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  • Writer's pictureRajeev Chitguppi

9 books that helped me find purpose, improve focus, enhance work quality & productivity

Updated: Dec 26, 2021

These are 9 books that have made a deep impact on the way I think & work.

It's not that I've finished reading them all. I am at various stages of completing them all. I keep going back & keep re-reading certain sections of these books.

These books can become your guides no matter what stage of career or life you are in. I recommend these 9 books because I know that they will change you forever.

Add them to your goals for 2022 and beyond...and thank me later!

Let's begin.

This book is a must for anyone who is wondering why he is not getting the desired results even after doing time management.

It's not the lack of time but lack of focus that is the root cause. We all live in a digital world dominated by social media distractions forcing us to do multi-tasking.

Cal Newport makes a compelling case for cultivating intense focus and offers immediately actionable steps for infusing more of it into our lives. Make this your first book to read in 2022.

Deep Work turned out to be a Wall Street bestseller and garnered positive reviews from all major newspapers.

Your habits decide your success story and the key to habit formation is starting small.

James Clear is an expert on habits and decision-making. He made his name as the author of one of the fastest-growing email newsletters in history, which grew from zero to 100,000 subscribers in under two years. Today, his newsletter has over 400,000 subscribers and his articles receive 10 million hits each year.

In this book, James Clear argues that the big changes in life happen by bringing in small changes in your lifestyle and routines. It's the tiny changes that, over time, compound into large transformations.

The book works as a companion and step-by-step manual for changing routines.

I am recommending this book because I myself wanted to practice digital minimalism. Being an excessive user of smartphones I was looking for a solution myself. Another reason for buying this book was my previous experience with Cal Newport's other book - Deep Work - that had made a deep impact on me.

By following a 'digital declutter' process, you'll learn to:

· Rethink your relationship with social media

· Prioritize 'high bandwidth' conversations over low-quality text chains

· Rediscover the pleasures of the offline world

In this timely book, professor Cal Newport shows us how to pair back digital distractions and live a more meaningful life with less technology.

Take back control from your devices and find calm amongst the chaos with Digital Minimalism. Click here for more details

The book tells you what you really need to be successful which is to stop talking and start working.

The authors show you the right way by teaching you how to be more creative, how to get exposure without wasting money, and tons of other senseless thoughts that will motivate & provoke you.

REWORK is a minimalist manifesto that's profoundly practical. In a world where we all keep getting asked to do more with less, the authors show us how to do less and create more.

There's no jargon or filler here just hundreds of brilliantly simple rules for success

5. Alchemy: The Magic of Original Thinking in a World of Mind-Numbing Conformity Why is Red Bull so popular – even though everyone hates the taste? Why do countdown boards on platforms take away the pain of train delays? And why do we prefer stripy toothpaste?

Discover the alchemy behind original thinking, as TED Talk superstar and Ogilvy advertising legend Rory Sutherland reveals why abandoning logic and casting aside rationality is the best way to solve any problem.

In his first book, he blends cutting-edge behavioral science, jaw-dropping stories, and a touch of branding magic on his mission to turn us all into idea alchemists.

He shows how economists, businesses, and governments have got it all wrong: we are not rational creatures who make logical decisions based on evidence. Instead, the big problems we face every day, whether as an individual or in society, could very well be solved by thinking less logically.

To be brilliant, you have to be irrational. Click here to read more

The author of this book Dr. Marshall Goldsmith is a new member of the Thinkers 50 Hall of Fame. He is the only two-time Thinkers 50 #1 Leadership Thinker in the World. He has been ranked as the World’s #1 Executive Coach and Top Ten Business Thinker for eight years. Marshall was chosen as the inaugural winner of the Lifetime Award for Leadership by the Harvard Institute of Coaching. Dr. Goldsmith has over 1.3 million followers on LinkedIn. His YouTube videos have over 3 million views.

This book is more applicable for those who are in the corporate world. Some of the reviews -

"Marshall highlights methods of you can get yourself out of your negativity with a deeper focus on yourself. Highly recommended for leadership!"

"Really useful to move forward in a career or personal development path. Especially useful for people who have already proven themselves in their profession and need to move to the next phase." Click here for more details.

Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness. Doing well with money isn't necessarily about what you know. It's about how you behave. And behavior is hard to teach, even to really smart people.

How to manage money, invest it, and make business decisions are typically considered to involve a lot of mathematical calculations, where data and formulae tell us exactly what to do. But in the real world, people don't make financial decisions on a spreadsheet. They make them at the dinner table, or in a meeting room, where personal history, your unique view of the world, ego, pride, marketing, and odd incentives are scrambled together.

Morgan Housel shares 19 short stories exploring the strange ways people think about money and teaches you how to make better sense of one of life's most important matters. Click here for more details

You don’t have to be brilliant to produce brilliant work. Make Brilliant Work will show you the methods and techniques other people have used and how you can use them too.

"This book is packed with great stories and ideas to power up your work journey with creativity and success by doing things differently." - Susie Pearl, author of The Art of Creativity and Instructions for Happiness and Success

Rod Judkins, the author, has lectured on the subject of creativity at universities and to businesses around the world.

His other book The Art of Creative Thinking is also an international bestseller.

Studying the world's most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, and scientists, the author David Epstein demonstrates why in most fields especially those that are complex and unpredictable - it's the generalists and not the specialists who are primed to excel.

No matter what you do, where you are in life, whether you are a teacher, student, scientist, business analyst, parent, job hunter, retiree, you will see the world differently after you've read Range.

You'll understand better how we solve problems, how we learn, and how we succeed. You'll see why failing a test is the best way to learn and why frequent quitters end up with the most fulfilling careers.

Concluding remarks:

If I look back, I see a big difference in my approach to work, focus, and time management - all thanks to these 9 books. Of course, there are many more which I have read in the past. I will be adding even more in the future. But these 9 will remain an integral part of the core literature for the sheer value they have provided and the lasting impact they have made.

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Dec 30, 2021


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