‘Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body’
~ Joseph Addison
2017 is nearly upon us and what better way to start the New Year than with a pile of sparkly new books to plough through. If you are looking for ways to be the best version of yourself, this list is a great collection of books that will help you do that. Enjoy them, savour them, don’t just read them, live them.
If enhanced productivity is what you are trying to achieve, this is your book. Its jam packed full of practical suggestions and ideas and is written in a really easy to read style.
The book explores how to work smarter, not harder, how to beat procrastination, make the most of your time and how to manage all the inputs and outputs in your life, including a great chapter on how to get your inbox to zero. It is full of great easily implementable ideas meaning that you can easily incorporate the suggestions into your life.
2) Deep Work, Cal Newport
Do you ever feel you spend a lot of time operating at quite a shallow level, flitting from one thing to another and never getting into the flow of a task or activity. Deep Work explores what you need to do, to get into that flow state and truly work at a deep level. It is split into two parts, part one explores the importance of Deep Work and part two outlines strategies for implementing it into your life.
There is lots of research that is easy to understand and follow which helps you to understand the science and importance of Deep Work. Then there are many great ideas and actionable items to help implement these ideas.
3) The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo
If you are living with too much clutter in your life this book will support you on your journey to become clutter free. Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo helps to transform the way you see your possessions. As well as offering practical advice for cleaning out your home and storing your stuff effectively, the book focuses more on the philosophy of owning things. It teaches you both how to organise your things as well as learning how to let go of them.
Kondo’s “KonMari” method is quite extreme, and although the book is written in an easy to read way, some of the advice is quite out there. If you can just go with it, you find a desire to want to get started on the decluttering mission immediately after finishing the book.
If you want to do you bit for the environment and live a zero waste lifestyle, or at least make a step in that direction, this is the book for you. Bea Johnson write about how she transforms her life by reducing the family waste to one litre per year.
The advice at times is quite extreme, but it is also a very practical step by step guide that you can learn from. It provides tools and tips to move towards a zero waste lifestyle and live a more simple existence. It also helps to shatter some common misconceptions associated with the Zero Waste lifestyle, and shows how waste-free living can be stylish and lead to health benefits as well as saving time and money.
5) Better than Before, Gretchen Rubin
Better Than Before details the latest research of how to develop good habits and how to break bad ones. Gretchen Rubin developed the Habit Tendency Framework for this book, which is a quiz that helps you find your own habit tendency. There are four distinctive types based on how people respond to inner and outer expectations. Upholders, Questioners, Obligers and Rebels. Rubin explains the characteristics of each tendency and how it influences habit formation.
It is filled with simple and easy to implement tools to help improve your own habits. The focus is on how to minimise the need for willpower and to get your habits running on autopilot as quickly as possible.
If you find balancing work, social and family life challenging, this book gives loads of practical advice on how to manage it effectively. Laura Vanderkam claims that you can in fact ‘have it all’. She focuses on the fact that we all have the same 168 hours every week, and looks at how people have managed to use those hours effectively to give them everything they want in their lives.
This book is for anyone who says ‘I don’t have time for that‘ It will help you understand how to create time for the things that are important to you and how to use the hours available to you as effectively as possible.
She shares the time-logs from a range of women who have successful careers and still make time for their families and friends, for sleep and exercise, and for themselves. Based on her learnings from studying the patterns and outcomes of those time-logs, she provides practical advice for anyone who wants to thrive at both work and life.
So there you have it. Some of my favorite books across a range of topics. Go study them and implement them into your life.
Remember that ideas and thoughts that you act on and translate into reality are the keys to success and progressing on the journey of becoming the best version of yourself.
If you make some time each day to read you will be amazed at how quickly you mange to get through the books. Each If each one gives you one or two suggestions of how to enhance your life, over time that builds up to big improvements.
I’d love to hear what books you would recommend, as I am always looking for great books to add to my reading list.