Everybody struggles with distraction and low productivity – at least at first. But so many people have been there, and have founds ways to create amazing change… then shared it. There are some great books out there that give you practical systems to do this. I’m going to give you the titles and the writers of these books. And I’m going to recommend that if you have struggled with any of the things I’ve just mentioned, please, go out and get these books – at least start with one of them:
4 Hour Work Week – Timothy Ferriss
Now, let me give you some background. No matter who you are, half of that book is not going to apply to you. The same half that applies to me may not apply to you. And vice-versa. The half that applies to Kathleen, might not apply to Beverly, but the half that applies to Beverly might not apply to Kathleen. It’s an incredible book. Entirely comprehensive. But, it’s more information than any one person needs. It’s incredible. The only way to have done a better job with it would have been to write 6 different books, and that would have been inefficient. So, read it, take out what you need, and leave everything else behind. Don’t allow it to change your whole life course – choose what works for you.
The next books I recommend are called
Work Less, Do More – Jan Yager
Power of Full Engagement – Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
Never Check E-Mail in the Morning – Julie Morgenstern
Now, Julie’s book, Never Check E-Mail in the Morning gives you lots of tips on how to become more effective. It’s less about time management, but more about being effective. The concept with not checking email in the morning isn’t that it takes you 20 minutes to answer email and that you might get lost and spend 3 hours on email, that’s not the reason. Although, that’s a good enough reason to not check email in the morning.
The reason that you don’t want to check email first thing in the morning is because email is reactive. When you are answering emails you’re reacting to other people’s questions and problems. It puts you in a reactive phase. Kind of like if you’re defending yourself in a street fight, and somebody attacks you from behind a corner of a dark alley, you would be fighting defensively the whole time. If you’ve fought for 20 minutes defensively, and then you had to go make an attack on another opponent, it would be difficult. Because you would be in this defensive mindset. That’s what happens when you check email in the morning. You become very defensive. Everything you do is reactive. And then, 30 minutes later when it’s time for you to be proactive and create a new product, your mind is in the wrong mode for creation.
So, the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is create that product. Write that sales letter. Write those 7 emails. Do what needs to be done that’s proactive, and then you’ll be able to do your reactive things at the end of the day when they don’t matter. That’s just one of maybe 50 different ideas in that book. It’s packed. That’s Never Check E-Mail in the Morning.
Power of Full Engagement is about managing your entire life, so you’re more productive all day long. I highly recommend that book.
Work Less, Do More… I haven’t finished all of Work Less, Do More, as I have Power of Full Engagement and 4 Hour Work Week. However, if you’re going to read the other 3 books, read this one too. It has been really impactful so far.
Remember, you’re not going to take everything out of all of these books, you’re going to take what works for you. And, if you buy these 4 books, or check them out from the library, you read 1 a week for 4 weeks. And you learn to focus on the things that are important, instead of wasting your time on the things that are not. You are going to become 5 to 10 times more productive than you are right now. I highly recommend that you do this.