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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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                Last Updated on January 24, 2020

                10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

                10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

                Habits are behaviors and patterns that you showcase by default. They enable you to carry out crucial activities like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, getting prepared for work.

                Interestingly, you follow this routine every day without considering them. Your unconscious habits create room for your brain to perform more advanced activities like problem-solving and choosing what book to read.

                Everyone has habits, and several of those habits are activated every day. I would classify them into three groups:

                • The first category includes the habits that you hardly notice as they have become a major part of your life- such as brushing teeth or wearing clothes.
                • The second category comprises good habits to have to be more successful-like eating healthily, exercising your body and reading books.
                • The last group consists of those habits that are harmful-like procrastinating, smoking or overeating.

                Habits are fundamental to becoming successful in life — or probably ending up a failure. Yet, as significant as habits are, some lack the knowledge of their capabilities.

                Habits are default activities that you engage in without giving an afterthought. They are automatic behavioral or mental activities. They help you carry out some actions without exerting too much energy. They simplify your life.

                Several people aspire to break bad habits. For instance, some people diet to stop overeating. They exercise to reduce obesity. Habits can hinder or impact your performance and productivity.

                That’s why I would share 10 good habits to have to be more successful in life.

                1. Begin Your Day with Meditation

                I recommend mindful meditation early in the morning. This practice helps you to be in the present moment. Consequently, it enables you to be mindful of challenging situations during the day.

                Different stressors may trigger as you go through the day; meditation helps you to remain calm before taking on the challenges.

                Personally, it helps me to devise strategies and think about ideas. Meditation is a good habit to have if you want to be connected to what’s significant in your life.

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                2. Be Grateful for What You Have

                Sometimes, you waste time thinking of what’s not enough. You become immersed in those daunting challenges. However, challenges justify the presence of hope. When you have life, you have expectations. You will be free from challenges when you are six feet under. The only strategy you have to stop focusing on your problems is to focus on what you have.

                Gratitude is a time-tested pathway to success, health, and happiness. It redirects your focus to what you have from what you lack. Here’s what James Clear does every day,[1]

                “I say one thing I’m grateful for each day when I sit down to eat dinner.”

                3. Smile

                Can you pause and smile before you continue reading this?

                Now here is what just happened based on research conducted by the Association for Psychological Science; you set a pace for living a happier life when you smile. A genuine smile or what’s called a Duchenne smile is a good habit to have if you want to find spiritual, emotional and mental peace of mind.[2]

                Smiling induces the release of molecules that function towards fighting stress. The physiological state of your body determines the state of your mind. When you slouch or frown, your mind takes cues relating to unhappiness and depression. But, once you adjust yourself by putting up a smile, you begin to feel a new level of excitement and vibrancy.

                Can you smile again?

                4. Start Your Day with a Healthy Breakfast

                Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is a good habit to have and forms a crucial part of your life. Nevertheless, about 31 million Americans skip their breakfast each day.[3]

                If you are fed up hearing that breakfast is a crucial component of your day, you are only fighting the truth. If you want to become more successful, you need to ‘break your fast’ with healthy foods every morning.

                This habit is not difficult to form if you usually rush out the door every single morning. You can wake up earlier to fix yourself a meal so you don’t break down during the day.

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                Get inspired by these 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time.

                5. Exercise Daily

                One of the good habits to have is to exercise your body and muscles every day. You don’t have to run a marathon or lift a weight. You only need to engage in less strenuous activities that oxygenate your blood and inject endorphins in your body.

                Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, classified exercise as a good habit to maximize his already jam-packed schedule.[4] He said,

                ‘I wake up by 5, meditate for 30 minutes, seven-minute workout times three, make coffee, and check-in.’

                He said on Product Hunt that he follows this routine every day as it gives him a steady-state that empowers him to be more productive.

                6. Manage Your Time as You Manage Your Finance

                Another good habit is the act of managing your time effectively. This goes a long way to impact your achievement.

                Time management is what separates the successful from the rest of the world as we all possess the same amount of time. How you leverage time determines your potential to succeed in life.

                So how do you manage your time effectively?

                Here’s Jack Dorsey’s recommendation in one of the Techonomy events;

                “I accomplish effective time management by theming my days and practicing self-discipline. These themes help me handle distractions and interactions. If a request or task does not align with the theme for that day, I don’t do it. This sets a cadence for everyone in the company to deliver and evaluate their progress”.

                And this is Dorsey’s weekly theme:[5]

                • Monday – Management
                • Tuesdays – Product
                • Wednesday – Marketing and growth
                • Thursdays – Developers and partnerships
                • Fridays – Culture and recruiting
                • Saturdays – Taking off
                • Sundays – Reflection, feedback, strategy, and preparing for Monday

                No wonder he was able to run two companies when others were struggling with one job.

                7. Set Daily Goals with Intentions

                Everyone has goals. It may relate to business or personal life. The truth is, we’re all tending towards a particular direction or another. Nevertheless, while long-term goals can offer you direction, it’s your daily goals that you establish that help you develop short-term goals that are essential for your success.

                Long-term goals may not give you the motivation you need to keep on. But when you implement your short-term milestones daily, you become fired up, and you can overcome the challenges that come with taking on bigger tasks.

                Here’s the main truth:Successful people don’t set goals without establishing their intentions. According to Jennifer Cohen of Forbes,[6]

                “What helps you to achieve your desired expectation is ensuring intentions accompany your daily goals.”

                Be intentional about your daily goals!

                8. Seek Inspiration

                It is usually difficult to be inspired for a considerable length of time. Sometimes, you become discouraged and feel like giving up on your goals when things are not working out as intended.

                A practical approach to stay on top of the situation is to inspire yourself each day. When you wake up in the morning after meditation, watch some motivational videos, and let the story of great leaders inspire you.

                Establish what Anthony Robbins called the ‘hour of power.’ Determine how many minutes you spend but make it count. Inspiration is the fuel for achievement because when you can conceive it in your mind, you can accomplish it.

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                Michal Solowow, an investor and the founder of Mitex, a construction company puts it this way,[7]

                “The problems I encounter in everyday life motivates me to find solutions. This is a self-propelling mechanism. becoming a billionaire was never a motivating factor.”

                9. Save Steadily, Invest with All Prudence

                I can exhaust the good habits to have without talking about saving and investing. Most times, you overlook the significance of saving for the future when you are living in your present moment. According to CNBC, a $1000 emergency will propel several Americans into debt.[8]

                However, it is not enough to save, and you must invest your fund and be wise with it. If you pay attention to this now, you will set yourself for a life of success in the future. Ensure you save at least six months in your emergency account so you can be prepared for any future emergency.

                10. Budget and Track Your Spendings

                Benjamin Franklin warned of taking the precaution of little expenses. He said,

                “A small leak sinks a great ship.”

                It is easy to discard little expenses, but the truth is they always add up. This happens when you fail to budget.

                Budgeting is a good habit to have, which can impact your financial life significantly. The money you spend on extravagant lifestyles can be saved and invested in your future.

                The Bottom Line

                Endeavor to cultivate these good habits to have to become more successful as you journey through life. The quicker you cultivate them, the faster you achieve your goals.

                More About Habits

                Featured photo credit: Andrijana Bozic via unsplash.com

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