Recently, I announced that I was starting a personal journey in search of discipline. Like you, I just want to be happier and more fulfilled in life. But procrastination and being disorganized often drags me down. I’ve suspected for a while that if I could get more organized and be able to stay on top of projects and not forget about them or lose my focus, my whole life would rise up to the next level.
Well, I’ve started that journey and I’m already noticing a difference. I’m not quite ready to give you a full update, but I want to at least give you a glimpse of the tools I’m using and why I chose them to get on track, to get organized, and to crank my life and motivation up a notch.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
This book has been described as a business To-Do list on steroids as well as a method for getting your sanity back. Some people think this book is more geared for CEOs of multi-million or -billion dollar corporations while others feel there is a Zen-like quality at its core. Personally, I think all of this is accurate.
Put simply, Getting Things Done (or GTD) is a system or method of keeping track of all your obligations, both business and personal. It’s comprehensive and can handle all the moving parts of your daily life.
My first reaction to reading this book was that this system is complicated and it’s a little hard to understand how it all fits together, but I knew it was potentially radical and life-changing. After reading and listening to this book enough times to start to get a feel for it, I began to realize that it’s deep, thorough, and has the potential to take the most disorganized person and make him seem like an over-achieving rock star. It’s big! And if you can handle it, the GTD method will turn you into a superhero. You DO want to be a superhero, don’t you?
Get-It-Done Guy’s 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More by Stever Robbins
It’s rare that I enjoy a book so much that I buy it in more than one format. But with this book, I’ve purchased the Kindle version, the Audible version, and the paperback version. Why? I want it how I want it when I want it. This book gave me an “aha!” moment. When I first started listening to this book, I had many moments when I found myself stopped in mid-motion, hanging on Stever’s every word.
You see, at first glance, I made an assumption about this book, and indeed, about Stever’s weekly Get-It-Done Guy’s podcast as well. I assumed that Stever was a productivity guru, mostly for business people stuck in corporation jobs, chained to their cubicles. Stever, if you read this, I’m so sorry about making this assumption…I was utterly, and completely wrong and I hope that everyone discovers what I’ve discovered about you.
Stever is all about making your life better, more fulfilling and more satisfying. He’s a modern-day self-help guru with an amazing wit and empathy to match. I shot Stever an email the other day. I asked him what the core message was that he wanted readers to take away. He said:
“The most important message in my book is to approach improving your life by taking enough time to know why you’re doing what you’re doing. My book can teach you to streamline your life and your work, but if what you’re doing isn’t aligned with your ultimate goals, you’ll just get very good at going where you don’t want to be.”
In his book, Step 1 is, Live on Purpose. Just those words alone are like a modern-day mantra that can inspire anyone create a better life. Be sure to click on my Amazon affiliate link and check out the rest of the chapter titles for his book. Buy his book…you’ll thank me later!
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
By now, everyone has heard of this classic book. The focus of this book is wide-ranging while also being streamlined and precise. The text on the back cover describes this book better than I can:
“In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, service, and human dignity–principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.”
When I first purchased this book years ago, it definitely changed me. And to this day, I have always felt that the transformation that this book inspired in me has been a constant companion. Reading this book was a deeply personal experience and hit core issues that we all struggle with. It’s been years since I’ve read this book. So when I read it again, as a part of my journey to become more disciplined and organized, I will be reading it with new eyes. I expect this book to be like the cherry on top of the best dessert ever.
Clicking on each one of my Amazon affiliate links will take you to the page for that book. Buying even just one of these book will likely change your life. Buying all three will definitely change your life. In future articles, I’ll talk more about each one, about how I’m using them, and what the effect is on my discipline, organization and life. If you’re taking this journey with me, I’m looking forward to hearing your story as we travel this road together. So go ahead and buy the books and meet me back here where I’ll be waiting for you. Let’s get traveling!