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22 January 2021

Books That Have Changed My Life

by Željko Filipin

I read a lot of books. These are my stats according to Goodreads.

Year Books
2016 68
2017 178
2018 90
2019 112
2020 208

In the last few years I’ve tried to rate every book I’ve read in Goodreads. I’ve also tried to write at least one sentence about each book.

Most of the books deserve to be read only one time. Some books deserve to be read a second time in a few years. Just a few times in my life I’ve read a book and wanted to immediately read it one more time.


Each book in this post had to pass three selection phases. In the first phase, I’ve selected only books that had five star rating from me in Goodreads. In the second phase I’ve removed all books expect ones that I recommend a lot. The final selection was if I have already re-read the book or planned to re-read it again.

I plan to write a post about each of these books this year. For now, I’ll write a short summary.

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

Getting Things Done

I’ve read it all the way back in 2008. It will teach you how to get everything you want and need to do out of your head and into a trusted system, paper- or computer-based. Then it will teach you how to organize all of it in projects and contexts. It will teach you how to get things done.

I was sold on one of the first sentences in the book.

Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.®

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

Deep Work

I have first read it in November 2020 as an audio book. I’ve re-read it on Kindle in January 2021. I don’t think I’ve ever re-read a book that soon.

It will open your eyes on how distracted we have become. Everything is trying to distract you. Especially your phone and your computer. It will teach you on how to drastically reduce the distractions. It will teach you the distinction between shallow and deep work. It will teach you how to maximize deep work.

I’ve found this book to be the perfect companion to Getting Things Done. One book without the other only gets you part of the way to productivity.

The Healthy Programmer: Get Fit, Feel Better, and Keep Coding by Joe Kutner

The Healthy Programmer

I’ve read it in 2019. It’s marketed towards programmers, but I think everybody that sits for hours every day should read it. From kids in schools to office workers. As knowledge workers, we sit for many hours, for many years, if not decades. You will surely not be surprised to hear that our bodies do not function well that way. It will teach you how to minimize the harm your job is doing to your body. You will need that body for many years. Even after you’ve retired.

tags: book - featured - photo - productivity