5 Books That Will Change Your Life

I was just recommending a non-fiction book to a friend the other day when I realized that there are about five books I’d recommend to just about everyone. These all changed my life in some powerful way, no joke. I’m not even being hyperbolic about that.

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

This is the one that’s made the biggest impact recently. It’s simple, but it’s so, so good. I was already organized before reading it, but now I have a way to make sure that I am really organized, and not just-enough-to-get-by. If you implement the system in this book in a way that works for you, you’ll never have to waste time remembering what it is you’re supposed to be doing ever again. It’s that powerful.

If you read the book and get stuck, email me, for real. I’m happy to be your sounding board on making a system that works in your case. (I know, I sound like an infomercial, but they’re totally not paying me anything to say that, at all. I just really like it and I think the world would be a better place if people had systems to keep them from being stressed out so much.)

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

This one’s a classic. It’s really good, but I would recommend reading it after GTD, for the simple fact that I don’t think you can work on any of the seven habits until you’ve got your to-do list mostly under control. This is higher-level stuff that requires all of your concentration. I read this book right as I was starting my first job out of college and it’s made a huge difference in my career.

The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence by Gavin de Becker

I will honestly tell you I didn’t sleep for a week after reading this. So, plan to read it sometime when you have some extra safety and comfort around you. The point of the book isn’t to scare you– it’s to educate you about how to use your fear productively. (So maybe if you’re smarter and less jumpy than I am, you won’t have a problem sleeping after you read it.) I think every woman in the world should read it, especially, and I’m not being anti-feminist here. It’s just the truth that the world is a different place for females. In any case, in the long run, it has actually made me feel less afraid, and helped me to understand the details I need to pay attention to in order to keep myself physically safe.

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

If you are a writer, I don’t know why you haven’t read this by now. Go. Do it. It is full of advice, tough love, and motivational stories. If you are not a writer, I still think you should read this. It might make you want to be a writer, but at the very least it will help you to understand the creative process. Plus it’s just full of good, funny stories.

Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want by Barbara Sher, Annie Gottlieb

I almost didn’t include this one, because I openly scoffed at it while I was reading it. But I sort of grudgingly did the activities and stuff, and you know what? It worked. It’s not The Secret or anything, though it is a little touchy-feely. You actually have to do the work to make things happen, and it really is work not just the power of positive thinking or some crap. There’s a lot of practical advice in here about getting yourself from point A “I wish” to point B “woohoo!” If you’ve got an unrealized dream (who doesn’t?), give it a go. Bonus? It’s free.

That’s all I’ve got. Go forth and read those books, seriously. I hope they change your life!

So what else have I been up to in Internet-land recently?

What I Wrote

A whole bunch of stuff on Pintester:

Whew. That should keep you busy for a while.

Oh Teh Internets

I started a Tumblr. And then in an ode to UfYH (my favorite Tumblr blog), I posted before-and-after pictures of the wall in my back yard. Yes, my back yard has a wall. And now it’s clean.

I was also a guest-blogger at TiviJones.com, talking about socially unacceptable ways to be successful.

Other Crap

If you want to keep up with me on a minute by minute basis and just can’t wait to find out what the next piece of gray matter I toss up on the Internets will be, you can follow me on TwitterFacebookPinterest, and Tumblr. (I try to post different stuff in all these places, so you won’t get inundated with the exact same thing if you follow all of them.)