10 books about Productivity & Effectiveness in 14 weeks, that’s a lot. Too much for me to be able to apply as much as I would like to after reading them. This is the main hurdle of my crazy Personal MBA Challenge, and I knew this from the beginning. Fortunately, one of the things that motivated me to try this adventure anyway was that every book has ideas and tricks that are immediately applicable, without having to wait a while before putting them to work or going more in depth with them.
Here, I am giving you 10 from among those that seemed to me the most relevant, with a link to a summary of the book in which I found them:
1. If something requires less than two minutes to do, do it immediately. This will increase your productivity considerably without much effort because if something takes less than two minutes 1) it takes almost as long put it into a to-do list than to complete it, 2) given that it is small, these things can quickly add up to a number that is hard to manage, 3) bog your mind down uselessly when they are not on a to-do list and 4) not doing them can have consequences that are disproportionate with regard to the time it takes to complete them. Be careful all the same, sometimes you must map out large spans of time to focus on a project, time which cannot afford to suffer interruptions.
2. Try this trick when you can’t sleep at night. Lack of sleep is a terrible way to lose productivity, as well as the reason for being out of sorts, in a mad mood, lack of focus and other maladies which can have even more dramatic consequences on our relationships with others. To fight against occasional insomnia – for chronic insomnia, it is better to seek medical treatment – try this trick to free your mind and stem the continuous flow of thoughts which begin to invade it: