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10 Books That Will Change How You See The World

10 Books That Will Change How You See The World

Henry David Thoreau once said “a book should contain pure discoveries.” Some books can do even more and change how you see the world. Here are 10 eye-opening books that might just do that for you. Many of the themes in these books connect and while reading any one will give you some new insights, reading all of them may just revolutionize how you see the world and your place in it.

The Invisible Gorilla and Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us Christopher Chabris & Daniel Simons

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    You don’t see everything you think you see. Through a series of experiments Chabris and Simons show that, due to attention blindness, we often fail to see what is right in front of our eyes. The implications of this are important. We may be missing very useful information and failing to make connections. Fortunately, there are steps we can take to improve our intuitive and observational skills.

    Think Like a Freak Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner

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      To solve problems you need to be willing to change how you think. This entails changing how you see the world in several important ways. Among these, they discuss the importance of thinking like a child, saying you don’t know, and learning how incentives work to affect behavior. Their tips often seem counter intuitive because they are based on seeing connections among events in non-obvious ways. As you learn to think like a freak you will learn to see these non-obvious connections everywhere.

      Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions Dan Ariely

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        Everyone assumes they act rationally most of the time, but as Dan Ariely points out there are many cases where we do not.  We base our decisions not on rational considerations but irrational ones.  Often our mistakes are simple and predictable.  That means knowing more about them can actually help us create rules and incentives to improve our lives.  We can learn about how we make decisions and how to improve them by seeing our lives as experiments.

        The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives Leonard Mlodinow

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          We think what happens to us is the result of our education, skills, and deliberate decisions. We often see patterns to events where there are none and we see causes and work when the reality is much more random. It is difficult to see randomness at work not because it is rare but because our minds are biased to see order, correlation, and causation. However the role of chance and randomness in our lives is much greater than we realize.

          How Should We Live? Great Ideas from the Past for Everyday Life Roman Krznaric

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            We’ve all been taught that we can learn how to live from studying the past but this lesson is rarely taught in concrete ways, which makes it difficult to see the truth in this. With concrete examples of ideas from the past in such areas as love, work, dealing with death, raising children, and travel it becomes clear that the past is a wealth of knowledge that we can use to improve our lives.

            The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine is in Your Hands Eric Topol

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              Major disruption is coming to health care and you will benefit. One of the biggest changes this will bring is that you will collect and control your own medical information using your smartphone. Armed with this information you will have greater control over your health decisions and greater choice about how to improve your health. Doctors will have to adapt or patients will choose other options. The doctor will no longer be in control of your health, you will.

              Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow’s Big Changes Mark Penn

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                On an individual level it is almost impossible to see trends as they unfold because we mostly base our ideas about what is going on in the world on our own limited perception. The places we go and the people we know serve as our data set. But, since many large social changes start out as small micro-movements we often miss these trends until they explode on the scene seeming to come out of nowhere. By examining these microtrends up close we can learn more about how societal change happens and how to predict which microtrends will become major social changes.

                Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think Viktor Mayer-Schonberger & Kenneth Cukier

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                  We can now see the world in vastly new ways because we now have the ability to collect and analyze massive amounts of data. This data will show us how seemingly unrelated events are connected, help us determine whether those connections are mere correlations or cause and effect relationships, and even allow us to predict future events in ways we’ve never been able to before.

                  How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World Steven Johnson

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                    We have a very linear view of history – especially the history of inventions. But these inventions rarely arise in a completely deliberate fashion as the result of intentional effort. As often as not, they arise as the result of accident or chance connections. Innovations in one area of life can trigger changes that seem entirely unrelated. The most ordinary things in our lives such as glass, the clock, and air conditioning not only arose in surprising ways but led to surprising changes as well.

                    The Knowledge Web James Burke

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                      Schools teach us that academic subjects are discrete entities with no relationships between them but this is untrue. In reality, you can pick any person, place, or event and connect it with virtually any other because they all exist together and connected on the knowledge web. The internet reveals this better than ever but it has always been so. Seeing how the stories of the past relate to each other helps you see that you too are connected to these same people, places, and events. You are part of the knowledge web too. Creativity and problem solving both involve making connections. This takes good examples to draw upon, practice, and an awareness of our cognitive biases and how to address them. Each of these books provides insights and examples to help improve your ability to make connections. The more connections you can make, the more knowledge you have. And, as James Burke once pointed out, when a big enough part of your knowledge changes how you see the world also changes.

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                      Last Updated on May 24, 2019

                      How to Be Productive at Home and Make Every Day a Productive Day

                      How to Be Productive at Home and Make Every Day a Productive Day

                      If you’ve ever wondered how to be productive at home or how you could possibly have a more productive day, look no further.

                      Below you’ll find six easy tips that will help you make the most out of your time:

                      1. Create a Good Morning Routine

                      One of the best ways to start your day is to get up early and eat a healthy breakfast.

                      CEOs and other successful people have similar morning routines, which include exercising and quickly scanning their inboxes to find the most urgent tasks.[1]

                      You can also try writing first thing in the morning to warm up your brain[2] (750 words will help with that). But no matter what you choose to do, remember to create good morning habits so that you can have a more productive day.

                      If you aren’t sure how to make morning routine work for you, this guide will help you:

                      The Ultimate Morning Routine to Make You Happy And Productive All Day

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                      2. Prioritize

                      Sometimes we can’t have a productive day because we just don’t know where to start. When that’s the case, the most simple solution is to list everything you need to get accomplished, then prioritize these tasks based on importance and urgency.

                      Week Plan is a simple web app that will help you prioritize your week using the Covey time management grid. Here’s an example of it:[3]

                        If you get the most pressing and important items done first, you will be able to be more productive while keeping stress levels down.

                        Lifehack’s CEO, Leon, also has great advice on how to prioritize. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

                        How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                        3. Focus on One Thing at a Time

                        One of the biggest killers of productivity is distractions. Whether it be noise or thoughts or games, distractions are a barrier to any productive day. That’s why it’s important to know where and when you work best.

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                        Need a little background noise to keep you on track? Try working in a coffee shop.

                        Can’t stand to hear even the ticking of a clock while writing? Go to a library and put in your headphones.

                        Don’t be afraid to utilize technology to make the best of your time. Sites like [email protected] and Simply Noise can help keep you focused and productive all day long.

                        And here’s some great apps to help you focus: 10 Online Apps for Better Focus

                        4. Take Breaks

                        Focusing, however, can drain a lot of energy and too much of it at once can quickly turn your productive day unproductive.

                        To reduce mental fatigue while staying on task, try using the Pomodoro Technique. It requires working on a task for 25 minutes, then taking a short break before another 25 minute session.

                        After four “pomodoro sessions,” be sure to take a longer break to rest and reflect.

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                        I like to work in 25 and 5 minute increments, but you should find out what works best for you.

                        5. Manage Your Time Effectively

                        A learning strategies consultant once told me that there is no such thing as free time, only unstructured time.

                        How do you know when exactly you have free time?

                        By using the RescueTime app, you can see when you have free time, when you are productive, and when you actually waste time.

                        With this data, you can better plan out your day and keep yourself on track.

                        Moreover, you can increase the quality of low-intensity time. For example, reading the news while exercising or listening to meeting notes while cooking. Many of the mundane tasks we routinely accomplish can be paired with other tasks that lead to an overall more productive day.

                        A bonus tip, even your real free time can be used productively, find out how:

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                        20 Productive Ways to Use Your Free Time

                        6. Celebrate and Reflect

                        No matter how you execute a productive day, make sure to take time and celebrate what you’ve accomplished. It’s important to reward yourself so that you can continue doing great work. Plus, a reward system is an incredible motivator.

                        Additionally, you should reflect on your day in order to find out what worked and what didn’t. Reflection not only increases future productivity, but also gives your brain time to decompress and de-stress.

                        Try these 10 questions for daily self reflection.

                        More Articles About Daily Productivity

                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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