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2020 took an unexpected turn. With much of the population stuck at home in quarantine, and life not expected to return to normal until potentially the end of the year, even the most productive people are being forced to scale back their operations and expectations.
Whether you’re stuck at home, you’ve lost your job, or you’re working minimum hours to keep your job or business ticking over, this turbulent time can still be utilized to your advantage. Quarantine gives you the time you need to take a step back, examine your life and your prospects, and take steps to re-enter the business world with gusto.
Today, let’s take a look at 10 must-read books. We’ll examine some classics as well as the latest releases, and see how you can turn the year around with positive thinking and effective planning.
1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
Let’s start with a classic. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” was written by author, businessman, and inspirational speaker Stephen Covey in 1989. To date, it has sold more than 25 million copies all over the world and continues to sell today.
The book is based on some fundamental productivity principles that apply across all professions and don’t change with time. Covey argues that if you see something that needs to be done, you should simply go ahead and do it. Throughout the book, he outlines 7 habits of the most effective people in business and helps you identify which tasks to undertake first.
If you’ve never read it, this is a perfect place to start!
2. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
Entrepreneur, podcaster, and author Tim Ferriss wrote “The 4-Hour Workweek” in 2007, but like Covey’s book, it is still relevant today. Some criticize the author for never having worked in an office, but the book gives you an incredible insight into life as your own boss.
If you’re not looking to improve your performance at work, but instead want to establish yourself as a business owner or a freelancer, this is the book for you. It examines how you can become financially independent and work less than one day a week. It won’t be easy to do, but learning the tricks Ferriss used to achieve success will help!
“To enjoy life, you don’t need fancy nonsense, but you do need to control your time and realize that most things just aren’t as serious as you make them out to be.” – Tim Ferriss
3. Summary of Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
James Clear is a photographer, entrepreneur, and the author of “Summary of Atomic Habits”. His massive social media following is testament to the effectiveness of his book, which became a New York Times bestseller.
The book examines big business ideas and how readers can achieve their goals. It’s an easy-to-read book with lots of actionable steps people can take every day. If you’re looking for an easy introduction to productivity, and a step-by-step guide that you can follow at your own pace, this is the best book to help you prepare for the rest of 2020.
4. There’s No Plan B for Your A-Game: Be the Best in the World at What You Do
Bo Eason isn’t a conventional productivity expert. A former professional American football player, Eason later became an actor and playwright and published his productivity book in 2019. “There’s No Plan B for Your A-Game” is the perfect 2020 read, looking at a four-step process to improve your character and integrity, and to take on board all the attributes required to be successful.
This isn’t just about how to build a business but serves as a guide to improve your own mental wellbeing and focus. It prepares you for great things!
5. How to Stop Procrastination in 10 Days
For some people, becoming a productive person isn’t just learning the skills to get stuff done; it’s a battle to defeat procrastination and the inability to focus. If you’re struggling to focus, Robert Marrat’s 2019 book “How to Stop Procrastinating in 10 Days” is the perfect 2020 read.
Whether you sit and read the entire thing in a day, or read the book over a series of days (or chilled afternoons in your garden!), you’ll learn how to motivate yourself to get up and do more. The list of anti-procrastination methods are particularly helpful, giving you easy goals to achieve and build on over time.
6. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Originally published in 2001, David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” is still an excellent option for people looking to become more productive this year. As well as his series of online lectures, this book provides essential guidance on how to organize your tasks in a way that makes them easier to achieve.
Follow Allen’s guidance and you’ll learn key organization skills and discover how to create actionable work items out of all your current and planned projects.
7. 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think
Laura Vanderkam is a successful podcaster and author, and her 2010 book “168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think” is a great way to learn time management. Vanderkam explains how, even between having a family and work, you can always find time to achieve your goals and work harder.
Take her Time Tracking Challenge and follow the tips in the book, and you may even discover that you spend too much time on tasks that don’t require it! Oh, and by the way, Vanderkam endorsed the first book on this list by Stephen Covey!
8. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Charles Duhigg, gives you a unique take on learning productivity skills by sharing with you some of his most interesting stories and the lessons that came with them. Through his life in journalism, Duhigg discovered how to make the most out of his days and prepare for the future.
In the Power of Habit, Duhigg argues that the key to success is learning good habits. As he says, the golden rule of changing your habits is not extinguishing bad habits, but changing them.
“Champions don’t do extraordinary things. They do ordinary things, but they do them without thinking, too fast for the other team to react. They follow the habits they’ve learned.” – Charles Duhigg
9. The 5AM Club: Own Your Morning Elevate Your Life
Whether you’re a morning person or you want to become a morning person, this is the perfect read. Leadership expert Robin Sharma, introduced the 5AM Club concept two decades ago, but only published the self-help book in 2018 – and to much acclaim!
The book argues that heroes are made in the first few hours of the day, and encourages people to wake up early and get a head start on the day. Reading the book, you’ll learn how the mind is better prepared to get things done earlier on in the day, and you’ll even learn how to introduce a healthy sleeping schedule into your life. It’s a win-win!
10. Hyperfocus: How to Work Less and Achieve More
Finally, 2018’s “Hyperfocus: How to Work Less to Achieve More” is another fine choice. Written by Canadian productivity consultant Chris Bailey, who also has a series of great lectures published online, this book argues that in the digital age we are more overwhelmed while achieving less than ever.
Read this book and you’ll learn how to disengage from the things that don’t matter and focus your energy in the most productive way. The book has received great reviews so far, and it’s perfect for people who are looking to change habits on a long-term basis.
So, there we are! 10 fantastic books for you to read! These books will help improve your knowledge, your skills, and help you find new ways to run your business.
Which book on this list is your favorite and why? Share your thoughts below!
20 Ways You Can Become a Powerful Communicator
Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.
Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.
1. Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.
2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.
3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.
4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.
5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.
6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.
7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.
8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.
9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.
10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.
11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.
12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.
13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.
14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.
15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.
16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.
17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.
18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.
19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.
20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.
I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at AweBliss.com so you can master your life with more success.
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