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Best Productivity Books: The 70 Best Books on Time Management

Arthur Worsley
by Arthur Worsley
M.A. Psychology, Oxford. McKinsey Alum. Founder & Editor at TAoL..
12 MINUTE READ

Looking for the best productivity books of all time?

You’re in the right place!

Here’s what you’ll find on this page…

Start Here: My Top Productivity Picks

Having read scores of books on the topic, my top recommendations for anyone serious about getting more done are always:

That said, productivity is a HUGE topic. It’s about effectiveness (“doing the right thing”) and it’s about efficiency (“doing the thing right”). It’s about self-management and it’s about working with others. It starts with your very next action and it ends with your mission and meaning in life.

That’s why the list of best productivity books and best time management books below contains books on focus and concentration, books on efficiency, books on time management, books on beating procrastination and books on getting more done.

(Note: For more book recommendations and book summaries that might help – don’t miss these awesome reading lists of best books on communication, best books on emotional intelligence and the best books on mindset.)

Don’t stress too much about what to read first! Scan the titles, browse the summaries, pick something that excites you, trust your gut and take action.

Enjoy these best productivity books and best time management books of all time. Good luck, go well and remember: “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

The 70 Best Productivity Books of All Time

Why these best productivity books and not others? The best productivity books below are the top picks from my master database, ranked by a combination of Goodreads rating, the number of Goodreads reviews and first publication date. The goal is to give a good balance of what’s most loved, what’s most popular and what’s delivered timelessly relevant advice.

Think something’s missing? Email me and I’ll add it to the next round of updates. I honestly love hearing from you so please, do get in touch!

Books 1-10: The Top 10 Best Productivity Books of All Time

Here are the top 10 best productivity books from my database…

Best Productivity Books: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey (FREE Summary)
Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
A perennial masterpiece on leading a happy, productive and purposeful existence and an unmissable stop for any pilgrim of personal improvement – by educator, author and speaker, Stephen Covey.
Published 1989 // 372 pages // Rated 4.1 over 500,100 reviews on Goodreads
Best Productivity Books: High Output Management
2. High Output Management – Andrew S. Grove (Summary)
A game-changing bible on entrepreneurship and management for anyone seeking practical ways to supercharge their personal and professional productivity – by founder of Intel, Andrew Grove.
Published 1983 // 272 pages // Rated 4.3 over 9,700 reviews on Goodreads
Best Productivity Books: First Things First
3. First Things First – Stephen R. Covey (Summary)
An action-oriented time-management manual, filled with frameworks and exercises to help you do more of what matters and less of what doesn’t – by the author of the #1 book on this list, Stephen Covey.
Published 1993 // 384 pages // Rated 4.1 over 35,800 reviews on Goodreads
Best Productivity Books: Goals!
4. Goals! – Brian Tracy
How to Get Everything You Want Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible
The first book I ever read on productivity and probably the most readable and complete guide to goal-setting ever written – by sales legend and time-management master, Brian Tracy.
Published 1989 // 291 pages // Rated 4.3 over 11,500 reviews on Goodreads
Best Productivity Books: The Effective Executive
5. The Effective Executive – Peter F. Drucker (FREE Summary)
The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done
THE timeless classic on leadership and management; on getting the right things done – by the dean of business and management philosophy, Peter F. Drucker.
Published 1966 // 208 pages // Rated 4.1 over 27,200 reviews on Goodreads
Best Productivity Books: The Slight Edge
6. The Slight Edge – Jeff Olson (FREE Summary)
Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success & Happiness
A short, punchy, practical guide to the why, what and how of using simple daily disciplines to achieve breakthrough success – by serial entrepreneur, speaker and author, Jeff Olson.
Published 2005 // 168 pages // Rated 4.4 over 17,000 reviews on Goodreads
Best Productivity Books: The Compound Effect
7. The Compound Effect – Darren Hardy (FREE Summary)
Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success
A concise, practical guide to mastering small choices that determine big outcomes which dictate the course of your life – by best selling author, publisher and motivational speaker, Darren Hardy.
Published 2010 // 162 pages // Rated 4.4 over 24,800 reviews on Goodreads
Best Productivity Books: Getting Things Done
8. Getting Things Done – David Allen (FREE Summary)
The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
THE classic life-changing manual on getting organised and building a robust productivity system that can handle whatever life throws at you – by productivity guru, David Allen.
Published 2002 // 267 pages // Rated 4.0 over 122,700 reviews on Goodreads
Best Productivity Books: The Art of Exceptional Living
9. The Art of Exceptional Living – Jim Rohn
An inspirational reminder of the power of continuous self-improvement and doing the best that you can in every situation – by entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn.
Published 1985 // Rated 4.3 over 2,600 reviews on Goodreads
Best Productivity Books: The 80/20 Principle
10. The 80/20 Principle – Richard Koch (Summary)
The Secret to Achieving More with Less
The perennial guide to mastering the Pareto principal and doing more with less – by management consultant, venture capitalist and best-selling author, Richard Koch.
Published 1998 // 288 pages // Rated 4.0 over 19,600 reviews on Goodreads

Books 11-70: More Great Productivity Books to Read

Here are the next 60 books on my list of best productivity books of all time…

11. The Checklist Manifesto – Atul Gawande (Summary)
How to Get Things Right
Published 2009 // 208 pages // Rated 4.1 over 45,600 reviews on Goodreads
12. 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness – Jim Rohn (Summary)
Power Ideas from America’s Foremost Business Philosopher
Published 1996 // 176 pages // Rated 4.5 over 1,900 reviews on Goodreads
13. The Power of Full Engagement – Jim Loehr (Summary)
Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal
Published 2003 // 222 pages // Rated 4.0 over 12,000 reviews on Goodreads
14. The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg (FREE Summary)
Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
A page-turning dive into the power and ubiquity of unconscious habits in shaping our decisions and destinies (plus a practical guide to changing them) – by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Charles Duhigg.
Published 2012 // 375 pages // Rated 4.1 over 323,000 reviews on Goodreads
15. Your Brain at Work – David Rock (Summary)
Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long
Published 2009 // 246 pages // Rated 4.1 over 8,400 reviews on Goodreads
16. The Way to Wealth – Benjamin Franklin
Published 1758 // 30 pages // Rated 4.1 over 2,000 reviews on Goodreads
17. The One Thing – Gary Keller (Summary)
The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
Published 2012 // 240 pages // Rated 4.1 over 41,000 reviews on Goodreads
18. Managing Oneself – Peter F. Drucker
Published 2007 // 72 pages // Rated 4.1 over 8,600 reviews on Goodreads
19. The Miracle Morning – Hal Elrod (Summary)
The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life: Before 8AM
Published 2006 // 172 pages // Rated 3.9 over 41,200 reviews on Goodreads
20. The Now Habit – Neil A. Fiore (Summary)
A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play
Published 1988 // 206 pages // Rated 3.9 over 13,500 reviews on Goodreads
21. Rework – Jason Fried (Summary)
Published 2010 // 279 pages // Rated 4.0 over 135,400 reviews on Goodreads
22. Deep Work – Cal Newport (FREE Summary)
Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
A timely reminder of the value of deep, focussed work and the dangers of losing yourself in the shallows of entertainment and distraction – by author and associate professor, Cal Newport.
Published 2016 // 296 pages // Rated 4.2 over 65,600 reviews on Goodreads
23. Eat That Frog! – Brian Tracy (FREE Summary)
21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
A punchy, concise guide to identifying what matters, setting powerful goals and then getting to work on them right away – by productivity and self-development legend, Brian Tracy.
Published 2007 // 128 pages // Rated 3.9 over 44,000 reviews on Goodreads
24. The Paradox of Choice – Barry Schwartz (Summary)
Why More Is Less
Published 2004 // 265 pages // Rated 3.9 over 27,700 reviews on Goodreads
25. Making Ideas Happen – Scott Belsky (Summary)
Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality
Published 2010 // 256 pages // Rated 4.0 over 19,000 reviews on Goodreads
26. Scrum – Jeff Sutherland (Summary)
The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
Published 2014 // 237 pages // Rated 4.2 over 13,900 reviews on Goodreads
27. The 4 Disciplines of Execution – Chris McChesney (Summary)
Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals
Published 2011 // 296 pages // Rated 4.1 over 5,400 reviews on Goodreads
28. Essentialism – Greg McKeown (Summary)
The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
Published 2014 // 260 pages // Rated 4.0 over 50,600 reviews on Goodreads
29. Do the Work – Steven Pressfield (Summary)
Published 2011 // 112 pages // Rated 4.0 over 15,300 reviews on Goodreads
30. Atomic Habits – James Clear (FREE Summary)
An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
A powerful and practical guide to transforming your habits, making change stick and achieving remarkable results – by author and habit-guru, James Clear.
Published 2018 // 319 pages // Rated 4.4 over 94,000 reviews on Goodreads
31. The 10x Rule – Grant Cardone (Summary)
The Only Difference Between Success and Failure
Published 2011 // 240 pages // Rated 4.0 over 13,600 reviews on Goodreads
32. Organizing from the Inside Out – Julie Morgenstern (Summary)
The Foolproof System For Organizing Your Home, Your Office and Your Life
Published 1998 // 247 pages // Rated 3.9 over 5,400 reviews on Goodreads
33. The Dip – Seth Godin (Summary)
A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit
Published 2007 // 80 pages // Rated 3.8 over 25,100 reviews on Goodreads
34. The Shallows – Nicholas Carr
What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains
Published 2010 // 280 pages // Rated 3.9 over 22,200 reviews on Goodreads
35. No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs – Dan S. Kennedy
The Ultimate No Holds Barred Kick Butt Take No Prisoners Guide to Time Productivity and Sanity
Published 1996 // 182 pages // Rated 4.0 over 700 reviews on Goodreads
36. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – Marie Kondō (Summary)
The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
Published 2011 // 224 pages // Rated 3.8 over 266,500 reviews on Goodreads
37. Making It All Work – David Allen (Summary)
Winning at the Game of Work and Business of Life
Published 2003 // 286 pages // Rated 3.9 over 2,800 reviews on Goodreads
38. Work the System – Sam Carpenter (Summary)
The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less
Published 2009 // 240 pages // Rated 3.9 over 5,300 reviews on Goodreads
39. Procrastination – Jane B. Burka
Why You Do It, What To Do About It
Published 1982 // 240 pages // Rated 3.9 over 1,300 reviews on Goodreads
40. Ready for Anything – David Allen (Summary)
52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done
Published 2003 // 165 pages // Rated 3.9 over 4,400 reviews on Goodreads
41. Finish – Jon Acuff (Summary)
Give Yourself the Gift of Done
Published 2017 // 206 pages // Rated 4.2 over 6,200 reviews on Goodreads
42. Organizing Solutions for People With Attention Deficit Disorder – Susan C. Pinsky
Tips and Tools to Help You Take Charge of Your Life and Get Organized
Published 2006 // 192 pages // Rated 4.0 over 1,300 reviews on Goodreads
43. It’s All Too Much – Peter Walsh
An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff
Published 2006 // 230 pages // Rated 3.9 over 5,300 reviews on Goodreads
44. High Performance Habits – Brendon Burchard (Summary)
How Extraordinary People Become That Way
Published 2017 // 393 pages // Rated 4.2 over 5,800 reviews on Goodreads
45. Mini Habits – Stephen Guise (Summary)
Smaller Habits, Bigger Results
Published 2013 // 127 pages // Rated 4.1 over 4,400 reviews on Goodreads
46. The 12 Week Year – Brian P. Moran (Summary)
Published 2009 // 63 pages // Rated 3.9 over 4,700 reviews on Goodreads
47. Manage Your Day-to-Day – Jocelyn K. Glei (Summary)
Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind
Published 2013 // 248 pages // Rated 3.9 over 18,400 reviews on Goodreads
48. How to Live on 24 Hours a Day – Arnold Bennett
Published 1908 // 92 pages // Rated 3.7 over 5,100 reviews on Goodreads
49. Relentless – Tim S. Grover
From Good to Great to Unstoppable
Published 2014 // 272 pages // Rated 4.0 over 6,700 reviews on Goodreads
50. Time Power – Brian Tracy
A Proven System for Getting More Done in Less Time Than You Ever Thought Possible
Published 2004 // 304 pages // Rated 4.0 over 600 reviews on Goodreads
51. The Power Of Less – Leo Babauta (Summary)
The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential
Published 2008 // 170 pages // Rated 3.8 over 7,900 reviews on Goodreads
52. Make Your Bed – William H. McRaven (Summary)
Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World
Published 2017 // 144 pages // Rated 4.0 over 56,400 reviews on Goodreads
53. Do More Better – Tim Challies
A Practical Guide to Productivity
Published 2015 // 104 pages // Rated 4.2 over 2,600 reviews on Goodreads
54. Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management – Mark Forster
Published 2006 // 224 pages // Rated 4.0 over 700 reviews on Goodreads
55. Living Your Best Year Ever – Darren Hardy
Published 2011 // 226 pages // Rated 4.2 over 400 reviews on Goodreads
56. Digital Minimalism – Cal Newport (Summary)
Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World
Published 2019 // 302 pages // Rated 4.1 over 27,800 reviews on Goodreads
57. The End of Procrastination – Petr Ludwig
How to Stop Postponing and Live a Fulfilled Life
Published 2013 // 272 pages // Rated 4.1 over 1,800 reviews on Goodreads
58. Smarter Faster Better – Charles Duhigg (Summary)
The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business
Published 2016 // 400 pages // Rated 3.9 over 24,900 reviews on Goodreads
59. In Praise of Slowness – Carl Honoré (Summary)
Challenging the Cult of Speed
Published 2004 // 336 pages // Rated 3.7 over 4,300 reviews on Goodreads
60. The Start-Up of You – Reid Hoffman (Summary)
Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career
Published 2012 // 274 pages // Rated 3.9 over 7,600 reviews on Goodreads
61. The Art of the Start 2.0 – Guy Kawasaki (Summary)
The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything
Published 2015 // 336 pages // Rated 3.9 over 24,900 reviews on Goodreads
62. Make Time – Jake Knapp (Summary)
How to Focus on What Matters Every Day
Published 2018 // 287 pages // Rated 4.1 over 5,400 reviews on Goodreads
63. The Productivity Project – Chris Bailey (Summary)
Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy
Published 2016 // 304 pages // Rated 4.0 over 5,200 reviews on Goodreads
64. Better Than Before – Gretchen Rubin (Summary)
Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
Published 2015 // 298 pages // Rated 3.8 over 31,900 reviews on Goodreads
65. Measure What Matters – John Doerr (Summary)
Published 2018 // 320 pages // Rated 4.0 over 13,600 reviews on Goodreads
66. Triggers – Marshall Goldsmith (Summary)
Creating Behavior That Lasts—Becoming the Person You Want to Be
Published 2015 // 244 pages // Rated 4.0 over 6,000 reviews on Goodreads
67. 18 Minutes – Peter Bregman (Summary)
Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done
Published 2011 // 288 pages // Rated 3.9 over 4,200 reviews on Goodreads
68. Smartcuts – Shane Snow (Summary)
How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success
Published 2014 // 272 pages // Rated 3.9 over 5,300 reviews on Goodreads
69. Stop Screaming at the Microwave – Mary LoVerde
How to Connect Your Disconnected Life
Published 1998 // 240 pages // Rated 4.0 over on Goodreads
70. Zen to Done – Leo Babauta
Published 2007 // 83 pages // Rated 3.8 over 2,100 reviews on Goodreads

Best Productivity Book FAQs

What Is the Best Book for Time Management?

Having read scores of books on the topic, my top recommendations for anyone serious about productivity are always David Allen's Getting Things Done (#6), Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (#1) and TAoL's Stop Working Harder. For more suggestions (and summaries), read the full list.

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Arthur Worsley
I founded TAoL to discover and share the best wisdom on how to live long and prosper. Before that I studied Psychology, Philosophy & Physiology at Oxford and consulted at McKinsey. Still curious? Learn more or take my FREE productivity quiz.

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