12 Books, and 2 Articles, You Should Read Pretty Soon

Bubbles- Personal Productivity


You should not read any more books.

Unless you want to learn more.
Unless you want to know what to work on, to get better at, to become more productive, at your work, and in your life.

But, in a way, it might even be true that you don’t need to read any more books. You probably simply need to start doing the things you have already learned in the books you have read.

But… to put it mildly, I put myself in the camp of YOU SHOULD ALWAYS BE READING THE NEXT BOOK! If for no other reason than you will discover and learn things you did not know, be reminded of things you have forgotten, or neglected, and occasionally get a “kick in the pants” to actually do those things you had already said to yourself “I’m going to do these things.”

But, what to read. Well, look carefully at the graphic at the top of this post. Here are some suggestions:

Start with an article, or two:
First, go with Personal Best by Atul Gawande. Though this is primarily an article making the case that you could be and would be greatly helped by a good coach, no matter what your arena, it is really an article on the never-ending quest of getting better at what you do.

And, then, just to remind you about the need for a really, really good work ethic, read Jordan’s Moment by David Halberstam. (By the way, Halberstam was a great writer, and this is a wonderful article! You might want to read this just to admire some great writing),

Now, here are some book suggestions. Another book reader would make other suggestions. I might make other suggestions on a different day. But, if you were to tackle these books, one book at time, it would put you on the road to knowing more, and doing more, more effectively. 

Always focused on becoming more productive:
Start with this book: read Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. It is a big book, the kind you can read slowly. It is filled with actionable ideas to put into practice immediately. And, if you were to read all the books recommended by the many folks he interviews in this book before you die, you would be a marvel!

Time Energy, and Self Management Skills
Read Getting Things Done by David Allen. Start here; revisit this book often. This is the “bible” for time management.
Then read The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz. This is the energy management book. Combine this with Getting Things Done, do what each of these say to do, and you will have more energy and use your time far more effectively.

Communication Skills: (all aspects; interpersonal, written, spoken)
I need to find a good book to recommend on interpersonal communication. The books I’ve read have pretty much been college communication textbooks. (Although, I do remember how good You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation by Deborah Tannen was, especially related to gender communication issues. And, I’m working on writing my own speaking book. But, do read Words that Work by Frank Luntz and Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. They will help you with many of the aspects of effective communication. (And, read Kim Scott’s Radical Candor to learn the value of getting to the point, and how to get there!; how to quit beating around the bush!).

Collaboration Skills – (Let’ s call this “teaming”)
This list is long. Do read Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Frank Lencioni, and then maybe Team of Teams by General Stanley McChrystal.

Decision Making Skills
Read Decisive, also by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. And, a book I am reading now is Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths. Intriguing book.

Networking Skills
Do read– right now, read! – Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. Read this now!!!

The other categories are a little more challenging. Again, I have primarily been helped by academic writings and textbooks.

But, here’s your challenge. Unless you are fully retired, or already the very best in the world at everything you do, then you have more to learn, more to discover, more to master.

So, get to it, and keep at it. These books will help you.

Yes, I have presented synopses of quite a few of these.  Check our buy synopses tab at the top of this page. Each synopsis comes with my comprehensive synopsis handout, and the audio recording of my presentation.

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