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Reclaim Your Time and Boost Your Productivity

Reclaim Your Time and Boost Your Productivity

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Are there a hundred different things you wish you could do with your life someday — anything from exercising to meditation or yoga to writing that novel you always wished you could write to reading more to relaxing and watching the sunrise? But perhaps you never have the time, like most people. The truth is, we all have the same amount of time, and it’s finite and in great demand. But some of us have made the time for doing the things we love doing, and others have allowed the constant demands... Read more

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I Know how She Does it

2015 | Laura Vanderkam

Everyone has an opinion, anecdote, or horror story about women and work. Now the acclaimed author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast shows how real working women with families are actually making the most of their time. "Having it all" has become the subject of countless books, articles, debates, and social media commentary, with passions running high in all directions. Many now believe this to be gospel truth: Any woman who wants to advance in a challenging career has to make huge sacrifices. She's unlikely to have a happy marriage, quality time with her kids (assuming she can have kids at all), a social life, hobbies, or even a decent night's sleep. But what if balancing work and family is actually not as hard as it's made out to be? What if all those tragic anecdotes ignore the women who quietly but consistently do just fine with the juggle? Instead of relying on scattered stories, time management expert Laura Vanderkam set out to add hard data to the debate. She collected hour-by-hour time logs from 1,001 days in the lives of women who make at least $100,000 a year. And she found some surprising patterns in how these women spend the 168 hours that every one of us has each week. Overall, these women worked less and slept more than they assumed they did before they started tracking their time. They went jogging or to the gym, played with their children, scheduled date nights with their significant others, and had lunches with friends. They made time for the things that gave them pleasure and meaning, fitting the pieces together like tiles in a mosaic--without adhering to overly rigid schedules that would eliminate flexibility and spontaneity. Vanderkam shares specific strategies that her subjects use to make time for the things that really matter to them. For instance, they . . . * Work split shifts (such as seven hours at work, four off, then another two at night from home). This allows them to see their kids without falling behind professionally. * Get creative about what counts as quality family time. Breakfasts together and morning story time count as much as daily family dinners, and they're often easier to manage. * Take it easy on the housework. You can free up a lot of time by embracing the philosophy of "good enough" and getting help from other members of your household (or a cleaning service). * Guard their leisure time. Full weekend getaways may be rare, but many satisfying hobbies can be done in small bursts of time. An hour of crafting feels better than an hour of reality TV. With examples from hundreds of real women, Vanderkam proves that you don't have to give up on the things you really want. I Know How She Does It will inspire you to build a life that works, one hour at a time.

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Felt Time: The Psychology of How We Perceive Time

2012 | Marc Wittmann, Erik Butler

An expert explores the riddle of subjective time, from why time speeds up as we grow older to the connection between time and consciousness. We have widely varying perceptions of time. Children have trouble waiting for anything. (“Are we there yet?”) Boredom is often connected to our sense of time passing (or not passing). As people grow older, time seems to speed up, the years flitting by without a pause. How does our sense of time come about? In Felt Time, Marc Wittmann explores the riddle of subjective time, explaining our perception of time—whether moment by moment, or in terms of life as a whole. Drawing on the latest insights from psychology and neuroscience, Wittmann offers a new answer to the question of how we experience time. Wittmann explains, among other things, how we choose between savoring the moment and deferring gratification; why impulsive people are bored easily, and why their boredom is often a matter of time; whether each person possesses a personal speed, a particular brain rhythm distinguishing quick people from slow people; and why the feeling of duration can serve as an “error signal,” letting us know when it is taking too long for dinner to be ready or for the bus to come. He considers the practice of mindfulness, and whether it can reduce the speed of life and help us gain more time, and he describes how, as we grow older, subjective time accelerates as routine increases; a fulfilled and varied life is a long life. Evidence shows that bodily processes—especially the heartbeat—underlie our feeling of time and act as an internal clock for our sense of time. And Wittmann points to recent research that connects time to consciousness; ongoing studies of time consciousness, he tells us, will help us to understand the conscious self.

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The Time Paradox

2008 | Philip Zimbardo,John Boyd

Your every significant choice -- every important decision you make -- is determined by a force operating deep inside your mind: your perspective on time -- your internal, personal time zone. This is the most influential force in your life, yet you are virtually unaware of it. Once you become aware of your personal time zone, you can begin to see and manage your life in exciting new ways. In The Time Paradox, Drs. Zimbardo and Boyd draw on thirty years of pioneering research to reveal, for the first time, how your individual time perspective shapes your life and is shaped by the world around you. Further, they demonstrate that your and every other individual's time zones interact to create national cultures, economics, and personal destinies. You will discover what time zone you live in through Drs. Zimbardo and Boyd's revolutionary tests. Ask yourself: • Does the smell of fresh-baked cookies bring you back to your childhood? • Do you believe that nothing will ever change in your world? • Do you believe that the present encompasses all and the future and past are mere abstractions? • Do you wear a watch, balance your checkbook, and make to-do lists -- every day? • Do you believe that life on earth is merely preparation for life after death? • Do you ruminate over failed relationships? • Are you the life of every party -- always late, always laughing, and always broke? These statements are representative of the seven most common ways people relate to time, each of which, in its extreme, creates benefits and pitfalls. The Time Paradox is a practical plan for optimizing your blend of time perspectives so you get the utmost out of every minute in your personal and professional life as well as a fascinating commentary about the power and paradoxes of time in the modern world. No matter your time perspective, you experience these paradoxes. Only by understanding this new psychological science of time zones will you be able to overcome the mental biases that keep you too attached to the past, too focused on immediate gratification, or unhealthily obsessed with future goals. Time passes no matter what you do -- it's up to you to spend it wisely and enjoy it well. Here's how.

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The Productivity Project

2016 | Chris Bailey

A fresh, personal, and entertaining exploration of a topic that concerns all of us: how to be more productive at work and in every facet of our lives. Chris Bailey turned down lucrative job offers to pursue a lifelong dream--to spend a year performing a deep dive experiment into the pursuit of productivity, a subject he had been enamored with since he was a teenager. After obtaining his business degree, he created a blog to chronicle a year-long series of productivity experiments he conducted on himself, where he also continued his research and interviews with some of the world's foremost experts, from Charles Duhigg to David Allen. Among the experiments that he tackled: Bailey went several weeks with getting by on little to no sleep; he cut out caffeine and sugar; he lived in total isolation for 10 days; he used his smartphone for just an hour a day for three months; he gained ten pounds of muscle mass; he stretched his work week to 90 hours; a late riser, he got up at 5:30 every morning for three months--all the while monitoring the impact of his experiments on the quality and quantity of his work. The Productivity Project--and the lessons Chris learned--are the result of that year-long journey. Among the counterintuitive insights Chris Bailey will teach you: · slowing down to work more deliberately; · shrinking or eliminating the unimportant; · the rule of three; · striving for imperfection; · scheduling less time for important tasks; · the 20 second rule to distract yourself from the inevitable distractions; · and the concept of productive procrastination. In an eye-opening and thoroughly engaging read, Bailey offers a treasure trove of insights and over 25 best practices that will help you accomplish more.

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Deep Work

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2016 | Cal Newport

Rated by 26 people

Read the Wall Street Journal Bestseller for "cultivating intense focus" for fast, powerful performance results for achieving success and true meaning in one's professional life (Adam Grant, author of Give and Take). Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It's a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep-spending their days instead in a frantic blur of e-mail and social media, not even realizing there's a better way. In DEEP WORK, author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he instead celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four "rules," for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill. 1. Work Deeply2. Embrace Boredom 3. Quit Social Media4. Drain the Shallows A mix of cultural criticism and actionable advice, DEEP WORK takes the reader on a journey through memorable stories-from Carl Jung building a stone tower in the woods to focus his mind, to a social media pioneer buying a round-trip business class ticket to Tokyo to write a book free from distraction in the air-and no-nonsense advice, such as the claim that most serious professionals should quit social media and that you should practice being bored. DEEP WORK is an indispensable guide to anyone seeking focused success in a distracted world. An Amazon Best Book of 2016 Pick in Business & LeadershipWall Street Journal Business BestsellerA Business Book of the Week at 800-CEO-READ

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Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done

2017 | Jon Acuff

Year after year, readers pulled me aside at events and said, “I’ve never had a problem starting. I’ve started a million things, but I never finish them. Why can’t I finish? According to studies, 92 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. You’ve practically got a better shot at getting into Juilliard to become a ballerina than you do at finishing your goals. For years, I thought my problem was that I didn’t try hard enough. So I started getting up earlier. I drank enough energy drinks to kill a horse. I hired a life coach and ate more superfoods. Nothing worked, although I did develop a pretty nice eyelid tremor from all the caffeine. It was like my eye was waving at you, very, very quickly. Then, while leading a thirty-day online course to help people work on their goals, I learned something surprising: The most effective exercises were not those that pushed people to work harder. The ones that got people to the finish line did just the opposite— they took the pressure off. Why? Because the sneakiest obstacle to meeting your goals is not laziness, but perfectionism. We’re our own worst critics, and if it looks like we’re not going to do something right, we prefer not to do it at all. That’s why we’re most likely to quit on day two, “the day after perfect”—when our results almost always underper­form our aspirations. The strategies in this book are counterintuitive and might feel like cheating. But they’re based on studies conducted by a university researcher with hundreds of participants. You might not guess that having more fun, eliminating your secret rules, and choosing something to bomb intentionally works. But the data says otherwise. People who have fun are 43 percent more successful! Imagine if your diet, guitar playing, or small business was 43 percent more suc­cessful just by following a few simple principles. If you’re tired of being a chronic starter and want to become a consistent finisher, you have two options: You can continue to beat yourself up and try harder, since this time that will work. Or you can give yourself the gift of done.

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The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too)

2017 | Gretchen Rubin

In this groundbreaking analysis of personality type, bestselling author of Better Than Before and The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin reveals the one simple question that will transform what you do at home, at work, and in life. During her multibook investigation into understanding human nature, Gretchen Rubin realized that by asking the seemingly dry question "How do I respond to expectations?" we gain explosive self-knowledge. She discovered that based on their answer, people fit into Four Tendencies: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so using this framework allows us to make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress, and engage more effectively. More than 600,000 people have taken her online quiz, and managers, doctors, teachers, spouses, and parents already use the framework to help people make significant, lasting change. The Four Tendencies hold practical answers if you've ever thought... · People can rely on me, but I can't rely on myself. · How can I help someone to follow good advice? · People say I ask too many questions. · How do I work with someone who refuses to do what I ask or who keeps telling me what to do? With sharp insight, compelling research, and hilarious examples, The Four Tendencies will help you get happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. It's far easier to succeed when you know what works for you.

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