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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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                                          Thai Nguyen

                                          Thai's a Mindfulness-Meditation Coach, a 5-Star Chef and an International Kickboxer.

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                                          Last Updated on January 13, 2020

                                          50 Motivational Quotes for Work to Inspire Success

                                          50 Motivational Quotes for Work to Inspire Success

                                          Let’s face it – no matter how excited you are about a new project or priority in your life, there will always be days when your motivation lags. Days when – despite all the progress you’ve made in the past – it just sounds easier to sit on the couch playing video games than to buckle down and crank out the work needed to meet your goals.

                                          In order to be successful, you must be able to motivate yourself past these humps. Whenever you feel your drive and determination lagging, turn to these motivational quotes for work to provide the extra spark of passion needed to keep you on track.

                                          Quotes about Goal Setting

                                          Whether you’re still in the planning phases of your business or whether you’re plotting a plan of attack to bring about your long-range vision, setting good goals is a critical part of succeeding in business.

                                          Check out these quotes for extra inspiration on how to turn your dreams into reality:

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                                            “The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.”– Benjamin Mays


                                            “By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands — your own.”–Mark Victor Hansen


                                            “Give yourself an even greater challenge than the one you are trying to master and you will develop the powers necessary to overcome the original difficulty.”–William J. Bennett – The Book of Virtues


                                            “The entrepreneur is essentially a visualizer and actualizer… He can visualize something, and when he visualizes it he sees exactly how to make it happen.”–Robert L. Schwartz

                                            Quotes about Achieving Excellence in Work

                                            Once you’ve got your goals together, you’ll need to put in 110% of your effort in order to transform these visions into reality. To increase your motivation to work at a consistently high level, take a look at the following words of wisdom:

                                            “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”–Aristotle


                                            “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.”–Charles R. Swindoll

                                            Desire is the key to motivation

                                              “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal — a commitment to excellence — that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”–Mario Andretti


                                              “The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.”–Pearl Buck


                                              “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”–Vince Lombardi

                                              Quotes about Determination and Persistence

                                              Since every business or other endeavor is bound to hit some rough patches, it’s often a person’s level of determination and patience that brings about either success or failure. These positive quotes give you an extra boost of encouragement:

                                              “Enter every activity without giving mental recognition to the possibility of defeat. Concentrate on your strengths, instead of your weaknesses… on your powers, instead of your problems.”–Paul J. Meyer


                                              “Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”–Hal Borland


                                              “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”–Calvin Coolidge

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                                                “An invincible determination can accomplish almost anything and in this lies the great distinction between great men and little men.”–Thomas Fuller

                                                Quotes about Leadership

                                                Whether you use it to engage your employees, to encourage teamwork or motivate others to follow your unique way of thinking, leadership is crucial. Take your leadership cues from these renowned leaders’ famous sayings:

                                                “The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born — that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” –Warren G. Bennis


                                                “All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.”–John Kenneth Galbraith

                                                Leadership is not magnetic personality

                                                  “Leadership is not magnetic personality — that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not ‘making friends and influencing people’ — that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”–Peter F. Drucker


                                                  “The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.”–John Buchan


                                                  “High sentiments always win in the end. The leaders who offer blood, toil, tears and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic.”–George Orwell

                                                  Quotes for Success

                                                  Think of success as a holistic process – one which results from the combination of goal-setting, excellence, patience, determination and leadership you prioritize throughout your career. These highly successful people provide you with an excellent source of motivation:

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                                                  “Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.”–Stephen Covey


                                                  “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”–Norman Vincent Peale

                                                  Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.

                                                    “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”–Winston Churchill


                                                    “Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.”–John Maxwell


                                                    “Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.”– Thomas J. Watson


                                                    “The great successful men of the world have used their imagination.  They think ahead and create their mental picture in all its details, filling in here, adding a little there, altering this a bit and that a bit, but steadily building – steadily building.”–Robert Collier


                                                    “It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.”–Arnold Toynbee

                                                    Sports Quotes for Athletes

                                                    You don’t need to be a Michael Jordan-caliber athlete to draw inspiration from the following quotes. Even if you’re just a recreational player or someone who’s using sports as a means to get back in shape after long periods of inactivity, the following motivational sports quotes will encourage you:

                                                    “My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.”–Michael Jordan


                                                    “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”–Lance Armstrong

                                                    Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths.

                                                      “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”–Arnold Schwarzenegger


                                                      “I know what I have to do, and I’m going to do whatever it takes. If I do it, I’ll come out a winner, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else does.”–Florence Griffith Joyner


                                                      “Every time you stay out late; every time you sleep in; every time you miss a workout; every time you don’t give 100% – You make it that much easier for me to beat you.”–Unknown


                                                      “If you are hurt, whether in mind or body, don’t nurse your bruises. Get up and light-heartedly, courageously, good temperedly get ready for the next encounter. This is the only way to take life – this is also ‘playing’ the game!”–Emily Post


                                                      “We must train from the inside out. Using our strengths to attack and nullify any weaknesses. It’s not about denying a weakness may exist but about denying its right to persist.”–Vince McConnell

                                                      Quotes to Motivate Learning

                                                      Committing yourself to pursuing knowledge in a single area is a tremendous endeavor – one that often seems overwhelming given the depth and breadth of information that’s available today. Keep the following motivational quotes in mind if you’re learning:

                                                      “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.”–George Washington Carver

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                                                        “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.”–William Arthur Ward


                                                        “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”– Aristotle


                                                        “Success is not the key to happiness.Happiness is the key to success.If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”–Albert Schweitzer


                                                        “Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket: and do not pull it out and strike it, merely to show that you have one.”–Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield


                                                        “He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.”–Chinese Proverb


                                                        “Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing.”–William Arthur Ward


                                                        “Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled ‘This could change your life’.”–Helen Exley


                                                        “A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.”–Chinese Proverb

                                                        All-Time Favorite Positive Quotes

                                                        Finally, whatever your goals are in life, you can’t go wrong by taking the advice of the following famous motivational quotes:

                                                        “Change your thoughts and you change your world.”–Norman Vincent Peale


                                                        “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drowned your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”–Steve Jobs


                                                        “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”–Maria Robinson


                                                        “Out of clutter, find Simplicity. From discord, find Harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies Opportunity.”–Albert Einstein


                                                        “Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”–Lyndon Johnson

                                                        If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.

                                                          “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.”–Thomas Edison


                                                          “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”–Wayne Gretzky


                                                          “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”–Winston Churchill


                                                          “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”–Ralph Waldo Emerson

                                                          Final Thoughts

                                                          To use these motivational quotes effectively, find the one that speaks to you. Although all of the phrases listed above can be considered “motivational,” only you can decide which one resonates with you most directly.

                                                          Next, take the quote you’ve settled on and copy it onto small index cards or other pieces of paper that can be stored around your home and workspace.

                                                          If you’re creative, you can create inspiration boards, signs or other decorative displays featuring your favorite motivational quotes – really, though, the most important thing is that your chosen phrase be accessible in a variety of different places. This will make it easy to access and review whenever you feel your motivation slipping away.

                                                          More Inspiring Quotes

                                                          Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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