Slap on that suncream and slip on those shades
Whether you’re enjoying the heatwave at home or basking in sunshine abroad, R’nR during the summer months usually means relaxing outside with a good read (preferably mojito in hand). Parks, beaches, back gardens or balconies, find a plug-point-free zone to get settled in and unwind for a few hours without a phone or keyboard. Instead, dive into a refreshingly cool selection of some of the best life-altering books that could reshape the way of your future thinking for the better.
*clinks glasses* Cheers!
Published in 2000, during what seemed at the tail-end of the golden era of self-help books, (right before they got all naff for a bit and being caught with one embarrassingly nestled in your shelf resulted in panic-stuffing it behind the sofa before company came round); the ‘The Procrastinator’s Handbook’ has stood the test of time. Written in a fun conversational tone (no grandiose-waffle here), this book is like a friendly kick up the backside for the majority of us who adopt the mañana, mañana anthem of procrastinators everywhere. Emmett examines the psychology behind why you always put things off, techniques and tips to overcome lazyitus, real-life stories from those who have kicked the dilly-dallying habit and how to sustain that glowing grain of motivation instead of reverting back to old procrastinate-patterns.
ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever
by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
What we like about this book is how the rhetoric of struggle = success is totally poo-pooed and the ‘easy-is-better’ approach that radiates through its pages. The message is that the tools to start a business are served up on a platter for most us, and that the components to ‘making it’ (business plans, miserable long-hours, meetings, sacrificial life savings / a limb and office space to name but a few) are more or less redundant factors now. The foreward proudly lays it’s cards on the table proclaiming the preceding book is not based on business theories, but on the authors’ experiences (who by the way, are the inventors of Basecamp – no biggie) of running a small but intensely successful international company. The plain-English confidence they open with of tallying off all the scoffs and critics of how ‘business should be’ is convincing enough to immediately open up your mind to the life and business wisdom of this part entrepreneurial handbook, part manifesto for the modern age. As the tagline suggests, it’s time to rework work.
Ohhh stop! Did you read ‘McDonald’s’ in the book’s sub-header and went to flick down to the next entry? Please, please, please stick with us here. Marianne Page has had 27 years in senior management at the top of the fast-food chain, and what this woman doesn’t know about running a global company isn’t worth knowing. But what if you have no interest in world-domination like McDonald’s? This chatty-voiced book is still applicable to you. Page looks at stripping back the fluff of day-to-day workings that bog so many people down and pulls together a blueprint of solid business insight, humour and anecdotes with a mantra of ‘simple, logical, repeatable’. One Amazon reviewer says “…this is not a silver bullet, no book is. This is your roadmap for the next 12 months and beyond.”
Heavily researched, evidence-based and with decent glugs of scientific backing ‘How to have a good day’ by economist and former partner at McKinsey, Caroline Webb, has written a book that is 1000% more exciting than that preface sounds. The content is a touch dense, but Webb writes with humour and as jargon-free as possible. Lauded as a bible of actionable and realistic counsel to help dissect the psychology of how we as humans function, this book is an excellent mirror to hold up to yourself.
Designing Your Life
by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans
A book born from one of the most popular classes taught at Stanford University and sell-out workshops, ‘Designing your life’ centres around the principles of design thinking to build a life of fulfilment. It examines work, life and relationships through technique-training and adjusting mindsets by approaching areas that need TLC as someone who design-engineers. Be warned it does read a little hackneyed, but look past the corny phrasing and this book lays down buckets of interesting observations – particularly if you’re keen to shake up your current way of life. Get the most out your purchase by fully completing the exercises too.
How to Win Friends and Influence People
by Dale Carnegie
Actual confidence in a bottle (well, in a jacket ), this book was first published 81 years ago. Yep, no typo there. 81 YEARS AGO. But the likelihood is, you’ve probably vaguely heard of it still to this day. Surprisingly, the age of the words and message feel fresh and relevant because of Carnegie’s depth of understanding the bonds of human nature – something that will never go out of date. He was a firm believer that the biggest slice of the financial success pie comes from “the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership and to arouse enthusiasm among people.” Carnegie teaches these skills through dealing with people; making them feel valued and important but not manipulated. It discusses profoundly simple stuff like the power of a smile 😃 , really listening to what others have to say and how actually, no one is ever that interested in what you think. If the human psyche fascinates you and you’re curious as to how to connect to your professional/ personal/platonic relationships a bit tighter, buy.this.book.
Feeling inspired? Continue the self-improvement by taking a look at 10 Easy Tweaks That Will Make Your Business Super Organised