Over the last decade, I’ve read my way through the entire Barnes & Noble productivity section. Has it made me the most productive person in the world? Debatable. The Rock, or, perhaps, Elon Musk might lay claim to that title, but this little word binge did make me remarkably more focused. Whether you want to get more work done, stop procrastinating, pick up a new skill, or need a swift kick in your Aeron chair, there’s a book out there for you.
If You’re a Productivity Newbie
Great news, friends! You don’t have to master complicated filing systems, or download habit-tracking apps, or start going to bed at 8 p.m. every night to get more meaningful work done. Nope. What you have to do is focus on one thing at a time. Go small, says Gary Keller, author of The One Thing, by ignoring all the things you could do, and focus on what you should do. Pick a task, complete it, move on to the next. It’s shockingly counterintuitive, practically transgressive. He’s definitely not advocating multitasking, and getting this mantra drilled into your head for a couple hundred pages actually makes it stick. This book is so simple—and effective—it actually makes me angry I hadn’t thought of it first.
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