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Great books for helping you optimize your remote work

As many of us are transitioning to working from home, if you're like me, you might find comfort in finding resources to help you learn more about how to excel at remote work. Although no book has a perfect strategy for how to work from home, many can help you understand how to better organize and optimize your ways of working to help you be more productive. 

There are also many productivity books that are meant for exactly this type of work - getting things done when no one is sitting there telling you what to do and your amidst various distractions. 

Here's a roundup post of some of my favorite productivity and remote work books. Feel free to comment below and add your favorites as well. 

1. Remote: Office Not Required

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This is a remote work classic! Written by the founders of Basecamp (a project management app) and the OG advocates of remote working, it gives great advice and thoughts for how and why remote works. Although this has more information about deciding to work remotely, it still offers practical advice and help for those who are transitioning, and will give you a greater understand to why you can make it work. 

 

2. Mind Hacking

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This is one of my all-time favorite productivity books, and it applies to remote working because you'll need to understand how your brain works and how to train it in order to achieve peak productivity. To hack your mind, Sir Jon Hargrave shows you how to analyze, imagine, and reprogram your process and the way your brain works. (I wrote a summary about this on my blog a while back if you want a more detailed review before choosing to read, but I highly recommend checking out the book and going through the exercises yourself.)

3. The Year of Living Danishly. 

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Okay you're probably wondering what this has to do with remote work... hear me out. 

I read this book because I'm fascinated with Danish culture, and I wasn't expecting to find productivity secrets behind it, but it really convicted me to think more about the work life balance I was putting in my life. I am naturally a workaholic (working from home tends to make that worse by the way, because you constantly feel "on" and near your laptop and available for work), and reading this book helped me rethink what I was doing with my life, and if overworking was really the right answer. In fact, it made me question if it was even making more productive and a better employee. Since reading this and learning how the Danish approach work (and other aspects of their life), I've made several changes in my life that have helped me to be my best self both at home, and at work. 

Some changes I implented that have helped my work life include...

  • Creating more "hygge" in my home work place
  • Drinking more coffee
  • Cutting back on my work hours
  • Keeping my desk and work area immaculate
  • Embracing minimalism in my office supplies
  • Incorporating more training and learning in my work day
  • Practice learning another language with my coworkers
  • Take more vacation time
  • Plan for positive outcomes
  • Create more things

Give the book a read and see what other ideas you decide to try!

4. You are Awesome 

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Although it's another one that's not specifically about working from home, many of us are finding that we're struggling with the concept or just generally feeling down because of COVID-19 impacting our lives in various ways. You might be struggling with imposter syndrome and feeling like you're not doing well at work or managing things at home, or perhaps you've lost your job and you want to embrace remote work, but are struggling to figure out how to find something. 

This book is a good pep talk at reminding us to think of "yet" at the end of every sentence, and see a semicolon rather than a period. "I haven't found a job...yet" or "I'm not good at focusing at home... yet". It also teaches how to learn from mistakes and adapt (something very useful to remote work, because you're going to have a lot of trial and error with figuring out how to get things done on your own time), and also good reminders to starting your day in the right frame of mind. 

Okay that's all I've got for now, what about you? Any recommended reading for working from home?

 

4 comments

Mike Rathwell Community Leader Apr 23, 2020

For me, the default treatise describing how to deal with change (and we have a lot of that going on right now) is "Who Moved My Cheese". It's a quick and easy read that fits almost any situation.

Like Brittany Joiner likes this
Brittany Joiner Community Leader Apr 23, 2020

Ooh this looks great!! Definitely a good time to practice navigating change. This book looks awesome - definitely adding it to my reading list. 

Like Mike Rathwell likes this
Mike Rathwell Community Leader Apr 23, 2020

And there's a Kindle version! 

Brittany Joiner Community Leader Apr 23, 2020

@Mike Rathwell even better!!

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