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Stop Wasting Time in 2020 with These 10 Books

These ten books, all of them invaluable allies in the eternal struggle against procrastination, cover all the bases.
by Emily Phillips | Dec 19 2019

OK, survey time: who here is immune to procrastination? Anyone? No one?!

Let’s face it, we’re all victims of this evil, irresistible, and yet completely unfulfilling beast. We say we’ll only quickly check Facebook and then, two hours later, here we still are, vacantly scrolling up and down our newsfeed while the pile of work we’re actually meant to be doing sits in a proverbial corner, gathering proverbial dust.

Stop wasting time

So, how do we slay the beast and reclaim our freedom? It’s all about self-discipline, but not everyone shares the same weaknesses. These ten books, all of them invaluable allies in the eternal struggle against procrastination, cover all the bases. Whatever your Achilles heel when it comes to managing your time, you’ll find a poultice for it—and be legging it toward your best year yet!

1. Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Whether it’s new year’s resolutions or weekly to-do lists, we’re all familiar with the challenges of sticking to the goals we set ourselves—and the disappointment of failing to meet them. Well, relegate all that to the past! Through the techniques outlined in Smarter Faster Better, no goal will seem too ambitious or daunting.

2. 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management: The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students, and 239 Entrepreneurs by Kevin Kruse

This book’s title may be a mouthful, but just look at the number of achievers and breadth of disciplines contained therein! It’s becoming ever harder to fend off the flood of distractions in our everyday lives and remain focused on the work that needs to be done. By surveying the work habits of such a varied group of disciplined and successful people, Kevin Kruse has made a science out of time management—thankfully, it’s not rocket science!

3. The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Terms by Vishen Lakhiani

Wouldn’t it be amazing if someone came up with ten easy-to-follow rules to live an extraordinary life? Well, guess what? This book offers exactly that! Sure, you’ve heard these promises before, but Vishen Lakhiani differentiates himself from the rest through his perceptive insights into the pitfalls of modern life—both external and internal to the individual—and an innovative strategy for sidestepping them in pursuit of genuine happiness.

4. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

Technology is meant to assist us in life, and yet, why does it increasingly sidetrack us from what’s important? Be it email, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp…the list of distractors goes on. But fret not, there’s an antidote: deep work. As much a practice as it is an ethic, deep work allows you to effectively switch off from the never-ending distractions and focus on the tasks that truly matter.

5. The Ultimate Introduction to NLP: How to Build a Successful Life by Dr. Richard Bandler, Alessio Roberti & Owen Fitzpatrick

What’s “NLP” you ask? It’s short for Neurolinguistic Programming, which is a method for “programming” our emotions and the way we behave. Let’s take an example: how great would it be if you could choose to no longer be afraid of something? Or how about if you could decide to procrastinate less and actually make it happen? That’s exactly what NLP is about. And, best of all, it’s accessible to all of us.

6. Singletasking: Get More Done One Thing at a Time by Devora Zack

Multitasking maximizes productivity, right? It’s high time to dispel this myth. In fact, multitasking increases stress and decreases your ability to focus, resulting in a lower level of productivity overall. As demonstrated in Singlethinking, those looking to be more efficient should learn to focus on a single task at a time. It will not only help you be more productive, but also grant you greater inner tranquility. Win-win!

7. SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver, and More Resilient by Jane McGonigal

We’ve all heard the proverb, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” What if play made Jack not only a happier boy—or Jill a happier girl—but a more successful one as well? Introducing SuperBetter, a game invented by Jane McGonigal while recovering from a brain injury. Designed to help you overcome challenges, it’s a fun and constructive way of getting ahead in life, because self-improvement needn’t always be a chore.

8. Scaling Down: Living Large in a Smaller Place by Judi Culbertson & Marj Decker

Do you really need all the things you own? Do they actually make you happier, or are they a superfluous expense of time, money and space? Many people discover that they’re in fact happier when they scale down their possessions. Here’s a book that’ll show you how to distinguish the essential from the purely superfluous and help you get rid of the clutter in your life.

9. The Mind Club: Who Thinks, What Feels and Why It Matters by Daniel M. Wegner & Kurt Gray

We can’t read minds, as much as we’d like to. So, how can we really be sure that other minds besides our own even exist? Daniel M. Wegner and Kurt Gray use this sci-fi-like question to probe how our minds work and how we perceive one another’s judgments and actions. A fascinating thought experiment, The Mind Club explores issues of ethics and morality, helping us better understand our place in a world populated by other minds.

10. StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath

Self-improvement shouldn’t simply be about identifying and overcoming your weaknesses. It’s just as important to cultivate your strengths, especially ones that you may not even be conscious about—untapped potential is wasted potential. StrengthsFinder 2.0 presents 34 key strengths that individuals can possess, showing you how these can be harnessed to achieve greater success in life.

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