10 Productivity Books: Fun, Challenging, and Motivating

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10 Productivity Books: Fun, Challenging, and Motivating

In a busy development environment, it can be hard to stay on task. Here are ten great reads to help you harness the power of productivity.

· Agile Zone ·
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Being unsatisfied with what you get is a great start for progress. But when we get stuck and hardly can get things done, sometimes we need theoretical and practical advice on how to get more in less time. Productivity books are a source of knowledge about how our brain works, how our habits are built, and how to make them work for us. So here’s a list of books that cover all aspects of productivity and efficiency, combining scientific facts and practical steps to the success.

Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done

by David Allen

Image titleWhat’s the first excuse for not taking an important step? “I don’t feel ready for that,” most of us say or think. Sometimes we keep not being ready for years, unable to get things moving and stuck in what we’d like to change. In his book, David Allen tells us how to get ready for anything. The author shows the ways to discover creativity, increase your ability to work without stress and overload, and, finally, take efficient actions.

How to Be a Productivity Ninja: Worry Less, Achieve More, and Love What You Do

by Graham Allcott

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Beating procrastination requires extraordinary habits, right? Graham Alcott’s book will show you the path of the productivity ninja: the author describes techniques that will help you stay concentrated, reclaim your Zen, and master the jitsu of getting things done. ‘How to be a Productivity Ninja’ is a fun and helpful guide to developing a mindful approach to your work and productivity.

Time Warrior: How to Defeat Procrastination, People-Pleasing, Self-Doubt, Over-Commitment, Broken Promises, and Chaos

by Steve Chandler

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Many of us feel tired of too much struggling when carving out time to accomplish what has been planned. A victorious time warrior definitely wouldn’t experience this problem: his non-linear approach for managing time reduces chaos around him and makes him great at work. Steve Chandler offers a revolutionary way to deal with time. With all major enemies listed right on the cover – procrastination, people-pleasing, self-doubt, over-commitment, broken promises, and chaos – this book will help you defeat everything that gets in the way to your success.

168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think

by Laura Vanderkam

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There are 168 hours in a week. Is it enough for everything we want to do? Job, family, gym, hobbies, friends – is it really possible to find time for all that and still sleep 8 hours a night? Laura Vanderkam claims that it is. She interviewed dozens of successful and happy people to figure out how they allocate their time and shared this knowledge with the readers. Re-prioritizing things is not always easy, but the effect of making room for what really matters is inspiring. The book is a practical guide to get more out of your time.

How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day

by Michael J. Gelb

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Creativity is often what we lack when learning something new or solving problems. Michael Gelb shows how to think like Leonardo Da Vinci – if we start thinking creatively, we all can discover our hidden abilities and expand our minds. Genius is made, not born, and the author suggests that the reader develops the new, creative ways of thinking. As an inspiration, Da Vinci’s inventions and masterpieces are shown, and his principles are introduced as a guide to the non-trivial way of thinking.

The Idiot Brain: A Neuroscientist Explains What Your Head is Really Up To

by Dean Burnett

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Okay, we decide to be focused on the work, to stop giving in to the temptations of the unlimited Internet – and end up missing things, forgetting important to-dos and, basically, unconsciously sabotaging our work. Why? Welcome to the idiot brain,  says Dean Burnett, neuroscientist. He explains how our gray matter works and what our brain is actually up to. It’s about many aspects of our life, not only work. When you understand how it all works, you can handle it… or just rely on your brain, again.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

by Charles Duhigg

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Procrastination is a bad habit, and bad habits often are stronger than us. Overcoming it might require a deeper understanding of its roots. Charles Duhigg shows us scientific facts behind the power of habit: what we do in our lives and why we choose to do things this way. With this knowledge, we can develop new habits and make them work for us.

The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It

by Kelly McGonigal Ph.D.

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Speaking of the scientific approach to productivity problems, we shouldn’t forget about the science behind willpower. Self-control mechanisms are based on the willpower instinct, and Kelly McGonigal explains how it works. Knowledge from psychology, economics, neuroscience, and medicine provides some surprising insights. For example, willpower is a mind-body response, hence a biological function. Or, willpower failures are contagious – and willpower peaks, too. The good news is that we can improve our self-control by training our brain.

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

by Gary Keller

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We all know that multitasking at work ruins the workday and dramatically decreases productivity, but we seldom think that it works for the entire life too. Psychologists suggest that you choose the ONE thing to focus on instead of dissipating your energy – and Gary Keller shows how. By focusing on the one thing you’ll get less – less stress, clutter and chaos – and more: more satisfaction, time for yourself, and more results in less time.

Superhuman By Habit: A Guide to Becoming the Best Possible Version of Yourself, One Tiny Habit at a Time

by Tynan

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Our habits have great power over what we do and what we get. So a thoughtful approach to building good habits and beating bad ones can transform any of us into a superhuman by habit – a person who doesn’t need to rely on willpower for accomplishing harder tasks. Tynan tells how to do that: build necessary habits to make tasks automatic and independent from the willpower. A combination of theoretical research and practical advice makes this book a great guide for implementing useful habits in work and life.

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Published at DZone with permission of Marina Pilipenko . See the original article here.

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