Top 25 personal productivity books

 

  1. The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

    The New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Body shows readers how to live more and work less, now with more than 100 pages of new, cutting-edge content.

    Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, or earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.

  2. Getting Things Done by David Allen

    “A completely revised and updated edition of the blockbuster bestseller from ‘the personal productivity guru'”—Fast Company

    Since it was first published almost fifteen 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 organization. “GTD” is now shorthand for an entire way of approaching professional and personal tasks, and has spawned an entire culture of websites, organizational tools, seminars, and offshoots.

  3. Your Brain At Work, by David Rock

    In this book, we travel inside Emily and Paul’s brains as they attempt to sort the vast quantities of information they’re presented with, figure out how to prioritize it, organize it and act on it. Fortunately for Emily and Paul, they’re in good hands: David Rock knows how the brain works-and more specifically, how it works in a work setting. Rock shows how it’s possible for Emily and Paul, and thus the reader, not only to survive in today’s overwhelming work environment but succeed in it-and still feel energized and accomplished at the end of the day.

  4. The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8 AM) by Hal Elrod

    The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life Before 8 AM, by Hal Elrod, is a self-help book that explores the key point that the start of a person’s day not only sets the tone for that day but also has a profound impact on the rest of a person’s life. Indeed, Elrod explains that 95 percent of people struggle their entire lives because they fail to work on personal development, fail to start their days off right, and fail to choose to live differently….

  5. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

    Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. One of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time, How to Win Friends & Influence People will teach you:

    -Six ways to make people like you

    -Twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking

    -Nine ways to change people without arousing resentment

    And much more!

  6. The Power Of Habit, by Charles Duhigg

    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 that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, 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. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

  7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, by Stephen R. Covey

    This is, hands down, one of the best and most powerful books I’ve ever read in my life. I have recommended it to countless people. The fact that you’re seeking it out says volumes about your level of self-awareness as it is and this book builds on that. Very seldom do books really make me get involved when I read them, but this book made me break out my highlighter and notepad. There was so much good stuff I just had to take notes I could quickly reference. You know how some books make you say things out loud? You’ll read something and say, “YES! EXACTLY!” or read something profound and just sit dumbfounded, going “Wow,” and you have to take a moment to reflect on it? This book is full of moments like that.

    There is a lot of practical stuff in here, too. Challenges for you. Ways you can start to shift your thinking by taking an emotional inventory of your life and what you’re doing/feeling every day. Just writing about it makes me want to go back and read it again. If you’re here looking for a book that will help you harness that little spark inside of you that’s saying, “You can be better” then this book is it. You’re not an animal. Life doesn’t condition you like a dog. This book is the untouchable part of your human spirit that no one besides you controls. This book is about carrying sunny weather with you where ever you go, learning how much a proactive attitude benefits you, and really how sad and wasteful it is to walk through life allowing things to ruin your day. Things don’t ruin your day. YOU ruin your day. You are always in control.

  8. Manage Your Day to Day, by 99U

    Stop doing busywork. Start doing your best work.

    Are you over-extended, over-distracted, and overwhelmed? Do you work at a breakneck pace all day, only to find that you haven’t accomplished the most important things on your agenda when you leave the office?

    The world has changed and the way we work has to change, too. With wisdom from 20 leading creative minds, Manage Your Day-to-Day will give you a toolkit for tackling the new challenges of a 24/7, always-on workplace.

  9. Sleep Smarter, by Shawn Stevenson

    When it comes to health, there is one criminally overlooked element: sleep. Good sleep helps you shed fat for good, stave off disease, stay productive, and improve virtually every function of your mind and body. That’s what Shawn Stevenson learned when a degenerative bone disease crushed his dream of becoming a professional athlete. Like many of us, he gave up on his health and his body, until he decided there must be a better way. Through better sleep and optimized nutrition, Stevenson not only healed his body but also achieved fitness and business goals he never thought possible.

    In Sleep Smarter, Stevenson shares easy tips and tricks to discover the best sleep and best health of your life. With his 14-Day Sleep Makeover, you’ll learn how to create the ideal sleep sanctuary, how to hack sunlight to regulate your circadian rhythms, which clinically proven sleep nutrients and supplements you need, and stress-reduction exercises and fitness tips to keep you mentally and physically sharp.

    Sleep Smarter is the ultimate guide to sleeping better, feeling refreshed, and achieving a healthier/

  10. Made To Stick, by Chip Heath & Dan Heath.

    Mark Twain once observed, “A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.” His observation rings true: Urban legends, conspiracy theories, and bogus news stories circulate effortlessly. Meanwhile, people with important ideas—entrepreneurs, teachers, politicians, and journalists—struggle to make them “stick.”

    In Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath reveal the anatomy of ideas that stick and explain ways to make ideas stickier, such as applying the human scale principle, using the Velcro Theory of Memory, and creating curiosity gaps. Along the way, we discover that sticky messages of all kinds—from the infamous “kidney theft ring” hoax to a coach’s lessons on sportsmanship to a vision for a new product at Sony—draw their power from the same six traits.

  11. What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam

    Laura Vanderkam has combined her three popular audiobooks into one comprehensive guide, with a new introduction. It will help listeners build habits that lead to happier, more productive lives, despite the pressures of their busy schedules. THrough interviews and anecdotes, she reveals…
    What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast – to jump-start the day productively.
    What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend – to recharge and prepare for a great week.
    What the Most Successful People Do at Work – to accomplish more in less time.

  12. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

    In The One Thing, Keller and Papasan challenges that popular belief and advocates focusing on one single thing that matters the most instead of spreading ourselves too thin. Keller and Papasan’s book will strike you as different yet eye-opening. Having written this book from their own experiences, they have already proven that the One Thing does work and you can apply it to various aspects of your own life as well.

    Most of the time, the way to approach matters may be so simple and straightforward but our complicated human mind always chooses to believe the complicated method as it seems more legitimate.

  13. Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity Style by Carson Tate

    Strict adherence to an organizational plan is just not my style. I have used those models to get myself organized, but it never lasts. A month later I’m right back where I started. This is where Work Simply by Carson Tate stands as a stark contrast to other methodological systems on the market. Work Simply gave me the framework to understand why I’m caught in this cycle, and gave me tools to build a system that works for me.

    However, Work Simply did something else that was completely unexpected, it taught me how to observe and identify the organizational styles of my employees, something absolutely critical for any manager. Learning the productivity style of my wife, yeah, I needed this more than I realized! As co-owners of the business we work together every day. Work Simply will be as helpful to my marriage as it is to my productivity.

  14. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

    In his latest bestseller, Atul Gawande shows what the simple idea of the checklist reveals about the complexity of our lives and how we can deal with it.

    The modern world has given us stupendous know-how. Yet avoidable failures continue to plague us in health care, government, the law, the financial industry—in almost every realm of organized activity. And the reason is simple: the volume and complexity of knowledge today has exceeded our ability as individuals to properly deliver it to people—consistently, correctly, safely. We train longer, specialize more, use ever-advancing technologies, and still we fail. Atul Gawande makes a compelling argument that we can do better, using the simplest of methods: the checklist. In riveting stories, he reveals what checklists can do, what they can’t, and how they could bring about striking improvements in a variety of fields, from medicine and disaster recovery to professions and businesses of all kinds. And the insights are making a difference. Already, a simple surgical checklist from the World Health Organization designed by following the ideas described here has been adopted in more than twenty countries as a standard for care and has been heralded as “the biggest clinical invention in thirty years” (The Independent).

  15. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

    The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. It is not a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.

    By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy – instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us.

  16. See You At The Top, by Zig Ziglar

    25 years ago, the great Zig Ziglar presented a seminar that stunned audiences, broke new ground, and forever cemented his reputation as one of the most exciting, inspiring, and authentic motivators ever to take the stage. Since then, millions of people have forged a path to tremendous personal, professional and financial success using the principles presented in this seminar as their guide.

    Recorded live at that very seminar, See You At The Top amuses, informs, inspires, delights, and motivates as only Zig can. Speaking to you as if you were a guest in his living room, Zig unfolds a proven, unbeatable philosophy for successful living based on self-confidence, traditional values, and uplifting thinking.

  17. Willpower Instinct, by Kelly McGonigal.

    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.

    Informed by the latest research and combining cutting-edge insights from psychology, economics, neuroscience, and medicine, The Willpower Instinct explains exactly what willpower is, how it works, and why it matters.

  18. The First 20 Hours: How To Learn Anything…Fast! by Josh Kaufman.

    Research suggests it takes 10,000 hours to master a new skill, and the earliest hours are always the most frustrating. That’s why it’s so difficult to learn a new language, play an instrument, hit a golf ball, or shoot great photos.

    Josh Kaufman offers a better way. His systematic approach to rapid skill acquisition shows you how to deconstruct complex skills, maximize productive practice, and remove common learning barriers. By completing just 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice you can pick up the basics in record time… and have more fun along the way.

  19. The Art Of Learning, by Josh Waitzkin.

    In his riveting new book, The Art of Learning, Waitzkin tells his remarkable story of personal achievement and shares the principles of learning and performance that have propelled him to the top—twice.

    Josh Waitzkin knows what it means to be at the top of his game. A public figure since winning his first National Chess Championship at the age of nine, Waitzkin was catapulted into a media whirlwind as a teenager when his father’s book Searching for Bobby Fischer was made into a major motion picture. After dominating the scholastic chess world for ten years, Waitzkin expanded his horizons, taking on the martial art Tai Chi Chuan and ultimately earning the title of World Champion. How was he able to reach the pinnacle of two disciplines that on the surface seem so different? “I’ve come to realize that what I am best at is not Tai Chi, and it is not chess,” he says. “What I am best at is the art of learning.”

  20. Your Creative Brain, by Shelley Carson.

    Harvard psychologist Shelley Carson?s provocative book, published in partnership with Harvard Health Publications, reveals why creativity isn’t something only scientists, investors, artists, writers, and musicians enjoy; in fact, all of us use our creative brains every day at home, work and play. Each of us has the ability to increase our mental functioning and creativity by learning to move flexibly among several brain states.

    Explains seven brain states or “brainsets” and their functions as related to creativity, productivity, and innovation
    Provides quizzes, exercises, and self-tests to activate each of these seven brainsets to unlock our maximum creativity

  21. Think Like da Vinci: 7 Easy Steps to Boosting Your Everyday Genius by Michael Gelb

    New edition, including a new introduction by the author, of this inspiring guide to developing your full potential. A perfect buy for the business market as well as those wishing to explore their power of their brain, this book shows you how to imitate Leonardo Da Vinci’s thought processes and so enhance your aptitude in every area of your life. Learn how to fulfill your true potential by developing the thought processes used by Renaissance master Leonardo Da Vinci. Simply by imitating his insatiable quest for information and experience, we can all enhance our own aptitude in all facets of our lives. Michael Gelb discusses the seven fundamental elements of Da Vinci’s thought process and offers practical ways to incorporate them into our own lives. The techniques outlined in the book help readers to develop the same traits of whole-brain thinking, creative problem solving and continuous learning, all of which are vital in today’s world. Numerous exercises, anecdotes and illustrations help readers to master these techniques and create a personal and professional renaissance of their very own.

  22. The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

    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 book, managing energy, not time, is the key to enduring high performance as well as to health, happiness, and life balance. The Power of Full Engagement is a highly practical, scientifically based approach to managing your energy more skillfully both on and off the job by laying out the key training principles and provides a powerful, step-by-step program

  23. Eat That Frog, by Brian Tracey

    There just isn’t enough time for everything on our to-do list—and there never will be. Successful people don’t try to do everything. They learn to focus on the most important tasks and make sure those get done. They eat their frogs.

    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 you’re done with the worst thing you’ll have to do all day. For Tracy, eating a frog is a metaphor for tackling your most challenging task—but also the one that can have the greatest positive impact on your life. Eat That Frog! shows you how to organize each day so you can zero in on these critical tasks and accomplish them efficiently and effectively.

  24. Getting Results the Agile Way: A Personal Results System for Work and Life, by J.D. Meier

    In Getting Results the Agile Way, author J.D. Meier introduces Agile Results®-a simple system for meaningful results! It’s a systematic way to achieve both short- and long-term results in all aspects of your life-from work to fun. It offers just enough planning to get you going, but makes it easy to change your course as needed. It also provides fresh starts for your day, week, month, and year. Even if you already use another time management system, Agile Results can supplement it to increase your impact and sense of fulfillment. In today’s world, change happens quickly; learn how to be flexible and responsive to new opportunities. Don’t just check off tons of stuff from your to-do list; do the things that make a difference. Stop trudging your way through life; bolster your energy with habits that will carry you forward each day.

  25. The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play, by Neil Fiore

    Learn how to overcome procrastination and enjoy guilt-free play! One of the most effective programs to combat procrastination, THE NOW HABIT has sold over 100,000 copies, has been translated into 11 languages, and is now revised and updated.

    Featuring a new introduction and a new section providing strategies to understand and deal with the role technology plays in procrastination today, THE NOW HABIT offers a comprehensive plan to help readers lower their stress and increase their time to enjoy guilt-free play. Dr. Fiore’s techniques will help any busy person start tasks sooner and accomplish them more quickly, without the anxiety brought on by the negative habits of procrastination and perfectionism.