The 70 Best Productivity and Time Management Books in Existence

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In Brief: Having read hundreds 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 below contains books on productivity, books on focus and concentration, books on efficiency, books on self-discipline, books on time management, books on beating procrastination and some of the best books out there on building relationships.

Something I’ve missed? I LOVE recommendations. Leave me a comment and I’ll be sure to include your suggestion in the next round of updates.

Until then, good luck, go well and remember: “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

The Best Productivity and Time Management Books

The books below are ranked by a combination of Goodreads rating and the number of Goodreads reviews. The goal is to give a good balance of what’s most loved and what’s most popular.

Where should you start? Treat this list of books on productivity like a menu. Start at the top, work your way down and begin with the first couple of titles that jump out at you. Remember, you can always come back for more later. Enjoy!

  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People, Carnegie (Summary)
    How to Win Friends and Influence People
    The classic guide to greatly improving effectiveness and efficiency by mastering the ability to work with and through the people around you – by self-improvement guru, Dale Carnegie.
    Rated 4.2 over 392,200 reviews on Goodreads
  2. The Magic of Thinking Big, Schwartz (Summary)
    The Magic of Thinking Big
    A powerful, practical and uplifting book to help get you out of a rut, invigorate your goals and empower you towards success – by life-long motivational writer and coach, David J. Schwartz.
    Rated 4.2 over 50,200 reviews on Goodreads
  3. Think and Grow Rich, Hill (Summary)
    or Men and Woman who Resent Poverty
    A best-selling book of all time and a cornerstone guide to the Law of Attraction and the role of the subconscious in transforming your life – by a titan of the self-help genre, Napoleon Hill.
    Rated 4.2 over 139,200 reviews on Goodreads
  4. The Compound Effect, Hardy
    Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success
    Rated 4.4 over 14,600 reviews on Goodreads
  5. Deep Work, Newport (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.
    Rated 4.2 over 25,100 reviews on Goodreads
  6. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey (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.
    Rated 4.1 over 382,000 reviews on Goodreads
  7. The ONE Thing, Keller
    The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
    Rated 4.2 over 25,200 reviews on Goodreads
  8. Flow, Csikszentmihalyi (Summary)
    The Psychology of Optimal Experience
    A bottom-up guide to finding success, growth and happiness through flow – an optimal experience of being, characterised by total absorption and joy in the present moment – by psychology professor, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
    Rated 4.1 over 36,200 reviews on Goodreads
  9. The Power of Habit, Duhigg (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.
    Rated 4.0 over 190,600 reviews on Goodreads
  10. Goals!, Tracy
    How to Get Everything You Want — Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible
    Rated 4.3 over 9,400 reviews on Goodreads
  11. First Things First, Covey
    First Things First
    Rated 4.1 over 30,700 reviews on Goodreads
  12. Grit, Duckworth
    The Power of Passion and Perseverance
    Rated 4.1 over 34,400 reviews on Goodreads
  13. High-Output Management, Grove
    High Output Management
    Rated 4.3 over 5,300 reviews on Goodreads
  14. The Willpower Instinct, McGonigal
    How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It
    Rated 4.1 over 20,400 reviews on Goodreads
  15. The Checklist Manifesto, Gawande
    How to Get Things Right
    Rated 4.0 over 34,300 reviews on Goodreads
  16. Scrum, Sutherland
    The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
    Rated 4.2 over 8,300 reviews on Goodreads
  17. The War of Art, Pressfield
    Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
    Rated 4.0 over 50,000 reviews on Goodreads
  18. Getting Things Done, Allen (Summary)
    The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
    Rated 4.0 over 98,000 reviews on Goodreads
  19. So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Newport
    Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
    Rated 4.1 over 15,900 reviews on Goodreads
  20. The Effective Executive, Drucker
    The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done
    Rated 4.1 over 22,400 reviews on Goodreads
  21. Rework, Fried
    Change The Way You Work Forever
    Rated 3.9 over 114,900 reviews on Goodreads
  22. Maximum Achievement, Tracy
    Strategies and Skills That Will Unlock Your Hidden Powers to Succeed
    Rated 4.3 over 3,100 reviews on Goodreads
  23. Spark, Ratey
    The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain
    Rated 4.1 over 8,100 reviews on Goodreads
  24. Essentialism, McKeown
    The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
    Rated 4.0 over 27,200 reviews on Goodreads
  25. Drive, Pink
    The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
    Rated 3.9 over 72,500 reviews on Goodreads
  26. Managing Oneself, Drucker
    Managing Oneself
    Rated 4.1 over 6,200 reviews on Goodreads
  27. Your Brain at Work, Rock
    Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long
    Rated 4.1 over 6,900 reviews on Goodreads
  28. What’s Best Next, Perman
    How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done
    Rated 4.2 over 1,600 reviews on Goodreads
  29. Do More Better, Challies
    A Practical Guide to Productivity
    Rated 4.2 over 1,800 reviews on Goodreads
  30. The 4-Hour Work Week, Ferriss (Summary)
    Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich
    Rated 3.9 over 108,400 reviews on Goodreads
  31. Traction, Wickman
    Get a Grip on Your Business
    Rated 4.2 over 2,400 reviews on Goodreads
  32. The Miracle Morning, Elrod
    The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life
    Rated 4.0 over 22,200 reviews on Goodreads
  33. The 80/20 Principle, Koch
    The Secret to Achieving More with Less
    Rated 4.0 over 16,200 reviews on Goodreads
  34. The Power of Full Engagement, Loehr, Schwartz
    Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal
    Rated 4.0 over 10,400 reviews on Goodreads
  35. The 4 Disciplines of Execution, McChesney, Huling, Covey
    Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals
    Rated 4.1 over 3,100 reviews on Goodreads
  36. Making Ideas Happen, Belsky
    Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality
    Rated 4.0 over 16,800 reviews on Goodreads
  37. Eat That Frog!, Tracy (Summary)
    21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
    Rated 3.9 over 30,800 reviews on Goodreads
  38. Willpower, Baumeister
    Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength
    Rated 4.0 over 15,200 reviews on Goodreads
  39. Willpower Doesn’t Work, Hardy
    Discover the Hidden Keys to Success
    Rated 4.3 over 500 reviews on Goodreads
  40. Own the Day, Own Your Life, Marcus
    Optimised Practices for Waking, Working, Learning, Eating, Training, Playing, Sleeping and Sex
    Rated 4.2 over 1,600 reviews on Goodreads
  41. Smarter Faster Better, Duhigg
    The Transformative Power of Real Productivity
    Rated 3.9 over 18,000 reviews on Goodreads
  42. Decisive, Heath, Heath
    How to Make Better Decisions
    Rated 4.0 over 10,300 reviews on Goodreads
  43. Mini Habits, Guise
    Smaller Habits, Bigger Results
    Rated 4.1 over 3,000 reviews on Goodreads
  44. The Productivity Project, Bailey
    Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy
    Rated 4.0 over 3,100 reviews on Goodreads
  45. Better Than Before, Rubin
    What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits–to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life
    Rated 3.8 over 23,800 reviews on Goodreads
  46. Manage Your Day-to-Day, Glei
    Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (99U)
    Rated 3.9 over 14,100 reviews on Goodreads
  47. Ready Aim Fire!, Fisher, Woods
    A Practical Guide to Setting And Achieving Goals
    Rated 4.3 over <100 reviews on Goodreads
  48. The Now Habit, Fiore
    A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play
    Rated 3.9 over 11,800 reviews on Goodreads
  49. Productivity for Creative People, McGuiness
    How to Get Creative Work Done in an “Always on” World
    Rated 4.1 over 100 reviews on Goodreads
  50. 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management, Kruse
    The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students, and 239 Entrepreneurs
    Rated 4.0 over 1,100 reviews on Goodreads
  51. Cluttered Mess to Organised Success, Aarssen
    A Real Life Approach to Decluttering and Tidying-up your Home
    Rated 4.1 over <100 reviews on Goodreads
  52. Organize Tomorrow Today, Selk, Rudy, Bartow
    8 Ways to Retrain Your Mind to Optimize Performance at Work and in Life
    Rated 4.0 over 500 reviews on Goodreads
  53. 18 Minutes, Bregman
    Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done
    Rated 3.9 over 3,600 reviews on Goodreads
  54. Making It All Work, Allen
    Winning at the Game of Work and the Business of Life
    Rated 3.9 over 2,400 reviews on Goodreads
  55. Daily Rituals, Mason Currey
    How Artists Work
    Rated 3.7 over 11,600 reviews on Goodreads
  56. The 12 Week Year, Noran
    Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months
    Rated 3.9 over 2,600 reviews on Goodreads
  57. Ready for Anything, Allen
    52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done
    Rated 3.8 over 3,700 reviews on Goodreads
  58. The Organised Mind, Levitin
    Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload
    Rated 3.7 over 6,700 reviews on Goodreads
  59. Time Warrior, Chandler
    How to defeat procrastination, people-pleasing, self-doubt, over-commitment, broken promises and chaos
    Rated 3.9 over 700 reviews on Goodreads
  60. 168 Hours, Vanderkam
    You Have More Time Than You Think
    Rated 3.7 over 4,400 reviews on Goodreads
  61. Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management, Forster
    Rated 3.9 over 500 reviews on Goodreads
  62. Zen to Done, Babuata
    The Ultimate Simple Productivity System
    Rated 3.8 over 1,800 reviews on Goodreads
  63. Personal Kanban, Benson
    Mapping Work Navigating Life
    Rated 3.8 over 1,600 reviews on Goodreads
  64. How to Be a Productivity Ninja, Allcott
    Worry Less, Achieve More and Love What You Do
    Rated 3.8 over 1,000 reviews on Goodreads
  65. Life Hacker, Pash
    The Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, and Better
    Rated 3.8 over 700 reviews on Goodreads
  66. Getting Results the Agile Way, Meier
    A Personal Results System for Work and Life
    Rated 3.8 over 800 reviews on Goodreads
  67. The One Minute To-Do List, Linenberger
    Quickly Get Your Chaos Completely Under Control
    Rated 3.9 over 100 reviews on Goodreads
  68. 23 Anti-Procrastination Habits, Scott
    How to Stop Being Lazy and Get Results in Your Life
    Rated 3.6 over 900 reviews on Goodreads
  69. What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, Vanderkam
    And Two Other Short Guides to Achieving More at Work and at Home
    Rated 3.5 over 1,400 reviews on Goodreads
  70. One Year to an Organized Life, Leeds
    From Your Closets to Your Finances, the Week-by-Week Guide to Getting Completely Organized for Good
    Rated 3.5 over 900 reviews on Goodreads
Arthur
Arthur
Arthur is a learning-freak, slow-thinker, and writer who loves helping curious, busy people digest chewy topics fast. One of his passions is language learning. Send yourself his Free Ultimate Language Learning Guide today to save you or a friend thousands of dollars and hours on your journey to fluency.

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Helge
Helge

Hi Arthur, thanks for the list! I would add „Principles“ by Ray Dalio to the list.

Steve
Steve

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