Have you ever read a book that was highly recommended, and you just hated it from beginning to end? Well, that’s what happened to me when I read The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande.
This book came highly recommended by a productivity podcaster I listen to. I am listening to the backlog, but I’ve been enjoying it. I have also read a couple of the other books said podcaster suggested, so I thought I would give it a try. To be honest with you, I was bored out of my mind. The book could have been 100 pages shorter. I was literally this dude’s journey to discovering how to use a checklist that works. I thought I would get tips and tricks out how to make my protocol better. In a way, it did give me that, but in others… Well, let’s say I got a really boring story that I did not remotely care about in the slightest in return.
In conclusion, make a short checklist to the point, specific, and made up of things that you may end up forgetting. There: I just saved you a couple of hours. Do something more interesting with that time that I did. I wish I could get it back.
As I’ve started undergoing my graduate school journey, I’ve been trying to decide if I should and how to keep up with the multitude of projects that I take part in on top of everything that school has. As part of that journey, I’ve been reading books on how to be productive and how to get the best done and living with less, now that I’m paying for everything. On the books I’ve read was Essentialism: The Discipline Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.
I usually dislike self-help books with a burning passion. For whatever reason, the voice comes across as if the author is way above the “little people.” I did not feel that way at all. McKeown was done to earth with his writing style and put things in a simple and digestible way. I also like that the way he would suggest actions who be feasible and an easily functioning way. While this book didn’t tell me how to keep up with all of the projects that I want to to do, it did teach me how to say no to the things I really really don’t want to do. I still say i won with this book.
I want to think that the one known secret about getting stuff done in your life, is to not get anything done for a while. And by that, I mean sleep. Now that I’m in graduate school, I’ve become pretty obsessed with reading books that might help me in the long run. One such book I was suggested was Why We Sleep: Unlocking to Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker.
I’ll be honest with you guys, but sleeping wasn’t really on my radar when it came to being productive in grad school. If anything, undergrad taught me that I really don’t need sleep during the week and that I could catch up during the weekend. I have a terrible time going to sleep when I really want to and just lie there and think about all of the stupid decisions I have ever made in my life. If anything, I would say that this book made me anxious about trying to sleep. Based on the research, I would say that it is horrifying, not sleeping, even though I get lots done when I’m sleep deprived. I’m trying to acquire habits that will help me sleep better. So far, I have to report, I have no clue how that’s working out for me. I’m a night-owl, so I feel that I’m fighting myself on this front, but I will continue trying. If anyone has more tips on trying to go to sleep, I am of open ears. Getting proper sleep is one of my next goals in life.