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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 self discipline, 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 Ever Written
Why these best productivity books and not others? To stay objective, I rank all my book recommendations by what’s most loved (Goodreads rating), what’s most popular (Goodreads review count) and what’s proven timelessly relevant (first publication date).
This isn’t a whimsical list. It’s a data-driven, crowdsourced collection of the best productivity books ever published as decided by book lovers just like you. (Note: To maximise diversity, I only include the top ranking book from any series in a list.)
And if you think something's missing? I LOVE book recommendations so if there are any other best productivity books that you think deserve mentioning, email me and I’ll be sure to include them in the next round of updates.
Until then, enjoy this ultimate list of the 70 best productivity books of all time...
Books 1-10: The Top 10 Best Productivity Books of All Time
The top 10 best productivity books of all time are...
1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- Stephen R. Covey
Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is 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 623,800 reviews on Goodreads
2. First Things First
- Stephen R. Covey
First Things First is 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 40,400 reviews on Goodreads
- Brian Tracy
How to Get Everything You Want Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible
Goals! was 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 4.2 over 14,200 reviews on Goodreads
4. The Effective Executive
- Peter F. Drucker
The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done
The Effective Executive is 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 32,700 reviews on Goodreads
5. The Slight Edge
- Jeff Olson
Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success & Happiness
The Slight Edge is 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 4.3 over 21,900 reviews on Goodreads
6. The Compound Effect
- Darren Hardy
Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success
The Compound Effect offers 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 4.2 over 39,400 reviews on Goodreads
7. Getting Things Done
- David Allen
The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Getting Things Done is 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 146,600 reviews on Goodreads
8. The 80/20 Principle
- Richard Koch
The Secret to Achieving More with Less
The 80/20 Principle is a 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 23,700 reviews on Goodreads
9. The Checklist Manifesto
- Atul Gawande
How to Get Things Right
The Checklist Manifesto is a fascinating investigation into the ability of checklists in business, medicine and every day life to promote greater efficiency, consistency and safety - by surgeon and public health researcher, Atul Gawande.
Published 2009 // 208 pages // Rated 4.0 over 59,100 reviews on Goodreads
10. The Power of Habit
- Charles Duhigg
Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
The Power of Habit is 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 417,300 reviews on Goodreads
Books 11-70: The Best Productivity Books to Read Next
Here are the next best productivity books from my database...
11. The One Thing
- Gary Keller
The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
Published 2012 // 240 pages // Rated 4.1 over 56,600 reviews on Goodreads
14. The Miracle Morning
- Hal Elrod
The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life: Before 8AM
Published 2006 // 172 pages // Rated 3.9 over 61,800 reviews on Goodreads
- Jason Fried
Published 2010 // 279 pages // Rated 4.0 over 152,700 reviews on Goodreads
16. Your Brain at Work
- David Rock
Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long
Published 2009 // 246 pages // Rated 4.0 over 10,600 reviews on Goodreads
18. Deep Work
- Cal Newport
Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
Deep Work is 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 109,500 reviews on Goodreads
20. Eat That Frog!
- Brian Tracy
21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
Eat That Frog! 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 58,100 reviews on Goodreads
- Jeff Sutherland
The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
Published 2014 // 237 pages // Rated 4.2 over 18,400 reviews on Goodreads
22. Making Ideas Happen
- Scott Belsky
Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality
Published 2010 // 256 pages // Rated 4.0 over 21,700 reviews on Goodreads
24. Focal Point
- Brian Tracy
A Proven System to Simplify Your Life, Double Your Productivity, and Achieve All Your Goals
Published 2001 // 224 pages // Rated 4.1 over 1,400 reviews on Goodreads
- Greg McKeown
The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
Published 2014 // 260 pages // Rated 4.0 over 79,000 reviews on Goodreads
28. Atomic Habits
- James Clear
An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
Atomic Habits is 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 304,200 reviews on Goodreads
33. The Shallows
- Nicholas Carr
What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains
Published 2010 // 280 pages // Rated 3.9 over 25,900 reviews on Goodreads
35. The Dip
- Seth Godin
A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit
Published 2007 // 80 pages // Rated 3.8 over 31,600 reviews on Goodreads
38. The Energy Bus
- Jon Gordon
10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy
Published 2007 // 192 pages // Rated 3.8 over 18,400 reviews on Goodreads
39. The 10x Rule
- Grant Cardone
The Only Difference Between Success and Failure
Published 2011 // 240 pages // Rated 3.9 over 20,900 reviews on Goodreads
46. Crazy Busy
- Kevin DeYoung
A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem
Published 2013 // 128 pages // Rated 4.0 over 7,200 reviews on Goodreads
47. Do More Better
- Tim Challies
A Practical Guide to Productivity
Published 2015 // 104 pages // Rated 4.2 over 3,000 reviews on Goodreads
48. Manage Your Day-to-Day
- Jocelyn K. Glei
Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind
Published 2013 // 248 pages // Rated 3.9 over 22,900 reviews on Goodreads
49. Make Your Bed
- William H. McRaven
Little Things That Can Change Your Life... And Maybe the World
Make Your Bed became a best seller by breaking down how you can change your life and change the world into ten simple steps that start with simply making your bed - by former US Navy SEAL, Admiral William McRaven.
Published 2017 // 144 pages // Rated 4.0 over 88,100 reviews on Goodreads
53. 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
- Jon Acuff
Give Yourself the Gift of Done
Published 2017 // 206 pages // Rated 4.1 over 9,700 reviews on Goodreads
57. Work the System
- Sam Carpenter
The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less
Published 2009 // 240 pages // Rated 3.9 over 6,400 reviews on Goodreads
- Tim S. Grover
From Good to Great to Unstoppable
Published 2014 // 272 pages // Rated 3.9 over 11,800 reviews on Goodreads
60. It's All Too Much
- Peter Walsh
An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff
Published 2006 // 230 pages // Rated 3.8 over 7,000 reviews on Goodreads
61. Tiny Habits
- B.J. Fogg
The Small Changes That Change Everything
Published 2019 // 320 pages // Rated 4.2 over 10,700 reviews on Goodreads
63. Mini Habits
- Stephen Guise
Smaller Habits, Bigger Results
Published 2013 // 127 pages // Rated 4.0 over 6,900 reviews on Goodreads
64. The Art of the Start 2.0
- Guy Kawasaki
The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything
Published 2015 // 336 pages // Rated 3.9 over 27,200 reviews on Goodreads
67. The Power Of Less
- Leo Babauta
The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential
Published 2008 // 170 pages // Rated 3.7 over 10,000 reviews on Goodreads
68. Make Time
- Jake Knapp
How to Focus on What Matters Every Day
Published 2018 // 287 pages // Rated 4.1 over 14,200 reviews on Goodreads
More Book Recommendations
Enjoyed this list of the best productivity books of all time?
You'll also like TAoL's other book recommendations...
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Or, you can read all my book recommendations.
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