Ready to change into your comfies, grab a soft blanket and cocoa, and do some relaxing book learnin?
Oooh, I am with you there!
At Work Brighter, we love books as much as Rory Gilmore loves books, AND as much as we love Rory Gilmore.
From productivity manifestos that change the way we work to inspiring memoirs that change the way we get out of bed in the morning, these are some of our favorites.
Jump to a specific topic to help you work brighter:
Productivity & Time Management Books
- Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
- The 4-Hour Workweek
- Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
- Atomic Habits: Tiny Habits, Remarkable Results
- The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
- The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
- Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time
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Most content creators say something like "100% of this goes back into the site," but I'm not most creators. Some months it will be used to pay this site's bills, others it will be used to buy inappropriate amounts of chocolate. Remember, working brighter is about balance! 😉
Mindset and Mental Health Books
Unfuck Your Brain by Faith Harper PhD LPC-S ACS ACN (OMG)
This book changed my world! It helped me see mental illness as a superpower instead of a flaw.
Mental illness has been a shadow I've had my whole life, and despite seeing tons of different therapists, psychiatrists, and psychologists over the years, I don't think I really understood trauma and mental illness until this book.
The author talks to you in a real way, not like a doctor or mental health professional (even though that's what she is), which makes all the difference for me, too.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Yes, this is that book about decluttering and organizing your closet and stuff. Yes, I still consider this a mindset book.
This book defines clutter and organization in a way that's as applicable to digital belongings, and even thoughts and relationships, as it is to physical clutter.
Plus, decluttering is ultimately about prioritizing, which is such a mindset thing!
The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor
This was another totally life-changing book for me, and will be for you too if your body isn't what society views as a "normal" body. Whether you're fat, visibly disabled, invisibly ill, or in any way feel "othered" because of your body, this will help you forgive an accept it.
This book isn't just about feeling good about your body, it helps you ACTUALLY understand why it's made you feel bad, why that isn't your fault, and how to practice radical self-love instead.
Productivity and Time Management Books
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
This one's like "get your shit together 101." It walks you through the GTD methodology, which is like half Bible, half process for organizing your whole life, from work to errands.
But you don't even need to follow the 5-step framework (which yeah, is kind of intense) perfectly to get INSANE value from this book.
If you only read one chapter, like the one on "externalizing your brain" or performing regular reviews, you'll still be able to remove so much stress from your life.
The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
Don't let the title scare you away - this book isn't just about working less, it's about changing your whole mindset about work, effort, and money.
This book was the start of my "productivity transformation" from thinking about hours worked to impact made.
Read my longer 4-Hour Workweek review to find out my own favorite parts and what impacted me most.
Deep Work by Cal Newport
Deep Work is the type of effort you need to put in to do *impactful* work instead of just cycling through the easy, shallow items on your to-do list.
Not only will ya learn all about deep vs. shallow work, but you can figure out which *type* of deep work best suits your life, work, and personality!
Atomic Habits by James Clear
A lot of gurus talk about how "just writing down your goals gets you closer to meeting them." After reading Atomic Habits, you'll get why I hate that saying. 😝
A lot has been written about habits already (shoutout to mah dude Charles Duhigg!), but most of them are quite serious, quite boring, and sitting on my bookshelf quite unfinished.
But James Clear writes about habits in an entertaining mix of science and storytelling in a way that could keep my attention. He even uses Lin-Manuel Miranda as one of his examples, and you know how I feel about Lin!