Like many ‘knowledge workers,’ I’m continually on the lookout for any resources that will help me work more productively and enjoyably. I’m therefore beginning a now-and-again blog series that will highlight books, podcasts, articles, gadgets, and technology to help fellow desk-dwellers enjoy more productive days.


In How Leaders Accomplish More by Doing Less by Matt Perman shares ways that you can accomplish more for your organization by doing less. The Kindle version of his book, What’s Best Next is also available today.

Keys to a Fruitful not Busy New Year is along similar lines.

As we head into 2018, could it be that doing less is actually doing more? Instead of trying to prove that you are not lazy, abide in the Lord, work from a place of rest and trust. We have nothing to prove, orly a God to serve, who loves us as His children and desires to see us live fruitful not busy lives.

Here are 5 Reasons Why I Read So Many Books.

“Many people ask me, “Why read so many books?” My answer: It’s a key part of my leadership strategy. As Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today, except for the people you meet and the books you read.”"

And here’s the how. In 10 Rules to Read More Books This Year Joel Miller gives ten rules to help you finish more books this year than last.


The gadget that’s made the most difference to my inner peace and outward productivity over the past few years is my Bose noise cancelling headphones. The latest wireless versions are highly recommended by the tech sites I visit, but they are pricey. However, I’ll be upgrading soon as my ear muffs are getting a bit worn and sound is beginning to sneak in. I usually have these on for 5-6 hours a day, during my Deep Work sessions.


Believe it or not, sometimes even the best noise-cancelling headphones aren’t enough for me (Shona says I can hear the grass growing). If my surroundings are especially noisy, I’ll therefore turn on my Sleep Pillow App which, far from sending me to sleep, supplies me with a number of white noise sounds to kill distractions.


And here are some books to unwind with after work. As I’m usually in and around theological books all day, I’m usually looking for some different lighter reading, ideally a Kindle deal costing a few dollars. That’s not just because I’m Scottish by birth, but because some of them are a bit hit-or-miss and I often just read the parts of these books that interest me. I usually gravitate towards political, military, and business biographies, with a bit of history, leadership, health, and education thrown in along the way.

The Girl from Aleppo: Nujeen’s Escape from War to Freedom by Nujeen Mustafa and‎ Christina Lamb $1.99.

How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens by Benedict Carey $1.99.

1946-52: Years of Trial and Hope by Harry S. Truman $1.99.

The Last Republicans: Inside the Extraordinary Relationship Between George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush by Mark K. Updegrove $14.99. This is a relatively new book and therefore more expensive.