Best Productivity Books
Looking for the best productivity books? Here are my favorites:
Best productivity books
- Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity: To call this my favorite book on productivity is an understatement. The “GTD” system is air-tight and rock-solid for clearing up your head, and freeing up your creative energy. If you would like an introduction, read my Getting Things Done book summary or listen to my David Allen interview on my podcast.
- Mind Management, Not Time Management: Productivity When Creativity Matters: I’ve gotta include my own book my list, because this is honestly one of my favorite productivity books – which is why I wrote it! This is a system I built for myself on top of GTD, specifically for being productive when creativity matters. Instead of managing your time, learn to manage your creative energy.
- The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich: Thanks to this book, I built passive income streams, traveled the world, and moved to South America. My life and career are basically designed around this book.
- Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life: Controlling your attention is the skill of the century, and Nir Eyal is the behavioral design expert to show you exactly how to do it. Full disclosure, I helped Nir as a client with some of the marketing on this book. Listen to my Nir Eyal Indistractable interview on my podcast if you’d like an introduction to the concepts in this book.
- The 7 Habits of Highly-Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change: The Eisenhower Method of choosing the not-urgent-but-important over the urgent-but-important is a game-changer for anyone who wants to be productive.
- Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones: Admittedly, I struggle to read this book – I’m too scatterbrained. But it’s the most in-depth review of habits there is, and the concepts underlie much of how I think about being effective. James Clear is the best in the business at breaking complex concepts into simple parts.
- Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World: Cal Newport’s concept of “deep work” was a breakthrough for thinking about productivity.
- How to Take Smart Notes: This is like GTD for writing. The Zettelkasten method of note-taking presented in this book helps direct your curiosity in a way that is productive and leads to unexpected insights. For more, read my How to Take Smart Notes book summary. I also have this listed as one of the best creativity books.