The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
Title: Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
- Author: Matthew Walker, PhD
- Publication Date: 2017
- Recommendation Score: 5 / 5
If you find yourself making a lot of stupid mistakes, having difficulty remembering names, and being unable to connect with people due to your bad mood, then you might need to consider to have more sleep.
“Why We Sleep” is a must read for all those who think that sleep is a waste of time, and that 5 or 6 hours of sleep are sufficient for them. It explains how modern life style is deteriorating our sleep quality and quantity, and its impact on our everyday lives, on organisations and on society.
In a nutshell, here are the proven benefits of a full night of sleep as the author puts it : it makes you live longer. It enhances your memory and makes you more creative. It makes you look more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings. It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards off colds and the flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and stroke, not to mention diabetes. You’ll even feel happier, less depressed, and less anxious.
Establish a regular bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends.
The author warns the reader against the use of sleeping pills, and recommends the cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, or CBT-I, which is proved to be more effective and is rapidly being embraced by the medical community as the first-line treatment. The tips below include some of the CBT-I methods.
Tips for a better sleep
What gets measured, gets managed.
Peter Drucker, “The Practice of Management”, 1954
- Title: The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It
- Author: Kelly McGonigal, PhD
- Publication Date: 2011
- Recommendation Score: 4.5 / 5
The book is written in a “coaching” style, and is full of research-based tips and practices that help you understand better the self-control mechanisms and employ them to gain more willpower.
One of the best interesting ideas that I find helpful is to mind the gap between your “Present self”, that is yourself, and your “Future self”, that super-human that can stick to any plan or budget. More details in the takeaways below.
The intelligent want self-control; children want candy.
Willpower is a biological instinct, like stress, that evolved to help us protect ourselves from ourselves. It helps us to be a better version of ourselves.
Self-control is like a muscle. It gets tired from use, but regular exercise makes it stronger. When your are too tired, you are most likely to give in to temptations. Self-control is highest in the morning and deteriorates over the course of the day. Try to accomplish your most important tasks early in the morning. When you come back from a hard day of work, exhausted, you are less likely to exercise, and more likely to overeat. Similarly, don’t get yourself into exhaustion before moments of big decisions. This includes sleeping well and eating well. Continue reading “The Willpower Instinct – Kelly McGonigal”
Those who know What they do tend to work harder.
Those who know Why tend to work smarter.
In his book “Up the Organization”, Robert Townsend gives 10 evaluation criteria that you can use to rate your boss as a leader.
Here is, in a nutshell, the difference between a boss and a leader: a boss is someone who was appointed by the organization to manage a team. A leader, on the other hand, is someone in the organization who inspires people. A boss pushes people to work, a leader pulls them towards his vision. Some bosses are leaders, others are just managers. For a brief comparison between (bad) boss and leader characteristics, you may refer to the info-graphic at the end of this post.
Back to Townsend’s criteria, the author suggests that you score each of the following characteristics from 0 to 10, the total (from 0 to 100) is you boss’s rating. How much is your boss : Continue reading “Is your Boss a Leader ? – Robert Townsend”
Title: Atomic Habits – An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
- Author: James Clear
- Publication Date: 2018
- Recommendation Score: 4.5 / 5
Very interesting book that deals with the science of habits. It can be considered an extension to the book “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg, with more examples and a kind of user manual guidelines for building and breaking habits (see the tables below).
The author presents the ideas very clearly, inspired by many real-life cases and based on recent results of academic research. He provides useful chapters’ summaries and other insightful resources that you may check on the author’s website jamesclear.com.
The main guidelines that the author suggests to build a new habit or break an old one are presented below (source: jamesclear.com).
How to build a habit