You should buy this book. I mean it, you know I'm usually not that direct in my reviews, but this is worth it. It is a short book: I recently re-read it in 3 days of reading on my 30 minute commute (i.e. less than an hour daily) and cheap: just 6.70€ (around 8.8$, it is currently 29% off) from The Book Depository, who offer also free international shipping. And it is a book that will definitely change your work life, and these are not the words of Mark Forster, its author, they are my words. It has changed my effectiveness in managing my time for the best.
What makes us feel truly motivated? It is not following our passion (but this definitely helps) or getting a lot of money (although this could also help). According to this book, we can get a real sense of motivation from just being on top of our work. I bet you are thinking this can't be. I thought the same, and you know why we thought it? Because we have never been on top of our work.
Until I finished reading (and applying what I read... this is a key point!) this book, I never had the feeling of arriving home and having nothing more to do, just free time. There was always some paper to read, blog post to sketch or some code to write, and when I went to bed I always had these things in mind. And one day I ticked off all the items in my todo list, and the following day my motivation peaked and I aced a bigger todo list... and this only keeps on getting better until Friday. Just from the ideas from this book.
The first key point is doing it tomorrow. Leaving your tasks for tomorrow is a great way to managing your work, although it may not look like this at first sight. Just like the task scheduler in an operating system, your brain (and your schedule) can only accommodate so many tasks on a given time span (in your case, day). If you plan to do 5 things and during the day you get 10 more and add them to your list... You just can't keep up. The way to solve this problem is simple! All tasks arriving today should be done tomorrow. This way you can be sure to just have to do one day's worth of tasks every day.
Why this works and moreover, how to know when you should do a task today, are the lessons you will learn from reading this book. You will also discover how to really finish your tasks for the day and leave that feeling of tasks and projects pressing over your shoulders, and get some pointers on how to manage long term projects.
You can buy Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management from The Book Depository (free international shipping, and it is currently 29% off!) or from Amazon (you can buy a bunch of things besides books from Amazon and then get free shipping).
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Book review: How to be #1, by Vince Lombardi