Summer is quickly coming to an end. It’s hard to believe it’s almost August already. You may be wondering how you’ll ever finish the reading list you made back in April or May. Still, these books are worth your time (when you have the time).
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity by David Allen
I read this book in the summer of 2017 and it’s changed my life. Like most pastors, I can have a thousand different things going on at the same time. All of these things can be hard to remember – pastoral visits, sermon prep, administrative tasks, phone calls, letters, etc. David Allen’s method is all about getting things out of your head and in one place so that you are able to fully utilize your brain for focused work and creativity. This is a must-read for anyone living in our time of stress-FUL busyness.
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport
This book was on my 2018 summer reading list and I must say, it’s a great read. Cal Newport shows how technology has both helped and harmed us in our pursuit of productivity. Things like computers, cellphones, etc… should be making us MORE productive. Instead, they have become distractions. The constant interruption of notifications, emails, text messages, etc… make it impossible for us to focus our energies on one concentrated task. In the final half of this book, Newport gives some actionable advice for achieving what he calls “Deep Work” – the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert by John M. Gottman, Ph.D., and Nan Silver
I know what you’re thinking. How is this book at all related to the previous two? It’s not. Still, it’s a must read for pastors, couples, or anyone who works with couples. This book was recommended to me by a friend and psychologist last year. I finally got around to reading it this summer (2018) and actually used it in premarital counseling with my sister and her fiancé this summer. John Gottman has devoted a lifetime to studying marriage and what makes marriage work. This book is the product of his research and lays out seven principles that make for healthy marriages. I plan to utilize this book (and all of Gottman’s work) in any future counseling I do with couples.
Let me know if you have read or plan to read any of these books. I’m always receptive to suggested reads also.