Flow (1990) explores how we can experience enjoyment in our lives by controlling our attention and strengthening our resolve. This is achieved by being immersed in an activity or subject that makes us neither anxious (if it’s too hard), nor bored (if it’s too easy). In this “flow state” we lose our self-consciousness, selfishness and sense of time. Using goal-setting and immediate feedback, we can achieve a state of flow that improves our relationship with work, increases our self-worth and gives our lives meaning.
The Rise of Superman examines the top performers in extreme sports in order to gain insight into how they use flow, i.e., the transcendental experience of being in “the zone,” to accomplish their amazing feats and connects the dots between the experience of flow and the neurology behind it.
If you feel trapped in your job or long for more fulfilling work, you’re not alone. How to Find Fulfilling Work (2012) explores the core components of what makes work meaningful and full of purpose, detailing exactly which steps you need to take to find work that brings out the best in you and keeps you truly happy.
The Pomodoro Technique presents a simple yet effective method of structuring your workday. This method helps to overcome your lack of motivation by cutting large or complex tasks into small, manageable chunks. Using these techniques, you will gain more control over your work, thus making you a more effective worker and work more rewarding.
This is a Blinkist staff pick
“This is the one and only productivity system that always works for me. Whomever I tell about this technique immediately applies it to their lives. Its simplicity makes it genius.“
– Laura, German Editorial Lead at Blinkist
Deep Work (2016) is all about how the rise of technology has wrecked our ability to concentrate deeply on tasks – and how to overcome this blockade. These blinks illustrate different strategies that can help you improve the output of your work and get the most out of your free time.
Focus describes how corporations in America lose profits by focusing on growth. It explains what the leading management strategies of corporations are and why they are wrong. Additionally, it elaborates on what strategies corporations should adopt instead, and how they can focus their company for greater success.
Mindset (2006) discusses the differences between people with a fixed mindset versus those with a growth mindset. Our mindset determines the way we deal with tough situations and setbacks as well as our willingness to deal with and improve ourselves. This book demonstrates how we can achieve our goals by changing our mindset.
This is a Blinkist staff pick
“These blinks really make a compelling case for why you shouldn’t take failure personally, and never think you’re done learning."
– Ben H, Head of Editorial at Blinkist
Click (2010) delves into the miraculous topic of quick-set intimacy and explores what’s at work when we’re instantly drawn to some person or thing. It examines how and why clicking makes our life more meaningful and outlines the (very ordinary) factors that can make such “magical” connections more likely.
In Bounce, Matthew Syed explores the origins of outstanding achievements in fields like sports, mathematics and music. He argues that it is intensive training, not natural ability that determines our success, and people who attribute great performances to natural gifts will probably miss their own chance to succeed due to lack of practice.