At WebFX, we encourage each other to read and learn as much as possible. We’ve created an extensive library of over 250 books, online classes, courses, and audio programs so our team can continue to learn and grow. Since two of our company values are “we value positivity as the foundation of our WebFX family” and “we know how to be productive, hustle, and get things done,” we have quite a few about books about both positivity and productivity.
Alteration aside, positivity and productivity go hand in hand because they feed off of each other and cause each other to grow at the same rate. The more positive you are, the more you get done, and the more you get done, the happier you are. It’s a simple concept, but it requires real effort. That means you can’t just read these books and expect your life to change. You have to take the information and actually apply it.
This is why I’ve put together a list of five of our favorite books that help you be happier and work harder… at the same time.
1. Eat that Frog – Brian Tracy
Brian Tracy’s idea of “eating your frog” means to start your day by doing the biggest, ugliest and most difficult task first. You have the most energy at the start of the day, so instead of using the first hour to “catch up,” tackle the rough one first.
This is easier said than done. However, it’s extremely rewarding when you buckle down and do it. Tracy has twenty-one other productivity tips in this quick read that great for implementing into your day one at a time.
Best actionable advice: Put pressure on yourself. If you’re the kind of person who works best under deadlines, make some for yourself and have them be challenging. If you really want pressure, make them public.
2. The Energy Bus – Jon Gordon
We love all of Jon Gordon’s books, but The Energy Bus is by far our collective favorite. It’s the essential book on positivity and has had a huge impact on our work environment. If you’ve ever been in negative workplace, you’ll relate to the challenges of The Energy Bus and learn how to get past them.
Best actionable advice: Don’t waste your time with “energy vampires” or people who are constantly in a foul mood. They’ll just bring you down with them.
3. Fred Factor – Mark Sanborn
Another quick read, The Fred Factor is all about going above and beyond when you don’t have to. The original “Fred” was a postmaster who loved his job and brought joy to everyone he met.
You can be a Fred to your co-workers by being giving them positive energy and giving your full effort to every project, no matter how big or small. This adds on to “eating your frog” by telling you to give just as much attention to the small stuff as well.
Best actionable advice: Practice “Acts of The Extraordinary” with your co-workers for a huge productivity and positivity boost.
4. Think Confident, Be Confident – Leslie Sokol, Marci G. Fox
One of the biggest factors that slows down workplace productivity is personal doubt. It can be hard for us to believe we’re capable of the tasks we need to do. Leslie Sokol and Marci Fox use a series of self-examinations and questions to help you label doubt, question it with facts, rethink it, and overcome it.
Best actionable advice: Whenever a goal-interfering thought crosses your mind and leads you to procrastinate, such as “I’ll do it later” or “I can’t handle that right now,” turn it into an action-thought like “Just by starting it I’ll feel better.” Then do it.
5. Focus – Daniel Goleman
This is way more than just a book about how to pay attention. It dives deep into the psychology and science behind the human brain to show how we focus. Goleman relates our attention span to a muscle, in that if we use it poorly it will become weak, but if we train it well it can become strong. Through a series of stories and case studies we’re shown how improved focus helps our habits and skills both at work and at home.
Best actionable advice: Focus on the positive. When we do, our brain’s left prefrontal area becomes more active and we’re able to work more efficiently.
There are plenty of other great books out there if you’re looking to go deeper. Crucial Conversations is a perfect guide for how to have productive conversations about sensitive topics, Getting Things Done is a classic that needs no explanation, and Eat That Cookie shows how to be positive in even the toughest environments. All of these books can help you improve your workday, as long as you take active steps to put what you read into practice.
What do you think of my list? Are there any books you think we should have on this list or in our library? Let us know!