5 Books to Read During Quarantine.
Original post here.
Since you probably won’t be able to do all the summer things you normally do, you owe it to yourself to make good use of some extra personal development time. Here are 5 books I think are particularly relevant reads for your COVID season.
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Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Charles Duhigg’s very popular work is probably the quintessential book on habits. In a very accessible and narrative style, he illustrates what habits are and how they are formed.
With that knowledge alone you’ll be better equipped to begin and establish rhythmic behaviours in life and business - and even influence others to establish habits as well. Ever wonder how things like toothpaste and Febreze became household items? Businessmen used the nature of habits to ensure everyone would be using their products and would be constantly buying them.
For me, in conjunction with James Clear’s book, I’m hoping to understand habits and become motivated to establish and refine the best of them. Time multiplies decisions, after all. If you can make those good decisions a daily habit, it’ll pay off in the long run!
Read my review here.
Atomic Habits by James Clear
Where Power of Habit is more about… well, the power of habits, Atomic Habits is a more pure form of the productivity genre, focusing on processes of how to establish powerful habits in your life.
I actually haven’t read the book yet but have ordered it and am excited to read it and Duhigg’s book in tandem as a one-two punch.
With Quarantine happening and all of us being just a bit more at risk for mental health issues, I think using Atomic Habits to build routines in particular will prove helpful. It’ll also help me just make the most of Quarantine as I want to actually be productive in fresh ways this summer.
Deep Work by Cal Newport
If you want to keep your social media life the way it is, don’t read this book.
If you would prefer, however, to take back the focus in your life and train your brain to go deep and really produce meaningful work, Cal Newport’s book is for you.
I suspect focus will be extra difficult in the COVID summer, seeing as we’re all cooped up inside driving each other insane and all the more tempted to distract ourselves with Netflix and other media.
You can read my review here. for more information, but needless to say I think Cal Newport is spot on with his cultural assessments and his practical tips regarding deep or focused work. We could all use a bit more of this thinking in our lives. Give it a read if you want to do meaningful work this COVID season.
SPARK by John J. Ratey
As if you needed more reason to exercise this summer, SPARK is all about exercise’s influence on the brain.
As a Kinesiology grad, I can affirm the borderline miraculous nature of exercise. It keeps away (and even heals) depression and anxiety and other negative health outcomes, but it also helps us maintain focus and be productive.
This is the second book on the list I haven’t read entirely but can still recommend. The major issues are increasingly relevant: depression, anxiety, attention deficits, stress, aging, and more. Learn why and how exercise can heal you and enable peak performance.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a [bleep] by Mark Manson
Whether it’s COVID policies or Donald Trump’s choice of pizza toppings, everybody seems to give plenty of you-know-whats. Maybe not a bad thing. But maybe people care too much when they feel the need to alert every social media follower of their convictions and why they should all follow suit, lest they be canceled.
Mark Manson isn’t telling you to stop caring about important things. But he is challenging you on what exactly you are identifying as “important.” He does so in a way that made me laugh and, well, relax. And I think that’s something we could all use during these strange times.
Read my review here.
What do you think? Any recommendations of your own?