Searching for the best productivity books? We’ve got you covered in today’s blog post.
Unless you lived under a rock or – GASP! – maybe aren’t old enough to remember the timeless PBS classic Reading Rainbow, its mere mention is enough to give you the warm-and-fuzzies. Because from telling us we could go twice as high as a butterfly, to reminding us that we could go anywhere and be anything, Reading Rainbow was as close to a guru for any child coming of age as anything could ever be. It was a vision board televised.
From LeVar Burton’s hypnotic approach to reading and discussing books to the kids giving their own book recommendations and reviews, Reading Rainbow was – and still is, evidently – a bookworm’s paradise that has captivated its audience for more than 35 years.
Now that we are all grown up, we have less time to watch TV for book recommendations. So, we’d like to humbly submit this list with BELAY’s recommendations of the best productivity books for 2019 (Adulting? CHECK) with a touch of Reading Rainbow whimsy (Childhood? CHECK).
‘But you don’t have to take our word for it …’
The 4-Hour Workweek seeks to dismantle the concept of the deferred-life plan, such as retirement, in unpredictable economic times. So whether your dream is to escape your 9-to-5, experience world travel, or earn an income without management, The 4-Hour Workweek provides the blueprint.
With more than 50 practical tips and case studies from readers, including families, who have doubled income, overcome common obstacles, and reinvented themselves, the book serves as a guide on how to eliminate 50 percent of your work in 48 hours using by trading a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent ‘mini-retirements.’
What could be more productive than accomplishing 40+ hours of work in only four hours?
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
POP QUIZ! Have you ever felt overwhelmed by outstanding to-do items? Do you ever feel stretched too thin with too many things to do and too few hours in the day? Have you ever felt busy but still unproductive?
SAME. And for that, one of our enterprising BELAY readers suggested Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.
Unlike “The 4-Hour Workweek”, “Essentialism” isn’t about getting more done in less time; it’s about getting the right things done – and nothing more. Because once we learn how to identify what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not becomes that much easier, empowering us to reclaim control of where and how we spend our precious time and energy.
Consider this the ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’ for your personal and professional endeavors – instead of your sock and utensil drawers.
Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done
According to studies, 92 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. Why? Because, according to Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done, the peskiest obstacle to meeting goals is not laziness, but rather perfectionism.
‘If I’m not going to do this right, I just won’t do it at all!’
Wash, rinse, repeat and return to square one. Turns out, the most effective productivity practices are not those that put pressure on you to push yourself harder but instead, they’re the ones that take the pressure off.
However, be forewarned: The strategies in this book may seem unorthodox and even counterintuitive. They may even feel like you’re cheating a little. Because you may not be prepared to hear that having more fun, eliminating secret rules, and choosing to fail works.
Dubious? Consider that the book reports that people who have fun are 43 percent more successful. Just ask Sir Richard Branson and Pitbull. So if you’re done being a starter and are ready to finally be a finisher, this book may hold the key.
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
‘Habits aren’t destiny.’ It’s true – we often relegate our habits, both good and bad, to inclinations and preferences that just are; they just manifest themselves under cover of darkness and we blindly and instinctively follow suit.
But what if, one day, we decided to jam a stick into the spokes of our wheel of predictability, sending the comfort of the routine and expected flying over the handlebars?
In The Power of Habit, readers are taken to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and, arguably most importantly, how they can be changed to our benefit.
The Third Option
Ask yourself: What would your ideal work life look like?
Because way more often than any of us would like or care to admit, we accept the reality that work is binary: you either work a traditional 40+ hour workweek or you’re unemployed. Yet, The Third Option argues that tremendous opportunity lies in the middle. In fact, we’d argue that considering alternatives to how it’s always been done echoes the same principles as those found in “The Power of Habit” – just because it’s how you’ve always done things doesn’t mean it’s the only way to do things.
This book encourages you to be honest with yourself, to dream what is possible, and helps you decide when the time is right to make a change. And by taking a leap of faith to create a flexible career that gives meaning to both your work and family, you can work virtually and still earn a living. And, arguably more importantly, you can live and work on your own terms – with a balance that you’ve created for yourself.
It’s been said that the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now – and now is your time to reclaim your life, your sanity, your productivity, your balance and your happiness. New year, new you and now, new books to help you make 2019 your happiest, most productive yet!
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