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🔥 17 Must-Read Productivity Books for Outstanding Work in 2024

By September 19, 2023 December 12th, 2023

Do you leave projects unfinished or tasks on your to-do list for weeks untouched? No more.

We’ve handpicked the top productivity books that’ll tackle any goal head-on, helping you stay cool, stay focused, and stay ahead.

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So, grab a cup of coffee and pull up a seat because these books are about to show you effective ways to be productive.

Fast-Track Your Work Efficiency With These 17 Productivity Books

Productivity Books

Revamp your productiveness, impress your boss, and still have time for that Netflix marathon, all thanks to these wonderful productivity books. Let’s dive in!

  1. Slow Productivity by Cal Newport

    Challenge the conventional notion of a productivity culture that glorifies “business” resulting in overwhelming to-do lists and endless meetings. Newport offers an alternative approach by drawing inspiration from historical figures like Galileo, Jane Austen, and Isaac Newton, who achieved lasting and meaningful work without succumbing to modern-day burnout. Newport explores the principles of a sustainable and humane approach to work, a philosophy that innovates on workload management, embraces seasonal variations, and emphasizes long-term quality over immediate output.

    ❤️ Why we love this productivity book: It shows how productive we can be without the overwhelming pressure of constant hustling, thus introducing a different, healthier way of pursuing meaningful accomplishments.

    ⭐️ Key Takeaways: 

    • Redefine the concept of productivity.
    • Pace your work humanely like we did pre-internet age.
    • Shift towards long-term quality work over immediate output.

    Buy Now
  2. Atomic Habits by James Clear

    Bestselling author, James Clear's "Atomic Habits" is an incredible book that details the formation of habits, focusing on creating good habits, breaking bad habits, and achieving remarkable results through small changes. You'll learn how habits are formed from a biology and psychology standpoint, as well as from real-life stories of Olympic champions, artists, leaders, physicians, and comedians.

    ❤️ Why we love this productivity book: The emphasis is that success relies on more than your willpower; it also depends on having the right system in place. For entrepreneurs seeking career improvement, James Clear's “Atomic Habits” is a transformative resource.

    ⭐️ Key Takeaways:

    • Proven Habit Framework for daily improvement.
    • Success is about the system, not just setting goals.
    • Optimize your environment and unleash the power of habits. 

    Buy Now
  3. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

    The evolving nature of work, driven by knowledge work, blurs boundaries and multiplies commitments. The book, GTD, acknowledges the challenge of managing more tasks than available resources, offering high-performance management strategies for the modern workplace. Gain control of the overflow of daily tasks with productivity hacks that remove stress and professional development that enhance productivity and peace of mind.

    ❤️ Why we love this productivity book: Work smarter, not harder, and learn organizing strategies to manage your workflow.

    ⭐ Key Takeaways:

    • An approach that is effective for both professional and personal tasks.
    • Efficiently organize tasks with practical tools. 
    • Simplify workflow management into the strategy of capturing tasks.

    🛑 Productivity Pro-Tip from The Assist: Schedule time each week to step back and review your priorities and progress to ensure you're focused on the right goals versus getting lost in busy work. 🛑

    Buy Now
  4. Feel-Good Productivity: How to Do More of What Matters to You by Ali Abdaal

    Ditch the notion that a hard grind is the key to success! Dr. Ali Abdaal, an acclaimed productivity guru, boldly flips the conventional wisdom on its head. Abdaal claims that pursuing joy in our work, based on decades of psychological research, actually boosts productivity.

    ❤️ Why we love this productivity book: This book is a game-changer in the realm of feel-good productivity. It innovatively decouples happiness and fulfillment from the traditional grind in pursuit of success.

    ⭐ Key Takeaways:

    • Trade grind for joy at work.
    • Learn strategies to avoid procrastination.
    • Discover how to evade burnout.

    Buy Now
  5. Productivity for How You're Wired by Ellen Faye

    Productivity maven, Ellen Faye, guides readers away from one-size-fits-all productivity solutions, instead advocating for methods tailored to an individual's personal working style. Take on strategies that work for you with a life-changing three-part plan to build, create, and apply foundations, habits, and strategies to help you thrive. 

    ❤️ Why we love this productivity book: At its core, this book teaches personalized productivity. Embracing our individual quirks and wiring, rather than beating ourselves up to fit into traditional productivity molds, can lead to fruitful professional development.

    ⭐ Key Takeaways:

    • Embrace your individuality in productivity habits.
    • Overcome the limits of time management. 
    • Discover practical time tools for success.

    Buy Now
  6. Time Management: Ultimate Self-Help Guide to Increase Productivity and Stop Procrastinating by David McKeown

    Time management is a critical skill that can be learned to be used effectively in life and work. Overcome procrastination to maintain interest in your work. Plan and set goals to eliminate distractions. Whether you want to wake up early with energy or optimize your workflow, this book provides practical insights and strategies to make the most of your time and increase productivity.

    ❤️ Why we love this productivity book: This book dives deep into the critical asset of time by teaching time management skills for many types of goals and projects.

    ⭐ Key Takeaways:

    • Use time wisely, as it is an irreplaceable resource.
    • Discover the essentials for productivity and achievement.
    • Manage projects both big and small with different time management strategies.

    Buy Now
  7. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

    The "4-Hour Workweek" promises a life of luxury with less work and challenges traditional concepts of retirement, urging readers to create their dream life now. You'll learn to communicate delegations, travel while working, and cut work hours. The expanded edition features practical tips, case studies, and templates. It's for those tired of the standard menu of life options and ready to embrace a world of new possibilities.

    ❤️ Why we love this productivity book: Tim Ferriss challenges traditional notions of work and offers a blueprint for achieving financial freedom and more leisure time. The advice he offers is unconventional but it can optimize your career for maximum results with minimal effort, making it an ideal read for ambitious individuals looking to break free from the 9-to-5 grind.

    ⭐ Key Takeaways: 

    • Pursue your dreams now, even in uncertain economic times, and redefine retirement.
    • Learn a new blueprint to outsource tasks that reduce your working hours.
    • Read real-world tips from success stories using these principles.

    Buy Now
  8. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

    Take a principle-centered approach to acting on personal and professional challenges by being adaptable and seizing new opportunities. Covey's wisdom, condensed into clear, user-friendly graphics, analyzes the seven core habits of self-improvement: proactive thinking, goal setting, prioritization, collaboration, empathy, synergy, and self-care. Learn how to practice the underlying humanity of these habits (of effective people): fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity. Empowering yourself to adapt to change and leverage new opportunities. It remains a cornerstone for personal and professional growth.

    ❤️ Why we love this productivity book: This cornerstone book is revered as the benchmark for excelling both personally and professionally. Covey's principle-centered approach equips readers with the confidence to embrace change and take on new opportunities.

    ⭐ Key Takeaways: 

    • Take on new opportunities with confidence.
    • Problem-solve with principals that instill confidence.
    • The updated version includes graphics for improved clarity.

    Get more FREE productivity tips by subscribing to The Assist, a free 4x weekly email newsletter to help you become a better professional in just 5 minutes.

    Buy Now
  9. Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg

    Whether you're a student, a businessperson, or just someone yearning to be more productive in your day-to-day life, becoming more efficient can be a matter of leveraging science and psychology. Charles Duhigg goes beyond being a simple self-help read, instead offering a fascinating blend of science, stories, and practical tips to help you take decisive action.

    ❤️ Why we love this productivity book: Duhigg explains that productivity isn't about doing more, but instead about doing what we do effectively. He shares stories across different domains that lend credibility to his lessons.

    ⭐ Key Takeaways: 

    • Use science and psychology to work more efficiently. 
    • The importance of choice in productivity.
    • Efficiency is rooted in the right mindset. 

    Buy Now
  10. Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy

    In this expanded edition of a classic that includes accomplishing focused work alongside distracting technology, coach Brian Tracy offers a guide to achieving work-life balance and conquering procrastination. His concept of "eating the frog" tackles your most challenging task first, by setting goals categorized from most to least challenging. In all, a total of 21 principles are taught, including identifying constraints, applying self-imposed pressure, planning in advance, and writing goals down on paper.

    ❤️ Why we love this productivity book: If you procrastinate or task-jump, apply these techniques for organization and confidence in your approach to work.

    ⭐ Key Takeaways: 

    • Use the 7-Step formula of goal setting.
    • Save time and become efficient with the 80/20 rule.
    • Write effective to-do lists for various purposes.

    Buy Now
  11. The ONE Thing by Gary Keller

    The "ONE Thing" is the simple and powerful concept of channeling energy into one task at a time, be it to enhance your career, or improve your financial situation, health, faith, or relationships. This concept, which has been taught in workplaces and classrooms, simplifies and reduces stress applied to tasks.

    ❤️ Why we love this productivity book: The powerful concept focuses on what truly matters to accomplish one task. It offers practical strategies for cutting through distractions and achieving results.

    ⭐ Key Takeaways: 

    • Focus on what really matters about a task.
    • Prioritize one thing at a time across various life aspects.
    • Stop stressing about everything else going on.

    Buy Now
  12. The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy by Chris Bailey

    Chris Bailey embarked on a captivating year-long scientific experiment to explore the elusive realm of productivity, where he tried techniques that ranged from restricting smartphone, pushing his workweek to an astonishing 90 hours, to transforming into an early riser, all while meticulously monitoring the effects on his work's quality and quantity. "The Productivity Project" is the culmination of this remarkable effort, offering valuable, counterintuitive insights, a few of which are for deliberate work at a slower pace, eliminating the inconsequential, embracing imperfection, and allocating less time for critical tasks. 

    ❤️ Why we love this productivity book: If you are considering how productivity methods may change your workflow, learning from these examples might give your ideas some merit.

    ⭐ Key Takeaways:

    • New eye-opening productivity concepts.
    • Learn how to work deliberately and embrace imperfections.
    • Harness the power of the '20-second rule’ and take purposeful procrastination breaks.

    Buy Now
  13. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

    This Wall Street Journal business bestseller unveils the rare skill of deep work, defined as the ability to intensely concentrate on demanding cognitive tasks without distractions. The author, productivity master, Cal Newport, offers memorable anecdotes and guidance about engaging in deep work with a rigorous training regimen comprising four rules: work deeply, embrace boredom, quit social media, and drain the shallows. 

    ❤️ Why we love this productivity book: We use technology to stay connected and improve our lives, but for all its benefits do we engage in deep work?

    ⭐ Key Takeaways: 

    • Maintain productivity in a distracted world.
    • Learn the four rules of deep work.
    • Make time for higher-quality work.

    Buy Now
  14. What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam

    Mornings are often chaotic. We wake up groggy, hit snooze, rush to get ready and start our day. Hours pass with little accomplished beyond coffee, emails, and office chitchat. Laura Vanderkam, a time management expert, argues that mornings are the key to taking control of our schedules and tackling tasks that become difficult later in the day. "What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast" is a practical, enjoyable guide that encourages a morning routine rethink to jump-start the day.

    ❤️ Why we love this productivity book: Laura Vanderkam's book highlights the potential of using mornings as a time for personal and career success. It provides a practical guide to optimizing morning routines based on real-life examples and scientific research.

    ⭐ Key Takeaways: 

    • Learn the science behind mornings as a time for productivity and personal growth. 
    • Gain insight into successful people's morning routines.
    • Take practical guidance for enhancing morning habits.

    Buy Now
  15. Free to Focus: A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less by Michael Hyatt

    Productivity isn’t about finding or saving time, since we consistently have the same 168 hours each week, rather it's about making time work for us. In "Free to Focus," Michael Hyatt reveals nine strategies for excelling at work: redefine goals, assess strategies, eliminate non-essential tasks, prioritize vital ones, manage time and energy, and build momentum for lasting success. 

    ❤️ Why we love this productivity book: Trying to improve self-discipline while maintaining work-life balance is difficult. This bestseller tackles this by offering nine proven strategies that empower readers to diligently manage their work.

    ⭐ Key Takeaways: 

    • Reclaim more hours each week.
    • Learn skills to optimize productivity.
    • Nine strategies that benefit work and life.

    Buy Now
  16. Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity by Tim Challies

    Tim Challies addresses productivity obstacles with techniques to overcome them. Discover tools for effective task management, the significance of daily and weekly routines, and valuable tips on taming email overload. The book offers a path to living a more organized and purposeful life.

    ❤️ Why we love this productivity book: Tools that organize a busy schedule, routines to stay focused, and ways to manage email blasts, are always welcome. 

    ⭐ Key Takeaways: 

    • Overcome productivity obstacles.
    • Harness digital tools to get tasks done in less time.
    • Create effective daily and weekly routines.

    Buy Now
  17. The Procrastinator's Guide to Productivity by Stanley Sheppard

    Picture a life where commitment to plans reigns supreme, where your daily to-do list is met with a sense of fulfillment and pride, and where habitual change transforms you into a person of unwavering integrity. "The Procrastinator's Guide to Productivity" comprises a series of inquiries into your present habits. It includes fifteen strategies and ten practical tools for everyday application. Learn to break bad ones, apply SMART goals, and foster awareness of thoughts and emotions that fuel procrastination. Additionally, gain insights on resisting distractions, overcoming perfectionism, and conquering the fear of failure.

    ❤️ Why we love this productivity book: Procrastination is never fun, yet it has happened to each of us at some point in our lives. We love how this book conducts a thorough search for the reasons behind procrastination, and solutions to overcome it.

    ⭐ Key Takeaways:

    • Practical strategies to beat procrastination.
    • Mindfully make changes.
    • Apply new goal-setting techniques.

    Buy Now


People Also Ask These Questions About Productivity Books


Q: What are productivity books?

  • A: Productivity books give methods and tools for crushing your goals. They’re guidebooks that are chock full of smart tips, techniques, and strategies that can help you maximize your efficiency and effectiveness in both your personal and professional life. Yet, take them as friendly advisers, not a one-size-fits-all bible.

Q: What are the benefits of productivity books?

  • A: Oh, the benefits! Firstly, productivity books give you that much-needed dose of inspiration and motivation to get up and be proactive. Secondly, they provide practical tools and approaches to manage your time and tasks better. Lastly, most of these books give you a unique perspective on productivity, enabling you to think out of the box.

Q: How do I choose the best productivity book?

  • A: Look for books that align with your personal or professional goals, and go for one that provides actionable insights. And remember, the best book for you is one that resonates with your situation, not necessarily the one with the highest ratings. Additionally, carrying around a book everywhere is not always the easiest or most encouraging; try listening to an audio version of the book or reading the book on an Amazon Kindle.

Q: Do productivity books replace the need for training or courses?

  • A: Not at all. Productivity books complement any formal training, apps, courses, or educational podcasts because they often provide real-life situations and practical advice that isn’t found elsewhere on the syllabus.

Q: Can I implement productivity book techniques in a team?

  • A: Of course! Many of the concepts in productivity books can be applied to building and managing teams. Teamwork relies on everybody working together, and productivity is an aspect of effective work. A great book that is a checklist for improving your productivity is “The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right” by Atul Gawande.

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