Productivity and GTD

Five More Books That Will Help You Be More Productive

AUTHOR: Francisco Sáez

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It comes a holiday season in which, in addition to visiting your family, eating a lot and buying many gifts, it is possible that there may be some time left to devote to the great pleasure of reading. Some time ago I recommended five books related to personal productivity from which you can learn many things. As far as I am concerned, they helped me.

It is time to share another five more books that I think will help you work smarter, be more effective and live better.

book the art of thinking clearly

The Art of Thinking Clearly, by Rolf Dobelli

Rolf Dobelli shows in 99 short chapters of entertaining reading so many cognitive biases, prejudices and social distortions that make us systematically interpret reality illogically and take terribly poor decisions as a result.

It is not a book that will help you think clearly, as the title seems to say. It is a compilation of phenomena studied by cognitive psychology with which you deal every day, well explained and full of interesting anecdotes. We have talked about some of them in this blog, like the planning fallacy, the Zeigarnik effect, the default effect or loss aversion.

book switch

Switch, by Chip & Dan Heath

I am currently reading it. Although it may seem a book aimed at entrepreneurs, in which is explained, through very real and very motivating stories, what should you do if you want to manage to change things, I think it is very useful for personal productivity. Many times, our problems of effectiveness come as a result of not being able to change deeply entrenched habits.

I anticipate for you that, according to the Heath brothers, three things are missing to achieve important changes: direct the rider, motivate the elephant and shape the path. Aren’t you curious?

book drive

Drive, by Daniel H. Pink

In this book Daniel Pink explains, from a scientific basis, why what served to motivate people in earlier decades (basically, rewards and punishments) no longer works, and what we should do now to achieve environments with high levels of productivity, effectiveness and satisfaction.

You have a taste of the three elements that really motivate us — autonomy, mastery and purpose — in my article The Three Pillars of Motivation.

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book in praise of slowness

In Praise of Slowness, by Carl Honoré

The cult of speed is often confused with productivity. Being always busy is confused with success. This book is a reflection on the consequences of the fast-paced world in which we live on our work, on our personal lives and ultimately, our quality of life.

Those amongst us who practice GTD defend personal productivity as a philosophy of life and, as such, must be supported by a higher purpose. It is not a question of doing things just for the sake of it and of being busy for no gain; it is a question of doing things which give meaning to our lives. This very entertaining book will make you think about that.

book do the work

Do the Work, by Steven Pressfield

This book, very short and full of energy, is excellent to keep you going when you lack motivation. Initially written to encourage writers to write, it is valid for anyone who needs a push to help them achieve their goals.

Whatever might be the type of project you are embarked on, Pressfield takes you by the hand, in a three act format, through the process that you must pass to be successful in completing your work.

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