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13 Best Productivity Books To Take You From Slacker To Master

There’s no Ph.D in productivity, but these practical and inspirational books are the next best thing.

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1 of 13|Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity|By David Allen and James Fallows
2 of 13|The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less|By Richard Koch
3 of 13|The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results|By Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
4 of 13|Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time|By Brian Tracy
5 of 13|The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change|By Stephen R. Covey
6 of 13|The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business|By Charles Duhigg
7 of 13|Pomodoro Technique Illustrated: The Easy Way to Do More in Less Time|By Staffan Noteberg
8 of 13|The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It|By Kelly McGonigal Ph.D.
9 of 13|What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: And Two Other Short Guides to Achieving More at Work and at Home|By Laura Vanderkam
10 of 13|The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal|By Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
11 of 13|The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy|By Chris Bailey
12 of 13|The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)|By Hal Elrod
13 of 13|The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul|By Danielle LaPorte

You have dreams. Maybe you’ve turned them into concrete goals. Maybe you’ve even broken those goals down into actionable steps. You do your best to organise your calendar, wake up on time, and cross everything off your to-do list each day.

But it still feels like you aren’t getting enough done. No matter how hard you push yourself, it feels like something’s missing and you’re falling behind.

Ring any bells? Then it’s time to brush up on your productivity skills. There’s no Ph.D in the subject, but these 13 top-rated productivity books are the next best thing.

Getting Things Done

The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Since it arrived on the scene 15 years ago, David Allen’s Getting Things Done has become one of the most influential business books of its era, and the ultimate book on personal organisation. “GTD” is now shorthand for a way of approaching professional and personal tasks, and has spawned an entire culture of websites, organisational tools, seminars, and offshoots.

The 80/20 Principle

The Secret to Achieving More with Less
Become more effective with less effort by learning how to identify and leverage this secret: that 80 percent of all our results in business and in life stem from a mere 20 percent of our efforts. The 80/20 Principle shows how we can achieve much more with much less effort, time, and resources, simply by identifying and focusing our efforts on the 20 percent that really counts. Although the 80/20 principle has long influenced today’s business world, author Richard Koch reveals how the principle works and shows how we can use it in a systematic and practical way to vastly increase our effectiveness.

The ONE Thing

The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
You want less – fewer distractions, less on your plate, less stress. You also want more – more productivity, more income, more time, more satisfaction from life. In The ONE Thing, you’ll learn to have both. The bestselling book teaches how to cut through the clutter, achieve better results in less time, build momentum toward your goals, dial down the stress, overcome overwhelm, revive your energy, stay on track, and master what matters to you. What’s your One Thing?

Eat That Frog!

21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
There’s an old saying that if the first thing you do each morning is eat a live frog, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that it’s probably the worst thing you’ll do all day. Using “eat that frog” as a metaphor for tackling the most challenging task of your day—the one you are most likely to procrastinate on, but also probably the one that can have the greatest positive impact on your life—Eat That Frog! shows you how to zero in on these critical tasks and organise your day. You’ll not only get more done faster, but get the right things done.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
One of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has captivated readers for more than a quarter of a century. It has transformed the lives of Presidents and CEOs, educators and parents – millions of people of all ages and occupations. Stephen Covey teaches readers how to achieve a “paradigm shift” – a change in perception and interpretation of the world that affects how you act regarding productivity, time management, positive thinking, acting with initiative, and more.

The Power of Habit

Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
In The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize–winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: the key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work and harnessing this new science.

Pomodoro Technique Illustrated

The Easy Way to Do More in Less Time
Do you ever look at the clock and wonder where the day went? You spent all this time at work and didn’t come close to getting everything done. Tomorrow try something new. Use the Pomodoro Technique to work in focused sprints throughout the day. In Pomodoro Technique Illustrated, Staffan Noteberg shows you how to organise your work to accomplish more in less time. There’s no need for expensive software or fancy planners. You can get started with nothing more than a piece of paper, a pencil, and a kitchen timer.

The Willpower Instinct

How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It
Based on Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal’s wildly popular course “The Science of Willpower,” The Willpower Instinct is the first book to explain the new science of self-control and how it can be harnessed to improve our health, happiness, and productivity. McGonigal combines cutting-edge insights from psychology, economics, neuroscience, and medicine to explain what willpower is, how it works, and why it matters.

What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast

And Two Other Short Guides to Achieving More at Work and at Home
Author Laura Vanderkam combines her three popular mini e-books into one comprehensive guide designed to help readers build habits that lead to happier, more productive lives (despite the pressures of their busy schedules). Through interviews and anecdotes, she reveals what successful people do before breakfast to jump-start the day productively, what successful people do on the weekend to recharge and prepare for a new week, and what successful people do at work to accomplish more in less time.

The Power of Full Engagement

Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal
We live in digital time. Our pace is rushed, rapid-fire, and relentless. Facing crushing workloads, we try to cram as much as possible into every day. We’re wired up, but we’re melting down. Time management is no longer a viable solution. As bestselling authors Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz demonstrate in this groundbreaking and highly practical book, managing energy – not time – is the key to enduring high performance as well as to health, happiness, and life balance.

The Productivity Project

Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy
Chris Bailey turned down lucrative job offers to pursue a lifelong dream – to spend a year performing a deep dive experiment into the pursuit of productivity, a subject he had been enamored with since he was a teenager. After obtaining his business degree, he created a blog to chronicle a year-long series of productivity experiments he conducted on himself. The Productivity Project is the result of that journey.

The Miracle Morning

The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)
What if you could miraculously wake up tomorrow and any – or every – area of your life was transformed? What would be different? Would you be happier? Healthier? More successful? In better shape? Would you have more energy? Less stress? More money? Better relationships? Which of your problems would be solved? What if it only took six minutes a day? Enter The Miracle Morning, a simple approach to creating the life you want that’s now practiced by thousands of people around the world.

The Desire Map

A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul
Your bucket list. Quarterly objectives. Strategic plans. Big dreams. Lots of goals and plans to achieve those goals – no matter what. Except… you’re not chasing the goal itself, you’re actually chasing the feeling that you hope achieving that goal will give you. Which means we have the procedures of achievement upside down: we go after the stuff we want to have, get, or accomplish, and we hope that we’ll be fulfilled when we get there. It’s backwards. And it’s burning us out. With The Desire Map, Danielle LaPorte presents a holistic life-planning tool designed to revolutionise the way you go after what you want in life.

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