Holiday Reading for Productivity Buffs

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My top 5 Productivity Books

(that I didn’t write)


I’m always on the lookout for the latest thinking and writing on time management strategies that help us work smarter and be productive.

Much of what I read (and write) comes back to some simple principles that have been talked about since . . . well . . . ancient times!

Beware the barrenness of a busy life – Socrates.

Better a little which is done well, than a great deal imperfectly – Plato.

Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work – Aristotle.

If you seek tranquility, do less.  Or (more accurately) do what’s essential.  Do less, better.  Because most of what what we do or say is not essential.  If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more tranquility – Marcus Aurelius.

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop – Confucius.

Great acts are made up of small deeds – Lao Tzu.

Plenty of others have also been informed by this ancient wisdom.  These are my top 5 books that I continue to refer to over and over again:

  1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.  A classic and not one to be read in a single sitting. Take your time with this. The principles in this book are as timeless as gravity.
  2. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.  Loved the idea of keystone habits.  Those that take a small amount of time and effort but have a tremendous impact on productivity.
  3. The High Performance Mind by Anna Wise.  This one is about getting your brain into shape.  Nothing about to-do lists here and lots about quieting the mind to give yourself space to think and breathe.
  4. Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg.  What a revelation this book was to me.  Doing small things consistently over time and increasing effort incrementally to achieve long term results.
  5. Smart Work by Dermott Crowley.  I recommend this to anyone who is drowning in email.  With Dermot’s help you can maintain a zero inbox.

What is your favourite productivity book, or one that inspired you to action?

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