10 Best Books on Productivity You Should Read

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When you stop to think of ways to boost your productivity, books may not be the first things that spring to mind.

But reading books can be one of the best things you can do if you want to learn how to work more effectively and efficiently. The best books on productivity can offer you useful tips and tricks you can use in your everyday life to help give you an edge.

Not sure where to start?

You’re in luck. In the rest of this post, I’ll share my list of the top 10 books that I’d recommend that may just help you become more productive. First, though, let’s look at some reasons why such books are a good idea.

Let’s dive right in.

Why should you read books on productivity?

Even if you can only make time to read one book a year, a book on productivity would be a fantastic choice because it could make you more effective at work and in life. A bonus is that these sorts of books are easy to read and digest and give you tips you can use to help you.

Reading can benefit you in other ways too. Research conducted by the University of Sussex suggests that reading can reduce stress by as much as 68%.

Since we all live such high stress lives, it might be good to pick up a book every now and then, right?

It’s time I shared the best books on productivity I’ve found.

Top 10 books on productivity

If you’re on the hunt for productivity advice, check out whichever of these books takes your fancy. You’re certain to find some great tips you can apply to your life and work.

1. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Getting Things Done by David Allen was first published in 2002.

This is essential reading for anyone interested in becoming more productive. It is sure to help you improve your organisational skills and advance in your chosen career. It has tips on everything from prioritisation and organisation to clear goal setting. The principles expounded in the book are proven and the revised edition addresses how advancements in technology have changed the dynamics of life and work.

It was written chiefly for professionals and has given rise to various courses, workbooks, and seminars that have benefited many. In addition, it emphasises the role of relaxation and discusses how to make time for it in your day and how doing so can increase your productivity.

If you need help dealing with feelings of confusion or anxiety relating to work, this might just be the book for you. It is available on Amazon.

2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey has sold over 25 million copies since its publication in 1999.

This book focuses on helping you form seven habits that will enable you to shift from a position of dependence to one of independence so you can become more effective and learn to get the most out of life.

If you’re into trying to change your long-term behaviour, more than implementing hacks and tricks, this might be the book for you, particularly if you like profound insights. You can buy a copy on Amazon.

3. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Published in January 2016, Cal Newport’s Deep Work concentrates on helping you banish the distraction, clutter, and noise surrounding you, so you can engage in truly productive deep work. With the sheer amount of technology pervading the modern world, it is harder to block out all distractions than ever before.

This book offers a combination of actionable advice and cultural criticism in the form of stories and suggestions, such as that you should practice being bored. It will aid you in developing the ability to engage in deep work so that you can start achieving more in a busy distraction-filled world.

If you want to find a way to complete tricky tasks and need help focusing, this read will be ideal for you. Purchase on Amazon.

4. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Greg McKeown’s 2014 book is great for anyone who feels they have too much to do and too little time. Essentialism is about taking a systematic, disciplined approach to working out what is essential and what’s not. That way, you can dedicate most of your time to things that truly matter.

This then is a guide giving you advice on how to get the right things done, so that you use your time and energy wisely.

This is the book for you if you’re searching for a way to prioritise your tasks so that you take on vital tasks first. Find your copy on Amazon.

5. Zen to Drone: The Ultimate Simple Productivity System

Zen to Drone by Leo Babauta is perfect if you want a remarkably simple productivity system you can apply to your life. Think of this as being all about tidying up your workday so you can become more efficient.

The book talks about structure and habits and will help you become more relaxed about the tasks on your to-do list so that you can be more logical in your approach to work.

If you want to organise your life and start working through the things you’ve got on your to-do list, or form new habits to make yourself more effective, this is the one for you. Visit Amazon to get your copy.

6. Free to Focus: A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less

The ideas espoused in Michael Hyatt’s work are used by many professionals to help make them more productive throughout the workday.

You will learn how to cut out non-essential tasks, filter your commitments, set boundaries, eliminate distractions, and achieve better results. You can use this no-nonsense three-step productivity system to help you get more done.

This is a good book to read if you have trouble deciding what’s important and what’s not. It will help you overcome that problem, so you’ll be on track to get more done. Get it on Amazon.

7. How to be a Productivity Ninja: Worry Less, Achieve More and Love What You Do

 Graham Allcott is one of the UK’s leading experts on productivity. His book discusses overcoming the urge to procrastinate and will teach you how to make the most of your attention.

You’ll learn how to take a smarter approach to your work and pick up insights on how to keep calm and keep working. He also gives some excellent tips on how to allocate and guard your time.

This is an accessible, fun guide to productivity that serves as a great jumping off point if you’re just getting into the subject. You can buy the book on Amazon.

8. Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours

Written by Robert C. Pozen, this book focuses on teaching you how to keep a laser-like focus on getting the maximum amount done in the least possible amount of time.

It emphasises that you must make a vital shift in your mindset so that you start concentrating on the results you produce rather than on the number of hours you work. That way, you can begin to be more effective, and you are sure to see a marked improvement in your productivity.

If you’re after practical advice from someone who understands the idea of being productive both at work and in the classroom, you need look no further. Go to Amazon and pick up your own copy.

9. Principles: Life and Work

In this book, Ray Dalio, shares the unconventional principles he has come up with, used, and honed over a 40-year span. You can learn an experienced entrepreneur’s unconventional approach to being efficient and effective.

This is a simple, easy read which gives honest advice and hits all the most important notes on productivity. If you’re on the look out for a good gateway into the subject of productivity that will introduce you to some interesting terminology, this is the productivity book for you. If you want a copy, visit Amazon.

10. Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time

In the business world, the term “scrum” is about pinpointing problems with the way you work. Jeff Sutherland gives his no-nonsense advice on how to streamline processes and eliminate inefficient methods of working to enable you to get the most out of your workday and maximise your productivity.

The book emphasises how critical it is to concentrate on completing one task before moving on to the next and talks about how attempting to do more than one thing at a time makes you worse at both tasks.

If you’re in the mood for direct advice on productivity from someone who doesn’t beat around the bush, this will be a perfect read for you. You can grab your copy from Amazon.

Wrapping up

Any of these books can give you valuable insights and advice. So why not take just a few minutes a day to read one of the best productivity books and discover how it might benefit you. Pick up one from Amazon or your local library and get reading. Soon, you’re bound to be ahead of the curve and may even be able to revolutionise the way you work.

Published by Lizzie

Lizzie here. I'm a freelance copywriter and editor based in the UK. I'm also passionate about volunteering and hold a MA in History from the University of Warwick. I've written for a multitude of fantastic websites and companies, including a legal automation software company, a dog training site and more. Check out my reviews on Fiverr and Upwork for more info!

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