4 productivity books to help you do more
If you know the feeling of gloom when, in spite of all your efforts, it seems that you can’t get to the end of the to-do list, remember - this happens to many! These books will teach you quickness , telling about everything: from acceptable procrastination to appropriate absent-mindedness .
But even if becoming a productive ninja seems like an impossible mission to you, you shouldn't give up trying to get what you want. In the end, for most of us, demonstrating high performance is directly related to career success.
We cannot add a few hours a day, increase the number of members of your team by dividing and reducing the workload, or hire a personal assistant. But on the other hand, we can help you improve your time management skills by offering several books on this topic.
Get comfortable with one of these new products and get ready for better performance.
1. “It's easy to work: take advantage of the power of your personal productivity style,” Carson Tate
The main idea: First, take on the most complex projects. Turn off the sound on the phone. Work in multitasking mode.
All this seems to be classic tricks that can help almost everyone cope with a large number of cases. But efficiency expert and management consultant Carson Tate insists: the best way to achieve nirvana in time management is directly related to your personal qualities.
Therefore, she created a questionnaire of 28 questions, dividing people into 4 categories:
• organizers who think about projects through the prism of people attracted to them;
• prioritizers focusing on the main goal;
• visualizers who never lose sight of the general picture of what is happening;
• planners with the ability to tidy up little things.
Top tip: Tate argues that since we all share time and goals differently, strategies that are right for your employee can be counterproductive to you.
Once you have defined your own performance style, you’ll get the opportunity to implement a personalized action plan. It can cover everything from more effective meetings to organizing an ideal workspace.
How to apply it: Even for the most terrible tasks, such as taking control of an increasing number of incoming emails, you can find a solution that matches your unique personality.
For example, planners obsessed with details should pre-set periods for working with mail. This strategy is linked to their tendency to think sequentially and the need to structure the time they spend on assignments.
At the same time, active priority planners should set a limit on the number of secondary letters that they are willing to leave unread until the end of the day. So they will be able to concentrate on other, more important matters.
2. “Consciously procrastinate: 5 conditions that increase the amount of time”, Rory Waden
Main idea: Most people view time as a finite, limited resource. Internal Discipline Strategist Rory Waden discovered 5 tricks ( from delegation to automation ) that really help you multiply him.
A good example: Allocate a small amount of time right now to set up automatic payment of bills on each of your “wallets”. Such an action will save you free hours - and save you from late fees.
Main tip:Forget everything you've ever heard of the dangers of procrastination. Yes, these few tasks - such as automating financial affairs - should be done today to free up your time tomorrow. According to Vaden, there are examples of situations in which procrastination justifies itself.
He illustrates this point with the story of a business owner who has received a large order. He prudently worked on packing the products in boxes 2 weeks before the shipment. However, the buyer ultimately wanted to get more goods, forcing the businessman to spend time again on preparing the batch.
How to apply it:To effectively increase time using one of Waden's five strategies, you need to pinpoint those tasks that will bring maximum benefit. And learn how to feel comfortable, abandoning lengthy projects that are not able to give a result.
If you belong to people who spend precious hours writing long letters in e-mail, although you can discuss everything by phone, or to help colleagues with the work they need to do, this book is for you.
3. "The tendency toward distraction at work: how to concentrate and become more productive," MD Edward Hollowell
Main idea: Have you ever fallen into the rabbit hole of social media or darted from one task to another?
Yes? You are probably one of the millions of people, according to a former professor at Harvard Medical School, showing a "sign of attention deficit." This is a neurological phenomenon in which the insane pace of modern office life destroys the human ability to concentrate .
The main advice: Knowing how and why you are distracted will allow you to fully show your working potential. It doesn’t matter whether it is to curb electronic addiction, to focus on one thing at the moment, to complete a painful return to a solution.
How to apply it:If you are inclined to superficially complete many different tasks instead of completing large projects - in other words, to "jump to the top" - Hollowell suggests writing the 3 most important tasks at the top of the to-do list, and then constantly returning to them, trying to complete them.
If you are overly attached to technology, Hollowell recommends highlighting special periods in the schedule when you turn off your phone and other distracting devices for activities that require a high concentration of attention.
4. “4 seconds: the time it takes to turn off counterproductive habits and get the desired results,” Peter Bregman
Main idea: Looking for some peace of mind in today's crazy world? Leadership trainer Peter Bregman states that you do not need a 60-minute yoga lesson — you only need time for one deep breath.
According to Bregman, 4 seconds is all that is needed to turn an unsuccessful decision into a more reasonable one. This book begins with a joke about a man who, without thinking, spit out gum during a walk, and after a moment he himself stepped on it.
Main tip: Using a 4-second strategy, you can get rid of the mistakes of your mind and optimize your own work habits. And even strengthen the relationship.
Bregman cites the example of an executive director whose punishment was an instinctive reaction to the active complaints of employees related to staff reductions. After reviewing the situation, he realized that it was more important to raise the morale of the workers, and began to praise them for their success.
The mood and productivity of the team have risen, thanks to the decision of the manager to consider all the options available, and not to disrupt his anger, thereby worsening the situation.
How to apply it: Do not be guided by reflexes and strive to do more. Take a deep breath and consider if this is the most fruitful tactic.
By stopping and realizing that internal reactions can harm you, you can build a simpler action plan to achieve your goal.
PS. We recommend another article on the topic - Tip of the week: use aromatherapy to increase productivity .
The author of the translation is Vyacheslav Davidenko, founder of MBA Consult .