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Its time to be productive! Being productive means getting tasks accomplished towards a specific goal. I’ve already published a post on how we can be more productive in our daily lives, but sometimes, we need a little more help than what a blog post can provide. To assist with that, I’ve cultivated this list of the best books for productivity! These books and resources can help you get in the right mindset for a productive day and help you achieve your goals.
How Can A Book Improve Productivity?
You might be thinking that productivity can’t be found in books. While technically correct, books can help a ton of people change their thoughts about what it takes to be productive. Some books might have tips for dealing with distractions, while others may have tools to help you keep on track.
Books for productivity can help in another key way as well. The act of purchasing and reading a book on productivity can give us the mental boost to actually follow through with the things we read. If we are dedicated enough to buy a book, we are probably dedicated enough to read it and use the tools we learn in it, which will in fact help boost our productivity.
The Best Books for Productivity
With that being said, here are the best books for productivity. Pick the one that’s right for you and start achieving your goals today!
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a timeless classic in the field of productivity. First published in 1989, it became a New York Times Bestseller, and was re-released in 2014 as a 25th anniversary edition.
There’s a reason why this book has stood the test of time. The advice by author Stephen Covey is timeless. It’s all about developing personal habits that will lead to success. And no, those habits aren’t things like going to bed early and hitting the gym. They are more value based. It’s about changing the way you think about achieving your goals. As on of the most classic books for productivity, this is a great place to start.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Getting Things Done was first written and published in 2001 by David Allen, a productivity consultant. He based his book of the system of productivity he teaches, aptly named “Getting things Done”.
The book was revised and re-released in 2015, but the core message remains the same. That is, if you are stressed out and overwhelmed, getting things done is difficult. Clearing our minds and organizing our thoughts is a great way to deal with this roadblock, and Getting Things Done offers tools on how to do just that.
How to Stop Procrastinating: A Simple Guide to Mastering Difficult Tasks and Breaking the Procrastination Habit
Procrastination is one of the biggest enemies of productivity. Most of us are guilty of it. We take one look at that giant to-do-list and decide to waste our time instead. How to Stop Procrastinating by S.J. Scott can help you with that.
In this book, Scott identifies 8 common reasons for procrastination, and gives you the tools you need to overcome them. In this way, he hopes to help you eliminate your bad procrastination habit and start building healthier habits that will help you accomplish your goals.
Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day
Make Time is all about getting the most out of your day. Authors Jake Zeratsky and John Knapp are the masters of time management skills for normal people. They are so obsessed with making the best use of your time that they dubbed themselves the Time Dorks.
But the great thing about Make Time is that the focus isn’t on being super productive. It’s more about redesigning the way you work to make yourself more productive. And with over 80 different methods on achieving this, there’s bound to be one that works for you.
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What Do in Life and Business
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is a different kind of book on productivity. It looks at the science of building habits, and tries to explain how to get things done from a human behavior perspective. Building good habits might be as simple as understanding how habits work.
Duhigg uses real life examples from boardrooms to football fields to illustrate his findings. He describes how Proctor & Gamble used human behavior to make their Febreeze product a success, and how learning how the right habits work was crucial for Michael Phelps rise to Olympic Stardom. The premise is anyone can use these scientific findings to build better habits for themselves.
15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management- The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students, and 239 Entrepreneurs
In order to find the secret to productivity, Kevin Kruse decided to ask the professionals. His research led him to interviewing a ton of famous and not so famous highly productive people to see if they had any secrets in common.
As it turns out, they do. They keep their inbox clear, they work from their calendars, and they maximize their use of time. 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management goes in depth on these and other productivity hacks, and also includes an easy to use list of things you can do to save time and energy.
The Four Hour Work Week
The Four Hour Work week is all about maximizing your productivity by automating as many things as possible, and using your new-found time and freedom to live the life that you want. That’s what seeking financial independence is all about, isn’t it?
Manage Your Day to Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen your Creative Mind
Manage Your Day, edited by Jocelyn K. Glei, is one of the more recent books on productivity that made the list. Published in 2013, it’s actually a collection of contributions by variety of authors on their best tips for effective time management is a world where disconnecting seems impossible.
Manage Your Day is interesting because it acknowledges the challenges that our interconnect world have brought, from constant notifications to feeling like you always have to be on. The tips each other provides will help you focus on what matters in our busy worlds.
Eat That Frog
What a weird name for a productivity book, right? Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy is based off a metaphor that dates all the way back to Mark Twain. Twain is credited with saying that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day.
Tracy expands on this metaphor and uses it as a guiding stone to help you achieve maximum productivity. Identify the worst tasks on your to-do list and get them done first. He goes into a lot more detail, including tips on how to eat the frog, and what to do if you have multiple frogs. Tracy also stresses the reasons behind eating the frog – so we have more time to focus on the things that matter most to us.
In Extreme Productivity, author Robert Pozen emphases focusing on your highest priorities. Identifying and completing tasks that have the highest impact on your organizational goals is a huge key feeling more productive.
Extreme Productivity has a career focus, but the tips and techniques listed can be used to attain results at home as well. His focus on producing results rather than just putting in time will help anyone be more productive, whether in their professional lives or daily lives.
Productivity Super Charger
Productivity Super Charger by Matthew McClure is a well-rounded instructional manual on productivity. In it, McClure offers valuable advice on everything from determining what’s more important to overcoming procrastination to delegating menial tasks.
If you’re looking for a well laid out book with relatable and actionable tips for enhancing your productivity, Productivity Super Charger is the way to go.
Not Today: The Nine Habits of Extreme Productivity
Not Today is a little bit of a different take on productivity. Authors Mike and Erica Schultz learned how to embrace productivity through an immense challenge in their personal life – the unexpected tragedy of a sick child.
Through their trials, they discovered the secrets to living more intentionally while maintaining excellent levels of productivity. This experience led them to conduct even more research into productivity, and came out the other end with this helpful guide.
More Tools to Help You Be Productive
I get it, books aren’t for everyone. Maybe you learn better through courses, or maybe you just need a better journal or notebook to help you increase your productivity. Some people want all the tools – and for those I recommend the Ultimate Bundles Super Productivity Bundle is a great choice, but unfortunately, it’s only available in February. But you can click here to get notified as soon as it hits the shelf!
The Best Courses On Productivity
There are a plethora of online classes that will help you be more productive. Some may help you grow your organizational skills, while others are more focused on helping you achieve deadlines. Whatever you’re looking for, there’s an online course for you.
LinkedIn Learning has a plethora of options for learning about productivity online. They have courses on the exact topics I already mentioned, but also courses about how to manage your to do list, and courses on developing better habits in general.
A bonus to LinkedIn Learning is that you don’t pay by the course, you pay a monthly subscription fee and gain access to the thousands of courses that LinkedIn has to offer. When you’re done learning about productivity, put those new skills to the test and learn about graphic design or program management. There are so many courses on LinkedIn that you will never get bored. Start your free trial today.
Udemy is a leader in online education for a reason. They have classes in pretty much everything you could possibly imagine – including productivity. However, Udemy can get a bit pricey for a single course. If you’re looking for a ton of information for a low monthly price, LinkedIn is probably the better deal.
That doesn’t mean you should check out some of Udemy’s offerings though. The 30 day challenge to a More Productive and Much Happier You is an amazing course with some productivity tips that are achievable for pretty much everyone. If you only want to take one course on being more productive, check this one out.
Journals, Calendars, Planners, and More!
One thing that helps me feel the most productive is creating lists, journals, notebooks, and other visual boards to guide my creative process. There are many amazing tools available that will help you increase your productivity – and here are my favorites!
Ivory Paper Co All-in-One Planner
The Ivory Paper company’s all-in-one planner is the perfect solution to organizing your day (and life!). It has contact pages, calendar pages, and daily pages where you can write your daily goals, tasks, and achievements. It really is the ultimate solution when it comes to planners.
Perfect Planning Calendar
If you are just looking for a calendar, you should snag this wall calendar from Staples. It is so freaking hard for me to find calendars with the vertical alignment that I like. I searched so many stores before I finally found one at Staples. Since then, I’ve gotten one every year and use it to plan my finances, my trips, and my most important events. I love it so much.
The Journal for All Your Needs
Sometimes, you just need a traditional journal for all of your bulleting, notetaking, brain dumping, and planning needs. Franklin Planner has a wide variety of journalswith wonderful selection of covers and page types. They are also very reasonably priced!
Be More Productive Starting Today!
Now that you have the absolute best resources for productivity – what are you waiting for? Tackle that to do list and start getting stuff done!
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.