Say you want to become more …effective; productive…read these three books – Getting Things Done; The Power of Habit; Atomic Habits

Be more effective2.pptx copy







I’m not a young guy. I have my ways of working.  I get a lot done.

Not enough.
Not effectively enough.

I (still) need help.

I suspect you do also.

So, as another year winds to a close, and you think about becoming a little more effective and productive in 2019, one way to make that happen is to read some good books and practice the lessons learned.

I have a group of three books to recommend; to recommend strongly!  My recommendation is to read them in order.

Book #1 – Getting Things Done by David Allen.  This is the modern-day “bible” on time management.  The book is filled with tips and suggestions:  keep a “next action” folder handy; write the date and place at the top of the page for every piece of paper you write; have pens and pads everywhere; download any “to do” from your mind onto paper, in a system that is instantly and easily retrievable.

Read this book first.

Book #2 – The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.  This would have been the one book on habit building until book recommendation #3.  But I will still recommend this.  It has a broader scope than book #3, especially regarding building good organizational habits. And, it provides a solid foundational understanding that will set you up for…

Book #3 – Atomic Habits by James Clear.  This is new book, one that I just finished reading.  It is terrific.  It too has many, many tips and suggestions, but all grounded in research-based findings. Here is his Cardinal Rule of Behavior Change:  What is rewarded is repeated. What is punished is avoided.  And his four laws of behavior change are  – how to create a good habit, and, how to break a bad habit: 

How to Create a Good Habit How to Break a Bad Habit
Law #1 – Make it Obvious Law #1 – Make it Invisible
Law #2 – Make it Attractive Law #2 – Make it Unattractive
Law #3 – Make it Easy Law #3 – Make it Difficult
Law #4 – Make it Satisfying Law #4 – Make it Unsatisfying 

Read these three books; let them help you examine and evaluate all the ways you work; and then let them point you to ways to work more effectively.

I think you might set yourself up for a better year.


After this Friday, I will I have presented synopses of all three of these books at the First Friday Book Synopsisin Dallas.  My synopses, with multi-page, comprehensive handouts + the audio recordings of my presentations, can be purchased from the buy synopses tab at the top of this web page.  I think you will find them genuinely useful.

2 thoughts on “Say you want to become more …effective; productive…read these three books – Getting Things Done; The Power of Habit; Atomic Habits

  1. Tom Pritchard

    Atomic Habits’ laws are interesting. In horsemanship training, the guiding principle is “Make the wrong things hard and the right things easy.” It is the learning model.


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