12 Books to Boost Your Motivation and Productivity

In this blog post, we have curated a collection of books that have greatly influenced our perspectives on motivation and productivity. While this list is not exhaustive, it comprises some of our favorite titles that have shaped the way we think about maximizing our potential. These books offer valuable insights, practical strategies, and inspiring stories that can help individuals enhance their productivity, embrace their limitations, and achieve remarkable results. Check out some of these thought-provoking reads and discover new ways to boost motivation and productivity in our lives. Each book is linked so you can find it on Amazon, or you can view the full list in our Amazon store.

Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman is a thought-provoking book that challenges our perception of time and how we spend it. Burkeman argues that instead of striving for endless productivity and efficiency, we should embrace the limitations of time and focus on what truly matters. The book offers practical advice and philosophical insights on how to make the most of our limited time on Earth.

Key Takeaway: Our time is finite, and by embracing our mortality, we can prioritize what truly brings us joy and fulfillment in life.

Getting Things Done by David Allen is a renowned productivity book that presents a comprehensive system for organizing tasks, managing priorities, and achieving a clear mind. Allen introduces the "GTD" methodology, emphasizing the capture, clarify, organize, reflect, and engage principles to streamline productivity and reduce stress. By implementing GTD, individuals can effectively manage their workflow, increase productivity, and experience a sense of control over their tasks.

Key Takeaway: The key to productivity lies in capturing and organizing tasks effectively, enabling a clear and focused mind for optimal performance.

Time Management Magic by Lee Cockerell is a practical guide that offers valuable insights and strategies for effectively managing time and maximizing productivity. Cockerell, a former executive vice president of operations at Walt Disney World Resort, shares his extensive experience and provides practical tips on prioritization, delegation, and focus. Through real-world examples and actionable advice, the book empowers readers to take control of their time, reduce stress, and achieve better work-life balance.

Key Takeaway: By implementing effective time management techniques and prioritizing tasks based on importance, individuals can unlock their full potential and accomplish more with less stress.

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport explores the impact of technology on our lives and provides a framework for regaining control over our digital habits. Newport argues that we should be intentional about how we use technology, focusing on activities that align with our values and bring us true fulfillment. He presents practical strategies for decluttering our digital lives, such as reducing social media usage, embracing solitude, and cultivating meaningful leisure activities.

Key Takeaway: By being intentional about our digital choices and minimizing mindless online activities, we can create space for deeper connections, personal growth, and a greater sense of fulfillment.

In "Stretch" by Scott Sonenshein, the author challenges the belief that we need more resources to achieve success and instead emphasizes the power of resourcefulness. Sonenshein argues that by adopting a mindset of stretching, we can creatively and effectively solve problems, make the most of what we have, and achieve extraordinary results. The book offers practical strategies and inspiring stories that demonstrate how individuals and organizations can thrive by embracing constraints and leveraging their existing resources.

Key Takeaway: True success comes not from having more but from making the most of what we already possess.

Move Your Bus by Ron Clark is an insightful book that uses the metaphor of a bus to explore the dynamics of teamwork and individual performance. Clark categorizes individuals into four types: Runners, Joggers, Walkers, and Riders, each representing different levels of engagement and contribution. Through inspiring stories and practical strategies, Clark encourages readers to identify their role on the bus and take ownership of their impact. The book emphasizes the importance of fostering a culture of collaboration, setting high expectations, and continuously striving for personal growth.

Key Takeaway: Actively participating, pushing beyond comfort zones, and supporting others, individuals can create a thriving and high-performing team.

Eat, Sleep, Work, Repeat by Bruce Daisley explores the challenges of the modern workplace and offers practical advice on how to create a more fulfilling work environment. Daisley, a former Twitter executive, shares insights on improving work-life balance, boosting creativity, and nurturing a positive company culture. Through research and real-life examples, the book highlights the importance of rest, social connection, and meaningful work in fostering productivity and happiness.

Key Takeaway: By prioritizing well-being, cultivating a positive work culture, and embracing the value of leisure, individuals and organizations can thrive in the fast-paced world of work.

Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt is a productivity book that provides practical strategies for regaining focus, managing priorities, and achieving peak performance. Hyatt introduces the "Full Focus" system, which emphasizes the importance of setting clear goals, eliminating distractions, and maximizing productivity. Through actionable advice and real-life examples, the book guides readers in designing their ideal workday and creating a sustainable rhythm of high performance.

Key Takeaway: By investing focused time and energy in the most important tasks, individuals can achieve greater productivity, fulfillment, and work-life balance.

Atomic Habits by James Clear explores the science behind habits and presents practical strategies for creating positive change in our lives. Clear explains the habit loop - cue, routine, reward - and how understanding this loop can help us break bad habits and develop new ones. Drawing from research and real-life examples, the book provides insights into the psychology of habits and offers actionable steps to harness the power of habit.

Key Takeaway: When we understand the mechanics of habits and implementing deliberate changes, we have the power to shape our behaviors and create lasting positive change.

Smarter, Faster, Better by Charles Duhigg is a captivating book that explores the science behind productivity and success. Duhigg delves into the habits and mindset of high achievers, uncovering the strategies they use to maximize their performance. Drawing from real-life examples and extensive research, he presents a range of practical techniques to boost productivity, enhance decision-making, and foster innovation. Through engaging storytelling and insightful analysis, Duhigg reveals that the key to success lies in cultivating a growth mindset, setting stretch goals, and harnessing the power of motivation and focus.

Key Takeaway: By focusing on the right priorities, cultivating a growth mindset, and leveraging effective strategies, individuals can unlock their full potential and achieve extraordinary results in both their work and personal lives.

The Obstacle in the Way by Ryan Holiday is a guide that draws inspiration from ancient Stoic philosophy to help readers overcome challenges and turn obstacles into advantages. Holiday argues that obstacles are not barriers to success but opportunities for growth and resilience. Through captivating stories and practical advice, he demonstrates how individuals can develop a mindset that allows them to embrace obstacles, persevere through adversity, and achieve their goals.

Key Takeaway: When we shift our perspective and reframe obstacles as opportunities, we can unlock our inner strength and transform challenges into triumphs.

Hero on a Mission by Donald Miller is a compelling book that explores the concept of living a life of purpose and making a difference in the world. Miller challenges readers to discover their unique role and mission in life and encourages them to step out of their comfort zones to pursue it. Through inspiring stories and practical advice, he provides a roadmap for finding one's calling, overcoming obstacles, and leaving a lasting impact.

Key Takeaway: When we embrace our true identity and purpose, we can unleash our full potential and become heroes on a mission, making a meaningful difference in the lives of others and the world.

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Here's to being productive and making every moment count.

Abagail, Calvin, & Jacintha

12 Apps to Boost Productivity

If you're looking to boost your productivity, stay organized, and make every moment count, there are a number of powerful tools available to help you do just that. Here are 12 Apps to Boost Productivity:

The Arc Browser - Free*

The Arc Browser is a productivity tool designed to help you work more efficiently by allowing you to access multiple web apps at once. With Arc, you can create custom workspaces that group together the apps you use most frequently and access them all from a single dashboard. This eliminates the need to constantly switch between different apps and windows, saving valuable time and reducing distractions.

*Arc is currently only available by invite. If you’re looking for an invite, just send us a DM on Instagram and we will send you a link.

Notion - Free to Start

Notion is a powerful productivity tool that combines a number of features in one place, making it easy to stay organized and focused. At its core, Notion is a note-taking app, but it goes far beyond the basics. With Notion, you can create custom pages for everything from to-do lists and calendars to project management and knowledge management.

Slack - Free to Start

Slack is a messaging platform designed to help teams collaborate more effectively. It allows you to send messages, share files, and make voice and video calls all in one place. One of the biggest benefits of using Slack is that it eliminates the need for email, which can be slow and cumbersome. Instead, you can communicate in real-time, making it easier to get quick answers and resolve issues more efficiently. Additionally, there are a ton of integrations that allow you to connect your conversations with other applications.

Spark Desktop - Free to Start

Spark Desktop is an email app that is designed to help you manage your email more efficiently and effectively. One of the biggest benefits of using Spark is that it allows you to stay on top of your inbox without getting overwhelmed. With features like Smart Inbox, you can easily prioritize important emails and quickly scan through less important messages. Additionally, Spark's powerful search functionality makes it easy to find any email, even if it was sent months ago.

Otter.ai - Free to Start

Otter.ai is an AI-powered transcription service that can help you be more productive in your workday. With Otter, you can record and transcribe meetings, interviews, and other conversations in real-time, making it easy to review and reference important information later on. Otter's AI technology allows it to accurately transcribe conversations, even in noisy environments or when multiple people are speaking at once.

Readwise - Free to Start

Readwise is a powerful productivity tool that helps you remember and apply what you've read. With Readwise, you can easily import highlights and notes from your Kindle, Apple Books, Instapaper, and other reading apps, and then review them at a later time to refresh your memory. Readwise's powerful algorithms also help you identify common themes and connections between your highlights, allowing you to gain deeper insights into what you've read.

Later - Free to Start

Later is a social media scheduling tool that helps you plan, create, and publish content across a variety of platforms. With Later, you can schedule posts in advance, preview them to see how they'll look in context, and get insights into how your content is performing.

Marco Polo - Free to Start

Marco Polo is a video messaging app that allows you to stay in touch with friends and family in a more personal way. With Marco Polo, you can send video messages that are recorded in real-time and sent in a way that’s similar to a text message. This makes it easy to keep in touch with loved ones even if you don’t have time for a phone call or video chat.

Cron - Free

Cron is a powerful productivity tool that helps you manage your calendar more efficiently and effectively. With Cron, you can easily sync your calendars across multiple devices and platforms, allowing you to stay on top of your schedule no matter where you are. Our favorite feature is being able to send multiple time slots to a client and allowing them to schedule an appointment during a time that works best for them.

Descript - Free to Start

Descript is an innovative tool for audio and video production that can help you be more productive and efficient in your work. With Descript, you can edit audio and video files as easily as you would edit a text document.

Transparent Note - Free to Start

Transparent Note is a productivity tool that allows you to take notes and annotate documents in real-time during video presentations. With Transparent Note, you can create a transparent overlay on top of your presentation that allows you to take notes, highlight important information, and draw diagrams or charts.

Google Drive - Free

Google Drive is a cloud-based storage platform that allows you to store and access files from anywhere with an internet connection. With Google Drive, you can create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, and store any other type of file you need, including photos, videos, and PDFs. One of the biggest benefits of using Google Drive is that it allows you to collaborate with others in real-time, making it easy to work together on projects no matter where you are.

- Abagail, Calvin, & Jacintha

6 Questions to Help Anticipate Needs

At some point in life we’re all required to think ahead and imagine what the future will look like. Then after looking ahead we make plans based on what we see. Doing this well is key to being successful at home and in our jobs. Sometimes when I'm thinking ahead and planning for what to expect, I'm doing it 12 months out and sometimes I'm doing this in the moment and considering what's best to do next.

Anticipating needs is a term that gets thrown around a lot, however I've found that it often lacks actionable steps for putting it into practice. So, here are 6 questions we can ask to help better anticipate needs.

01. WHO AM I SERVING?

This is the most simple, yet foundational question to ask. Asking this question allows you to step back and consider the person you are serving. In some cases, you will be serving other people (i.e. spouse, child, coworker, client, etc.), in other cases you will be serving an idea, goal, or purpose. Asking this question helps you pinpoint the purpose of what you're trying do.

02. WHAT DO THEY NEED?

Sometimes we can answer this question on our own. Other times it requires brainstorming and coming up with questions to ask to know how to best serve. Anticipating needs doesn’t mean you magically know what someone else needs before they ask. Most of the time it’s knowing the right questions to ask and asking them at the right time.

03. WHERE ARE THERE ADDITIONAL NEEDS I'M MISSING?

It’s helpful to step back, look at everything, ask where the gaps are, and what additional needs are missing? Sometimes we can be so bogged down in the details that we can miss important details.

It can be helpful to bring someone else in help assess what you may be missing? It doesn’t make you anticipate needs any less if you ask for help. If anything, it will help further create a culture of asking questions and anticipating needs.

04.  WHEN DO I NEED TO START?

This question is vital so you can give yourself enough time to provide the need you're seeking to fulfill. This is a helpful question to ask, especially when you are trying to provide solutions in the moment. Someone may have a need, but the solution you are thinking of will require more time than you have. Asking this question honestly will also help keep you from procrastinating. 

05. WHY HAVE I DONE IT THIS WAY IN THE PAST?

We may have steps in place to accommodate and take care of the needs of those we are serving – but are these steps serving others in the best way? Consistently look for ways to improve the way you work and serve the needs of others.

06. HOW CAN I GO ABOVE AND BEYOND?

Ask yourself how you can go the extra mile to make sure the people you are serving are getting the extra bit of care they aren't expecting. 

Anticipating needs isn’t just a good way to be successful with your work, it’s a way you can show care and love for others by humbly serving their needs.

-CP

How We Got Started

We've been posting things at JacinthaPayne.com for over seven years now. The original idea for this blog was to create a place for me to share thoughts, create resources, and keep a log of the things we're doing as a family. It started as a blog that was "A Little Bit of Everything."

In 2017 I wrote one particular blog post about taking photos and why it's important to me. For me, taking photos has become a way that helps me recenter and remember the importance of each moment.

After that blog post was published, it started a new conversation about the purpose of my blog. "A Little Bit of Everything" was too vague and didn't really communicate what I was trying to do. Instead, we transitioned to the tagline "Capturing the Moment and Making It Count." Because there's beauty and significance in every moment, I wanted to write and create resources that supported this idea.

It was around this same time that I started writing down a statement that became part of our family motto: "Do the right things at the right time with joy." This statement continued to develop this idea of capturing the little moments of life, making good decisions, and having a joyful attitude.

Then 2020 arrived. Little did we know how much we needed this perspective and attitude of focusing on the small moments and fighting for joy. Calvin was laid off from his full-time job in April and we were in a situation where we had to decide the right thing to do next: look for a job or start a business. We started Marketeering.

So many smaller brands and startups wear multiple hats. They have to focus on things that take them away from what's most important—growing a brand and making money. We created a marketing and design firm to help brands get the creative support they need to grow and thrive, and create space for owners to focus on the right things at the right time.

As our other platforms have grown and developed their own identities, they’ve remained connected through a shared mindset and mission. JacinthaPayne reaches a particular demographic, and Marketeering has its own purpose and audience. We want the ideas of capturing each moment, making moments count, and doing the right thing at the right time to reach a wider audience beyond these two distinct platforms. Which is why we’ve started Make Every Moment Count.

The things we do in life shape who we are and how we interact with the world around us. Our daily decisions and actions create the stories of our lives, and our experiences influence and guide us. Every action we take, every decision we make, and every experience we have can have a lasting impact on our lives. But we often do things without taking the time to reflect on what we do and why it matters.
Make Every Moment Count exists to help people cultivate a habit of intentional living where we're mindfully taking action on the right things at the right time with joy. Our first resource as we launch Make Every Moment Count is the Accomplishment Journal.

We know how most days the time between breakfast and dinner can disappear right before our eyes. Before we know it, days can start blending together and the day-to-day starts feeling mundane and monotonous. Our days begin with a long list of things that need to get done in order to feel like we've been productive. But before we know it, someone's sick, pipes start leaking, and deadlines get moved up. We reach the end of our day feeling like we didn't accomplish what's most important. After a while, it seems like nothing is ever going to change and that we're going to live in this mundane cycle forever.
Our free Accomplishment Journal will help you keep a record of your daily actions and connect them to the ways those actions shape who we are becoming. As you begin connecting your actions to the reasons they do count, you'll understand how they shape who you are becoming and ground you in the decisions you make day-to-day.

We invite you to download the Accomplishment Journal and join us on the journey of making every moment count.

– JP