life tools


7 Habits of Highly Effective People

by Stephen R. Covey

I read this book when I was 14 years old and it had a huge impact on my life. It set the tone for how I approach complex situations, how I approach people in my life, and most importantly, how I approach myself. It taught me to be proactive, to think win-win, and it helped me understand the true value of collaboration.

The set of principles in this book really set the tone for who am as a person and a professional, and I would highly recommend this book especially for architects and architecture students.

Get your copy here.


principles: life and work

by Ray Dalio

warning. This is a big book! Actually, not so much a book, but a manifesto with personal anecdotes, data, and history lessons. Ray Dalio (billionaire investor + entrepreneur, founder of Bridgewater) shares some of the principles that he’s developed and refined over the years in his life and his business. He outlines them into a set of practical tools that any person can adopt into his/her life.

My favorite tips from this book are 1. systemization of decision making (although I find this very difficult still) and 2. the idea of radical transparency. He talks about how a culture of truth and radically honest feedback has helped him, his team, and his business grows, and I think this is a great book not only for people wanting to go into leadership roles but also for an employee to understand what kind of environment/leaders they want to work with.

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deep work

by Cal Newport

This book had a big impact on how I approach work. My thoughts on the book below.

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by Angela Duckworth

Our culture loves the ‘genius’, the one with “raw talent”. We also love the phrase “follow your passion”, which has probably led to more than a few university dropouts. She critiques this narrative and offers an alternative perspective that is less sexy, more mundane. Talent rarely exists without nurture. Perseverance and hard work are key ingredients, and it’s when we gain expertise, that we learn to fall in love with the work. Passion is developed, along with the skill.

This is such a relatable book for me because, for a long time, I did not like architecture, and thought about leaving. It wasn’t until I became kind of good at it (many years into it), that I started enjoying it. I think it would be a great read for anyone who has a long path ahead of them.

Get your copy here.


where good ideas come from

by Steven Johnson

One of my favourite books on creativity and the history of innovation. Full of interesting stories and anecdotes, Steven Johnson does a great job of recounting the stories of history’s greatest inventors. My thoughts on the book below.

Get your copy here.

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by David Allen

This was a “required reading” at my very first job at an architecture firm. If you haven’t heard of GTD, it is one of the most popular time management methods in the world. Although I have tweaked many aspects of the system for my personal preference, I still live by some of the fundamental principles, like emptying your mind or sorting tasks into “contexts”. Even if you don’t fully adopt the system, can help you build a great foundation for your productivity system.

Get your copy here.