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7 Books You Should Read to Increase Your Productivity

7 Books You Should Read to Increase Your Productivity


Learning to be more productive is one of the best things we can do to be more effective and efficient with everything that we do. Being more productive means stuff takes less time, you make fewer mistakes and you make better quality progress towards some desired outcome. That said, it’s amazing they don’t teach basic productivity skills in schools and colleges. So, I’ve put together a short list of some of books that teach the essentials of productivity that everyone can benefit from.

1.The 4-Hour Work Weekby Tim Ferriss

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    The 4-Hour Work Week teaches techniques to increase your time and financial freedom giving you more lifestyle options. By automating a passive income and liberating yourself from unproductive tasks, you can live the lifestyle of the “new rich”—one defined by having, doing and being what you want. Even for those people who have no interest in starting their own business, the principles in The 4-Hour Work Week can be applied to almost any situation or environment you find yourself in. The ideas behind the 80/20 principle, outsourcing, elimination and liberation will help you develop a much more productive mindset.

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    2.
    Getting Things Doneby David Allengtd

      Getting Things Done is arguable the world’s most well known book on productivity. The lessons in this book should be considered essential reading for anyone looking to pursue a more productive lifestyle. Getting Things Done takes you through a workflow which you can use to manage your workload much more effectively. The principles in the book are simple, but are often the things we forget about that we need reminding of. Getting Things Done was recently updated to reflect how this workflow applies to modern technology.

      3.How to Win Friends & Influence Peopleby Dale Carnegie

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        Everyone, and I mean everyone can learn something from How to Win Friends & Influence People. The principles in the book are simple, but something a lot of us fail to use or remember. This book will help you to convince people to your way of thinking, avoid arguments and become more liked. If you’re in a leadership or sales type role, I strongly recommend this book. HTWFIP was one of the first best-selling self-help books ever published. Written by Dale Carnegie and first published in 1936, it has sold 15 million copies world-wide. But what has it got to do with Productivity? Well, by managing people more effectively (particularly in a working environment), you can produce better quality work together. This increased effectiveness goes hand-in-hand with higher productivity.

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        4.I Will Teach You to be Richby Rami Sethi

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          I Will Teach You to be Rich helps you identify where your money is going and gets it working for you so that you can save for the things that will bring you true happiness and lead a rich life. The six week program identifies how to create a system for optimising your bill payments, savings and investments so that your money goes to all the right places with less than an hour of maintenance a month. Now who wouldn’t want to spend less time managing their bank accounts while at the same time knowing that your money is going to the places it needs to be. Automating your finances like this is incredibly rewarding and will save you heaps of time every month.

          5.Manage Your Day to Dayby 99U

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            As the book describes; should you answer that email, or answer your calling? Tune into social media, or tune in to your own voice? Respond to other people’s needs or actively set your own agenda? When it comes to creative work, every decision, every day, matters. 99U brings together the insights of 20 creative experts to produce Manage Your Day to Day. Learn how to build a rock solid routine, find focus and sharpen your creative mind.

            6.Sleep Smarterby Shawn Stevenson

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              Sleep Smarter

              is a quick and easy read packed with facts, studies and scientific insight all about getting better quality sleep. Author, Shawn Stevenson takes you through the essential components of a good nights sleep. The book also contains a few surprises about how much impact sleep has on your day to day health. When you improve the quality of your sleep, almost every aspect of your life improves, including—yes, you guessed it—your productivity. By the end of the book you’ll definitely be settling in for a good nights sleep.

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              7.What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfastby Laura Vanderkam

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                Productivity researcher Laura Vanderkam has combined her three mini e-books into one comprehensive guide. Through Laura’s research and interviews, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast reveals how to plan your mornings, weekends and work time to be achieve greater productivity and happiness. It was after reading Laura’s book that I transformed my morning routine which is now one of my favourite times of day. If you’d like to learn the most common productivity skills among the worlds top performers, then this is the book for you.

                Featured photo credit: PicJumbo via picjumbo.com

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                Published on April 25, 2019

                How Creativity Can Help You Get Ahead in Life

                How Creativity Can Help You Get Ahead in Life

                Have you ever felt limited in your abilities to do something you really wanted to pursue? Maybe it was an ambition you had, or an idea to start something. Perhaps it was an opportunity that came your way, but you weren’t able to take it because something held you back.

                Often, we’re unable to progress towards our goals because such obstacles stand in the way. We let our limitations stop or overshadow our abilities to see through to a goal.

                Yet, there’s one thing that we rarely think of to use when trying to overcome limitations.

                Creativity.

                What is Creativity?

                When I say creativity, I’m not talking about an innate talent. Creativity is a much needed, but often neglected, skill that everyone has! It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input.

                Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems.

                Everything, including brilliant inventions, cannot come from nothing; it all derives from some sort of inspiration. Creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.

                From this perspective, you can find creativity at play in many areas.

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                For example, Mark Zuckerburg rapidly became successful by taking the previously existing concept of social media, and combining it with an incredibly simple interface that appealed to a much wider audience. Uber and Lyft combined the idea of a traditional taxi service with an incredibly efficient smartphone app.

                Both of these examples connect different ideas, find common ground amongst the differences, and create a completely new idea out of them.

                That’s creativity in a nutshell, and anyone can improve theirs.

                Limitations are Actually Opportunities

                The advantage of using creativity, is to help you see limitations as opportunities. Take any limitation that you may find yourself facing, is there a way to look at things differently?

                Let me illustrate with an example.

                On the day of my son’s 5th birthday, my wife and I arranged a party for him at a children’s adventure park. His friends and family were all invited, and the plan was to have a long, fun day out to celebrate.

                However, the day didn’t go exactly as planned…

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                At Lifehack, we pride ourselves on a healthy work-life balance, so I wasn’t concerned about taking the day off to celebrate. But, on the big day, a call came through to my phone.

                It was a manager from Lifehack. He excitedly told me that a group of investors were quite interested in our business proposition, and were wanting to meet later that day.

                This was great news! A potential investment could be coming our way. But, I was already miles away from home and the office. Plus, it was my son’s birthday…

                I asked if I could call him back once we got settled into the park.

                To be honest, I was pretty certain I was not going to be able to make it. Asking to reschedule would be a risky request, but there was no way that I was going to miss my son’s party.

                My son could sense something was off, and he asked me what was wrong. So I let him know that I just received a call about a meeting today, but also told him not to worry as today was about celebrating his birthday.

                But like all kids, he continued questioning me…

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                “But daddy, is it important?”

                “No, of course not,” I bluffed.

                Then, with childlike intuition and creativity, he asked: “Can’t you just meet with them at the park?”

                And, then it struck me! This was the idea that I was missing.

                Even though my son didn’t quite understand that it would not be possible for the investors to meet me at the park, it made sense for me to simply do a video call!

                I could miss 25 minutes of the party to do a quick call while the rest of the party walked through the aquarium. And, in the end, that was exactly what happened.

                I called back my teammate and asked him to briefly explain to the investors why I couldn’t be there in person to meet, but would be happy to join via video. I took the call, and was able to spend the rest of the day at the park with my son.

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                Not only did my son enjoy his birthday, his simple idea led to a successful investment meeting that allowed us to get funding for a new project.

                This is where I was able to turn a limitation into an opportunity that enabled me to reach my success.

                Creativity is One Key to Success

                When you use your creative ability to turn your limitations and setbacks into opportunities, you’ll find doors opening for you in areas you may have never imagined.

                Remember, your attitude is also important when it comes to achieving a goal, and tackling a setback or problem. That’s because a positive attitude transforms not just your mental state, but your physical and emotional well being. It is the key to lasting total transformation.

                Check out this article to learn more about how you can tune your attitude towards positivity.

                So, the next time you’re feeling limited by your abilities, setbacks or challenges, don’t give up. Really look at the situation, and see how you can leverage on your creativity to find an alternative solution.

                Featured photo credit: Photo by William Iven on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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