Three Books You Must Read

If you interested in managing your affairs, personal or professional, effectively and efficiently, I recommend you the three books below. I have read them countless times and I have found them to be useful. It is among the best investments I have made.

1. Eat The Frog – Brian Tracy

Do not be fooled by the title. It has nothing to do with frogs or how to eat them. This is a book about how to make full use of the time available to get things done.

This book is easy to read. I love how the lessons are presented. In 21 chapters, Brian Tracy explains and shows how we can manage ourselves to get the most out of time.  Topics on how to plan, to create a sense of urgency within, motivating the self into action are practical and useful.

The lessons contained in this book can be applied easily. You do not need some extraordinary gadget, a Zen monk like focus or meditate at 3 in the morning to put them into use. All you need is pen, paper and a desire to improve.

This book is about 100 pages and you can finish it in a single seating but you may want re-read the summary at the end of each topic and one at the end again and again to imbibe the lessons.

2. The 80/20 Principle – Richard Koch

This is one of the most useful books you can read. Richard Koch explains what is the 80/20  principle and how to apply it. Also known as the Pareto Principle is a rule the 80/20 ratio is not magical. It need not add up to 100. It can be 10/90, 80/35 or 2/98. It is just a way of saying that only a few things really matter.

The 80/20 principle is probably the simplest of all management concepts but probably the hardest to implement. This book will give you the tools to do that

The message in this book is that you can greatly enhance the quality of your live by focusing your effort on the vital few, on the 20% that matters. You can be more effective and efficient. Corporations can be more profitable. Governments can deliver more to the people.

Originally written as business book, it is has found its way into the self development shelves as well. I wished I had read this book earlier in my life, I would have spent less time on the trivial many and concentrated my efforts on the vital few. I would have strived for simplicity. I would have saved so much time.

3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey.

The sub-title for this book is Powerful Lessons for Personal Change is an understatement. This is the best non-fiction book I have read. This book will transform your life if you allow it. I first read this book 25 years ago when I was an undergraduate and have since read it every two years. This is the book that introduced me to the term proactive, paradigm shift, win-win think, starting with the end in mind, synergy and many other life transforming terms.

The message in this book is that the way we see the world depends on our perception of it. In order to change a given situation, we must change ourselves, and in order to change ourselves, we must be able to change our perceptions.

The first three habits are habits of self-mastery, or private victories. These habits must come first, followed by the second three habits of public victories. The last habit is one that is key to the proper functioning and renewal of the first six.

The lessons in this book are timeless. If you are only going to read one self help, one business and one management book in your life, then make in this one.