OFD Library & Recommendations

Books recommended and/or offered by the OFD

To check-out any of our books, email Megan Shaffer

Family and personal focused

  • Master the Media by Julie Smith
  • Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, Ed.D.
  • When Likes Aren’t Enough: A Crash Course in the Science of Happiness, Tim Bono, PhD (WUSTL faculty)

Career Focused

  • Good to Great and the Social Sectors by Jim Collins
  • Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
  • The Purpose Linked Organization: How Passionate Leaders Inspire Winning Teams and Great Results by Alaina Love and Marc Cugnon
  • Change The Way You See Yourself Through Asset-Based Thinking, by Kathryn Cramer, PhD and Hank Wasiak
  • Diversity and Inclusion in Academic Medicine: A Strategic Planning Guide, 2nd edition, AAMC
  • Career Advice for Life Scientists, Volume 1 & 11, The American Society for Cell Biology
  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink
  • Faculty Success Through Mentoring: A Guide for Mentors, Mentees, and Leaders by Carole J. Bland, Anne L. Taylor, S. Lynn Shollen, Anne Marie Weber-Main, and Patricia A. Mulcahy
  • Successful Faculty in Academic Medicine: Essential Skills and How to Acquire Them by Carole Bland, Constance Schmitz, Frank Stritter, Rebecca Henry and John Aluise 
  • What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear, by Danielle Ofri, MD

Productivity Recommendations from Susan Johnson, MD

  • Getting Things Done: The art of stress free productivity, 2nd edition
    David Allen (2015)
    A popular, effective, comprehensive workflow and planning system. If you aren’t sure about buying the book, view a brief overview of this system.
  • Free to Focus
    Michael Hyatt (2019)
    This book covers goal setting, planning, and executing to reach those goals and other relevant topics.
    NOTE: The combo of Free to Focus and Getting Things Done provides a complete productivity system.
  • The One Minute To-do List
    Michael Linenberger
    You can request a free download of this book. The method is an effective way to create and manage your to-do (task) list, and can be used either as a stand alone, or as a complement to the GTD next action list method
  • I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time
    Laura Vanderkam (2015)
    Vanderkam is a journalist and author who became interested in how people spend their time, and now writes books about successful strategies. This book focuses on the actual experiences of a group of 100 women who have busy professional careers and children at home, and who kept time diaries for a week. Vanderkam analyzed the diaries and identified strategies these women use to be successful in both spheres. Not just for women!
  • So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
    Cal Newport (2012)
    Newport wrote this book as he was finishing his postdoctoral fellowship at MIT, at a time that he was contemplating his own career path as a theoretical computer scientist. He researched the idea that you should follow your passion, and in this book explains that that is not the best approach, and what you should do instead. Relevant for anyone at the beginning of their career, or for those considering a career change.

Productivity for writing

  • Deep Work: Rules for focused success in a distracted world, Cal Newport
  • Writing your dissertation in fifteen minutes a day. Joan Bolker, New York, Henry Holt and Company, 1998
  • The Now Habit, Neil Fiore
    Practical approaches to procrastination
  • Essentials of Writing Biomedical Research Papers. Second Edition 2nd Edition,1999 Mimi Zeiger
  • How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper, 8th Edition, Barbara Gastel and Robert A. Day

Work-Life focused

  • Unfinished Business by Anne-Marie Slaughter
  • How Full is Your Bucket: Positive Strategies for Work and Life, Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, PhD

Web-based books/articles/resources



  • Study Hacks Blog: Cal Newport posts about “deep work” and other productivity topics.

Academic Writing

Recommended reading lists

Books not in OFD

Managing staff