Bookshelf Monthly #17: Are You A Morning Person In Disguise?

Today on our book menu: healthy sleep revolution, boosted creativity and productivity – three most illuminating and possibly life-saving books for your nightstand in 2017.

the “monthly” bit is not true these days anymore because I don’t seem to find new books I am super passionate about to talk about each month.

would you like me to talk about older favourites as well?

The Eureka Factor, 2015
(German: Das Aha-Erlebnis)
John Kounios, Mark Beeman

We love evidence-based insights here in the BEAUTYCALYPSE HQ, and cognition science if one of my favourite fields within the rich and endless realm of communications and linguistics brushing on psychology. Very juicy!

The Eureka Factor is:
– a scientific look at the creative process, a sound look at how people develop amazing insights.

The Eureka Factor is not:
– a wishy-washy set of “Geronimo!”-exercises for your meetings.

– a super easy beach-time read.

Favourite insights:
– If you thought you’re an “owl” if you’re the most creative at night, you’re in fact a “lark”. When our metabolism is low, our analytical thinking is in the off-mode. And it’s this lack of focus that allows for fresh ideas to evolve. So if you’re super-creative at night, good news – you’re a morning person!

– Ideas that appear “sudden” are in fact ideas that have been processed in our subconscious, and surface only once that process is finished. So while it may appear sudden to our conscious, it isn’t.

– “Sudden” ideas are often more exact than those elaborated by analytical thinking.


How To be A Productivity Ninja, 2012
Graham Allcott

While I feel that calling people ninjas is sending us back to the Y2K when all coders were ninjas, it’s Allcott’s statement “Time management’s dead” that was a catch for me. The author is perfectly right about attention management that matters now the most.

In the Productivity Ninja book, David Allen’s GTD philosophy is merged with some Ferris, Godin, Covey, Pressfield and then some to create attention management guidelines for the bouncy, creative (briefly: the disorganised) type.

How To be A Productivity Ninja is:
– a very easy read with a super cute workbook layout and checklists

How To be A Productivity Ninja is not:
– perfectly original

– designed for people who already have found “their” time and task management type and strategy

Favourite insights:
– Being constantly available is the worst thing you can do, as it will distract you and interrupt your work

– We’re not stressed out by the amount of work, but we can burn out if we’re not clear about why it has to be done: viva clarity!

Additional info:
Check out Graham’s work at Think Productive and say hi to him on Twitter.


The 8-Hour Sleep Paradox:
How We Are Sleeping Our Way to Fatigue,
Disease and Unhappiness, 2016
Dr. Mark Burhenne

We do follow scientific studies religiously here in the casa BEAUTYCALYPSE, and the topic of sleep is one of our favourites. The 8-Hour Sleep Paradox has a very bold promise: you’re supposed to age slower, to be more efficient, to achieve your perfect weight and to wake up every morning refreshed and happy.

The 8-Hour Sleep Paradox is:
– revolutionary
– a “wake-up call” to reconsider what we see as “normal” and “healthy” sleep and an understandable guide to determining your grade of long-run dangerous sleep apnoe
– a comprehensive explanation of the benefits of a truly healthy sleep and of treatments from which to choose
– a plan to cure sleep breathing disorders that includes medical check ups, follow ups and lots of tips of how to work with the doctors and what to look for during your sleep study and treatment
– provides insurance tips (US) on how to get sleep-disorder treatments covered

The 8-Hour Sleep Paradox is not:
– a self-help-ey, feel-good-ey kind of book. It will take you by the hand and give you all the tools, but it will also suggest that you see a doctor (excellent!)

Favourite insights:
– Sleep hygiene is important but it’s icing on the sleep breathing cake. It’s also not so much about the length (8 hours), it’s more about the quality of sleep.

– Most people don’t even know what healthy sleep is like which contributes to the sleep disorder epidemic.

Additional info:
Check out Mark Burhenne’s work and blog or chat him up on Twitter


Good night and see you in March! 😉


Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)

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