Family Reading Time

One of the highlights from my recent holiday in Florida was our family sitting around the table talking about books we read or wanted to read. Two of the five are serial readers. One is always reading. It is pretty impressive. Little did I know, three of us (not me) were tracking the books they read through GoodReads.

Goodreads is an American social cataloging website and a subsidiary of Amazon that allows individuals to search its database of books, annotations, quotes, and reviews. Users can sign up and register books to generate library catalogs and reading lists. The platform is an excellent way for our professional network to connect through a lifelong love of reading. 

My display name is Jeffrey Alstadt. Let’s connect!

Moving beyond GoodReads, I would like to share a few books that have shaken my core over the past year. Especially the first book. These three books have created a mindset change in me.

Ferriss developed the ideas present in The 4-Hour Workweek (4HWW) while working 14-hour days at his sports nutrition supplement company, BrainQUICKEN. Frustrated by the overwork and lack of free time, Ferriss took a 3-week sabbatical to Europe. During that time and continued travels throughout Europe, Asia, and South America, Ferriss developed a streamlined system of checking email once per day and outsourcing small daily tasks to virtual assistants. His escape from a workaholic lifestyle was the genesis of the book.

If you still check your email every day, this is a MUST read! 

The blog is phenomenal—so many free resources and tools to help you be more productive. Most people do not implement the suggestions because they love the gray. I have discovered that most people would instead secure the perception of being busy. Being productive but not in the office ten hours a day is a giant leap that most are unwilling to take. Take the leap!

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The next book, Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. Brene Brown ripped the blinders off of feeling micromanaged and frustrated with direct reports not completing tasks “the way” I needed them to. Paint done for me! Clear is kind! All-powerful statements from the book. It also goes into great detail about vertical leadership.

Brené writes, ‘One of the most important findings of my career is that courage can be taught, developed and measured. Courage is a collection of four skill sets supported by twenty-eight behaviors. All it requires is a commitment to doing bold work, having tough conversations, and showing up with our whole hearts. Easy? No. Choosing courage over comfort is not easy. Worth it? Always. We want to be brave with our lives and work. It’s why we’re here.’

Lastly is Atomic Habits by James Clear. This breakthrough book from James Clear is the most comprehensive guide on changing your habits and getting 1% better every day. I know, I know, chasing another shiny object. This book was a good reminder of the daily routines I currently have. Think of it as an audit. If you do not have a system for daily habits, this is a great read. The big reminder for me was habit stacking. How did I get away from that? Even for the expert habit makers out there, this will be worth your time.

I also appreciated the science and research in the book. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results. He breaks down, in simple terms, the path to creating habits. No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving–every day. Systems are great, but it is hard to get the waterwheel moving without daily routines.

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