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s always strive to win the race against time. And as if that wasn’t stressful enough, we also need to improve our willpower and strengthen our self-discipline. If not, all the distractions around us will get in the way.
As an avid reader, I’ve learned over the years that the best way to improve books is through time management and productivity. Of course, searching a bookstore or even the internet for books that will help you live a more fruitful life can be stressful. That’s why I decided to make it easier for you and share the 15 best time management and productivity books of all time.
First published in 1989, this book is often considered the best read for improving your productivity both professionally and personally as it focuses on developing new habits that you can maintain rather than eliminating bad ones. And most importantly, define your goals and priorities.
Covey uses the analogy of putting stones, pebbles, and sand in a glass to define what is really important. If you start laying small things like pebbles or sand, the stones won’t fit. However, once you start with the stones you will have enough space to place small things around them.
- Key quote: “The key is not to prioritize what you have on your agenda, but to plan your priorities.”
If you’re struggling with procrastination, this is probably the only book you need in your life as it uses a specific, well-founded framework to become an action-oriented person. Scott also shares his own experiences with overcoming procrastination and explores the main reasons we get stuck in life.
Personally, I really liked how simple this book is. The advice he gives isn’t that complex, but it motivates you to do this first, then this, and then the rest.
- Key quote: “If you are a procrastinator, this bad habit limits your success in many ways. If you don’t solve it, you decrease the chances of achieving your goals. “
If your procrastination continues, this book will help you overcome it. Inspired by a famous quote from Mark Twain “The first thing you do in the morning is eat a live toad so that nothing worse can happen for the rest of the day”, The author explains why and how you should tackle the most demanding morning tasks.
Also, share successful time management techniques such as goal setting, organizing, and practicing the “Law of Three” and the Rule of 80/20.
- Key quote: “You can take control of your time and life by changing the way you think, work, and deal with the endless stream of responsibilities you have every day. You can stay in control of your tasks and activities as long as you stop doing other things and spend more time doing the activities that really make a difference in your life. “
The author gives a step-by-step guide that anyone can make money from just 4 hours a week. That way, you can live the life you really want without having to go through Routines 9 through 6.
If you think this is too good to be true, here’s Ferriss 50 practical tips and real case studies on how to live longer and work less.
- Key quote: “Being able to give up on the things that don’t work for you is essential to being a winner.”
This book was written by Dr. Jason Selk, director of mental training at the St. Louis Cardinals, and business coach Tom Bartow writes and shows the eight most effective ways to optimize your organization. The result is that you will focus more on process-oriented goals that will help you maximize your time and break your bad habits.
- Key quote: “Greatness lies in constantly doing the things that others don’t want or can’t. Simply put, success does not mean to be brilliant, it means to be consistent. “
Since its publication in 2001, this book has not only been one of the most influential of all time, but has been considered HE Must-read book for personal organization. Although Allen has republished this book several times, the main concept remains the same. When you have a clear head, you can organize your thoughts, be more creative, and be more productive.
- Key quote: “There are two basic components to doing things: defining what ‘done’ means (the result) and what ‘doing’ (the action) looks like.”
What is the focus The author and professor Cal Newport defines it as “professional activities in a distraction-free state of concentration that push your cognitive abilities to the limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skills, and are difficult to replicate. “
The problem is that in an increasingly dispersed world, it is difficult to enter this stream of concentration. The good news is that the author describes certain disciplines that will change your mind and habits so you can focus and get to work.
- Key quote: “To reach your full potential, you need to work long hours and focus on a single task with no distractions.”
Although it wasn’t released until September 2018, I’ve already recorded it as a classic. I really enjoyed the friendly and original approach of the authors to this book. For example, just mark a priority each day so that all of your time and energy is focused on that particular task.
- Key quote: “Believe in what sets you apart: it pays to take precedence over accidental disturbances.”
Did you know we all have the same 168 hours a week? So how is it that some people can squeeze every minute of this time? Author Laura Vanderkam shows us stories from real and successful people and describes the creative ways they have found to take the time to do the things that really matter.
- Key quote: “Most people who say they have too much work are working less than they think and many of the ways they work are extraordinarily inefficient. Calling something ‘work’ doesn’t make it important or necessary. “
Based on his previous experience as a surgeon, the author explains that we are prone to failure because of the amount of knowledge that surrounds us. The solution? The checklist effect.
In fascinating stories, Gawande describes what checklists are, what they are not, and how they can help you get the things you need to do.
- Key quote: “Simple problems haunt us … checklists can protect us.”
Many of us have ideas that we are passionate about. Unfortunately, we are waiting for the “perfect” moment or the right opportunity to act. The reality is that there is no right time. This book gives you strategies for bringing your ideas to life.
- Key quote: “If you want something different, it is time for you to do something different. It’s time to act “.
The author is an award-winning business journalist who uses fascinating stories and scientific discoveries to explain how habits work, how existing patterns can be changed, and what we can do to establish new ones. When we focus on good habits, we are better equipped to achieve a lot more than we imagine. This book is definitely a must.
- Key quote: “The golden rule of habit change: you can’t quit a bad habit, you can only change it.”
A smart and easy to digest book that teaches readers not to be linear. When you achieve this, you will begin to manage your priorities and avoid being stopped by fear and the desire to please others. As a result, you are more motivated to focus on the bigger picture.
- Key quote: “The answer is action.”
I would say that the key to productivity is knowing what is essential and what is not. Fortunately, this book can help you determine how to prioritize your tasks and leave out the things that don’t serve you in order to focus on the essentials.
- Key quote: “Essentialism doesn’t talk about how to do more things, but how to do the right things. But it’s not about doing less for the simple fact of working less. It’s about making the smartest investment of your time and energy to work to your highest capacity and only do what matters. “
Kevin Kruse is an entrepreneur and one of the best-selling authors. For this book he asked 200 business owners, athletes and students: “What’s your secret to being productive?“”
After analyzing the results, Kruse found that all 15 secrets have in common:
- Focus for specific minutes, not hours.
- Do one thing at a time.
- Don’t use to-do lists.
- Overcome the procrastination with time travel.
- Come home for dinner.
- Use a notebook.
- Check your email only once a day.
- Avoid joints as much as possible.
- Say ‘almost’ to almost everything.
- Follow the 80/20 rule.
- Delegate most of your responsibilities.
- Create thematic days.
- Touch things only once.
- Set up a routine in the morning and stick to it.
- Maintain your energy by sleeping well, eating well, and exercising.
- Key quote: “In fact, very successful people don’t think too much about time, but rather about constant values, priorities and habits.”