Science says New Year’s actually isn’t the best time of year to set big new goals. When is? Thanks to something called ‘the fresh start effect,’ it’s actually September. Psychology shows it’s easier to shake up your life when you’re in a natural transition point, and after 12 years of new school years starting in September most of us naturally associate this time of year with a clean slate and new possibilities.
So take advantage of Fall’s status as a natural turning point to reset your thinking and your energy levels after what has been a very strange summer for many of us (and that’s not even talking about the incredibly trying year and a half that came before). How? Best-selling author Adam Grant has a few ideas.
As is his habit, the star Wharton professor recently took to LinkedIn to recommend some of the season’s best new books. Hopefully one of them will be just what your brain needs to make this September a true fresh start.
1. Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman
“IMHO, this is the most important book ever written about time management,” raves Grant, describing the book as “a searing indictment of productivity hacking and profound insights on how to make the best use of our scarcest, most precious resource.” I’ve written about how much I admire Burkeman previously here on Inc.com as well.
2. Everyday Vitality by Samantha Boardman
“A psychiatrist broadens her attention from alleviating mental illness to promoting mental health, combining an impressive command of science with deep empathy for patients,” explains Grant of this book.
3. No Cure for Being Human by Kate Bowler
Another book for those who are burnt out on the usual self-help and productivity advice. “With grace, wisdom, and humor, a historian and divinity expert encourages us to cut back on self-help Kool-Aid and teaches us how to make more of our lives,” says Grant.
4. Unbound by Tarana Burke
Grant highlights several books focusing on diversity and inclusion in this list, including this memoir from the founder of the #MeToo movement. Celebrity therapist Brené Brown is also a fan, saying “sometimes a single story can change the world. Unbound is one of those stories.”
5. The End of Bias by Jessica Nordell
Less of a personal memoir and more of a step-by-step guide for those looking to fight injustice, this book “offers a gripping narrative of the science of how individuals, groups, and institutions can move toward prevention and cure,” explains Grant.
6. Power for All by Julie Battilana and Tiziana Casciaro
“Get ready to rethink your understanding of authority and influence as two leading researchers unpack what power is, how it’s gained and lost, and how it can be used for good,” Grant writes of this pick.
7. My Life in Full by Indra Nooyi
Another memoir, this one from the long-serving former Pepsi CEO shares lessons Nooyi learned from her time as one of the first immigrants and women of color to lead a Fortune 50 company.
8. Bringing Up the Boss by Rachel Pacheco
Not actually a parenting book but instead, “a surprisingly useful, surprisingly funny guide to being a first-time manager–by a manager turned management professor,” Grant says of this book.
9. The Raging 2020s by Alec Ross
Trying to get to grips with our rapidly changing world and the ever-shifting business environment? Then this book from a State Department innovation advisor might be up your alley. It “fearlessly confronts one of the fundamental challenges of our time: fixing the broken social contract between people, business, and government,” says Grant.
10. Masters of Scale by Reid Hoffman, June Cohen, and Deron Triff
The Amazon page for this book based on a series of conversations between LinkedIn founder and a series of Silicon Valley icons is chock full of rave reviews from everyone from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to Disney’s Bob Iger. Grant says it “might just help you turn your biggest, boldest ideas into reality.”