Mind-wandering has proved to be one of the biggest roadblocks to achieving success in the 21st century. The tremendous rise of the internet after the 2000s has drastically changed the way we communicate and process information.
The internet has turned the world into a global village. Faster means of communication and information has changed the way we live life in many ways. This incredible power to connect, learn and enjoy things with just a few clicks on your screen also comes with its list of setbacks.
Modern-day distractions require modern-day solutions. So to silence your mind and increase your productivity these are some the must-read books to curb mind wandering and improve concentration.
Here’s a list of 10 Must-Read Books to curb mind wandering and improve concentration level
Deep Work, by Cal Newport
Cal Newport, an assistant professor of computer science at Georgetown University, has shed light on how to overcome the blockade of constant distractions. According to his research, there are two types of work, Deep and Shallow. With the advent of technological progress, Deep work is becoming increasingly rare.
When you check that email notification or respond to your friend on Facebook you have disrupted your flow of concentration which you painstakingly developed by deeply dissolving yourself at the task at hand. Even if you return to the task you were doing before, you won’t be able to replicate the same level of deep focus which you had before you checked your phone.
In this book, the author doesn’t only show you step by step how to overcome these distractions but also helps you to tackle the hurdles you might face while following these steps. He also goes through his own experience of how he overcame this blockade of constant distraction.
The book highlights some of our bad habits and the most practical method that gives actionable steps on how to overcome the modern distractions that are nagging us.
A Mind For Numbers, by Barbara Oakley
We all have gone through days in our school or college where you felt like everything is falling apart and you just can’t get over with that one semester or subject that gave you nightmares all the time you were going through it.
A Mind For Numbers is a book that helps you in learning how to learn. You might misinterpret by the title of the book that it might be just for students studying maths and science.
The author Barbara Oakley, professor of engineering at Oakland University, Michigan, has been researching techniques to learn effectively for years and the book is a culmination of her years of hard work.
The book sheds light on two modes of learning that is the focused mode and diffused mode of learning and how they both work differently. As per professor Oakley’s research, you don’t need to be naturally good at something to be able to excel at it. Following proper learning techniques and habits, you can excel in any subject you want to.
Barbara Oakley also teaches the popular course ‘Learning how to learn’ for free online on Coursera. Click here.
The Power Of Now, by Eckhart Tolle
One of the bestselling books on spirituality, The Power of Now takes you on a spiritual journey to find your true and deepest self and reach your ultimate goal and spirituality.
I remember that I read this book when I was at the lowest point of my student life, depressed and frustrated with the world. Reading this book made me realize that we are running like crazy behind things that add no value to your life except for momentary pleasure. Most of us are only playing the game of catching up with others due to FOMO (Fear of missing out).
The Power of Now is definitely among the most practical books on spirituality that gives you insights on how to be at peace in the present moment and rid yourself of the noises in your head.
Hyperfocus, by Chris Bailey
Hyperfocus by Chris Bailey is one of the books that you didn’t know you needed. Chris Bailey is a productivity consultant and has trained many corporates on how to increase their productivity at work. He is also the author of the bestselling book ‘The Productivity Project’.
Chris also runs his website ‘A Life of Productivity‘ where he blogs about productivity tips and strategies.
Through this book, Chris has put forward his years of research on productivity and answered some questions like, how to focus deeply on one task at a time? Why multitasking is a myth? Why sometimes you need to unfocus your mind on tasks before you focus it on something that matters?
The Power Of Habit, by Charles Duhigg
Are you stuck with a bad habit that is ruining your life or becoming your biggest hurdle to achieve success? Charles Duhigg reveals how do habits shape our lives and how they can make or break us?
The book is not a self-help book that gives made up techniques but a well-researched case study on the science of habits. Duhigg presents real-life examples of how to overcome your bad habits and develop a good one.
Written in an engaging style, the book hikes the interest of the readers with every new chapter. This is a must-read book if you want to know the answers to breaking bad habits and developing good ones that will change your lives.
Learning to silence the mind: Wellness Through Meditation, by Osho
Written by Osho, one of the most provocative and influential spiritual leaders of the 21st century, the book demystifies the common perception of meditation that is prevalent everywhere. Osho challenges readers to break free of the stereotypical dogma related to belief systems and prejudices that limit them to enjoy the beauty of life in all its richness.
Osho says that the mind is a very powerful tool and enormously creative to deal with the challenges of everyday life. The problem, however, is that instead of using the immense power of our mind, we have filled our mind with irrelevant information that turns into noise and disturbs our peace of mind.
The book will clarify all your doubts related to meditation and teach you step by step how to meditate effectively to silence your mind.
Mastery, by Robert Greene
Do you want to achieve a level of ‘Mastery’ in whatever field you are working? If yes, then you must read this book to gain insights on how to reach the highest level of achievement in your work that is to be a master in your field.
Robert Greene’s signature style of blending historical anecdotes and psychological insights make Mastery an engaging and an eye-opening journey towards being a master at your work.
The book analyzes the life of great historical personalities like Darwin, Vinci, Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein. Throughout the book, Greene talks about the power of concentration and its importance in the process of achieving ‘Mastery’. To sum up the review, this book is one of the best investment that you can make in your life.
Flow: The Psychology Of Happiness, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Flow analyzes the age-old question of what makes us happy? What does happiness means to us? Does the pursuit of happiness makes us happy?
The book summarizes authors decades of research on the positive aspects of human experience- joy, creativity, the process of total involvement with life which the author calls as ‘flow’.
The author does not pretend to tell you how to be happy, rather he presents a well-researched study on the activities, things and goals that will bring happiness in the long-term.
Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life, by Nir Eyal
Nir Eyal’s Indistractable shows us how modern-day distractions have got a stronghold on our ability to focus on even the simplest of tasks. Our plans get sidetracked, relationships are ignored and our work never seems to get done on time.
The world has changed at a rapid pace and keeping up with this pace has become quite overwhelming. Through Indistractable, the author paints distractions in a completely new perspective, instead of suggesting to take a digital detox, he taps into how digital distractions work? What makes them so addictive that we are so hooked to them?
An empowering and optimistic read, this book will help you to overcome your distractions and stick to your goals.
Einstein: His Life and Universe, by Walter Isaacson
This list wouldn’t have been complete without mentioning the biography of one of the greatest modern-day genius Albert Einstein. The impact and contribution of Einstein’s scientific discoveries like ‘The Theory of Relativity’ is immensely popular worldwide.
Through this book, Walter Isaacson takes us through the life and struggles of this genius who laid the foundation of modern physics in the 21st century. The book is an account of his life as a scientist, a husband, a father and as a teacher.
Einstein life teaches us the importance of being patient and consistent with whatever you are doing. Hard work beats talent when talent isn’t working hard enough.