Well, I’ve got a list for the Students to focus on..Before getting into the topic, do have a glance at my previous post here
So, below are the Top books of 2017 that i recommend every student to have a go at them, starting with my favorite book from last year which is..
Deep Work by Cal Newport
This book is at the top of my list because it tackles the number one problem that I get emails, tweets and comments about. Which is, I can’t focus. I can’t stop procrastinating. I can’t get into the flow of my work.
And this is something I struggle with just as much as most students and I think this book really helped to point out the fact that when we get these cravings for novelty, cravings to check our Snapchat or our Instagram, or just distract ourselves from our work and we act on them.
We’re actually ingraining a habit and we’re weakening that focus muscle in our heads. And by contrast, by avoiding those distractions and by sticking with our work we actually become more able to focus. And when that was explicitly stated to me,I took it more seriously and I found it really, really helpful in my work.
Mind for Numbers by Barbara Oakley
Book number two on my list is a Mind for Numbers by Barbara Oakley. Now this is the learning how to learn book. In fact, there’s a course over onthat you can take for free called Learning How to Learn and it’s created by the same person and this book is basically the companion to it. And even though the subtitle here is, How to Excel at Math and Science this really is a book about general learning skills.
Now, this book has a lot to offer so I can’t really summarize the whole thing here but a couple of the key lessons I took away from the book. Were number one, the process of memory formation how bits become chunks. Which, are essentially loosely grouped bundles of information that are connected through meaning. And it talks about how to efficiently form those chunks. And it also talks about the focused mode of thinking and the diffused mode of thinking. Now, these are two complimentary forms of thinking. Focused mode is what happens when you sit down and you focus on a problem with intensity and you’re mainly using your pre-frontal cortex when you do this.
But the diffused mode of thinking is just as important and it uses a lot more of your brain and it’s kind of what happens when you background process a problem by taking a break or sleeping on it. And a good example is, if you ever try to think of a word and it’s on the tip of your tongue but you just can’t get it and then you take a break, or you go for a walk, or you wake up from a nap later and it comes to you.
So, these two modes of thinking help you to solve problems in a complimentary way and this books highlights the importance of taking breaks so you can use that diffused mode just as much as the focused mode.
Getting from College to Career by Lindsey Pollak
Third book on my list is Getting from College to Career by Lindsey Pollak and I think this is a great introduction to a lot of the career skills that you’re gonna need to be able to get a job or the job that you want after you graduate from college.
And while that talks about that big overarching passion, hypothesis question. You know, what do I do with my life? This book really gets into the details and into the trenches of how to get a job and how to stand out amongst the competition.
Talks about interviewing, how to build a resume, how to build your online web presence, all the skills you need to learn to be able to get that job that you want.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Fourth book on the list. Some of you definitely guessed it would be on here. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I really think you should give it a read if you haven’t done so already. And the reason for that is that habits form so much of our behavior and when you know how to intelligently build strong ones and break the ones that you don’t wanna have, that are hurting you then you’re gonna be so much more successful and you’re not gonna be wasting as much of your limited willpower on the things you wanna get done.
Spark, the Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by Dr. John Ratey
Book number five on my list is Spark, the Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by Dr. John Ratey. And I’m recommending this book for two different reasons. Number one, it is a surprisingly detailed introduction to how your brain works on a biological level and I found that very interesting. But also, for a certain subset of you out there the scientific explanation of how exercise affects the way that you learn and can improve your overall brain health can be a powerful motivator to get into the habit of exercising more often. And, I know from experience that as a student or when you’re just busy in general it can be really tempting to put off exercising in lieu of giving yourself more time to get your work done.
But just like Cal Newport talks about in Deep Work, the intensity of your focus times the time you put in, equals your productivity. And when you don’t exercise, you’re robbing your brain’s ability to focus intensely and work efficiently at all.
Book five point five, Anime Club. ‘Cause there could be no higher aspiration for a student than to run their own anime club. Very serious recommendation right there [*laughs*].
The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey
Alright, so the sixth book on my list is The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey. And this book is my favorite general introduction to the concept of productivity. Now, when most people think of productivity they think of time management, but in this book Chris is very careful to stress that not all hours are created equal and productivity is the product of your time, attention, and energy. So to that end, the book goes through a ton of different productivity topics including procrastination, how to focus on your tasks without getting distracted, how to avoid multitasking, how to batch tasks, plan your day intelligently, and gets into things like meditation. I also like how every chapter ends with a challenge. So, if you wanna start putting things into action he gives you a lot of direction to do so.
The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha
The 7th book on my list is The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha. I put this book on my list because a lot of us aren’t actually very good at knowing what’s going to make us truly happy when we’re planning out our career goals or other life goals.
We might look at what society seems to value or we might trick ourselves in different ways. But as Neil’s research points out in this book a lot of people who are rich, or in positions of power, executives of big companies, they’re not actually happy. Now this book goes through a lot of different things and there’s a lot to think about but one of the biggest lessons that I took away personally from this book is that milestones don’t actually make us happy. And this is something that I’ve had to deal with quite a bit in my life.
Steal the Show by Michael Port
Alright, so we are now to book number eight in the list and that book is Steal the Show by Michael Port. Which is a book all about communication. Now, a lot of this book deals with how to give a great speech.
How to prepare for it, How to master your body language, How to get an ovation from the audience at the end.
But it also deals with a lot of interpersonal communication. Networking, job interviews, negotiation tactics, and for that reason I think it’s a great all around communication skills book that you should read.
Your Money, The Missing Manual by J.D. Roth
Book number nine is Your Money, The Missing Manual by J.D. Roth. Which is a great introduction to personal finance. Now, there are a ton of personal finance books out there.
To personal finance in the world but it’s the one that I read and I found it very helpful for learning how to manage my money, how to pay off my debt faster, and how to start investing smartly. And that brings us to my final pick on this list, my ultimate book recommendation for you, which is, not actually any specific book at all.
At this point of this answer, I want to encourage you to go out and indulge your interests. Productivity for productivity’s sake is useless so you need to be able to do something with all these personal development tips that you’re learning from all these books I’m recommending you.
The problem is, a lot of people who get interested in self-development, in productivity, they go too narrow. They stick to the recommended lists by online gurus and they never actually branch out and become experts in something unique.
So, if you have an interest, indulge it. Go read a book about the history of the telegraph and at the next party you’re at, you’ll be able to tell a cool story that nobody else will know.
So, I only have nine books to recommend and i hope this answer helped you out guys!
Have great time reading!