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20 Essential Books To Supercharge Your Productivity

20 Essential Books To Supercharge Your Productivity

Perhaps the number one rule that productive people emphasize is the need to have a mentor. But with busy lifestyles today, it is difficult to find time to build that relationship. Thankfully, great mentors and teachers for a productive life are only an arm stretch away in a book. Success and productivity comes first from gaining the knowledge. Here are 20 essential productivity books that will turn you into a productivity machine:

1. The 4-Hour Chef, by Tim Ferriss.

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    Tim Ferriss has fast become the ‘go-to guy’ when it comes to productivity, accelerated learning and life hacks. In this book he gives his 4-step method of speed learning: Deconstruct, Selection, Sequence, Stakes. His latest book is a comprehensive coverage of what he also touches on in his earlier books, The 4 Hour Work Week and The 4 Hour Body.

    2. The War Of Art, by Steven Pressfield.

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      Perhaps one of the greatest books on overcoming obstacles in creative work is this by Steven Pressfield. In it he explains Resistance as being that crippling enemy we face every day and gives great short reflections on how to break through.

      3. Getting Things Done, by David Allen.

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        A classic by David Allen, one of the most successful corporate coaches, his book is described by Time Magazine as, “the definitive business self-help book of the decade.” A great tip from this book is the two-minute rule: if there is any task that takes less than two minutes to finish, then drop whatever it is that you are doing and finish that task.

        4. Your Brain At Work, by David Rock.

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          Understanding how your brain works is crucial for success and being productive. David gives a great metaphor for the mind as a stage performance. Your brain’s functions are like a director trying to manage actors and actresses- you need to find the optimum amount that you can work with in order to be productive.

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          5. The Power Of Habit, by Charles Duhigg.

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            Get an insight into what makes good habit and bad habits with this book. Charles Duhigg breaks down the stages of building habits: cue, routine, reward. Productivity is very much dependent upon what your daily habits are. Create better habits and understand why we do the things we do in work and life.

            6. Made To Stick, by Chip Heath & Dan Heath.

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              It is one thing to work hard, but it can be futile if you are not working smart also. This book will teach you about what sets a winning brand apart from the rest. Be productive but also stand out from the crowd.

              7. What To Say When You Talk To Yourself, by Shad Helmstetter.

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                That voice in your head can make all the difference in terms of how productive you are. Shad Helmstetter teaches you to become mindful of negative thoughts that are holding you back and replace them with with productive and positive self-talk you need.

                8. See You At The Top, by Zig Ziglar.

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                  Another classic by the great Zig Ziglar. Learn how to turn “lemons into lemonade” in this book. If you have gone through some difficulties recently, Zig gives some great advice along with a healthy all-round approach to success and being productive.

                  9. Willpower Instinct, by Kelly McGonigal.

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                    Procrastination and lack of self-discipline are the greatest enemies of productivity. Dr. Kelly McGonigal is a professor at Stanford University where she teaches on many subject including self-discipline through a psychological lens. She reveals much of her lessons in this book.

                    10. Thinking Fast And Slow, by Daniel Kahneman

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                      Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahnerman helps you to be more productive through understanding the two different faculties of your thinking: the fast, intuitive, and emotional; and slower, more deliberative, and more logical.

                      11. Invisible Influence, by Kevin Hogan.

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                        There are so many subliminal effects at play that may be holding back your productivity. It may simply be the color of your room that is making you lazy. Uncover what some of these are in this book.

                        12. The First 20 Hours: How To Learn Anything…Fast! by Josh Kaufman.

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                          Josh Kaufman unpacks his 4 step method to rapid learning. He teaches an important point on making pre-commitments of 20 hours to your learning in order to see great results and be productive.

                          13. The Art Of Learning, by Josh Waitzkin.

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                            Josh Waitzkin is a grand master chess player who also became a champion martial artist. He breaks down the secrets to learning and being successful in this book as he shares his own personal experiences of what he found to be productive and what was not.

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                            14. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, by Gary Vaynerchuck.

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                              Gary Vaynerchuck is dominating the online marketing world and he gives the secrets to making huge progress and seeing profitable results. He give an incredible amount of case studies showing what practices are the most productive for online work.

                              15. Your Creative Brain, by Shelley Carson.

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                                Dr Shelley Carson from Harvard gives 7 steps to maximize imagination, productivity, and innovation in your life. She explains that creative brains are developed and trained, and breaks down the creativity process to allow you to be creatively productive.

                                16. The Compound Effect, by Darren Hardy.

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                                  Being the publisher of Success Magazine, Darren Hardy ought to know a thing or two about being productive and successful. In this book he discussing the crucial accumulation of the little decisions we make each day and how they can drive us toward our goals.

                                  17. Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott.

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                                    Regarded by many as one of the greatest books for writers. Lamotte’s incredibly entertaining book helps not only writers but all artist overcome those demons that keep us from being stagnant and overwhelmed with our work.

                                    18. The Talent Code, by Daniel Coyle.

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                                      Journalist Daniel Coyle takes readers through 9 different case studies from sports teams to music academies uncovering the truth behind talent. Rather than a gift, it is a product of hard work and productivity.

                                      19. Train You Brain For Success, Roger Seip.

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                                        This book includes a phenomenal section on developing your memory and speed reading. The ability to read and remember well are crucial for being productive.

                                        20. How To Become A Straight-A Student, Cal Newport.

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                                          Cal Newport teaches some unconventional paths and strategies to getting high grades through some more refined studying strategies. Rather than continually cramming he gives effective methods that can be applied to those outside a school setting also.

                                          Add some of these titles to your growing library and begin to enjoy having a more productive life.

                                          Featured photo credit: reading a book by feedough via stockfresh.com

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                                          Last Updated on September 18, 2019

                                          15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

                                          15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

                                          You may think that you don’t have time for office organization, but if you really knew how much time that disorganization cost you, you’d reconsider.

                                          Rearranging and moving piles occasionally doesn’t count. Neither does clearing off your desk, if you swipe the mess into a bin, or a desk drawer.

                                          A relatively neat and orderly office space clears the way for higher productivity and less wasted time.

                                          Organizing your office doesn’t have to take days, it can be done a little at a time. In fact, maintaining an organized office is much more effective if you treat it like an on-going project, instead of a massive assault.

                                          So, if you’re ready to get started, the following organizing tips will help you transform your office into an efficient workspace.

                                          1. Purge Your Office

                                          De-clutter, empty, shred, get rid of everything that you don’t need or want. Look around. What haven’t you used in a while?

                                          Take one area at a time. If it doesn’t work, send it out for repair or toss it. If you haven’t used it in months and can’t think of when you’ll actually need it, out it goes. This goes for furniture, equipment, supplies, etc.

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                                          Don’t forget about knick-knacks, plants (real or artificial), and decorations – if they’re covered with dust and make your office look shabby, they’re fair game.

                                          2. Gather and Redistribute

                                          Gather up every item that isn’t where it belongs and put it where it does.

                                          3. Establish Work “Zones”

                                          Decide what type of activity happens in each area of your office. You’ll probably have a main workspace (most likely your desk,) a reference area (filing cabinet, shelves, binders,) and a supply area (closet, shelves or drawers.)

                                          Place the appropriate equipment and supplies are located in the proper area as much as possible.

                                          4. Close Proximity

                                          Position the equipment and supplies that you use most within reach. Things that you rarely use can be stored or put away.

                                          5. Get a Good Labeler

                                          Choose a label maker that’s simple to use. Take the time to label shelves, bins, baskets drawers. Not only will it remind you where things go, but it will also help others who may have a need to find, use, or put away anything in your workspace.

                                          6. Revise Your Filing System

                                          As we move fully into the digital age, the need to store paper files has decreased.

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                                          What can your store digitally? Are you duplicating files? You may be able to eliminate some of the files and folders you’ve used in the past. If you’re storing files on your computer, make sure you are doing regular back-ups.

                                          Here’re some storage ideas for creating a smooth filing system:

                                          • Create a meeting folder – Put all “items to be discussed” in there along with items that need to be handed off, reports that need to be given, etc. It’ll help you be prepared for meetings and save you stress in the even that a meeting is moved up.
                                          • Create a WOR folder – So much of our messy papers are things that are on hold until someone else responds or acts. Corral them in a WOR (Waiting on Response) folder. Check it every few days for outstanding actions you may need to follow-up on.
                                          • Storage boxes – Use inexpensive storage boxes to keep archived files and get them out of your current file space.
                                          • Magazine boxes – Use magazine boxes or binders to store magazines and catalogs you really want to store. Please make sure you really need them for reference or research, otherwise recycle them, or give away.
                                          • Reading folder – Designate a file for print articles and documents you want to read that aren’t urgent.
                                          • Archive files – When a project is complete, put all of the materials together and file them away. Keep your “working folders” for projects in progress.
                                          • File weekly – Don’t let your filing pile up. Put your papers in a “To File” folder and file everything once a week.

                                          Learn more tips on organizing your files here: How to Organize Your Files for Better Productivity

                                          7. Clear off Your Desk

                                          Remove everything, clean it thoroughly and put back only those items that are essential for daily use.

                                          If you have difficulty declutter stuff, this Declutter Formula will help you throw away stuff without regretting later.

                                          8. Organize your Desktop

                                          Now that you’ve streamlined your desktop, it’s a good idea to organize it.

                                          Use desktop organizers or containers to organize the items on your desk. Use trays for papers, containers for smaller items.

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                                          Don’t forget your computer desktop! Make sure the files or images are all in organized folders. I’d recommend you clear your computer desktop everyday before you leave work.

                                          9. Organize Your Drawers

                                          Put items used together in the same drawer space, stamps with envelopes, sticky pads with notepads, etc.

                                          Use drawer organizers for little items – paper clips, tacks, etc. Use a separate drawer for personal items.

                                          10. Separate Inboxes

                                          If you work regularly with other people, create a folder, tray, or inbox for each.

                                          11. Clear Your Piles

                                          Hopefully with your new organized office, you won’t create piles of paper anymore, but you still have to sort through the old ones.

                                          Go through the pile (a little at a time if necessary) and put it in the appropriate place or dump it.

                                          12. Sort Mails

                                          Don’t just stick mail in a pile to be sorted or rifle through and take out the pieces you need right now. Sort it as soon as you get it – To act, To read, To file, To delegate or hand off. .

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                                          13. Assign Discard Dates

                                          You don’t need to keep every piece of paper indefinitely. Mark on files or documents when they can be tossed or shredded.

                                          Some legal or financial documents must be kept for specified length of time. Make sure you know what those requirements are.

                                          14. Filter Your Emails

                                          Some emails are important to read, others are just not that important.

                                          When you use the filter system to label different types of emails, you know their priority and which to reply first.

                                          Take a look at these tips to achieve inbox zero: The Ultimate Way to get to Inbox Zero

                                          15. Straighten Your Desk

                                          At the end of the day, do a quick straighten, so you have a clean start the next day.

                                          Bottom Line

                                          Use one tip or try them all. The amount of effort you put into creating and maintaining an efficient work area will pay off in a big way.

                                          Instead of spending time looking for things and shuffling piles, you’ll be able to spend your time…well…working and you’ll enjoy being clutter free!

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                                          Featured photo credit: Alesia Kazantceva via unsplash.com

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