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Best Productivity Books: 70 Best Books on Time Management (2020)

Best Productivity Books Best Time Management Books
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Best Productivity Books Best Time Management Books

Looking for the best productivity books and best time management books of all time?

You’re in the right place!

In brief: 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. And until next time, good luck, go well and remember: “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

The Best Productivity Books and Best Time Management 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? Leave a comment or 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!

  1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (1989), 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.
    372 pages. Rated 4.1 over 500,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  2. First Things First (1993), Stephen R. Covey (Summary)
    384 pages. Rated 4.1 over 35,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  3. The Effective Executive (1966), 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.
    208 pages. Rated 4.1 over 27,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  4. Goals! (1989), Brian Tracy
    How to Get Everything You Want Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible
    291 pages. Rated 4.3 over 11,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  5. The Slight Edge (2005), 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.
    168 pages. Rated 4.4 over 17,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  6. Getting Things Done (2002), 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 and coach, David Allen.
    267 pages. Rated 4.0 over 122,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  7. The Compound Effect (2010), 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.
    162 pages. Rated 4.4 over 24,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  8. The 80/20 Principle (1998), Richard Koch (Summary)
    The Secret to Achieving More with Less
    288 pages. Rated 4.0 over 19,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  9. The Art of Exceptional Living (1985), Jim Rohn
    Rated 4.3 over 2,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  10. The Checklist Manifesto (2009), Atul Gawande (Summary)
    How to Get Things Right
    208 pages. Rated 4.1 over 45,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  11. 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness (1996), Jim Rohn (Summary)
    Power Ideas from America’s Foremost Business Philosopher
    176 pages. Rated 4.5 over 1,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  12. The Power of Full Engagement (2003), Jim Loehr (Summary)
    Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal
    222 pages. Rated 4.0 over 12,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  13. The Power of Habit (2012), 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.
    375 pages. Rated 4.1 over 323,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  14. The One Thing (2012), Gary Keller (Summary)
    The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
    240 pages. Rated 4.1 over 41,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  15. Your Brain at Work (2009), David Rock (Summary)
    Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long
    246 pages. Rated 4.1 over 8,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  16. Managing Oneself (2007), Peter F. Drucker
    72 pages. Rated 4.1 over 8,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  17. The Miracle Morning (2006), Hal Elrod (Summary)
    The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life: Before 8AM
    172 pages. Rated 3.9 over 41,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  18. The Now Habit (1988), Neil A. Fiore (Summary)
    A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play
    206 pages. Rated 3.9 over 13,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  19. Rework (2010), Jason Fried (Summary)
    279 pages. Rated 4.0 over 135,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  20. Eat That Frog! (2007), 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.
    128 pages. Rated 3.9 over 44,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  21. The Paradox of Choice (2004), Barry Schwartz (Summary)
    Why More Is Less
    265 pages. Rated 3.9 over 27,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  22. Deep Work (2016), 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.
    296 pages. Rated 4.2 over 65,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  23. Making Ideas Happen (2010), Scott Belsky (Summary)
    Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality
    256 pages. Rated 4.0 over 19,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  24. Essentialism (2014), Greg McKeown (Summary)
    The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
    260 pages. Rated 4.0 over 50,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  25. The 4 Disciplines of Execution (2011), Chris McChesney (Summary)
    Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals
    296 pages. Rated 4.1 over 5,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  26. Atomic Habits (2018), 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.
    319 pages. Rated 4.4 over 94,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  27. Scrum (2014), Jeff Sutherland (Summary)
    The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
    237 pages. Rated 4.2 over 13,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  28. Do the Work (2011), Steven Pressfield (Summary)
    112 pages. Rated 4.0 over 15,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  29. The 10x Rule (2011), Grant Cardone (Summary)
    The Only Difference Between Success and Failure
    240 pages. Rated 4.0 over 13,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  30. Organizing from the Inside Out (1998), Julie Morgenstern (Summary)
    The Foolproof System For Organizing Your Home, Your Office and Your Life
    247 pages. Rated 3.9 over 5,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  31. The Dip (2007), Seth Godin (Summary)
    A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit
    80 pages. Rated 3.8 over 25,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  32. The Shallows (2010), Nicholas Carr
    What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains
    280 pages. Rated 3.9 over 22,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  33. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (2011), Marie Kondō (Summary)
    The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
    224 pages. Rated 3.8 over 266,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  34. No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs (1996), Dan S. Kennedy
    The Ultimate No Holds Barred Kick Butt Take No Prisoners Guide to Time Productivity and Sanity
    182 pages. Rated 4.0 over 700 reviews on Goodreads.
  35. Making It All Work (2003), David Allen (Summary)
    Winning at the Game of Work and Business of Life
    286 pages. Rated 3.9 over 2,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  36. Work the System (2009), Sam Carpenter (Summary)
    The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less
    240 pages. Rated 3.9 over 5,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  37. Ready for Anything (2003), David Allen (Summary)
    52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done
    165 pages. Rated 3.9 over 4,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  38. Organizing Solutions for People With Attention Deficit Disorder (2006), Susan C. Pinsky
    Tips and Tools to Help You Take Charge of Your Life and Get Organized
    192 pages. Rated 4.0 over 1,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  39. It’s All Too Much (2006), Peter Walsh
    An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff
    230 pages. Rated 3.9 over 5,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  40. Finish (2017), Jon Acuff (Summary)
    Give Yourself the Gift of Done
    206 pages. Rated 4.2 over 6,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  41. Manage Your Day-to-Day (2013), Jocelyn K. Glei (Summary)
    Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind
    248 pages. Rated 3.9 over 18,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  42. Mini Habits (2013), Stephen Guise (Summary)
    Smaller Habits, Bigger Results
    127 pages. Rated 4.1 over 4,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  43. Time Power (2004), Brian Tracy
    A Proven System for Getting More Done in Less Time Than You Ever Thought Possible
    304 pages. Rated 4.0 over 600 reviews on Goodreads.
  44. The 12 Week Year (2009), Brian P. Moran (Summary)
    63 pages. Rated 3.9 over 4,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  45. High Performance Habits (2017), Brendon Burchard (Summary)
    How Extraordinary People Become That Way
    393 pages. Rated 4.2 over 5,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  46. Relentless (2014), Tim S. Grover
    From Good to Great to Unstoppable
    272 pages. Rated 4.0 over 6,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  47. How to Live on 24 Hours a Day (1908), Arnold Bennett
    92 pages. Rated 3.7 over 5,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  48. Digital Minimalism (2019), Cal Newport (Summary)
    Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World
    302 pages. Rated 4.1 over 27,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  49. Make Your Bed (2017), William H. McRaven (Summary)
    Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World
    144 pages. Rated 4.0 over 56,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  50. The Power Of Less (2008), Leo Babauta (Summary)
    The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential
    170 pages. Rated 3.8 over 7,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  51. Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management (2006), Mark Forster
    224 pages. Rated 4.0 over 700 reviews on Goodreads.
  52. Living Your Best Year Ever (2011), Darren Hardy
    226 pages. Rated 4.2 over 400 reviews on Goodreads.
  53. Do More Better (2015), Tim Challies
    A Practical Guide to Productivity
    104 pages. Rated 4.2 over 2,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  54. Smarter Faster Better (2016), Charles Duhigg (Summary)
    The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business
    400 pages. Rated 3.9 over 24,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  55. The Art of the Start 2.0 (2015), Guy Kawasaki (Summary)
    The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything
    336 pages. Rated 3.9 over 24,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  56. In Praise of Slowness (2004), Carl Honoré (Summary)
    Challenging the Cult of Speed
    336 pages. Rated 3.7 over 4,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  57. Make Time (2018), Jake Knapp (Summary)
    How to Focus on What Matters Every Day
    287 pages. Rated 4.1 over 5,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  58. The Start-Up of You (2012), Reid Hoffman (Summary)
    Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career
    274 pages. Rated 3.9 over 7,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  59. Measure What Matters (2018), John Doerr (Summary)
    320 pages. Rated 4.0 over 13,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  60. Better Than Before (2015), Gretchen Rubin (Summary)
    Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
    298 pages. Rated 3.8 over 31,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  61. The Productivity Project (2016), Chris Bailey (Summary)
    Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy
    304 pages. Rated 4.0 over 5,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  62. Triggers (2015), Marshall Goldsmith (Summary)
    Creating Behavior That Lasts—Becoming the Person You Want to Be
    244 pages. Rated 4.0 over 6,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  63. The 5 Second Rule (2017), Mel Robbins (Summary)
    Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage
    267 pages. Rated 3.9 over 19,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  64. 18 Minutes (2011), Peter Bregman (Summary)
    Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done
    288 pages. Rated 3.9 over 4,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  65. Smartcuts (2014), Shane Snow (Summary)
    How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success
    272 pages. Rated 3.9 over 5,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  66. Zen to Done (2007), Leo Babauta
    83 pages. Rated 3.8 over 2,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  67. Overwhelmed (2014), Brigid Schulte (Summary)
    Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time
    353 pages. Rated 3.9 over 6,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  68. 168 Hours (2010), Laura Vanderkam
    You Have More Time Than You Think
    272 pages. Rated 3.7 over 6,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  69. 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management (2015), Kevin E. Kruse (Summary)
    The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students, and 239 Entrepreneurs
    308 pages. Rated 4.0 over 1,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  70. Time Warrior (2011), Steve Chandler
    How to defeat procrastination, people-pleasing, self-doubt, over-commitment, broken promises and Chaos
    238 pages. Rated 4.0 over 800 reviews on Goodreads.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 F2M‘s Stop Working Harder. For more suggestions (and summaries), read the full list.

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Or, you can read all my book recommendations.
Arthur Worsley
Arthur Worsley
Arthur is a productivity coach and writer who helps top young execs and entrepreneurs be more productive, find more balance and live more meaningfully. Want to know more? Take this 2-minute quiz to discover your Productivity Quotient (PQ) and learn how to get BIG things done. Take the Quiz →

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    • Arthur says:

      Hi Richard – I’m reading it at the moment and it’ll definitely appear on the next version of this list! Great suggestion, thank you.

  1. Steve says:

    Arthur,
    Thank you for all you do! I’m wondering if you can recommend a planner/calendar. Ive tried the Bullet journal, TimeSyatem, and others and they aren’t for me. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Many thanks,
    Steve

    • Arthur says:

      Hi Steve, no problem! What problems exactly are you looking for the planner to help you with? Calendaring, goal setting, reflecting, tracking, journalling?

      P.s., I’m working on a planner of my own which I’ll be bringing out before the end of the year. Watch this space!

      • SABRINA T. says:

        Hi Arthur, I’m new here and I believe that I got here from Barbara Oakley’s website ( Learning how to learn ). not sure though, but I guess it’s not that important. I’d like to compliment on on how you have structured your website and the contents you are offering, mindblowing if I may say. I am really impressed. So Kudos to your Amazing work. that said I just bought the book Atomic Habits but haven’t started to read it yet, I also got the planner/journal called CLEAR from Baron Fig. One great planner I have seen and would have been my number one choice is the one created by Michael Hyatt but guess it’s more like a journal than a planner, still if shipping fees to Italy would not have been so high I’d have certainly tried it. I am currently using the one “built” from Brandon Burchard. I am looking forward to have a look at yours.