I once had a philosophy professor who spoke of his “read immediately list.” That is, a list of books he felt were so important that to die without reading them would be a tragedy. I too have a read immediately list and, like him, mine has grown beyond what I am likely to have time for, but what a glorious list it is. Of the eighteen books from that much larger list I have committed to for this year, here are five work-related titles that I look forward to in 2020.
My “read immediately” list is far longer than what I will be able to get to in a lifetime, and that is how it should be. There were, however, some titles that made a real difference in 2020.
Life is one indivisible whole, and to fragment it into discrete categories introduces a kind of needless schizophrenia. Instead of seeing work as this thing that is somehow at odds with everything else, we need to see what role it could/should play in enhancing all the other areas of life, so as to foster greater levels of happiness and fulfilment.
Getting to the most useful and helpful content is a lot like panning for gold. There is much detritus to sift through in order to find the best reads. With the right tools, however, the process can be made fairly easy and even enjoyable.
News feeds, blogs, websites, and print media are like an army that mounts a daily assault on your mind. We are constantly bombarded with “stuff,” much of which is poorly written and peppered with errors. With a few simple rules and the right tools, however, you can get control of the glut and increase the quality of what you read.
With so many task management applications available, selecting and settling on one can be both time-consuming and expensive. Before giving an app serious consideration, I find it helpful to get clear about what I absolutely must have in an application.
I read widely this past year, and as I look back I see a pattern in the topics to which I gravitated. Three books in particular were the most helpful.
How emptying my email inbox everyday helped me keep track of things better, regain a sense of control, better prioritize what is actionable, and enabled me to leave work at work.