Books Like The Lazy Genius Way


The Lazy Genius Way is the best book on life management since The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

It’s a different way of looking at life management. 

The principles are universal. 

Front and center is the idea that you need to name what matters. You can’t organize your life until you’ve established your unique priorities.

The Lazy Genius Way is in a class by itself, but there are other books that challenge popular myths and give unusual insight into life management. 

High on practical application and low on guilt, The Lazy Genius Way feels like a giant exhale, because Kendra Adachi gives us all permission to stop doing all the things. We don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. She likes to say, “Just do you”.

I’m a big fan. 

If you loved this book, too, you might wonder what else is out there that’s similar. 

My top picks.

  1. The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People
  2. Deep Work
  3. Atomic Habits
  4. The One Thing
  5. The Purpose Driven Life
  6. Forgiving What You Can’t Forget

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Books Like The Lazy Genius Way: Life Management Myth Busters

1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

The 7 Habits is a classic for a reason.

The seven habits are highly actionable and give a framework for life.

Covey fully explains the seven habits as well as fleshing out practical implementations with some of the best stories in all of self-help literature.

The seven habits:

  • Be Proactive.
  • Begin with the End in Mind.
  • Put First Things First.
  • Think Win/Win.
  • Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.
  • Synergize.
  • Sharpen the Saw.

 2. Margin by Richard Swenson

“Margin is the space that once existed between ourselves and our limits. Today we use margin just to get by. This book is for anyone who yearns for relief from the pressure of overload. Reevaluate your priorities, determine the value of rest and simplicity in your life, and see where your identity really comes from. The benefits can be good health, financial stability, fulfilling relationships, and availability for God’s purpose.”– from Amazon

When we live without margin, we live on the edge. We live on the brink of breakdown because of the overload.

Swenson argues that we need that cushion of unclaimed resources as a buffer for times of crisis. We need margin in our lives in the areas of emotional energy, physical energy, finances and time. Using the maximum of every resource increases our stress and pain. Leaving some unused margin in our resources reduces our stress and pain and allows us to rest. 

3. Deep Work by Cal Newport

Newport first builds the case for the importance of deep work, then he expounds on practical steps to accomplish it.  Simply put, what is needed is focus and discipline.

I agree with Newport’s main premise:  we are doing worse work because we’re distracted.  I see it all the time in the low quality of books that are published and the huge vacuums that exist in many genres for high quality work.

I think the most profound books are ones that are simple common sense:  ones that people agree with and see the wisdom of, but haven’t be able to articulate themselves.  It seems so simple.  So obvious.  And, yet, it wasn’t done before. 

Newport is a college professor.  Publishing in scholarly journals is the deep work he needs to accomplish.  I think the principles apply to all writers, and probably all knowledge workers in general.

4. 168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam

A myth Laura Vanderkam challenges is that we don’t have enough time. Good health, good relationships and meaningful work are all important and we can prioritize them in our weekly routines.

She’s studied time logs of real people living their lives and she’s noted what successful people do. 

The mindset shift here is to start thinking of your life in terms of weeks instead of days, specifically how many hours you have each week to work with. 

An example Laura Vanderkam uses is if you exercise three days a week, then four days you feel like a failure because you didn’t exercise and a success three days a week. But, if you think of your life in terms of a week, three times a week is a win.

Books Like The Lazy Genius Way: Practical Life Management

 1. Atomic Habits by James Clear

In the avalanche of self-help books, Atomic Habits stands out from the pack. James Clear communicates clearly about habits, routines and systems making profound observations about the science of transformation. 

There’s several reasons why Atomic Habits is such a great book. First of all, is the depth of understanding of how habits work in our lives and how powerful they are for life change. 

Another reason is the power of habits to increase focus and productivity in our lives. 

The third reason is that it’s a ground breaking book from a thought leader that challenges the status quo. 

If you’re looking for more Books Like Atomic Habits, check out my list.

2. The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

Now I know what all the rave reviews are about.  This is a GREAT book!

It addresses the problem of distracted focus and the importance of lasering in on your most important work in order to achieve excellence.

A huge light bulb moment for me reading The One Thing was the idea of chaos derailing you and distracting you from your one thing.

Chapter 17, The Four Thieves of Productivity hit me hard.

The Four Thieves are:

1. Inability to Say “No”
2. Fear of Chaos
3. Poor Health Habits
4. Environment Doesn’t Support Your Goals.

Wow. These were so good and right on the money.

3. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

Hal Elrod tells his incredible story about fighting back from the brink, not once, but twice.

The first time physically, recovering after a near fatal accident.

The second time was financially, after being on the verge of financial collapse. 

He also studied the morning habits and systems of successful people and identified the common factors.

He distilled them into 7 principles and invented an acronym to aid in memorizing each one.

4. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

“In The Power of Habit, award-winning business reporterCharles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to the sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.”– from Amazon

Not many books fit in the category of life-changing.

This one does.

Books Like The Lazy Genius Way: Christian Life Management

1. The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

Rick Warren addresses the questions of existence, significance and purpose. 

Why am I alive? 

Does my life matter? 

What on earth am I here for?  

In answering these three questions, he outlines the basic tenets of the Christian faith in the context of living a meaningful life with purpose. 

Warren provides a framework for life management built on the foundation of a Christian belief system. He paints a big picture that gives context for the way we live our lives daily. 

2. Forgiving What You Can’t Forget by Lysa Terkuerst

This title might feel like an odd pick for Christian Life Management, but there’s only a short list of themes that are appliciable to every human on the planet.

Forgiveness is one.

If you’ve lived longer than 5 years, surely there’s someone you need to forgive. 

Constructing a theology of personal forgiveness ranks as a top critical life skill. 

Lysa Terkuerst has a black belt in it. 

She’s been through the deep waters. She’s lived it. She’s also studied the subject incessantly in the Bible and lived to tell about it. 

3. Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin

Women of the Word tackles the challenges of Bible study head on.

She admits that the work of Bible study can be difficult and there are seasons in a woman’s life when serious Bible study isn’t possible. Another giant exhale.

She addresses the problem of Bible literacy and the obstacles to Bible Study.

She discusses how to use tools to study the Bible and some strategies and approaches to take. She takes readers step by step through an example using the book of James.

Beginners and seasoned Bible studiers alike can learn. 

She articulates the importance of understanding the context, culture and original audience.

She also gently points out the fallacy of making the Bible about us instead of about God. 

4. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

Every person in the world knows pain and heartache.  And every person can number their blessings.

Ann Voskamp challenges us to be intentional about looking for and expressing gratitude.

Even though I read it years ago, it colors my thinking to this day.

I understand that her poetic prose doesn’t appeal to everyone.  Grammar Geeks beware.  But the message is universal and important.

5. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

This book has remained a perennial best seller as more people discover better ways to express love to the people that they love. 

Gary Chapman explains the five main ways people express love and how to understand which way communicates best to individuals.

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