If there’s one thing I’ve noticed during the lockdown period for COVID-19 it’s that I often lack motivation, which destroys my productivity.
We’re all living Groundhog Day since we can’t go into the office or meet with people as often. Recently, I read (or re-read) several productivity and business books that address this problem in a prescient way. If you need a prompt to kick things back into gear like I did, each book here is definitely worth investigating.
1. Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life
My top pick during this strange season is by Nir Eyal in a book that seems well-suited to the homebound among us. Distractions are literally sitting right next to us (hello, smart television and a bag of Doritos). His main point is that a system of productivity works better than mere tips and tricks.
2. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
James Clear has the perfect name for a productivity guru. He writes in a clear and engaging style, offering a good balance of tips, stories, and challenging anecdotes. He advocates for small, immediate changes — do one push-up to start exercising at first, for example.
3. Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction
The title of this book is a bit of an oxymoron. We are a bit too hyper in our focus (which causes undue stress), but removing distractions and doing things well is the secret. We can’t technically multi-task anyway so why do we keep trying over and over?
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4. The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future
No book I’ve read recently offers such a clear and practical approach to collecting your thoughts and making plans. I’ve watched countless videos that explain how to do this method but here’s my favorite. The author of the book advocates for finding more purpose to what you do.
5. Dream Big: Know What You Want, Why You Want It, and What You’re Going to Do About It
Getting stuck is no fun. It doesn’t feel like you are making progress. A favorite author of mine is Bob Goff, who writes from a faith-perspective. His book Dream Big is a major motivator because it blows the doors off of every objective about reaching beyond our current predicament.
6. Free to Focus: A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less
What I liked so much about Free to Focus is that the author doesn’t just talk about personal self-development and being a better person. There’s a bigger purpose in mind — having more time to pursue outside interests, help others, and become part of something bigger.
7. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
A slightly older book but well worth the read, The ONE Thing is full of practical guidance that actually works. The book has one central theme — that we tend to get pulled into too many things and slog through our day. Focusing on what matters actually works.
8. High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way
When executive coaches write books, you can expect practical tips and a breezy style. High Performance Habits is an easy read but also provides a rich technical process. The book presents six habits to model in your daily work (and in life).