Tin’s List of Best Books 2020

A list of the best books I’ve read in 2020 which are relevant to the topics in my blog – personal and professional growth, optimization and productivity.

Below is the list of the best books that I read in 2020. What a year has 2020 been! I mean did anybody see this coming back in January? I must admit, just like most of the people in the world, I had read the news about COVID-19 coming from Asia in Dec 2019. And, just like anybody else, I dismissed them easily. What a good lesson! But anyway, if there was anything positive out of 2020 it was that I got to spent a lot of time with my family. I hope that a lot of people could say the same.

And … I spent a lot of time reading. I broke my previous record of 30 books and I read 35 books in 2020 (woot!) I also read more than 10.000 pages for a second year in a row. I read early in the morning before the working-from-home madness would start. I read on the weekend during the quiet time.

In this article, I listed the best books that I read in 2020. This time I’ve broken the list down into genres. Not always the genre that the authors picked when they published their book, but the genre that I would assign to it.

This is my forth year in a row. These are my previous articles on this topic: Best books 2019, Best books 2018, Best Books 2017.

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How to Uncover Your Core Values

Your core values are an unstoppable force that make you who you are and this article will help you uncover and live by them.

Whether you know explicitly or not, you all have a set of core values that determine almost everything in your life. You are at your best when your actions correspond to your values and your beliefs. But how can you rely on a value that you cannot name? How can you infuse your life with core values that you cannot understand.

This article is based on book I recently read – Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead (link to Goodreads). Core values is not the center topic of the book and I also recommend a lot of other gems in it, but the chapter about core values struck a cord with me and I think I discovered a nuance that Brené did not uncover (or at least did not write about).

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Zero Inbox for the Mind

If you are depressed and/or anxious this is probably because of a thought stuck in your mind. It is time to declutter and get to Zero Inbox.

I have been using the Zero Inbox technique for my email (actually for all my emails) for a long time. It works because it is simple and because it is based on an understanding of the system that it serves (the e-mail). This month, I listened to two very different podcasts (more info below) which have nothing to do with each other that resonated into a single idea: Can you do Zero Inbox for your mind as well?

In this article, I have described my interpretation of Zero Inbox for the mind. My goal is to influence your understanding of the underlying system (i.e. your mind). And to show you what I use to keep that system in check and decluttered.

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Deliberate Thought Against Distraction

Fighting distraction is hard. One of the keys to success and productivity is the power of focus. And focus means distraction-free time.

Distractions are nothing new. They have been standing in the way of success and progress for millennia. Ancient philosophers in the West (i.e. Markus Aurelius, Seneca) and in the East (i.e. Laozi, D.T. Suziki) have fought distraction as fervently as the New Age philosophers (i.e. Ryan Holiday, Tim Ferris, Charles Duhigg). The difference between now and then is the sheer amount of available distractions. You can always reach out to your phone and review the social media updates instead of doing deliberate work. You can always turn on the TV instead of staying connected with yourself in silence. And, of course, you can always call a meeting to discuss a topic at work instead of thinking about it.

I recently read a book called “Indistractable” (link to Goodreads) by Nir Eyal. And I decided to post my thoughts on the topic, influenced by this book, but also by a few others – Good to Great, Grit, The Power of Habit, Flow, as well as my own experience over the years. In this article I will share my tools for avoiding distractions so that you can put deliberate practice to work for you and for your success (or what Nir Eyal calls traction).

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Eleven Areas in Your Life That Can Benefit From More Structure

Adding structure to everything that you do each day will help you achieve more, feel better, and have more time for the important things.

One of my principles is Bring Order to Chaos. I believe that by adding structure to most of the important things that you do, you can become more efficient and productive. I believe that the more organization and self-organization you add to your life the better and more predictable results you can achieve.

In this article I have listed several areas which can benefit from adding more structure. I have concentrated on everyday things that you would not normally consider, because you usually have always been doing them this way. Each of these paragraphs is a conversation-starter and I have listed further articles, or books that can help you to actually self-organize.

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