination. Chunk it up so that it becomes manageable. Learn how to stop procrastinating in this guide.

                            5. Find your itch

                            What is keeping you from working? Don’t let the itch continue without isolating it and removing the problem.

                            Are you unmotivated because you feel overwhelmed, tired, afraid, bored, restless or angry? Maybe it is because you aren’t sure you have time or delegated tasks haven’t been finished yet?

                            6. Deconstruct your fears

                            I’m sure you don’t have a phobia about getting stuff done. But at the same time, hidden fears or anxieties can keep you from getting real work completed.

                            Isolate the unknowns and make yourself confident, you can handle the worst case scenario.

                            7. Get a partner

                            Find someone who will motivate you when you’re feeling lazy. I have a friend I go to the gym with. Besides spotting weight, having a friend can help motivate you to work hard when you’d normally quit.

                            8. Kickstart your day

                            Plan out tomorrow. Get up early and place all the important things early in the morning. Building momentum early in the day can usually carry you forward far later.

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                            Having a morning routine is a good idea for you to stay motivated!

                            9. Read books

                            Read not just self-help or motivational books but any book that has new ideas. New ideas get your mental gears turning and can build motivation. Here’re more reasons to read every day.

                            Learning new ideas puts your brain in motion so it requires less time to speed up to your tasks.

                            10. Get the right tools

                            Your environment can have a profound effect on your enthusiasm. Computers that are too slow, inefficient applications or a vehicle that breaks down constantly can kill your motivation.

                            Building motivation is almost as important as avoiding the traps that can stop it.

                            11. Be careful with the small problems

                            The worst killer of motivation is facing a seemingly small problem that creates endless frustration.

                            Reframe little problems that must be fixed as bigger ones or they will kill any drive you have.

                            12. Develop a mantra

                            Find a few statements that focus your mind and motivate you. It doesn’t matter whether they are pulled from a tacky motivational poster or just a few words to tell you what to do.

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                            If you aren’t sure where to start, a good personal mantra is “Do it now!” You can find more here too: 7 Empowering Affirmations That Will Help You Be Mentally Strong

                            13. Build on success

                            Success creates success. When you’ve just won, it is easy to feel motivated about almost anything. Emotions tend not to be situation specific, so a small win, whether it is a compliment from a colleague or finishing two thirds of your tasks before noon can turn you into a juggernaut.

                            There are many ways you can place small successes earlier on to spur motivation later. Structuring your to-do lists, placing straightforward tasks such as exercising early in the day or giving yourself an affirmation can do the trick.

                            How to Stay Motivated Forever (Without Motivation Tricks)

                            The best way to motivate yourself is to organize your life so you don’t have to. If work is a constant battle for you, perhaps it is time to start thinking about a new job. The idea is that explicit motivational techniques should be a backup, not your regular routine.

                            Here are some other things to consider making work flow more naturally:

                            Passion

                            Do things you have a passion for. We all have to do things we don’t want to. But if life has become a chronic source of dull chores, you’ve got a big problem that needs fixing.

                            Not sure what your passion is to get you motivated? This will help you:

                            How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

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                            Habits

                            You can’t put everything on autopilot. I’ve found putting a few core habits in place creates a structure for the day.

                            Waking up at the same time, working at the same times and having a similar productive routine makes it easier to do the next day.

                            This guide will be useful for you if you’re looking to build good habits:

                            Understand Your Habits to Control Them 100%

                            Flow

                            Flow is the state where your mind is completely focused on the task at hand. While there are many factors that go into producing this state, having the right challenge level is a big part.

                            Find ways to tweak your tasks so they hover in that sweet spot between boredom and maddening frustration.

                            Easily distracted and hard to focus? Here’s your solution.

                            Final Thoughts

                            With all these tips I’ve shared with you, now you know what to do when you’re feeling unmotivated.

                            Find your passion and develop a positive mantra so when the next time negativity hits you again, you know how to stay positive and motivated!

                            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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