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The 17 Best Productivity Books to Unleash Your Absolute Best

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We are in a constant race against time – with so much we have to do, and so much we aspire to do. But we all get the same time – those 24 hours in the day – to work hard, to achieve and then to rest ourselves so we can continue the same cycle the next day.

People who get things done acquire the ability to understand the mechanics of time and master it. Successful people can get more done at the same time and achieve more. With a magnanimous productivity level, these go-getters can think, act and plan in a way to meet their goals almost effortlessly.

Except, it is not effortless. With some hard work, discipline, and willpower, you can, too, conquer your obstacles and lead a more productive life complete with a sense of achievement.

So, why not hear it from the experts. Ever think how to begin your journey to a more productive life? Here is a list of books that can help you to begin and keep you on track.

The Best Productivity Books to Read in 2019

1. Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy

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If procrastination has gotten the best of you over time, you need to read Eat That Frog today. Luckily, you don’t have to procrastinate to finish it in one go, as it’s a fairly short book featuring 21 techniques to deal with procrastination.

The title of the book is derived from a famous Mark Twain quote, ‘Eat a live frog the first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day’. Frog being the metaphor for your most challenging task.

Throughout the book, Tracy presents readers with ideas and techniques to improve their time management skills and productivity. Rated a solid 4.6, you don’t want to procrastinate to read this one.


2. Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

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As the title suggests, Essentialism presents readers with a systematic way of discerning what matters the most and getting it done. It’s pretty human to get overwhelmed with all the to-dos you have to accomplish during the day. That’s why, Essentialism empowers you to take smarter decisions by identifying where to spend your precious time and energies.

One of the quotes from the book says, ‘his stress went up as the quality of his work went down. It was like he was majoring in minor activities.’ Throughout the book, McKeown discusses the importance of focusing on only the absolutely essential things.

Another 4.6 rated book, give it a read and regain your focus.


3. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

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The next best productivity book is probably one of the most referred to books when it comes to managing your personal and professional life. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is an interesting take on an individual’s personal and professional habits that help him achieve more. The central focus of the book is not to eliminate bad habits, but develop new ones to stay on track.

The book doesn’t put a barrier on the preferred target audience. Anyone, from top-tiered executive position to a college student, can choose it for personal development. If you’re keen on becoming more productive, this is what you should look forward to as your next read. The 4.5 rating of the book says it all.


4. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

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Don’t let the title fool you into believing that there are any shortcuts for achieving your goals. The book essentially embodies the implementation of 80/20 principle in your professional life. The idea is that 80% of your productivity comes from 20% of your time, and the rest of 20% of your productivity eats up 80% of your time. Fascinating, isn’t it?

This productivity book is a real treat for readers because Tim uses his own life experiences to guide people about working more efficiently. You can find some solid tips to shape your professional life in a more productive way and that too without draining yourself of all of your energies.

Change the way you do things with this 4.4 rated book.


5. The Power of Less by Leo Babauta

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#5 position in our list of best productivity books goes to The Power of Less. Demonstrating the similar principle of Essentialism, this book also focuses on eliminating the distractions from your life and identifying the essential goals. The central idea of the book revolves around freeing yourself from the overwhelming clutter of unnecessary tasks and how to do less to achieve more.

A simple take on productivity, Babauta presents readers with some practical tips that go beyond fancy philosophical concepts, encouraging readers to identify and reflect on their critical tasks first.

Make the most of the resources you have with this 4.2 rated book and work smarter.


6. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

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First on our list of the best productivity books is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. With a set of entertaining stories, deliberately paused and resumed throughout the book, Charles Duhigg writes in a fascinating way about how habits work, how to change existing habits and how to create new ones.

Duhigg takes on a case study approach while talking about individuals, social groups and organizations. Focusing on how the right habits can steer your way to higher achievements, this book is a must-read. With a rating of 4.04, you don’t want to miss out on this piece.


7. The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte

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The Desire Map is #7 on our list of the best productivity books. In this book, Danielle LaPorte gets to the crux of goal setting – your heart’s desire. She highlights focusing on your innermost feelings that aspire you towards setting goals.

This book shows you a way to use your core feelings as a guidance system for making choices, to accentuate the positive that happens and not disregarding the negative that prevails. All in all, this books helps you regard feelings as road signs so you can feel good while achieving a lot more in life.

Rates as 4.02, this book can change the way you feel – and think.

See also:

The 29 Best Project Management Blogs to Follow in 2019


8. Getting Things Done by David Allen

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If you’re looking for less philosophy and more of a hands-on approach to getting things done, this book is for you. David Allen writes to the point starting from taking your to-do-list and turning it into a “got-it-done” list.

Allen takes on a structured approach by giving great examples of how to sort your work through projects, organizing and follow up actions. The idea is to get your ideas out of your head and into implementation. With a rating of 3.99, make sure this book is on your list of the best productivity books.


9. Time Warrior by Steve Chandler

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With a self-explanatory title, Time Warrior: How to defeat procrastination, people-pleasing, self-doubt, over-commitment, broken promises and chaos by Steve Chandler highlights common mistakes we tend to make in life causing us frequent setbacks. Chandler especially highlights the human factor of people pleasing and self-doubt that result in loss of focus of the bigger picture.

Through a 101-chapter journey, this book helps you create your own, powerful cognitive style by structuring time tracking, multi-tasking, and other behaviors. Rated 3.92, this book should be on your must-read list of the best productivity books.


10. Linchpin by Seth Godin

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If you can’t find your answers with the existing systems or feel like you have a better way to approach things, this book is for you. Categorizing the third set of people as Linchpins, these people differ from management and labor and need to find their own ways. Linchpins are mentally resilient people that can get things done through intelligent risks.

Instead of following a certain path, Linchpins create their own, thus, becoming indispensable to their environments. Instead of learning to fit in, this book teaches you to think different. Rated 3.88, this book by Seth Godin is for the Linchpin within you. Linchpin by Seth Godin grabs the 10th spot in this roundup of the best productivity books.


11. 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think

If you’re someone living in a constant fear of time running out, Laura is here with some good news for you. We all have same amount of hours during the day, but some people get more done than you. Why? Because they’re managing time effectively. That explains the title. Don’t worry, this is not just another time management book with some fancy tips.

This productivity book comes with a notion that there are total 168 hours in a week. You can get the most out of them by keeping your focus on your core competencies. Find ways to maximize your productivity through these competencies and offload all other tasks to other people. The key lies with prioritizing tasks, and tracking where your hours are going, and you’re good to go.

3.8 rated productivity book, it’s worth a look.


12. The Power of Full Engagement

New York Times best seller, the power of full engagement comes with the idea that you need to manage your energies rather than your time. The book essentially focuses on the idea of self-management. That is, it’s not about how you many tasks you can fit in your day, but how you manage your own energy in a positive way.

According to authors, there is an energy pyramid that determines the different levels of energy we use to fuel ourselves. These levels are physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. In order to reach the highest levels of energy, you need to fully engage all these 4 types. The capacity to recover energy is also crucial when it comes to meeting your personal goals.

The book has an attractive rating of 4.5.


13. Smarter Faster Better

You can tell by the name that this productivity book is aimed towards making you a smarter individual. Throughout the book, Charles Duhigg presents 8 ideas which are targeted towards helping you maximize your productivity. It’s a self-help book which allows you to change the way you think, not what you think, and reveals the secrets of being productive.

Duhigg urges readers to get in the habit of telling yourself stories and add more options or opportunities for making informed decisions in your personal life and business. With a 4.3 rating, dig into the contents of the book and see how it changes your life.


14. The Productivity Project

The Productivity Project is a result of Chris Bailey’s year-long research on personal productivity. The book has a pretty interesting story behind it, which further makes you want to give it a read. Bailey made drastic changes to his lifestyle and run experiments on himself to explore ways to become more productive.

The book focuses on three critical factors that derive our productivity – time, attention, and energy. Simply put, Bailey shows how these three elements impact your productivity and how need to manage them in order to obtain maximum output.

The 4.3 rating of the book should be enough to motivate you to give it a read.


15. How to Be a Productivity Ninja

You’re probably wondering why use ninja as a means of measuring productivity? That’s what our next productivity book is all about. According to Graham, there are certain attributes of ninjas which, when applied to humans, can directly impact our productivity. Some of these include ruthlessness, mindfulness, Zen-like calm, agility, and stealth & camouflage.

How to be a productivity ninja addresses all your time management concerns and compels you to focus your attention only on the right things. A 4.0 rated productivity book, it’s a fantastic read for anyone looking to make the most out of their day.


16. Extreme Productivity

If you’re constantly battling with your time management skills and how you always think 24 hours of the day are too less, Extreme Productivity is for you. It’s just like a crash course to help you manage your time in the best way possible. The book is divided into sections to help you handle different aspects of your personal and professional life.

Extreme Productivity provides solid, tactical advice on how you can prioritize and organize your tasks in a way that they bring out the maximum productivity. A fast-read with 4.1 rating, this book is worth your time.


17. Procrastinate on Purpose

#17 on our list of the best productivity books is Rory Vaden’s classic, Procrastinate on Purpose. The procrastinator inside you is probably doing a happy dance right now, and it should.

In Procrastinate on Purpose, Vaden gives smart insights on how you can multiply your time. That is, how to squeeze in maximum work in your schedule without actually doing all the work yourself. You can do this by following the principles of Eliminating, Automating, Delegating, Consolidating, and Procrastinating.

The procrastination bit of the book essentially explains the principle of waiting till the last moment to get things done, because requirements can change at any time. This simple, yet effective funnel of managing your work can work wonders for you. This is exactly why you need to give this 4.7 starrer a glance.

This marks the end to our roundup of the best productivity books. What are your favorite reads? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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