Personal time/task management- The classic, Getting Things Done(https://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Stress-Free-Produ...). The power this has on people cannot be understated. Turns out that most of how life is conducted is rife with forgetfulness, decision paralysis, prioritization mistakes, and massive motivation issues. This book gives you specific workflows to cut through these in a magical way.
Personal Knowledge Management- The equally classic, How to Take Smart Notes(https://www.amazon.com/How-Take-Smart-Notes-Technique/dp/398...). Where GTD(above) does this for well-defined tasks/work, this book does it for open-ended work, giving you an amazing workflow for introducing "Thinking by Writing", which is frankly a superpower. This lets you see things your friends/colleagues simply won't, lets you deconstruct your feelings better, learn new/deeper subjects faster, and connect thoughts in a way to produce real insight.
For Product/Business Management, Gojko Adzic's "Impact Mapping"(https://www.amazon.com/Impact-Mapping-software-products-proj...) feels like it could make nearly every software team/business 10x better by just reading this book. I've personally watched as enormous portions of my life were spent on things that barely moved the needle for companies, or merely didn't keep the metric from rising. So many projects taken on faith that if you work on X, X will improve, without ever measuring, or asking if you could have accomplished that with less. The world looks insane afterward.
The newest edition of Getting Things Done is from 2015. There was a “Getting Things Done For Teens” that came out in 2018. There’s also a “Getting Things Done Workbook” with a release date later in 2019.
If you’re looking for the main book, the 2015 edition is the one to get.
I will recommend a couple general business books that helped me
As a an intro to setting up and administering an office I would suggest
Get Things Done by David Allenhttps://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Stress-Free-Productivity/dp/0143126563/
For the business of business I would suggest an old one
The Entrepreneurs Manuel... I have the 1977 edition and it is pretty brutally honest with some concepts that don't get talked about because they are ethically shady... or can generate so many ideas that a company can get overloaded. This is actually originally a Chilton Manual... and is now reprinted by a different company... and is apparently a poor reprint quality so try to get a copy off ebay
there's many others as I pick things up at thrift stores and random books will have a good idea or two...such as
I rate my clients
'A' : make referrals
'B' : pay on time and are normal clients
'C' : Have 'warning signs' but are otherwise 'B' clients. ie. Asks for discounts. Slow payer. etc
'D' : Drop. Demands discounts or asks for ethically shady work.
That's pretty much the whole premise of the GTD book:
Because otherwise, you have to mentally juggle an endless assortment of undefined tasks, which results in stress, anxiety, and procrastination. It's also hard to manage things you can't see...when they're in your head, they're invisible, but when you stick next-action items on lists & calendars, you can easily prioritize them by context, time required, energy required, and importance because they're "real", because they're written down & in front of your eyes.
Living & working off a list of next-actions is a huge gamechanger, because you don't have to sit there & figure out what to do next...you are constantly working off a list of actionable tasks, which reflects how we operate as humans, which is: we can only do specific things. As the author of GTD puts it, you can't actually do a project, you can only do actions related to a project, and when enough of those actions are completed, then you call the project "done", which is a pretty weird way to look at managing & completing projects, but is actually the most effective way to tackle them, because then you're constantly plowing away on next-action items & are actually making progress towards the completion of the project.
Anyway, the concept of "next-action items" is fairly obviously once you understand them, but are not really intuitive until you realize what you're missing & adopt them into your workflow. That, combined with capturing 100% of your commitments into an external system means that (1) you never forget ANYTHING, and (2) that you ALWAYS know EXACTLY what to do next. GTD has really cracked that foundational-level code for getting & staying 100% on top of everything in your life!
>how to maintain focus
Adopt GTD. Read this:
Kind of hard to focus if you don't have something to focus on. In order to focus, you need to single-task, not multi-task, because then you're not doing a good job & giving that task your full attention. In order to do that, you have to pick something to work on, while ignoring everything else, because otherwise you will get distracted. There's a whole chain of stuff that has to be done in order to be able to truly focus properly; fortunately, someone has already figured that out & published it in a book:
>better absorb and retain information
Your problem is being unorganized. First you need to educate yourself, read the following book (text, audio avail.). David Allen has been writing it for decades and he is definitely the expert on the subject. Made my life easier for sure.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0143126563/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_HRRBCbYP23V5R
There are two things you cannot manage:
What you can manage, however is:
This is an important distinction. You can marshal your internal resources (thinking, speaking, and using your body) to create change in the world, i.e. you can manage your actions. Responsibility-wise & time-wise, you have to go to school & each hour ticks by regardless of anything else, but the way you use your internal resources to take action on your commitments over time is the name of the game.
So what you really need is an effective action-management system. Check out GTD:
GTD is a bulletproof way to manage internal commitments, i.e. the stuff you're on the hook for. It does this in two ways:
A lot of procrastination comes from simply not knowing what to do next in any given situation. GTD resolves that by:
Effective time management really just means doing your work first and playing later, and to do your work using an effective action-management system. GTD is the most effective action-management system I'm aware of; it has a bulletproof, complete, A to Z system available for you to use. It's not easy to learn, but if you bother to put in the time & really adopt it as a lifestyle, then you'll have an extremely strong productivity foundation in place for the rest of your life, not just high school!
 = https://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Stress-Free-Produ...
I've been chasing this dragon for a couple of decades now. My results have gotten better over time, but never perfect. My conscientiousness rating is low, but grown a lot of the years, which is normal for human development.
A lot of people are suggesting various techniques like Pomodoro, KonMari, 7Habits, etc. They're all good, but they tend to appeal differently to various people. Personally, I think of organization like weight loss - there are a lot of various methods that can get you to end goal, but some work better for others, even though they all operate on the principle of operating under a caloric deficit.
Before cracking open any recommended books/blogs, I think you should be able to answer these questions about yourself:
1. Do I prefer to keep track of things using analog systems (pen and paper, notebooks, wall calendars), digital apps, or a combination of both?
2. Do I need to also work on organizing with my SO/children/roommate/etc? If so, I should know what system works best for them.
3. Am I the type of person who needs to start with one small improvement at a time and continue to add in new habits, or do I need to jump off the dock and learn to sink or swim by going all-in with a new organizational philosophy?
4. Am I happy with how I spend my days, the times I get up/go to bed, my ratio of work to desired activity to mindless internet/video. Is this something I need to think about changing?
5. What are the three biggest areas of focus that I need to work on first? Dayjob/side-hustle/writing/fitness/spirituality/etc
I think you should answer those five questions and then go visit a library or bookstore and browse through the books that have already been recommended and see what clicks with you. I would add these to the list:
* Getting Things Done - this is a classic book on the subject. It can be a little dated, as it was written for business executives in the late 90s when people had to push around more paper than they do now, but the philosophy behind the examples is still extremely relevant. So much of the later works in the genre are derivative of this one that it's worth time to at least scan this one.
* Tools for Titans this is am omnibus of all the tips/tricks that dozens of guests on Tim's podcast have given over the years, including Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Jamie Foxx, Alexis Ohanian, and tons of others. Great to flip through.
Good luck. You'll probably have a big burst of output as you buy a book, read it, and establish a system, but soon the newness will wear from the idea and you might abandon it or try to go back to the well and pick another and start all over. Give yourself permission to fail because every time you improve and then fail, you're failing back to a better place than where you were before. Just keep plugging along, and you'll get more organized, but perhaps never as much as those who have personality types more focused on conscientiousness.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Strees Free Productivity changed my life.
Didn’t Grey adapt a fair of methods outlined in Getting Things Done ? Someday I’ll finish reading it...