Do you love to read but not sure where to start? Are you a driven mama who knows the world has so much to teach you but you’re overwhelmed by all of the options? I’ve got you covered.
Today on the blog, I’m sharing my top 10 list of must-read (or listen) books for the driven mama. This list includes a little bit of everything. Struggling with burnout? Check. Looking to change your mindset? Check. Need to better understand how you get work done and how you work with others? Check. Trying to improve your negotiation skills… even if the only person you negotiate with is a toddler? Check.
In no particular order, this is the list for you. And given what is happening in the world today, focusing on what you can control and looking to the future is key to maintaining a positive mindset and believing that things will get better. Books are a great resource as you look to manage uncertainty, seek opportunity and grow in a world of unknowns and lead your family at a time in life when disruption is the word of the day.
1. Free to Focus: A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less by Michael Hyatt
The name of this book says it all. How to focus in a world and time of constant distraction? Because your ability to be productive, to complete the work that matters to you, depends on it. This book is your guide to focus. (Did I mention that focus is my word for 2020? No wonder this book made the list.)
You’ll learn how to set boundaries (because every driven mama needs boundaries for the sake of self-love), prioritize, maximize your time and build momentum for your work and goals.
2. Everything Is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
This book is all about a mantra that every mama needs in her life… the ability to figure something out, no matter how hard or outside her comfort zone. This mantra makes anything possible and will serve you well in life. Employers love people who are comfortable getting uncomfortable.
Without giving too much away, this is a must-read for mamas who want to instill a similar quality and commitment to trying in their children. Because we all know that kids often emulate what they see and I want my girls to see me figuring it out, even when it is hard and I don’t have all of the answers.
3. Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Dr. Kristin Neff
For those seeking to prioritize self-love, especially as a working mom, this is the book for you. Leading psychologist, Kristin Neff, outlines a guide for being more self-compassionate. You’ll learn how to let go of self-criticism and truly be kind to yourself.
4. The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin
This book has truly transformed how I think and approach work. It taught me about myself in such a straightforward way. When a friend told me about the four tendencies, I immediately knew I was a questioner. It is in my nature.
Learning about the other tendencies – upholder, obliger, and rebel – have helped me better understand those in my life that I live and work with. This is an incredibly informative and insightful read.
5. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown
Brené Brown is known for her research and insight on vulnerability. With a focus on the impact of vulnerability on fear and grief, as well as joy and innovation.
As a driven mama, vulnerability is at the core of what we do – from managing to mothering and now… homeschooling. The importance of vulnerability is never more relevant than in the uncertain world we find ourselves in today. This is both a timely and soul-soothing read.
6. Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
One of the hardest things about motherhood and life as a working mom is setting boundaries. From a constant demand for your time and attention to a need to do it all and do it all well, boundaries are key to success as a working mom.
This book is your guide to setting boundaries in every area of your life. How do you know when to say yes and how to say no? These questions will ensure you can truly take control of your life, with boundaries that focus on what matters most to you.
7. Essentialism by Martin G. Hell
Do you spend your day in search of things to do? At the end of the day, do you lack the sense of accomplishment that allows one to feel productive and like they are truly contributing? Do you often find yourself more stressed at the end of the day?
This book is about balance. That means balancing who you are and want to be with the people you interact with daily. Essentialism is ultimately about peace of mind and how you determine what is truly essential for you.
8. RESET Your Mindset: Silence Your Inner Mean Girl by Natalie Eckdahl
It is no secret that mindset is key to success today. But mindset is hard to master for many because we often feel that we are in it alone. Whether battling imposter syndrome or fear of failure (or success), there are many limiting beliefs that require intentional effort to move beyond.
R.E.S.E.T. Your Mindset is a proven framework that will set you up for success moving forward. And often the first step is knowing where to start.
Negotiation is a core life skill and something that is outside the comfort zone for many. Written by a former international hostage negotiator for the FBI, this book offers practical tips and guidance shared in the context of high-stakes, life or death negotiations. And let’s be honest, negotiating with a toddler or preschooler can feel that complex.
This field-tested approach is applied to situations we encounter every day, whether negotiating a salary increase or buying a car. This practical guide pairs emotional intelligence with strategies and tactics to successfully persuade in your professional and personal life.
10. Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski, Ph.D., and Amelia Nagoski, DMA
This is a must-read for every woman, especially those balancing multiple roles. Burnout is real and women experience it differently than men. This book provides a simple plan to help women minimize stress, manage emotions and live more joyfully.
This is a list of books to help you think differently, grow and improve. It’s a new year, a new decade and a whole new world for us all… for better or worse. Now is the time to take control and start.