Are you struggling with productivity? I am going to share the 10 best productivity books that can boost your productivity. Each of these books is a favorite of mine and I think you’ll like them too.
Productivity is crucial if you are going to accomplish anything. In addition to this blog post, I have several blog posts about productivity that can help you make progress in your life.
10 Best Productivity Books
1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is based on a principle-centered approach to both personal and interpersonal effectiveness. The 7 habits are as follows:
- Be proactive
- Begin with the end in mind
- Put first things first
- Think win/win
- Seek to understand first, before making yourself understood
- Learn to synergize
- Sharpen the saw
In the book, Stephen goes in-depth about each of the seven habits. If you incorporate each of these habits into your life, you can get positive results. Each habit can help you become more effective in your life.
2. Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy
Eat That Frog might not sound like a productivity book, but it surprisingly is. In the book, Brian Tracy advises that you need to complete your most difficult task first. The purpose of doing the most difficult task is so that it gets completed. If you don’t complete your most difficult task first, you will procrastinate. And when you procrastinate, you are not being productive.
The book explains 21 key ways to stop procrastinating. The 21 key ways are as follows:
- Set the table: You need clarity to decide what you want. Then, write out your goals and objectives before you start.
- Plan every day in advance: Put your thoughts on paper. Every minute you spend in planning can save you ten minutes of execution time.
- Apply the 80/20 Rule to everything: Focus on the most vital tasks first. Twenty percent of your activities will account for eighty percent of your results. Always concentrate your efforts on that top twenty percent.
- Consider the consequences: Think to the future and make your current decisions reflect what you want. Your most important priorities are those that can have the most serious consequences on your life.
- Practice creative procrastination: You can’t do everything, so you must learn to put off those tasks that are of low value. If you don’t, you won’t have enough time to do the few things that really count in your life.
- Use the ABCDE Method continually: Before you start working on a list of tasks, take some time to organize them by value and priority. This will help you to focus on your most important activities.
- Focus on key result areas: Identify those results that you absolutely have to get in order to do your job well. Then, work on them all day long.
- The Law of Three: Identify the three things you do in your work that account for 90% of your contribution. Then, focus on getting those three things done before anything else. As a result, you will have more time for your personal life.
- Prepare thoroughly before you begin: Be sure to have everything you need at hand before you start. Assemble all information and work materials so that once you get started, you can keep going.
- Take it one oil barrel at a time: Take it one step at a time. You can accomplish the most complicated job if you complete it one step at a time.
- Upgrade your key skills: Become more knowledgeable and skilled at your key tasks. The faster you start them, the sooner you get them done.
- Leverage your special talents: Determine exactly what you are very good at doing, or could be very good at. Then, throw your whole heart into doing those specific things the best you can.
- Identify your key constraints: Determine the constraints, internally or externally, that set the speed at which you achieve your most important goals and focus on alleviating them.
- Put the pressure on yourself: Set an imaginary deadline for yourself and complete all of your major tasks by that time.
- Maximize your personal powers: Structure your most demanding and important tasks around your periods of highest mental and physical energy each day. Get plenty of rest so you can perform at your best.
- Motivate yourself into action: Look for the good in every situation. Focus on the solution rather than the problem. Always be constructive and optimistic.
- Get Out of The Technological Time Sinks: Don’t become a slave to technology. Use technology to improve the quality of your communications. Learn to turn technology off, and leave it off.
- Slice and dice the task: Break complex tasks down into tiny pieces. Then, focus on one small part of the task to get started.
- Create large chunks of time: Plan and organize your days around large blocks of time where you can concentrate for extended periods on your most important tasks.
- Develop a sense of urgency: Move fast on your key tasks. Be known as a person who does things quickly and well.
- Single handle every task: Set clear priorities. Then, start immediately on your most important task and work without stopping until the job is complete. This will help you be a high performer and maximize your personal productivity.
3. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity by David Allen
According to David Allen, we can be productive only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized. At that point, we can achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential. In the book, David shows how to do the following:
- Empty your inbox by applying the “do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it” rule.
- Always reassess your goals and stay focused when situations change.
- Make sure to plan your projects, as well as get them unstuck.
- Overcome any feelings of anxiety, confusion and being overwhelmed.
- Don’t worry about what you aren’t doing. Be okay with it.
4. Atomic Habits by James Clear
Atomic Habits offers a proven system to help you improve your habits. I previously did a review of Atomic Habits and this book definitely a favorite. James is a leading expert on habit formation. He reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the small behaviors that lead to amazing results. Formulation of the right habits come from the following:
- Cues: Triggers your brain to initiate a behavior. Make it obvious. Use habit stacking.
- Cravings: Motivations to pursue. You need to make your habits attractive. Use temptation bundling.
- Response: Make the response easy. Remove as much friction as possible. Plan it out.
- Rewards: Make the reward satisfying by using reinforcements. Keep track of your success to help you stay motivated.
5. The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi
The Lazy Genius Way is focused on being a smart about what that matter and ignoring what doesn’t matter. The 13 Lazy Genius Way principles are as follows:
- Decide Once: Make one decision so you can focus on what matters.
- Start Small: Small improvements lead to a big results in the end.
- Ask the Magic Question: Ask yourself what you can be doing to make your tasks easier.
- Live in the Season: Pay attention to the beauty that is around you.
- Build the Right Routines: Slowly build the right routine for yourself.
- Set House Rules: Establish house rules to keep peace in your life.
- Put Everything In Order: Put everything you have in it’s place. If something doesn’t belong, it’s time to get rid of it.
- Let People In: Allow people in your life, even if you aren’t going to be tight friends.
- Batch It: Batch your tasks to get more done.
- Essentialize: Remove anything that distracts you from what you want.
- Go In the Right Order: Any task can be completed in three steps: remember what matters, calm the crazy and trust yourself.
- Schedule Rest: Take time to rest, in order to do your best.
- Be Kind to Yourself: Value yourself and celebrate who you are.
6. 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management by Kevin Kruse
Kevin Kruse completed quite a bit of research for his book, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management. He interviewed athletes, entrepreneurs, and straight-a students to unleash the secrets to extreme productivity. The 15 tips in this book are:
1. Invest in the 1440 minutes in a day.
2. Set daily priorities.
3. Don’t use to do lists.
4. What can you do now to plan for the future.
5. Time-block priorities to end the day guilt free.
6. Use a notebook to capture what’s on your mind.
7. Only check emails three times a day.
8. Avoid lengthy meetings.
9. Say no to everything outside of your goal area.
10. Follow the 80/20 rule.
11. Delegate or outsource.
12. Work themes for days to focus on major areas.
13. Touch things only once.
14. Have a consistent morning ritual.
15. Don’t think about time, focus on energy.
7. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport
If you struggle to focus on a task for a prolonged period, Deep Work is a great book for you to check out. Cal Newport defines deep work as “professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.” The books is divided into the two following parts:
Part one: Deep work is valuable, rare and meaningful.
Part two: The four rules for doing more deep work are work deeply, embrace boredom, quit social media and drain the shallows.
Deep Work is a great book that helps you to focus and complete distraction-free work that is critical for reaching your goals and completing projects.
8. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg uses scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how you can change them. Duhigg provides a vast amount of information, in regards to human transformation. Habits aren’t your destiny and they can be adjusted to help you get your desired results.
9. Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal
In Indistractable, Nir Eyal explains the hidden psychology driving us to distraction. He describes why solving the problem is not as simple as removing our devices: Abstinence is impractical and often makes us want more. Eyal’s four steps to becoming indistractable are:
- How to master internal triggers.
- How to block out time and make traction.
- How to hack back external triggers.
- How to prevent distraction with pacts.
10. How to be a Productivity Ninja: Worry Less, Achieve More and Love What You Do by Graham Allcott
Written by one of the UK’s leading productivity experts, How to be a Productivity Ninja is a practical and entertaining guide to staying calm, cool and collected, and accomplish more. Allcott uses techniques including Mindfulness, Ruthlessness, Zen-like Calm and Stealth & Camouflage to help you learn how to manage your attention, instead of your time.
If you are struggling with productivity, the 10 best productivity books that can boost your productivity can help you get results. I have enjoyed reading each of these books and I think you will enjoy them as well. Let me know in the comments below which book is your favorite.