I have read or listened to 20 books so far this year. Some have been great and had a profound lasting impact on my life such as "How to be a productivity ninja". Others have neither interested nor informed me and less than a month later I would struggle to tell you much about them. The latest book I have been listening to called "How to have a good day" by Caroline Webb is very much in the first category. Infact it may be one of the most impactful of the books I have read this year.
In HTHAGD, the author presents and explains her findings over many years of reading and applying scientific research with the sole aim of experiencing a more pleasant and productive day. It provides a fantastic summary of these scientific findings and many concepts I have come across in other books this year now have even more meaning having consumed HTHAGD.
it is quite a substantial book (over 13 hours in audiobook format), so it would not be possible to explain everything I have learned in this review but here are a few of the concepts I have already or plan to incorporate into my life:
1) Setting intentions, whether that is for the day as a whole, for a certain task, or for certain conversations. If you know what your intentions were it is easy to bring yourself back on track should distractions pop up.
2) Be more mindful of how I plan my day. You have probably heard me rave about "How to be a productivity ninja" (click here to read more: http://www.drchrisharper.co.uk/blog/book-review-how-to-be-a-productivity-ninja). HTHAGD has really helped me build on the positive impact of the first book. Since reading productivity ninja I have been taking 5 minutes every morning to plan my day and using the Google Keep app to then only show "Today's tasks". However I have not been doing this as well as I could, mainly because of how I was wording those tasks. By being more deliberate with the wording of a task it makes it quicker and less mentally taxing to actually get the ball rolling on it and far simpler to tick off part of a multi step project. I have also found that by using the archive function in Google Keep it makes it easier to give myself the all important mental reward when crossing these items off and also allowing me to get the continual reward of being able to see how much I have already achieved that day.
3) Learn to give a "positive no". This is when you politely decline an invitation or request but do so in a deliberate scientifically driven way that makes all parties feel OK with it.
4) Learn the art of extreme listening. This can be used to help a colleague to get to the bottom of a problem by themselves rather than just provide a solution for them (and often feel undermined in the process). It can also be used with discussions with patients to really ensure we are meeting their desires from any treatment.
These are just a few examples of the things I have taken away from this book. I would strongly recommend anyone and everyone take a look at it. I will definitely be referring back to it multiple times to recap the amazing advice in it. If you like reading physical books click here: https://amzn.to/2vEWh4b
Dr Chris Harper