Inspiration: 3 books to read this summer to improve your productivity and achieve your goals

Inspiratie: 3 boeken die je deze zomer moet lezen om je productiviteit te verhogen en je doelen te bereiken

Entrepreneurs, business leaders, take a break and get inspired this summer! To make the most of the summer months, which are ideal for relaxation and reflection, What The Franchise opens its library to you, offering nine summer reads for business leaders, entrepreneurs, franchisees and other curious people. Let’s start with our “Productivity and Goals” category, with 3 books that will help you organize your days more effectively.

Let’s start our library tour with the goals and productivity section. How can you manage your time to maximize productivity? How do you organize your week and those of your colleagues? Do we need to relearn how to work? What are the secrets of successful entrepreneurs? We have three books on our shelves to answer the existential questions that every entrepreneur asks at one time or another. Take a look!

The 25th hour by Guillaume Declair, Bao Dinh and Jérôme Dumont

Have you ever dreamed of having more than 24 hours in the day? Even if it’s just an extra sixty minutes to complete all the tasks you have to do. You don’t need to distort space-time to fit all your assignments into a single working day, just read The 25th Hour. This book suggests how you can reorganize your time to save an hour of work every day, so that you can devote yourself to what makes sense, what makes you truly happy.

Why read this book?

In less than 200 pages, this book clearly and concisely explains the art of organizing your time so you don’t waste any more of it: knowing how to say no, learning to prioritize, creating your own bubble, delegating and no longer answering the call of notifications. Get into “slow working” mode and find out all the tips and tricks from over 300 business leaders to help you become the master of your own time.

The gentle spoiler

Do you know the three-task rule? This metaphor imagines an empty vase, accompanied by three piles: a pile of stones, a pile of pebbles and a pile of sand. The aim is to get as many of these elements into the vase as possible. In what order should the various elements be poured? If you start from the smallest to the largest and place the sand at the bottom of the vase first, then the pebbles and finally the stones, there’s a good chance that the stones won’t fit in the container. It’s best to place the larger stones first, then pour in the pebbles, which will roll into the gaps around the stones. Finally, sand fills the last empty spaces in the vase.

As you can see, this vase represents our working day, while the different elements represent the tasks to be carried out during the day. To ensure that all the elements/tasks fit into the vase/day, you need to be methodical. The most important and priority missions are symbolized by the stones. Pebbles represent the less important tasks, and sand the countless micro-tasks that add little value but still need to be dealt with.

According to this rule, it’s essential to identify and prioritize the three “big stones”, i.e. the three important tasks for which it’s imperative to block out time and which must be completed by the end of the day. This rule requires us to free ourselves from urgency and not indulge in procrastination. A word of advice: start your day with the most difficult task.

The final touch to convince you

There’s a passage in this book that will undoubtedly arouse your slight amazement. Between the pages of La 25ème heure you’ll find an intriguing infographic showing the time distribution of several great minds, including Balzac, Freud, Victor Hugo and Beethoven. Surprisingly, some of them worked no more than six hours a day, leaving plenty of time for exercise, walks, evenings out with friends, and even ice baths on the roof…yes, yes. We loved discovering the “morning routines” of famous authors and other geniuses, and hope you will too.

The 4-hour week by Timothy Ferriss

In the same style as its predecessor, La semaine de 4 heures (The 4-hour week ) teaches us how to manage our time to get out of the metro-bus-dodo routine and join the caste of the “New Blessed”, those who have decided to enjoy life before retirement. In this book, Timothy Ferriss proposes to reverse the trend and enter a lifestyle based on more good times, more money and more mobility. His recipe? Halve your workload by identifying the most essential and profitable tasks, implementing “management by absence” or practicing selective ignorance. What does it all mean? Discover it between the pages of The 4-hour week.

Why read this book?

“How can I explain that I work less than four hours a week and earn more a month than I used to in a year?” How? Indeed, we’d like to know. This almost magical recipe, the author shares it with us in his book. It involves a global change of mindset and joining the discreet circle of the “New Blessed”. These blessed people have deliberately renounced the lifestyle shared by the majority of their contemporaries, who demand that they work hard with the aim of finally enjoying their lives once they’ve retired. They are inventing a new art of living based on a different unit of exchange: time and mobility. A veritable ode to carpe diem, this book teaches us how to adopt the lifestyle of the “New Blessed”. While it’s easy to imagine how difficult it will be to radically change your life, reading this book puts things into perspective and offers some good advice on how to get the most out of life right away.

The gentle spoiler

This question, posed from the very first pages, left its mark on us, forcing us to reflect on the meaning of our work and our lives. “How would your decisions be different if retirement wasn’t an option?” Why did this simple sentence touch us? Because it’s quite symptomatic of the widespread belief that in order to enjoy life, you first have to work hard. How many people say they can’t wait to retire? How many put off their plans until later, declaring, “When I retire, I’ll have time to do things for myself.” But what if retirement didn’t exist? Perhaps we should choose our profession more carefully. Perhaps we could try to link it to a passion. Perhaps we could give ourselves more time to enjoy our leisure activities. Or perhaps we could save more energy at work to keep us going right to the end.

The final touch to convince you

Far from being a succession of hollow, unfounded pieces of advice, La semaine de 4 heures is based on the author’s personal experience. Each of the rules set out in the book have therefore been tested and approved by Timothy Ferriss himself, which makes us say, “And why shouldn’t I?”

Rework: succeeding differently by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

In the “turn the tables and change the paradigm” family, I’d like to mention Rework. This book is aimed at entrepreneurs, self-entrepreneurs and bosses, as well as employees. It helps them to think differently about how they run their business, and to relearn how to work, create and manage.

Why read this book?

Rework is a major wake-up call, encouraging us to question our preconceived ideas about the world of work. In a consumer society where we are asked to do even more with even less, the authors present an alternative that consists in doing less to create more. This book is presented as an operating manual divided into a number of “good tips” for getting off to a good start, progressing, positioning yourself in relation to your competitors, being more productive, evolving, communicating and even hiring. In short, this book contains everything you need to know to be a super entrepreneur in the 21st century.

The gentle spoiler

Among the many tips and rules in this book, there’s one that particularly caught our eye, and you’ll soon see why. This chapter is called “The drug dealers are right”. Deliberately piquant, this title hides a glaring truth. Drug dealers, confident of the quality and addictive effect of their product, don’t hesitate to offer free samples to their customers, who are sure to come back for more. The book’s authors invite their readers to imitate the drug dealers and offer their potential customers a free trial of their wares. To do this, they need to be convinced that people will come back to buy their product. If this isn’t the case, then their concept lacks strength.

The final touch to convince you

What we love about Rework is its format. Each rule or piece of advice is spelled out simply and effectively, sometimes with a sense of humor, often with imagery. No theories developed over several chapters that make us lose our train of thought, each rule is dealt with in one or two pages. This allows you to interrupt your reading regularly to take the time to integrate it, or to go back over a rule to memorize it better.

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