In 2015, I wrote dozens of articles for Lifehack.org. It has been an interesting project for me. Writing for Lifehack has brought many visitors to this website and other opportunities for me. They have been a good organization to work with and I expect to continue working with them. In this post, I will highlight a few of the articles that I wrote for them. If you are interested in leadership, productivity, books and success, you will enjoy today’s article.
Book Recommendations Articles
I love to read books. It is one of the best ways to learn, relax and explore the world. Like Ryan Holiday, I also like to share book recommendations with my readers. Whether for leisure or education, books are outstanding. Later in the month, I may write a recap list of my favorite books for 2015.
As a noted executive and the author of “Lean In,” Sandberg’s recommendations are well worth considering. In this article, I summarize her suggestions and point you to the books. It’s interesting to see some unusual book selections on her list including Michael Lewis’s fatherhood memoir. Her varied selection of books shows a broad view of the world is helpful.
What do executives read to stay informed on the cutting edge of business? In this article, I explore book ideas from some of the world’s leading CEOs. I have read several of the books on the list including the Checklist Manifesto, The World is Flat and The Ascent of Money. In fact, I think “The Ascent of Money” is an excellent book for those interested in the history of finance and banking.
Learning the productivity strategies and techniques is a great way to reach your goals faster. Of course, this list includes David Allen’s Getting Things Done. You may not have read some of the other recommended titles such as The Four Hour Workweek or Essentialism yet. This reading list gives you the big concepts and inspiration to become more productive. Once you have that mindset in place, you will have the motivation you need to learn the details.
Becoming a more effective leader is a lifelong practice. There is no single “silver bullet” approach to becoming successful. One approach is to study leadership research and successful leaders. In this article, you will find outstanding biographies of the world’s great leaders including Churchill and Washington. The list also includes practical and classic books by Peter Drucker and Jack Canfield.
Productivity improvement is a recurring theme on this blog. Like so many others, I was inspired by David Allen and Tim Ferriss. Earlier this year, I had the good fortune to meet Mike Vardy, founder of Productivityist, at a conference. Later on, I wrote an article on lifelong learning for his website – a practical guide for developing a productive approach to your learning plan.
New ideas and inspiration are an important way to become more productive. We may not be able to attend the TED conference. Fortunately, the TED organization has done great work in filming and publishing recordings of TED talks. The Matt Cutts presentation on the merits of trying something new for 30 days is a great way to experiment with new ideas in a short period of time. Given the popularity of my webinar – How To Succeed As An Introvert Project Manager– I have to mention Susan Cain’s outstanding TED talk: The Power of Introverts.
Tip: Want even more TED talks? Subscribe to the TED Radio Hour podcast by NPR so you can listen on the go.
There are many different approaches to reading. You can read a short story collection, enjoy a novel or experience a play. Reading for leisure is a great way to relax and it often prompts new ways of thinking about the world. In contrast, reading for a course or to learn professional skills calls for a different approach. In this article, I explain how to take notes and engage in critical reading. There’s no need to agree with everything you read in a book. Many of us learned critical reading skills in school. However, those skills can fade if you do not actively use them.
Tip: Do you only read non-fiction books? If so, you’re missing out. Consider The Top 10 Fiction Books for Non-Fiction Addicts for recommendations (I have read and recommend three of the science fiction novels on the list: Stranger in a Strange Land, Ender’s Game and Dune.
When it comes to productivity, we need to consider first principles before we dive into task management details. In this article, I discuss the key principle of focus and setting priorities. If you feel overwhelmed with appointments and work, it may be time to say no and cut back. Here is one specific recommendation to start with: seek to use a fixed work schedule. I understand that many of us have many projects and it is easy to keep working all the time (it happens to me).
Need a case study to convince you? Consider Cal Newport, computer science professor at Georgetown University. In addition to his academic research, Newport is the author of several books and the widely successful blog Study Hacks. How does he get it all done? Among other strategies, Newport recommends the fixed schedule productivity approach. It is an approach that is well worth considering.
We all go through different seasons of the year. I first heard this concept in a Jim Rohn audio program and then encountered it again with Michael Hyatt. In this article, I explore how to make the most of the ups and downs of the year. For example, winter can be a time to get ready for the rest of year – e.g. get ready for tax returns or diving into a big book. In contrast, many of us plan vacation and travel for the summer. Given that reality, it may make sense to plan less work for the summer. The details of your approach will depend on your season of life.