It’s already been 6 months since I have launched my blog! This site, I think, was one of the most important steps in my development. I really enjoy writing content and I hope that you enjoy reading that as well. My belief is still the same – that consistency is a key to success.
The middle of the year is also time for some kind of “checkpoint” of my new year’s resolution and reflection on my blog. My main plan for this place for the rest of the year is to record more interviews – it becomes more and more comfortable for me to do that. However, let’s back to the topic of this post – monthly book recommendations!
Essentialism. The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
My friend knows that I’m engaged in many projects at the same time. I have always been motivated and seeking new opportunities. Is it a good trait? Yes, if all of those activities bring some value – no, if we are doing many things without a clear purpose. So I start to think about being a minimalist and focus only on these things which are the most important for me and my development. This book helps me in that journey.
- The culture of “doing more” – we are living in the environment where we have too many options. People are not prepared for that because in some cases they don’t know what is important and what is not. If we don’t make any choices, probably someone will do that for us. There is also a society pressure to take more and more responsibilities and sometimes we are thinking that we are able to have everything what we want. But it’s not a truth.
- Top priority – for an essentialist is to remember about regeneration which means enough sleep. People may treat sleep as a waste of time. Author urges people to change their understanding of sleep as a tool for successful people. Sleep will increase your productivity, ability to make better connections and to do less but better.
- Selection of possibilities – is not an easy task. The author proposed how to do it in a structured way. First of all, you need to write down the possibility. Secondly, you need to have 3 minimum criteria that must be met by this proposition to proceed this further. And lastly to have 3 extreme criteria (how proposition should look like to be accepted?). If an option doesn’t meet the first three criteria – you have to reject it. If, however, it passess the first stage of verification but will not meet two of the three extreme criteria – you have to reject that as well. Author states that essentialists reject 90% of all opportunities.
- Essentialism is awkward – we all feel the need to have a good relationship with others. To achieve that we may feel obligated to accept a neighbor’s request for help or your boss’ invitation to a company event or to take part in an important project. Thinking about refusing might be uncomfortable – we don’t want to disappoint anyone. One of the ways to be an essentialist is to learn how to refuse in a decisive but polite way at the same time. We need to understand that your decision shouldn’t be connected with the relation with the person who asked. To refuse you don’t need to use “no” – there are many alternative ways to do that.
- Set boundaries – in many aspects of life, we see a blurring of boundaries. As an essentialist, you need to have them strongly established. It will help you to don’t take responsibility for someone’s problem and you will be able to clearly understand what you need to do, and what you don’t. One of the types of boundaries is also what kind of expectations we have to other people and vice versa – it is a great way to gain people’s respect.
Game Changers by Dave Asprey
The founder of the idea of Bulletproof Coffee (if you have never heard about it, definitely you need to try this) interviewed 450 experts “game changers” to learn about their high-performance hacks. By the way, last time I wrote an article about 8 daily actions to improve your life.
Key takeaways (hacks):
- Learn to say no – everyone has the same amount of time during the day. It’s crucial to clarify your priorities and doing this what is important for you and the closest to your heart
- Schedule daily downtime – high – productivity time is important but at the same time you need to remember about breaks for recovery and recharge.
- Food matters – you are what you eat – the most important factor for high performance is your diet. You may eat smaller meals throughout the day, remember about vegetables and proteins and in general track what you eat.
- Try meditation – it allows you to become more aware of your thoughts and behaviours. Meditate a few minutes per day to establish a habit. Over time you will discover what is the best type and amount of meditation for you.
- Practice gratitude – one of the ways to become happier is to be aware about everything that you can be thankful of. You may start writing a journal where you will be writing down these things or/and connect it with meditation.
- Take a walk – daily 20 minutes walk it’s a powerful exercise – first is, of course, that it will improve your health but secondly it may be a time for reflection.
- Check your health – prevention is better than cure so monitor your health on a regular basis.
- Remove chronic stress from your life and get to know how to work with negative emotions.
Lead. Care. Win.: How to Become a Leader Who Matters by Dan Pontefract
Leadership is one of the topics which is on my list to explore in the upcoming months. This book, with the catchy title, offers applicable advice on how to lead so people will want to follow.
- Work with the changes – don’t fight them – you as a leader, should be open for change, by shifting your mindset. By this author means to accept the change as an integral part of life, learning from the mistakes, being open for new ideas and identifying the positive aspects of the change. It will help to anticipate obstacles, reduce your stress and anxiety and will show yourself as a flexible and adaptive person.
- Being a human – as a leader, you may strive for perfection but it will never be possible because you are just human. Mistakes happen, don’t be afraid to ask for help or feedback. Embrace transparency and honesty in your relationships with employees and remember about empathy. People are more likely to collaborate more with those leaders.
- Use time more effectively – find your own rhythm of work – find blocks of time which you can allocate to focused work. Don’t answer emails all day, do this also in a certain time block during the day. Manage your meetings in the way you are summarizing them after they end to not miss important information. Remember about good sleep and regeneration and embrace your employees to find a time to care about well-being.
- Prioritize lifelong learning – inspiring leaders maintain a curious state of mind and they are encouraging people to upgrade their skills. It is worth investing money in people’s development and identifying what people would like to learn and finding a proper source of knowledge for them.
- Find a balance – by this author means to create a more balanced workplace by: having people with different backgrounds in one team, create an inclusive environment where diverse employees can find a community, allow for flexible work – build an environment of trust and recognize and coach employees.
Thank you for reading till the end. If you would like to be informed about new articles and receive information about interesting articles you can sign up for my newsletter.