3 Books that everyone who wants to improve should read

DISCLAIMER: I have come to a realization after reading many books on self-improvement. I’m a self-improvement junkie and I sometimes consume information with the belief that consuming it will magically improve myself.

The truth is that if you really want to become a better version of yourself you should sacrifice and work for it every single second of the day. Write down your goals, be clear and work diligently to get better results in your life.

I hope that with this extremely filtered self-improvement book list you’ll get actionable advice that will help you faster than seeking the right books to read by yourself and wasting time reading

The passive mode of consuming and buying media will not help you I hope that you’ll get the drive you need by reading these books:

The slight edge by Jeff Olson

the slight edge cover

If you only read one book from this list make it this one. While the book might feel slow and repetitive for the first half it packs tons of fundamental advice to change your view on habits and start looking at your self improvement journey as an everyday goal that must be worked slowly and constantly to see results. 

With all of the actionable tips you’ll get from this book you’ll be able to read or take any book or course on any topic and accomplish your goals easily since your mentality will be upgraded. 

Models by Mark Manson

This is a self improvement book disguised as a dating advice book by the same guy who wrote [link to The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck] .

While the main theme overall is “how to get more girls to like you” the fundamental advice from Mark is to stop searching for validation outside and instead focus on yourself. 

He gives you actionable advice to get a better social life, fitness routine and mentality to start winning more in all the important areas of self fulfillment. 

12 rules for life by Jordan B. Peterson

Much has been said about Jordan Peterson recently but one thing is for certain:

If you listen closely and pay attention to his general message about life meaning you’ll be able to turn your life around whatever the actual condition of it is right now. 

He walks you trough 12 different life rules that will help you improve as a human being and start looking at the world from a “What can I do to make things better no matter how small the change can be?” kind of way. 

I think that these 3 books have helped me more than the others and I’m sharing them with you because I really think that if you read them you’ll be able to learn something new and improve your life at least a little bit.

What do you think about them? 

Interview with Christian Guzman from Alphalete

My Favorite Leaders create leaders episode

This is definitely my favorite leaders create leaders episode where Gerard Adams interviews Christian Guzman the founder of Alphalete. 

His story is really amazing. He started from the bottom and built his brand via YouTube > opened a Gym > kept building his brand > opened a new Gym and then created the most popular gym clothing brand in the market right now. 

A really good example of hard work and focus. 

6 Tools to boost productivity on your Mac 🔥

When you work with computers everyday it becomes really important to know the tools to boost your productivity on your Mac. I think it was Tim Ferris who said something like: “You got to pay attention to the tools you use everyday because your productivity depends on them”

This is really important and true because everyday I’m using software that helps me achieve my goals at work and personal projects on my Mac and if I’m not careful, a tool could cause bottlenecks that would cause my daily performance to go down.

Thanks to the next productivity tools and adjustments for Mac I managed to improve my speed and productivity at least by a factor of one:

1. Speed up your trackpad tracking speed

gif showing the trackpad configuration

The most obvious modification to boost your productivity on Mac that many people ignore. The faster your Mac pointer is, the faster you can do stuff. To change your configuration:

  1. Click on the Apple logo at the top left corner
  2. Go to system preferences
  3. Choose Trackpad
  4. Go to the “point and click” tab
  5. Speed up your tracking speed to the max

It might be hard for you for 5 days or so but you should get used to it eventually and if you are patient enough you will be rewarded with a lot more productivity for your daily activities.

2. Install SPECTACLE on your Mac

gif showing manipulation with spectacle

Since I installed SPECTACLE on my mac, it is now impossible to work without it. It changed the way I work entirely between windows thanks to its really useful commands. I can position every window just the way I want it to be even on the screen that I want.

I really think that if you only had one choice out of the 6 that I’m giving you to boost your productivity on your Mac, this is the best one:

INSTALL SPECTACLE, AND LEARN ITS COMMANDS

3. Install and use caffeine on your Mac

Caffeine App logoThis tool lives on your Mac Toolbar, with this installed you can prevent your screen from going to sleep every time and with a single click you can enable it permanently.

This is perfect when you will not be working directly on your Mac but you want to check the screen for a pending download or you are reading a blogpost, book or just waiting for something to happen.

INSTALL CAFFEINE ON YOUR MAC

4. Measure your productivity with RescueTime

Image 2017-11-21 at 5.03.26 PM.png

RescueTime is an App which will live on your Toolbar and it will help you log your times and activities between all your applications every day. It will also show you a list of all the websites you visit and categorize it so you know if you’ve been unproductive for the day.

DOWNLOAD RescueTime

5. Download and Actually LEARN to use ALFRED

Alfred has been an application that was really hard to understand. Every time that I tried I came up with the same question: Why would I download an App Launcher when macOS has one installed and it’s perfectly fine?

That was the question and I finally could answer it. Alfred is not just another simple App Launcher, if you actually pay for it the app becomes a really helpful swiss army that will help you create MACROS, use it as a text expander and do many different activities that took a long time.

Use case 1: Start Apps for daily work activities

Gif showing how to use Alfred

With a Simple CMD + space and then writing “start work” I can start all my work applications: Slack, Chrome + 2 specific windows, iTerm and CloudApp.

Use case 2: Use shortcuts to create text snippets

Screen Recording 2017-11-21 at 05.14 PM.gif

You can create text “expansions” so that you don’t need to write repetitive texts every time. For example I have an expansion which replicates all emojis so that I can use them anywhere.

You can use it to sign emails, quick responses, FAQ’s, etc. It really depends on your imagination.

I hope that it now becomes clear how does Alfred helps if you really know how to use it. It is also important that you think about your daily activities and analyze if its really useful for your specific cases.

The most important thing about all of this is that you don’t install anything that will not really help you be more productive on your Mac and daily work.

DOWNLOAD ALFRED

6. Hide your Dock and deactivte its pop up animation

gif showing the speed of the Dock when animation is turned off

It might sound aggresive but you are doing something wrong if you are leaving your dock in the middle bottom default part of your Desktop, all that screen real state is being wasted when browsing windows.

It will definitely be better if you changed its location and also make it faster by turning off it’s slow pop up animation:

  1. Click on the Apple logo
  2. Go to system preferences
  3. Click on the Dock option
  4. Activate Dock hidding (or right click the Dock and turn the option ON from there)
  5. When you have your Dock hiding ON press CMD + Space and search for “Terminal”
  6. Paste the following code which will turn off your Dock pop up animation and make it faster:
    1. defaults write com.apple.dock autohide-time-modifier -float 0.25;killall Dock

       

I’ll be updating this post with new apps that I find useful, please leave a comment below or tweet @ignacioaal and let me know what you think about these tips. Where they helpful for you?