Since many of us are planning out for 2021 (despite Covid restrictions!) and looking at how we can accomplish our personal or professional goals for the year, I decided to revisit two book recommendations I made in June 2020 as part of 30 Productivity Tips in 30 Days. (Look for these on my Mastering Clutterfree Living Facebook Group.) You may find the books helpful in tackling your goals and setting up for success.
Eat That Frog 3rd ed, Brian Tracy
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
Brian Tracy is well known in the productivity and “get stuff done” circles. His 21 other published works take up a full page of the introductory information at the beginning of this book. There is no doubt that he is a master of logical and linear thinking on how to get things done, create goals and plan one’s life.
Being a logical thinker myself, I lapped up this short, easy to read book in no time. Tracy’s subtitle “21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” makes a big promise. It does not disappoint. Tracy uses the analogy of a dinner table and food to be consumed throughout the book.
The basic premise of the book is to first tackle the most difficult or least attractive item on your list of things to do (i.e. eat your least favourite food first). With that out of the way, the rest is easier to swallow. Tracy’s book is 21 ways to help you accomplish this “eat the frog first” strategy.
This is a simple, useful addition to the library of any relatively productive, organized individual looking for a tuneup or reminder of how to get stuff done. However, it’s everyone else that I worry about—the folks who are most likely to reach out for my coaching or organizing support.
While helpful, this book is perhaps a little too linear and logical for many people. I would have liked more support for those of you who are facing a task or project that is beyond overwhelming and causes you to either hyperventilate or run to the vacuum to procrastinate by cleaning the house (again). If that happens, please remember to breathe. Just breathe. A path forward will present itself if enough oxygen gets to your brain. Try going out for a short walk to exercise the large muscle groups in your body, get the circulation going and get that oxygen to the grey matter upstairs. Nature has a way of calming, grounding, and providing clarity.
Inspired Action: Create more Purpose, Productivity, & Peace in Your Life, Erin Elizabeth Wells
2016, Chosen Course Press
I love this book and highly recommend it to my clients. Is it because Wells uses a sailing analogy and I am a lifelong sailor? Maybe. More likely it is because this productivity guide is an easy read and addresses the breath stopping sense of being overwhelmed that my clients often experience. It sets up in easy sound bites that can be absorbed one tiny bit at a time.
Wells handles all the usual productivity strategies that one would expect to see in a book about getting more done and reaching one’s objectives: vision, tools, goals, and lists. In addition, however, she sets her readers up for success by addressing purpose, one’s great “Why?”. While some people might find her theories a little “woo woo” for their taste, after 15-plus years in the organizing and productivity industry, I am a firm believer that managing energy supports managing productivity, and Wells is too. She has dedicated an entire section of the book to Mending Your Sails: Energy Management. In addition, Wells addresses everyday activities that can support productivity success. She also includes a section on Life Planning and Yearly Planning.
The result of this comprehensive and compassionate approach to productivity?; a recipe book to help you get on top of your goals and life in general. I highly recommend you add to your library whether you are generally organized or struggling everyday to get stuff done. You will likely read it again and again for instruction or a refresher. It’s easy to read, easy to digest and easy to follow. Boom. That’s a book we could all use.