Every once in a while, between strange stories, I like to read books that make me wonder about what I do, how I work and hence, how I spend my days. While your book selection really depends on your personal interests, I think listing them can still be quite of interest for most people since I’m often asked where I learned this or that. That’s why I’m writing this post today, maybe these books will inspire you as much as they did me…
Zen-To-Done — Léo Babauta
Along with its companion book, “The power of Less“, this book really lowered my everyday stress level. It also helped me to organize myself and plan a bit more. I highly recommend it if you receive too many emails, can’t focus on your work, always have your mind cluttered by 1,000 ideas or you want to achieve something big & new –and btw, GTD didn’t work for me.
The Pomodoro Technique — Francesco Cirillo
While this technique is in fact very simple, it really helps to organize and keep calm when you have a lot of stuff to do. Basically, you use a kitchen timer to split your time between 25min work sessions and 5min rest sessions. It sounds really naive, but by using tense / release cycles, it really keeps you in the flow, and therefore, motivated. Just give it a try, it’s wonderful!
Gamestorming — Gray, Brown & Macanufo
You know how meetings can be boring. To me, this is pure nightmare and I totally agree with Getting Real‘s motto “Meetings are Toxic“. At Fuzzy Frequency, we try to avoid them as much as possible, but sometimes, we can’t. That’s why one day, I decided to put some fun back into our meetings. So, I ordered Visual Meetings, Gamestorming and Business Model Generation. Clearly, this one was the most valuable for me by providing a LOT of ideas for animating meetings and creativity sessions.
The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses — Jesse Schell
This one might look an intruder to you. It’s not, at all. In fact, this might be the most interesting book I’ve read since a few months (years?). While I’ve picked it for a game project I’ve started a few months ago, I found this book to be awesome blend of psychology, sociology, mathematics, writing, graphic design and much more… If you consider life and work as “Big Social Games”, then this book might give you a fresh look and let you imagine how to play and shape them differently…
Rework — Fried & Hansson
I had to include this book in the list, even if it’s already well-known, because it’s really awesome. I had the chance to be part of a young and innovative startup for 3 years but still, the principles explained in this books weren’t used at all… meaning many people should still read it. You’ll learn how to rethink the way you handle your projects, manage your team, engage communities, pick a business plan, etc… Oh, and consider “Getting Real” even if you’re not into the Web, there are very interesting advices inside it too.
To be honest, I think my work (and hence, life) would be different today if I didn’t have the chance to get inspired by these books, so I can only encourage you to read them too ! :-)