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12 of the Best Books on Productivity

No matter how hard some of us try, we sometimes misuse our time. Falling into the rabbit hole of social media or getting lost for hours in a video game is all too common.

Being productive during our free time can sometimes be a challenge. If you’re the type who feels they need a gentle nudge, or maybe even a forceful shove, to be more productive, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

If you’d like to win back your idle time and use it for more productive means, this article is for you. We’ll introduce you to some of the best books on productivity to help you get back on track and use your time more productively.

12 Best Books on Productivity

It’s fair to say that many of us would love to be more productive in our daily lives, from having a more manageable work-life balance to learning how to avoid or eliminate distractions that keep us from doing what we’ve set out to do.

Reading is a good use of our time. Reading while learning about how to increase productivity is a win-win situation. Here we’ve selected an even dozen of the best books on productivity to help guide you in the right direction toward winning the war by using your time wisely.

1. ‘Productivity for How You’re Wired’ by Ellen Faye

This book provides a three-part plan to help those with productivity issues. It covers how to build a foundation of understanding yourself, create a system that fits how you’re wired, and successfully apply these principles to be more productive.

Faye’s book is unique. Paying careful attention to the differences in each individual’s way of thinking can help construct better strategies for being productive. This is better than approaching the topic with a one-size-fits-all attitude. “Productivity for How You’re Wired” can help you develop new, more productive habits. The strategies enclosed within can help you be more productive in a way that suits how you’re wired. They can also lead to a reduction in stress.

2. ‘Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity’ by Tim Challies

This easy-to-read practical guide is excellent for those who want a lot of information in a condensed format. “Do More Better” is the work of a common man, not a university-educated scholar. Challies has written about what worked for him. He keeps his suggestions and strategies for becoming more productive and easy to follow.

In this book, you’ll learn the most common obstacles to productivity, how to find purpose in being productive, and the power of having routines. Also included are essential tools for getting things done, with specific tips for taming your emails. This practical guide is a great read and can help even the most unproductive people become more productive.

3. ‘The Workplace Guide to Time Management: Best Practices to Maximize Productivity’ by Phoebe Gavin

Life and career coach Phoebe Gavin has helped countless clients overcome their poor time management habits and become more productive. She’s taken her years of experience and written “The Workplace Guide to Time Management,” a comprehensive guide for those struggling with an unproductive lifestyle.

Gavin explains that there are only so many minutes each day, and the secret to unlocking productivity is making the best use of each of them. For those with time management issues, this book can help to understand how to properly manage time and not see time as the enemy. She offers proven methods to break time-wasting habits and success stories from those who went from time wasters to using their time more productively.

3. ‘Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity’ by David Allen

Although published in 2015, “Getting Things Done” is still highly popular and is considered the ultimate book on the skill of personal organization. The author has spent over 30 years researching productivity strategies and has guided corporate managers and CEOs to success by showing them practical and more efficient uses of time. Allen engineered the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology that teaches how to have a more balanced, committed, and productive work-life mix.

The new edition of “Getting Things Done” has been entirely rewritten by Allen. It now includes new strategies and more relevant material. This updated version helps readers understand the differences between when something is done and what doing actually is. His unique perspective on productivity can surely help anyone who yearns for a more productive life.

4. ‘The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy’ by Chris Bailey

Chris Bailey turned down an ideal job to spend a year working on a concept he had about productivity. This book is the result of his year-long study. During that time, he performed various experiments on himself to gain valuable insights. These include eliminating caffeine and sugar from his diet, living in total isolation, and only using his cell phone for a mere hour a day. He experimented with stretching his workweek to 90 hours while monitoring the quantity and quality of his work.

He called these experiments “The Productivity Project” and wrote this book about his experiences. The reader will learn about his insights and how he learned the value of slowing down and working more deliberately. He also learned how to effectively remove distractions and developed the concept of productive procrastination.

5. ‘The 7-Minute Productivity Solution’ by John Brandon

After more than a decade working a corporate job, John Brandon abandoned his career to become an author and journalist. “The 7-Minute Productivity Solution” teaches readers his easy plan to eliminate digital distractions and how to change daily habits that inhibit productivity.

This book focuses on how to restructure your time, avoid unnecessary distractions, and focus more efficiently. Brandon lays out an effective plan for starting the day, managing your schedule, how to stop obsessive patterns, and effectively use breaks to increase your productivity. His formula for productivity success only uses seven minutes of your day. This revolutionary approach to effective time management could be what you’re looking for.

6. ‘Stress-Free Productivity: A Personalized Toolkit to Become Your Most Efficient and Creative Self’ by Alice Boyes, PhD

Dr. Boyes explains that there is no one-size-fits-all solution regarding how people manage their time and how productive they are. She believes everyone can work efficiently and effectively, but the problem is finding what works for each individual. “Stress-Free Productivity” has suggestions and methods to help readers improve their lives.

As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Boyes helps the reader understand what works for them by creating a productivity profile to help each individual find the productivity plan that is perfect for them. If you feel that you’re a perfectionist incapable of being productive due to never being satisfied, this book will prove that to be incorrect. Each chapter has a quiz that will help the reader better understand what’s holding them back and offers suggestions for overcoming the issues that can inhibit productivity.

7. ‘The 12 Week Year Field Guide’ by Brian P. Moran

The 12 Week Year Field Guide” is the workbook to accompany the New York Times bestseller “The 12 Week Year.” This powerful companion guide works well and can help readers significantly improve their productivity. The workbook helps readers accomplish in 12 weeks what they thought would take a year. Creating a 12-week plan is easier than you might think.

Moran assures that by utilizing time-tested methods, anyone can create a 12-week plan to accomplish more than they imagined, either in their work or personal life. Doing so helps the reader see time differently. By compressing an entire year’s worth of goals into three months, Moran has developed a foolproof method to help readers avoid procrastination and complacency. With ready-to-use worksheets, readers can decrease the time it takes to accomplish tasks and achieve goals.

8. ‘10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management’ by Hyrum W. Smith

The “10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management” gives readers simple yet effective tips for increased productivity in their career and personal life. Author Hyrum W. Smith is best known as one of the original creators of the Franklin Day Planner, one of the original paper-based time management systems.

In this book, readers will discover how to improve their time management skills and lead a happier, more content life. Smith’s theory is that once people take control of their hours, they will gain great insights into other aspects of their lives. This reclaiming of time can lead to a more peaceful and fulfilled life. Along with a better understanding of how to control time comes less stress. This book can help readers achieve a more productive and peaceful life.

9. ‘Productivity Supercharger: Reach Your Goals Faster by Working More Effectively on the Right Things’ by Matthew McClure

McClure’s goal while writing “Productivity Supercharger” was to provide the reader with the most useful information while avoiding unnecessary fluff. His concise, to-the-point writing style gives the reader exactly what they need to know with little distraction. He believes that although no one has taught us how to be productive, becoming highly productive is easily achieved.

His methods include how to spend time more efficiently and intelligently. With the tools to better manage focusing skills, the reader can lead a less stressful life, have a greater sense of accomplishment, and have better control over their personal life and time. Highlights include how to overcome procrastination, identify and eliminate unnecessary work, and tools to determine your true goals.

10. ‘Mind Management, Not Time Management: Productivity When Creativity Matters’ by David Kadavy

Mind Management, Not Time Management” introduces a different process of mastering productivity. Instead of focusing on managing time, this book has the reader focus more on their thinking. His book can assist those artistic types as well as the common person. Kadavy explores ways to change daily routines by discovering hidden patterns that can significantly increase productivity.

This best-selling author’s belief is to stop focusing on better managing time and instead to better manage your thinking. His mind management principles have been incorporated into some of the features of the popular Google Calendar app. Many books on productivity rely on the reduction of technology or apps, but “Mind Management, Not Time Management” recommends using inexpensive gadgets to unlock the keys to true productivity.

11. ‘The Time Management Solution’ by Damon Zahariades

The Time Management Solution” by best-selling author Damon Zahariades is a deep look into 21 proven tactics to increase productivity and reduce stress. It will help guide readers through reclaiming their time, better organizing their workflow, and help create more free time for personal projects and endeavors.

Zahariades aims to help readers achieve a more fulfilling life by reducing stress, distractions, and bad habits that can hinder productivity. The book offers tips on better managing daily workday tasks such as incoming calls and endless emails and how to stay in control of your time. A bonus chapter is devoted to helping remote workers increase their productivity.

Acquire the Knowledge to Increase Productivity

There is an abundance of books available on the topic of increasing productivity. We’ve saved you some time by highlighting 12 of the best. If you’ve tried to manage your time better with your own methods but have failed, consider looking into one or more of the 12 best books on productivity we’ve covered here.

Not all methods work for everyone, but you can start being more productive by searching for the right book. There’s sure to be a method or theory that will help you tackle the issues keeping you from living the life you want among these best books on productivity.


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