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In today's fast-paced world, managing time effectively is the golden ticket to personal and professional success.
Professionals and entrepreneurs, like yourself, are constantly on the hunt for strategies to boost productivity and streamline their day-to-day lives. Whether it's conquering procrastination, refining your to-do lists, or mastering time management, there's always room for improvement.
This blog post serves as your ultimate guide, featuring 31 of the Best Books on Productivity and Time Management. Each book has been meticulously selected to address the many facets of productivity that challenge even the most seasoned professionals. From timeless classics such as “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey to modern takes like “Free to Focus” by Michael Hyatt, this list encompasses a vast range of perspectives and actionable advice.
We understand that productivity isn’t just about doing more; it’s about creating more impact with less effort. And perhaps, it’s also about redefining work so that it aligns with your most significant ambitions and deeply held values.
The authors featured, including giants like David Allen, Brian Tracy, and Robin Sharma, share their insights and methods to not only enhance your efficiency but also to bring a fresh sense of purpose to your work.
Prepare to leap into a world where every page turns with potential and every chapter offers the promise of newfound efficiency and focus. Whether you are battling the demons of delay or looking to optimize your output, these top-tier books will arm you with the knowledge to move forward confidently and conquer each day with gusto.
Without further ado, buckle up and get ready to explore our handpicked selection of the 31 paradigm-shifting books that will transform the way you perceive time and guide you toward unparalleled productivity.
31 Best Books on Productivity and Time Management
1. How to Stop Procrastinating by SJ Scott
- The book emphasizes the importance of identifying and understanding the root causes of procrastination, such as fear of failure or perfectionism, in order to effectively address and overcome it.
- It offers practical strategies and techniques to break the cycle of procrastination, including setting specific and achievable goals, creating a structured schedule, and using time management tools.
- SJ Scott discusses the significance of developing self-discipline and building positive habits to counteract procrastination tendencies and increase productivity.
- The book highlights the value of mindfulness and self-awareness in recognizing procrastination triggers and implementing strategies to stay focused and motivated.
- It emphasizes the importance of self-compassion and forgiveness in overcoming procrastination, encouraging readers to be kind to themselves and learn from past procrastination experiences rather than dwelling on guilt.
Reducing or eliminating procrastination can be one of the most important parts of becoming more productive.
When you act on things immediately and system for dealing with tasks that really works- the only thing that can possibly hold you back is procrastination. This is the perfect book (and the only book) you need to read to learn to deal with procrastination.in their pro
An excellent guide on how to stop procrastinating. Scott skillfully mixes specific lessons and guidelines with stories from his life or scientific research conclusions. Full of practical and actionable advice.
How to Stop Procrastinating: A Simple Guide to Mastering Difficult Tasks and Breaking the Procrastination Habit is not simply preaching to the reader about the “evils” of procrastination, it gives steps to stop procrastination and reinforces the lessons with specific training.
By the way, S.J. is a practitioner of what he preaches, and I consider this to be one of the strongest points of the book. His experience simply shines through the pages. He applied everything in his life. Theoretical ruminations are cut to the bone. This is no-nonsense advice: do this, then do this, and after do that.
One of the most complete books on procrastination. It goes far beyond talking about “why” we procrastinate and focuses, with laser-like precision on how we can stop procrastination.
2. Getting Things Done by David Allen
- David Allen introduces the concept of “mind like water,” advocating for a clear and organized mind that can efficiently process and prioritize tasks without feeling overwhelmed.
- The book emphasizes the value of capturing all commitments, ideas, and tasks into a trusted system, such as a to-do list or productivity tool, to free up mental space and reduce stress.
- Allen's “two-minute rule” suggests that if a task can be completed in two minutes or less, it should be done immediately rather than added to a list, contributing to increased efficiency.
- The book provides a comprehensive workflow process, known as the “GTD method,” which involves capturing, clarifying, organizing, reflecting, and engaging with tasks to enhance productivity and reduce mental clutter.
- Allen emphasizes the significance of regular reviews and updates of one's task management system to ensure that commitments and priorities are current and aligned with personal and professional goals.
In Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, David Allen makes a compelling argument that people's productivity is directly related to their ability to relax. When people are able to clear their mind, they can organize their thoughts and be productive and creative.
After reading this book, readers will be able to reassess their goals, delegate tasks to other people, plan projects, overcome anxiety, and be confident about their work. This book references fundamental principles and proven tricks to help change the way people work to create efficiency as well as success.
While some have found that this book is a little long, it has also helped people pinpoint the problems with their methods of getting things accomplished. This book is written in a simple and clear way and is especially great for people who are struggling with how to be productive in this chaotic world.
I would consider this a “must read” for anyone interested in increasing personal productivity and time management.
3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
- Stephen R. Covey introduces the concept of “paradigm shifts” and emphasizes the importance of personal responsibility and proactive behavior in achieving effectiveness and success.
- The book emphasizes the significance of aligning actions with core principles and values, advocating for a principle-centered approach to decision-making and behavior.
- Covey introduces the idea of “sharpening the saw,” highlighting the importance of continuous self-improvement in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of life to maintain balance and effectiveness.
- The book discusses the value of empathetic communication and collaborative problem-solving, encouraging readers to seek mutual understanding and synergistic solutions in interpersonal interactions.
- Covey introduces the concept of “beginning with the end in mind,” emphasizing the importance of having a clear vision and purpose to guide one's actions and decisions, both personally and professionally.
In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, Covey presents a holistic approach that is based on fundamental principles to solve both personal and professional problems.
He offers both insights and anecdotes to give the reader a step-by-step guide for living with principles that give people the confidence to adapt to change and the knowledge and power to see the possible opportunities that change presents.
Readers have found this book to be powerful and engaging. It is full of “ah-ha” moments that readers can easily connect to their everyday lives. The practical information provided in this book present challenges to the reader to help shift their thinking and therefore their everyday actions.
This book helps readers harness the internal spark that is telling them that they can do better. It is about looking at the bright side of things and learning how much a great attitude can benefit you. People love this book because it teaches them that they are in control of their own lives.
4. Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy
- Brian Tracy emphasizes the importance of tackling the most challenging and important tasks, referred to as “eating the frog,” early in the day to increase productivity and reduce procrastination.
- The book offers practical techniques for prioritizing tasks, setting clear goals, and managing time effectively to minimize distractions and focus on high-value activities.
- Tracy introduces the concept of “single-handling,” advocating for completing one task at a time without multitasking, to enhance efficiency and quality of work.
- The book provides actionable insights on overcoming procrastination, including breaking tasks into smaller steps, visualizing success, and leveraging positive reinforcement to build momentum.
- Tracy emphasizes the significance of continuous learning and skill development to increase competence and confidence, ultimately contributing to improved task management and productivity.
Brian Tracy time management tips are always valuable. He is a great writer and could probably have a few books on this list of the best time management books. (He has other books in other sections of my entire best self help books list.)
Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time focuses on doing the most challenging task of your day first thing in the morning to get it over with.
Whichever task that you think you are most likely to procrastinate doing, but also the task that could have the best impact on your life, get it done. This way, you will know that you have already finished the most difficult thing for the day.
The example used in this from an old quote from Mark Twain, where he says that if you Eat a Frog first thing every morning, you can be sure that will be the worst thing to happen to you all day long.
In this case, the “Frog” is just a stand-in for whatever your most dreaded and difficult task for the day is. If you get that task done first, the rest of the days tasks will come easily.
Eat That Frog! is a great tool to help people organize their schedules so they do not procrastinate on important things. It helps people get things done more efficiently and done in the right way.
Readers love the high-energy style that Brian Tracy uses in this book. This style helps get to the core of what he finds to be most important in time management.
The reader will walk away from this productivity book knowing that the purpose of time-management skills and being efficient is to allow you to spend more real time with the people you care about as well as doing things that really make you happy.
This is a quick read that gets right to the point without adding any fluff.
5. The One Minute To-Do List by Michael Linenberger
- Michael Linenberger introduces the concept of a “Master List,” a comprehensive repository for all tasks, which serves as the foundation for effective task management and prioritization.
- The book emphasizes the value of categorizing tasks based on urgency and importance, enabling readers to allocate time and attention to high-impact activities while minimizing time spent on low-priority tasks.
- Linenberger advocates for the use of technology, specifically task management software and email integration, to streamline the capture, organization, and execution of tasks for increased productivity.
- The book introduces the concept of “Critical Now” tasks, highlighting the importance of identifying and focusing on the most crucial tasks at any given time to maximize productivity and impact. Linenberger provides practical guidance on incorporating regular reviews and updates of the to-do list, ensuring that tasks remain relevant and aligned with evolving priorities and goals.
The One Minute To-Do List: Quickly Get Your Chaos Completely Under Control is geared toward people who are overwhelmed by their work and life. While everyone has made a to-do list before, many people have then ignored the exact lists that they make for themselves.
This book presents an easy way to write an effective to-do list, avoid common to-do list mistakes and allow yourself to focus on the right things. The things that really need to be accomplished
Readers have found that this task management book is very helpful if you are trying to get organized. It is a quick and easy read that is well worth the investment if you are finding that your list of things to do is getting unmanageable.
6. The ONE Thing by Gary Keller
- Gary Keller emphasizes the power of focusing on the most important task, the “ONE Thing,” that will make everything else easier or unnecessary, leading to significant progress and success.
- The book advocates for prioritizing long-term goals and aligning daily actions with these goals, emphasizing the concept of “goal setting to the now” to maintain clarity and direction.
- Keller discusses the importance of time blocking, allocating uninterrupted time for the most important tasks, and minimizing distractions to achieve greater productivity and effectiveness.
- The book highlights the value of leveraging the domino effect, where small, focused actions can lead to compounding results and significant achievements over time.
- Keller emphasizes the significance of balancing work and personal life by identifying the “ONE Thing” in each area and dedicating time and energy accordingly to achieve fulfillment and success.
The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results details the success habit that people need to adopt in order to overcome the lies that block success, beat things in life that steal precious time and leverage their purpose, priorities, and productivity.
Readers have found that this book helps you live with a purpose rather than being reactive to in order to just make it through the day. The author teaches the reader to build a vision and then focus on just one thing at a time in order to be more productive.
Some people find the concept of this time management book to be a little slow and simple. Frankly you may not need to read it to get something out of the idea. Focus on ONE THING. The thing that truly matters and learn to ignore the fluff that tries to complicate your life.
Of course, there is more to it than that, but that is the basics of what this book teaches. Frankly, I find this to be revolutionary. One of those ideas that is simple, yet powerful. Like the invention of the wheel. Simple. But the power of what can be done with a simple idea is greatly magnified from the core idea.
While I admit the idea is simple, and the book may not have much more that is “new” for the reader, the way the point is driven home about the power of the ONE THING is excellent. This is one of my all time personal favorites and I find myself thinking about its techniques all the time in my daily productivity.
7. The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
- Peter Drucker emphasizes the importance of effective time management, advising executives to allocate time to tasks that contribute the most significant value to their organization.
- The book underscores the need for executives to focus on their strengths and delegate tasks that others can perform, thereby maximizing their impact and productivity.
- Drucker introduces the concept of making effective decisions by considering the potential impact, urgency, and long-term consequences of each choice.
- The book highlights the significance of setting clear, actionable objectives and key results (OKRs) to guide and evaluate an executive's performance and contributions.
- Drucker emphasizes the value of continuous learning and self-improvement, encouraging executives to stay informed, seek feedback, and adapt to evolving business environments to remain effective and influential.
The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done is one of the best time management books you can read. But it is so much more than that. Productivity & time management are keys to this book. But it also touches on entrepreneurship, leadership, management and much more.
The key thrust of this book is managing time. That is why I consider it such an important book on time management. Every good manager is going to have time be his major constraint.
There is not enough of it to go around, and making the most of the time available is essential to success. Hard work is just not enough, it is necessary to be working at the stuff that is the most important. This is the “getting the right things done” that Drucker talks about in the title.
According to the book it is also essential to:
- Choose what to contribute to the organization
- How to find and use your strengths. And where to apply it to improve your organization
- How to prioritize
- How to use your prioritization to become more productive
- Utilizing your knowledge, experience and lessons learned to be an effective communicator
If you are in a leadership position, or want to be in a leadership position in your career, this book should be a “must read” as it lays out needed traits for any manager or executive.
8. 168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam
- Laura Vanderkam challenges the notion of “not having enough time” by advocating for a focus on 168 hours in a week, providing a fresh perspective on time management and productivity.
- The book emphasizes the importance of aligning time use with personal and professional priorities, encouraging readers to track and analyze how they spend their time to make intentional choices.
- Vanderkam discusses the concept of “core competencies,” suggesting that individuals should focus on activities that align with their strengths and passions, and delegate or minimize time spent on tasks that do not align with these competencies.
- The book provides insights on maximizing leisure time by engaging in meaningful and rejuvenating activities, ultimately contributing to a balanced and fulfilling life.
- Vanderkam highlights the significance of setting clear goals and priorities, ensuring that time is allocated to activities that align with these objectives, leading to a more purposeful and satisfying use of time.
While everyone has dreams of accomplishing goals, traveling to new places, and spending quality time with their friends and family, time always seems to run out. People are often either making excuses or sacrifices in order to do everything they need to do.
In 168 hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, Laura Vanderkam details her interviews with dozens of successful and happy people that made her realize that how you allocate your time has a huge impact on your overall wellbeing.
Rather than allowing everyday tasks to get in the way of important things, it is best to start by making sure you have time for the more important things. This way, if you run out of time, your smaller priorities will be the ones that get left undone.
The author teaches the reader that with a little examination and prioritizing, it is possible to get a full night's sleep, exercise on a regular basis, and take time for your hobbies without giving up the quality time you need for your career, family, and other important things in life.
The Vanderkam offers great advice and shows clear, real-life examples of how people use their time efficiently. She makes a clear argument of why readers have more time on their hands than they may think.
9. Control Your Day by Jim McCullen
- Time blocking. The book emphasizes the importance of allocating specific time blocks for different tasks to increase productivity and focus.
- Prioritization. McCullen discusses the significance of identifying and prioritizing high-value tasks to achieve better results in a limited time.
- Eliminating distractions. The author provides strategies for minimizing distractions and interruptions to maintain concentration and efficiency throughout the day.
- Goal setting. The book highlights the value of setting clear and achievable goals to guide daily activities and ensure progress.
- Mindfulness. McCullen emphasizes the role of mindfulness and self-awareness in managing time and stress, offering techniques to enhance mental clarity and reduce overwhelm.
Are struggling with email management, especially if you use Microsoft Outlook for Windows. If so this book will appeal to you.
Unlike many books on this list, Control Your Day: A New Approach to Email Management Using Microsoft Outlook and Getting Things Done focuses on a very narrow and specific problem and solution.
If you are not an Microsoft outlook user, this book is practically worthless. But if you do have outlook and have some issues with email, the value of this book is enormous.
This book gives the reader a straightforward guide on how to set up your email to take control of your tasks that are derived from emails as well as self-imposed tasks. The author proposes a very helpful dashboard structure as well.
10. Master Your Workday Now by Michael Linenberger
- Mastering task management. Linenberger introduces a comprehensive approach to managing tasks, emphasizing the use of technology to streamline and organize daily work effectively.
- Strategic scheduling. The book advocates for strategic scheduling, encouraging readers to allocate time for critical tasks, meetings, and personal activities to optimize productivity.
- Email efficiency. Linenberger offers practical advice on managing email overload, including techniques for processing emails quickly and reducing inbox clutter.
- Integration of work and life. The book promotes the integration of work and personal life, providing insights on achieving work-life balance through effective time management.
- Proactive approach. Linenberger emphasizes the importance of taking a proactive approach to work, outlining methods for staying ahead of deadlines and maintaining control over daily responsibilities.
Master Your Workday Now: Proven Strategies to Control Chaos, Create Outcomes, & Connect Your Work to Who You Really Are presents its readers with new and profound strategies for achieving greatness in your career and personal life.
Linenberger argues that work is essentially a mental game that you can take control over. You just have to apply a practical mental model of work, which he refers to as the “Workday Now.” These strategies will result in a well-managed and successful day at work.
Readers have found that this book is fast-moving and practical. It is full of helpful ideas to allow you to learn how to improve focus, concentrate harder, and get more things accomplished faster than you have before.
The strategies offered are easy to apply to your everyday life, yet they offer fabulous results.
11. Making It All Work by David Allen
- Holistic approach to productivity. Allen advocates for a holistic approach to productivity, focusing on integrating work and personal life to achieve a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.
- Stress-free productivity. The book emphasizes the concept of “stress-free productivity,” offering strategies for reducing stress and overwhelm through effective time management and organization.
- Horizons of focus. Allen introduces the concept of “horizons of focus,” which involves aligning daily tasks with long-term goals and values to enhance clarity and purpose.
- Workflow optimization. Making It All Work provides insights into optimizing workflows, including capturing, clarifying, organizing, and reviewing tasks to boost efficiency and effectiveness.
- Mind like water. The book encourages cultivating a “mind like water,” promoting mental agility and resilience to adapt to changing demands and maintain a sense of control amidst complexity.
In this highly anticipated sequel to Getting Things Done, Allen provides the reader with a roadmap to not only determine where you are in life right now but also directions on how to get to your goal destination.
In Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and the Business of Life, Allen revisits his simple yet complete system of organizing life in order to make progress in your personal and professional development. He gets down to details such as planning a vacation, hiring a babysitter, and even arranging medical care for an aging parent.
Allen argues that the process of a systematic and complete inventory of one's current commitments can sharpen focus and help people make wiser decisions.
The methods in this book will help the reader develop the self-confidence to trust their own solutions. Readers are taught how to obtain control and perspective by organizing their tasks and goals.
Some readers have found that there is actually very little new information in this book that was not covered in the author's previous book, Getting Things Done.
However, that book had great information and lessons so this might be the right book for you if you missed out on the author's first book but are looking for a way to organize your life. Even as just a refresher with a new perspective on older ideas, this is wonderful time management book.
12. To-Do List Makeover by Steve Scott
- Strategic list-making. Scott emphasizes the importance of creating strategic to-do lists that prioritize high-impact tasks and minimize time-wasting activities.
- Time blocking techniques. The book introduces time blocking techniques to allocate specific time slots for different tasks, enhancing focus and productivity.
- Habit formation. Scott delves into the psychology of habit formation, offering practical advice on incorporating productive habits into daily routines for long-term success.
- Task batching. The book advocates for task batching, a method of grouping similar activities together to minimize context switching and improve efficiency.
- Simplifying decision-making. To-Do List Makeover provides strategies for simplifying decision-making by breaking down complex tasks into smaller, actionable steps, reducing overwhelm and increasing task completion.
To-Do List Makeover: A Simple Guide to Getting the Important Things Done is for people who find themselves procrastinating a lot and are never able to complete their list of things to do for the day. While anyone can write a to-do list, the difficult part is creating a list of actionable items that can fit into your busy life.
Often, people make lists that are a disorganized mess of things to get done, things they want, things they need, and just some random ideas. Then they wonder why they are just spinning their wheels in life.
The solution this book offers to this problem is to rethink how you manage your life. This book provides the reader with a step-by-step guide to writing to-do lists that will encourage you to actually make progress with your tasks.
Readers have found that this book gets right to the point and is very motivational. Readers also appreciate how Scott makes references to other professionals in the field who can assist people with their productivity issues.
A thorough book that covers every single aspect of making and actually using “to-do lists” in a simple and easy to read manner.
13. 18 Minutes by Peter Bregman
- Daily focus. Bregman advocates for setting aside 18 minutes each day to plan and prioritize, ensuring that daily activities align with long-term goals and values.
- Weekly planning. The book emphasizes the importance of weekly planning to review progress, adjust priorities, and maintain a sense of control over daily tasks.
- Saying “no” strategically. Bregman provides insights into the art of saying “no” strategically, empowering readers to focus on high-impact activities and avoid time-wasting commitments.
- Managing distractions. 18 Minutes offers practical strategies for managing distractions and interruptions to maintain focus and productivity throughout the day.
- Reflective practices. The book promotes regular reflection and self-assessment to identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments to optimize personal and professional performance.
18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done explains how busy people can get rid of the distractions in their lives that keep them from focusing on key tasks that are top priorities. Bregman argues that the best way to get rid of interruptions is to create productive distractions.
Readers should walk away from this book being able to navigate through the chaos of constant emails and phone calls that come in throughout the day and spend more time focusing on things that are important.
This book is unique because it uses both first-person insights as well as case studies to help get the reader on the right track in 18 minutes or less. This book is intensely smart and very readable, making it a practical guide to boosting effectiveness and overall satisfaction with life.
According to those who follow this system, the 18 minute template works like a charm for those who follow it. It is well worth a look if you are interesting in improving productivity and time management.
14. Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath
- Widen options. The book encourages decision-makers to expand their options before making a choice, increasing the likelihood of finding innovative and effective solutions.
- Reality-test assumptions. Decisive emphasizes the importance of reality-testing assumptions and gathering diverse perspectives to challenge biases and enhance decision-making.
- Attain distance: The authors advocate for attaining distance by stepping back from the decision-making process to gain perspective and reduce the influence of emotions on choices.
- Prepare to be wrong: The book highlights the value of preparing to be wrong by considering the potential downsides of decisions and developing contingency plans to mitigate risks.
- Avoid short-term emotion: Decisive advises decision-makers to avoid being swayed by short-term emotions, encouraging the consideration of long-term consequences when evaluating options.
Research shows that people's decisions are influenced by biases and irrationalities. People are overconfident and only look for information that supports us while dismissing information that doesn’t. People get distracted by their emotions and have trouble making choices.
So how can people improve upon this flaw? This book offers a four-step process to get rid of these biases. This book uses real-life stories, strategies, and practical tools to help people make better choices.
Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work is written in an engaging and readable style that is powerful enough to make a lasting impression on the reader.
Readers appreciate the fact that the authors never stray from their main point and every story and example they present in the book relates back to their proven model.
15. Zen To Done by Leo Babauta
- Habit formation. Babauta emphasizes the importance of developing positive habits to increase productivity and effectiveness in daily life.
- Simplify tasks. The book advocates for simplifying tasks and focusing on one task at a time to reduce overwhelm and improve concentration.
- Prioritize and focus. Zen To Done encourages readers to prioritize tasks and focus on the most important activities to achieve meaningful progress.
- Clearing clutter. Babauta provides insights into clearing physical and mental clutter, creating a more organized and productive environment.
- Mindfulness in action. The book promotes mindfulness in action, encouraging individuals to approach tasks with full awareness and presence for improved efficiency and satisfaction.
Leo Babauta is the master of minimalism. He is one of the first, and most prominent people to start the conversation on how minimalism can be a driving force in productivity.
It is my opinion that this is Babauta’s best book on the subject of personal productivity. Zen To Done: The Ultimate Simple Productivity System aims to help people organize tasks to keep a structured workday, keep their workspace clear, and how to focus without being distracted.
Written for people who want to get organized, this might be the right book for you if you are willing to execute the tasks on your to-do list and change your existing habits.
One of the best things about this book is that it offers a habit-changing technique that is effective in any area of your life.
This book provides a practical way of putting various principles that have been mentioned in other books into place. The author practices what he preaches, which brings even more validity to this book.
16. Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg
- Motivation and goal setting. Duhigg explores the power of motivation and goal setting, highlighting the impact of clear objectives on individual and team performance.
- Decision-making strategies. The book delves into decision-making strategies, offering insights into how successful individuals and organizations make effective choices under uncertainty.
- Building teams. Smarter Faster Better discusses the art of building effective teams, emphasizing the importance of psychological safety and diverse perspectives in achieving collective success.
- Focus and productivity. Duhigg provides strategies for enhancing focus and productivity, including methods for managing attention and maintaining motivation in the face of challenges.
- Innovation and creativity. The book explores the relationship between innovation and productivity, offering examples of how fostering creativity can lead to improved efficiency and success.
Charles Duhigg is a bestselling author who wrote one of my all time favorite books, The Power of Habit. What Duhigg did for habits and habit change in that book, he is trying to do for productivity in this new book. I believe he mostly succeeds.
Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity is not as revolutionary as habits but it has some really good about the science of productivity and not only gives some great productivity tips, but explains in detail, why these productivity ideas work.
Smarter, Faster Better looks at the science behind productivity and why managing your method of thinking is more important than the things that actually go through your head.
Eight key productivity concepts are presented in this book that explain why some people are able to get so much more accomplished than others.
This productivity book is backed by a lot of research, including findings in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics. The author also details the experiences of successful people and talks about how the way they view the world and their choices has made all the difference in their success.
One of the most useful parts of this book is the appendix of real-world lessons that is included that can be applied directly to your life.
Readers have found that this book has made them more efficient in their personal and professional lives and this one book could take the place of several other productivity books on the market.
This book is well written, relatable, enjoyable and easy to read, yet it still present some profound ideas on increasing productivity.
17. How to be a Productivity Ninja by Graham Allcott
- Managing attention, not time. Allcott emphasizes the importance of managing attention over time, advocating for strategies to minimize distractions and maintain focus on high-priority tasks.
- Mindful task management. The book promotes mindful task management, encouraging readers to align their activities with personal and professional goals to enhance productivity and fulfillment.
- Stress-free productivity. Allcott provides insights into achieving “stress-free productivity” by incorporating mindfulness, prioritization, and effective time management techniques into daily routines.
- Email and communication strategies. How to be a Productivity Ninja offers practical advice on managing email overload and improving communication practices to reduce time-wasting activities.
- Proactive approach. Allcott advocates for a proactive approach to productivity, empowering individuals to take control of their work and personal lives by implementing practical and sustainable productivity habits.
How to be a Productivity Ninja: Worry Less, Achieve More and Love What You Do asserts the fact that traditional time-management methods are not effective. In our era of information overload, we need more powerful tools to help us stay productive and be successful.
This book provides the reader with effective tips and techniques to learn how to work smarter and get things done faster.
Graham Allcott has filtered the most effective wisdom from hundreds of business seminars and put them into this little book to help people get organized, de-clutter their minds, desks, and inboxes, and become calmer and more productive.
Taken as a whole, this book creates a well-rounded manual to improve your work methods. the author uses analogies and simple techniques to teach readers how to get work done in advance so when the deadline comes around, all the work needs is a few finishing touches.
18. Essentialism by Greg McKeown
- The disciplined pursuit of less. McKeown advocates for the disciplined pursuit of less, encouraging readers to focus on the essential and eliminate non-essential activities to maximize impact.
- Priority setting. The book emphasizes the importance of deliberate priority setting, guiding individuals to identify and invest their time and energy in activities that align with their long-term goals.
- Saying no. Essentialism promotes the art of saying “no” to non-essential tasks, opportunities, and commitments, enabling individuals to create space for meaningful contributions.
- Trade-offs. McKeown highlights the concept of trade-offs, encouraging individuals to make strategic choices and accept the consequences of prioritizing one activity over another.
- Clarity of purpose: The book advocates for clarity of purpose, guiding readers to discern what truly matters and make decisions that align with their essential priorities.
This book might be right for you if you often feel like you need to declutter your life, you don't have enough time to get things finished, you feel overworked, and you often find yourself to be very busy, yet you don't get anything accomplished.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less focuses on getting the right things done. It offers a systematic discipline for determining what tasks are absolutely essential and eliminating everything else. This allows people to spend the most time on things that matter.
By asking the reader to define what is necessary, the pursuit of doing fewer things empowers people to reclaim control of lives, time, and energy instead of giving other people permission to choose.
This is a great book for leaders, managers, and people who want to do less, but better.
This book marks the beginning of a movement towards people focusing on the things that they do best and leaving the rest to other people, something I firmly agree with.
19. Ready for Anything by David Allen
- Stress-free productivity. Allen emphasizes stress-free productivity, offering insights into managing workflow and maintaining control in the face of constant change and complexity.
- Being Adaptable. The book promotes cultivating a “mind like water,” encouraging mental agility and adaptability to navigate challenges and opportunities with ease.
- Capturing and clarifying. Ready for Anything provides strategies for capturing and clarifying tasks and ideas, enabling individuals to process information effectively and make informed decisions.
- Proactive thinking. Allen advocates for proactive thinking, empowering individuals to anticipate and address potential issues before they escalate, fostering a sense of preparedness and confidence.
- Personal and professional integration. The book encourages the integration of personal and professional life, providing guidance on aligning commitments and activities to achieve a harmonious and fulfilling lifestyle.
In Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done, David Allen shows readers how to do better work without working harder. Allen based this book on his popular e-newsletter to give readers 52 ways to prepare their minds for creativity, focus, create structures, and take action.
In many ways this book is simply a collection of great productivity ideas.
Readers will learn how to get things done using less effort and being less stressed after reading this book. It is written with wit and inspiration, which allows this book to be an easy read.
It also has an energetic tone that is motivational to the reader. This is a great book for people who want to do their very best work and live their very best life at the same time.
Readers have found that David Allen is able to make the challenges of productivity both understandable and manageable. His practical pointers are simple and practical to apply to anyone's everyday life.
20. Master Evernote by Steve Scott
- Evernote fundamentals. Scott covers the fundamental features of Evernote, providing insights into note-taking, organization, and productivity within the platform.
- Advanced techniques. The book delves into advanced techniques for maximizing Evernote's capabilities, including tips for efficient tagging, searching, and integrating with other apps.
- Workflow optimization. Master Evernote offers strategies for optimizing workflows, enabling users to streamline their processes and boost productivity through effective use of Evernote.
- Information management. Scott provides guidance on managing information effectively within Evernote, from capturing and organizing data to retrieving and utilizing it efficiently.
- Personal and professional applications. The book explores the diverse applications of Evernote in both personal and professional contexts, demonstrating its versatility as a comprehensive productivity tool.
If you have been looking for an app that will help you get your life together, this might be the right book for you. Evernote will help you start to get things done easily with an actionable guide that has been effective for hundreds of people.
Evernote is a great tool to help you manage your life's clutter. This book will teach you how to leave your disorganized days behind and put all of your documents, thoughts, and plans into one place.
Master Evernote: The Unofficial Guide to Organizing Your Life with Evernote teaches the reader everything from the basics of the app to the advanced tools that you can use. It is a great book for people who are new to Evernote as well as people who have been using it for a while already.
Readers have found this book to be both inspirational and comprehensive including technical expertise and easy, actionable advice.
People have said that they wished they had this book before beginning to use Evernote. It saves a lot of time for people who try to go into Evernote blindly and have to research each tool it offers on their own.
Readers especially love how this book and app have allowed them to go paperless and organize their research.
21. The Productive Person by James Roper & Chandler Bolt
- Goal setting. Roper and Bolt emphasize the importance of setting clear and achievable goals, providing a framework for aligning daily activities with long-term objectives.
- Time management strategies. The book offers practical time management strategies, including prioritization techniques and effective scheduling methods to enhance productivity.
- Mindset shift. The Productive Person advocates for a mindset shift towards productivity, encouraging readers to adopt a proactive and disciplined approach to their work and personal lives.
- Habit formation. Roper and Bolt delve into the psychology of habit formation, offering insights into developing and maintaining productive habits for sustained success.
- Personal development. The book integrates personal development principles with productivity, guiding individuals to cultivate a growth mindset and pursue continuous improvement in all aspects of life.
The Productive Person: A how-to guide book filled with productivity hacks & daily schedules for entrepreneurs, students or anyone struggling with work-life balance is for people who are struggling with their work-life balance.
It teaches the reader how to maximize their time while working so they can focus only on the task at hand, leaving the rest of your time free to do the things you love. It also teaches readers how to be able to take any feelings of guilt out of their time off from work.
This is a practical, easygoing, and action-oriented book that explains how to use your time wisely without giving up your social life and freedom outside of work.
The authors use examples from their own lives to teach the reader their tactics. After reading this book, you will be equipped with productivity hacks, scheduling ideas, how to do “prework”, and steps to make productive habits quickly.
Readers have found that this book gets directly to the point without adding in fluff for length. It is great for anyone from students to CEOs who have trouble managing their work-life balance.
22. Productivity: The 7 Laws Of Productivity by Brian Cagneey
- Mindset mastery. Cagneey emphasizes the importance of mindset mastery, guiding readers to cultivate a productive mindset and overcome mental barriers to success.
- Prioritization. The book delves into the art of prioritization, offering strategies for identifying and focusing on high-impact tasks to maximize productivity.
- Time management. Productivity explores effective time management techniques, providing insights into optimizing daily schedules and minimizing time-wasting activities.
- Self-discipline. Cagneey advocates for self-discipline as a key driver of productivity, offering practical advice on developing and maintaining disciplined work habits.
- Continuous improvement. The book promotes a culture of continuous improvement, encouraging individuals to seek growth and refinement in their productivity practices to achieve sustainable success.
This is a great book for people who don't know where to get started when it comes to focusing their concentration, ending procrastination, and developing better time management skills.
What makes Productivity: The 7 Laws Of Productivity: 10X Your Success With Focus, Time 22. Management, Self-Discipline, And Action unique from others is that it includes many detailed and powerful tips, tricks, and techniques to help you take charge of your life.
The author presents seven crucial laws of productivity that people must learn in order to be successful.
Cagneey clearly explains to the reader how to learn to focus, develop willpower, and become motivated. He helps people learn how to take initiative, achieve their highest goals, and manage your life productively.
This book can be applied to any area of your life, including your diet, your attitude, and your success. The author focuses on the tools that work to help readers achieve more than they have ever been able to each day.
Readers have said that what makes this book so useful is that it uncovers hidden activities that come together to create a human habit. People have found that this book creates a positive change because the analysis is easy to understand and adaptable.
23. The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey
- Task management. Bailey explores effective task management, offering insights into prioritization and organization to optimize productivity.
- Attention management. The book delves into attention management, providing strategies for maintaining focus and minimizing distractions in a world full of competing demands.
- Energy management. Bailey emphasizes the importance of managing energy levels, offering techniques for enhancing physical and mental vitality to support sustained productivity.
- Experimentation and reflection. The Productivity Project advocates for experimentation and reflection, encouraging readers to test different productivity strategies and evaluate their effectiveness.
- Mindfulness and productivity. Bailey integrates mindfulness practices with productivity, highlighting the role of awareness and intention in enhancing performance and well-being.
This entertaining book details how people can be more productive in their everyday lives, both at work and at home.
In The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy, Chris Bailey details his journey on a year-long series of productivity experiments that he did himself. Through his extreme project, he learned how to increase the quality and quantity of his work.
After reading this book, you will learn how to slow down in order to work more deliberately, get rid of tasks that are not important, stop trying to be a perfectionist, keep yourself from distractions, and how to procrastinate productively.
This book is both eye-opening and engaging and will help you accomplish more work in less time.
Readers have found that this book is laid out in a very helpful way, allowing people to skip around to read chapters that are most applicable to their lives.
Each chapter also includes an estimated amount of time that it should take to read, so you know ahead of time how long you should expect to spend on that chapter. There are a lot of takeaways in this book that are easy to apply to life right away.
24. Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss
- Mentorship insights. Ferriss shares diverse insights from a wide range of successful individuals, offering valuable mentorship advice and wisdom on various aspects of life and work.
- Learning from failure. The book explores the theme of learning from failure, providing stories and lessons from mentors who have overcome adversity and setbacks.
- Daily habits. Tribe of Mentors delves into the daily habits and routines of successful individuals, offering practical tips and strategies for optimizing personal and professional performance.
- Mindset and resilience. Ferriss highlights the importance of mindset and resilience, providing perspectives on overcoming challenges and maintaining mental fortitude in pursuit of success.
- Life and career advice. The book offers a wealth of life and career advice from mentors, providing diverse perspectives and actionable insights for personal and professional growth.
Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World is a compilation of ideas from some of the world's most successful people on a variety of topics.
It is great for people who are questioning their path in life or are looking to start new or get a new sense of motivation.
Some of the subjects that this book addresses include effective morning routines, the best purchases you can make that are less than $100, how to achieve a work-life balance, and how to sort through all of the information that you take in every day.
This book is not 100% about productivity and time management, but enough of the ideas of the experts in this book touch on these subjects to make it a valuable read for people wanting to become more productive.
Some readers dislike the format of this book. It doesn't have a flow or have an obvious sense of order, rather it is the responses he got from people he reached out to when asking these questions. This seems to make the book a bit choppy.
However, it is still full of useful information that can relate to a lot of people. While not every reader will be able to relate to every part of this book, there is something in this book for every reader.
Lots of interesting stuff in this book. Even the stuff unrelated to productivity and time management is still fun and educational. Great lessons from the world’s most famous and most successful people.
25. 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management by Kevin Kruse
- Time blocking. Kruse emphasizes the technique of time blocking, advocating for the allocation of specific time slots for focused work on key priorities.
- Prioritization. The book delves into effective prioritization, providing insights into identifying and focusing on high-impact tasks to maximize productivity and results.
- Mindset shifts. 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management encourages mindset shifts towards productivity, guiding readers to adopt proactive and disciplined approaches to time management.
- Distraction management. Kruse offers strategies for managing distractions and interruptions, enabling individuals to maintain focus and productivity in the face of competing demands.
- Continuous improvement. The book promotes a culture of continuous improvement in time management practices, encouraging readers to refine their approaches for sustained success.
15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management- The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students, and 239 Entrepreneurs is a great book for people who are looking to learn how to maximize their time and be more productive while still having some extra free time at the end of the day.
In this book, Kruse presents the extraordinary findings of a study he performed on extremely productive people. Based on his research and interviews with people who have found success, Kruse reveals what the secrets are to having extreme productivity.
After reading this book, you will be able to get rid of your to-do lists, stop procrastinating, reduce stress, reduce emails, run meetings effectively, and move past social media distractions.
Readers have found that one thing that makes this book especially valuable is that it focuses on the one thing that everyone has, which is time management issues. Through the lessons of successful people, readers can learn how to use their time in a way that works for them.
Time is a valuable resource that can never be regained after it is lost, so it benefits everyone to learn how to use their time wisely. This is a quick and easy read that includes valuable resources for the reader.
26. Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
- Optimal experience. Csikszentmihalyi explores the concept of “flow,” describing it as an optimal state of consciousness where individuals are fully immersed and focused on a challenging activity, experiencing a sense of energized focus and enjoyment.
- Clear goals and feedback. The book emphasizes the importance of clear goals and immediate feedback in achieving flow, enabling individuals to maintain concentration and motivation during tasks.
- The merging of action and awareness. Flow delves into the merging of action and awareness during the flow state, where individuals become deeply absorbed in the present moment, losing self-consciousness and experiencing a sense of timelessness.
- The importance of control. Csikszentmihalyi highlights the role of perceived control in flow, indicating that individuals feel a sense of mastery and autonomy over their actions, contributing to a heightened state of enjoyment and fulfillment.
- Flow in everyday life. The book discusses the application of flow in everyday life, offering insights into how individuals can cultivate optimal experiences in various activities to enhance overall well-being and performance.
The author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience makes the argument that what makes an experience truly satisfying is a state of consciousness referred to as “flow”. During this time, people are able to experience deep enjoyment, complete involvement, and creativity.
This book helps the reader understand how this positive state of mind can be controlled. Readers learn that by putting the information in order that enters their consciousness, they can find true happiness and improve their quality of life.
Readers have found that this book opens up a worthy discussion. Although it is a bit dry at times, it helps people understand how they can enjoy their lives more.
27. Becoming the 1% by Dennis Crosby
- The book emphasizes the importance of setting clear goals and creating a detailed plan to achieve financial success.
- It highlights the significance of developing a mindset of abundance and adopting a positive attitude towards wealth creation.
- The author stresses the value of continuous learning and self-improvement as essential components of reaching the top 1%.
- The book discusses the significance of taking calculated risks and being willing to step out of one's comfort zone to achieve extraordinary results.
- It provides practical strategies for building multiple streams of income and diversifying investments to secure long-term financial stability.
This short time management book is not full of new ideas. It is not an original book with fresh thoughts. But that is part of its charm.
Becoming the 1%: how to master time management and rise to the top in 7 days is a compilation of many of the popular thoughts on time management, all organized and collected in the same place. It is not original, but the ideas are great.
Crosby has done the work of reading through much of the fluff in many of the books about time management and presents us with a quick encapsulation of just the best time-proven ideas.
This book is formatted to present the seven principles of time management. These are the keys, according to Crosby, for anyone who wants to be successfully productive.
He talks about goal setting, limiting work to essential tasks and features a specific productivity method that revolutionized his own life.
If you are looking to find out a lot of ideas about time management and want to discover these tips as quickly as possible, this may be the perfect book for you.
28. Feel-Good Productivity by Ali Abdaal
- Feel-Good Productivity: How to Achieve More of What Matters to You emphasizes the importance of aligning productivity with personal values and well-being, focusing on achieving meaningful goals rather than simply being busy.
- It offers practical strategies for managing time and energy effectively, including techniques for prioritizing tasks and avoiding burnout.
- The author discusses the concept of “deep work” and provides insights into how to cultivate a focused and distraction-free mindset to enhance productivity.
- The book encourages readers to embrace imperfection and adopt a growth-oriented approach to productivity, emphasizing progress over perfection.
- It provides actionable advice on leveraging technology and tools to streamline workflows and optimize productivity in various aspects of life.
- Free to Focus: A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less advocates for the concept of “freedom to focus” by prioritizing tasks that align with one's goals and values, enabling individuals to achieve greater productivity and fulfillment.
- It emphasizes the importance of creating a clear vision and setting specific, achievable goals to increase efficiency and reduce distractions.
- The author introduces the “3D Framework” for determining which tasks to eliminate, automate, or delegate, enabling readers to streamline their workload and focus on high-impact activities.
- The book provides practical strategies for optimizing time management, including techniques for effective task batching and creating a balanced daily routine.
- It offers insights into establishing boundaries and saying no to non-essential commitments, empowering individuals to reclaim their time and attention for meaningful pursuits.
- The 5AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life. advocates for the transformative power of starting the day at 5 AM, emphasizing the importance of a morning routine in setting the tone for a successful and fulfilling life.
- It introduces the concept of the “20/20/20 Formula,” which involves dedicating the first hour of the day to exercise, reflection, and learning, to enhance physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
- The author emphasizes the significance of cultivating a mindset of discipline and resilience, encouraging readers to embrace discomfort and challenge in pursuit of personal growth.
- The book provides actionable strategies for time management and productivity, including techniques for prioritizing tasks and maintaining focus throughout the day.
- It offers insights into the value of continuous self-improvement and lifelong learning, advocating for the pursuit of mastery in both personal and professional endeavors.
- Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals challenges the conventional approach to time management and productivity, urging readers to embrace the limitations of time and focus on meaningful priorities.
- It emphasizes the importance of accepting and reconciling with the inevitability of mortality, encouraging readers to make intentional choices about how they spend their limited time.
- The author advocates for a shift from the pursuit of “efficiency” to a focus on “effectiveness,” prioritizing activities that align with one's values and long-term fulfillment.
- The book provides insights into the psychological aspects of time management, offering strategies for overcoming procrastination and managing the fear of missing out.
- It encourages readers to cultivate a sense of presence and gratitude in daily life, emphasizing the value of savoring moments and experiences amidst the pressures of modern life.
Final Thoughts on the Best Productivity & Time Management Books
In conclusion, this collection of the “31 Best Productivity & Time Management Books” is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to enhance their time management skills and boost productivity.
Each title on this list offers unique insights into combating procrastination, prioritizing tasks, and streamlining workflows.
From the timeless wisdom in classics like “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey to the contemporary tactics found in “Four Thousand Weeks” by Oliver Burkeman, there's a wealth of knowledge to be gained.
Whether you're a seasoned executive seeking to elevate your organizational prowess or a budding entrepreneur searching for strategies to master your schedule and maximize efficiency, these books provide a diverse range of perspectives and techniques that can be tailored to fit any lifestyle.
As we close the chapter on this comprehensive lineup, remember that the power to increase your productivity lies with the knowledge you discover and the willpower to take action and implement the lessons. Equip yourself with the strategies found in these texts, and transform each moment into an opportunity for success.
So please share your favorite productivity and time management books in the comment below.
And if you're looking for more books to help you succeed in life, check out these lists:
- 33 Best Books on Building Good Habits
- 29 Best Self Help Books for Women to Read
- 20 Must-Read Success Books to Get More From Life
- 31 Best Motivational Books to Inspire Your Reading
- 21 Best Personal Development & Self Improvement Books
Finally, if you want to level up your productivity and time management skills, then watch this free video about the 9 productivity habits you can build at work.