⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
Last Updated on

Productivity

30 Best Productivity Books in 2023

Written by Leon Ho
Founder & CEO of Lifehack
⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄

If you’re someone who only has the time to pick up one book in a year, make it a productivity book. Why? Because these books are designed to make you more efficient both at work and in everyday life.

What’s great about these books is that they’re often straightforward, offering practical advice and immediate steps you can take to improve your productivity. It’s about learning tips and strategies that you can start using right away.

Beyond just helping you manage your time better, reading books focused on productivity can also be good for your mental well-being. A study from the University of Sussex has shown that reading can lower stress by up to 68%.[1]

With the aim of enhancing your productivity, I’ve put together a list of 30 top books. These are the ones to turn to when you want to reclaim your time. But remember, the key isn’t to try and read them all in one go. That approach might just lead you to procrastinate on reading altogether.

Instead, start with something manageable – a chapter a day, a few pages, or even setting aside 15 to 30 minutes for reading. The goal is to read consistently, absorbing and learning from each book.

And my advice? Begin with the book that piques your interest the most. This way, you’re more likely to stick with it and enjoy the process.

ADVERTISING

So, without further ado, here are the 30 must-read books on productivity to get you started.

30 Best Books on Productivity

1. “Atomic Habits” by James Clear

James Clear masterfully breaks down the journey of habit formation into small, achievable steps.

With engaging concepts like “habit stacking” and “environment design,” he shows how simple adjustments can lead to lasting changes in both your personal and professional life.

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
    Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
    $13.50
    Read Now
    Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
    05/18/2024 10:56 am GMT

    2. “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen

    David Allen’s GTD method is a life-saver for those drowning in to-dos.

    He simplifies task management into a five-step process that’s easy to follow, transforming the chaos of ideas and tasks into a structured, stress-free workflow.

    Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
      Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
      $10.79
      Read Now
      Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
      05/15/2024 05:57 pm GMT

      3. “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World” by Cal Newport

      Deep Work‘ is a game-changer, especially for professionals.

      Newport skillfully contrasts this with ‘Shallow Work’ and provides clever strategies for minimizing distractions, helping you achieve more in less time.

      Learn More About Deep Work
      Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
        Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
        $0.00
        Read Now
        Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
        02/19/2024 12:11 pm GMT

        4. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey

        This book introduces seven habits, including proactive behavior, beginning with the end in mind, and seeking first to understand, then to be understood.

        It’s a holistic guide that applies both to personal and professional life, emphasizing character ethics as a foundation for success.

        The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
          The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
          $12.32
          Read Now
          Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
          02/19/2024 10:26 am GMT

          5. “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss

          Timothy Ferriss turns the traditional work-retire model on its head.

          With strategies like outsourcing and batching tasks, he opens up a world where working less doesn’t mean achieving less.

          It’s a bold, unconventional guide to living a more fulfilling life.

          The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
            The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
            $15.29
            Buy Now
            Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
            05/18/2024 07:56 am GMT

            6. “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown

            McKeown’s approach is about doing “less but better.” He stresses the importance of saying no to non-essential tasks and focusing on what truly matters.

            This book is great for those who want to declutter their professional and personal life and focus on high-impact tasks.

            Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
              Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
              $13.00
              Buy Now
              Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
              05/18/2024 08:07 am GMT

              7. “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol S. Dweck

              This book’s exploration of fixed and growth mindsets is not just eye-opening; it’s transformative.

              The author argues that developing a growth mindset leads to greater success and productivity, making this book a must-read for educators, parents, and leaders.

              Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
                Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
                $10.80
                Buy Now
                Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                05/18/2024 08:12 am GMT

                8. “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg

                Duhigg explores the science of habit formation and how understanding it can help us change our habits.

                He uses a variety of case studies to illustrate how habits work and how they can be transformed.

                The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
                  The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
                  $10.53
                  Read Now
                  Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                  05/15/2024 09:02 pm GMT

                  9. “Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day” by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky

                  The authors, former Google designers, offer a practical framework to refocus your day around what truly matters.

                  They introduce concepts like “Highlight,” “Laser,” “Energize,” and “Reflect” to help you build a more productive daily routine.

                  Their approach is customizable, making every day both productive and satisfying.

                  Make Time: How to focus on what matters every day
                    Make Time: How to focus on what matters every day
                    $20.93
                    Read Now
                    Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                    05/15/2024 09:52 pm GMT

                    10. “Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” by Brian Tracy

                    Renowned author Brian Tracy presents a methodical approach to prioritizing tasks and tackling the most challenging task first (the “frog”).

                    The book is filled with practical advice for overcoming procrastination and increasing productivity.

                    Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
                      Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
                      $8.39
                      Read Now
                      Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                      05/15/2024 05:42 pm GMT

                      11. “The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

                      This book focuses on the power of prioritizing a single task that will make everything else easier or unnecessary.

                      The authors introduce the focusing question and the concept of “time blocking” to achieve extraordinary results.

                      The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth About Extraordinary Results
                        The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth About Extraordinary Results
                        $18.63
                        Read Now
                        Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                        02/19/2024 11:41 am GMT

                        12. “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life” by Nir Eyal

                        This book is a deep dive into managing distractions.

                        Nir Eyal cleverly differentiates between ‘traction’ and ‘distraction,’ offering effective strategies to handle digital interruptions and take control of your attention.

                        Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life
                          Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life
                          $12.99
                          Buy Now
                          Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                          05/18/2024 08:17 am GMT

                          13. “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel H. Pink

                          The author challenges traditional views on motivation and argues that autonomy, mastery, and purpose are the real drivers of high performance.

                          This book is particularly useful for managers and leaders looking to motivate their teams.

                          Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
                            Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
                            $9.58
                            Buy Now
                            Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                            05/18/2024 08:27 am GMT

                            14. “Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity” by Charles Duhigg

                            This book unpacks eight productivity concepts including motivation, focus, goal setting, decision making, innovation, and absorbing data.

                            The author uses storytelling to demonstrate how these concepts can be applied in various aspects of life.

                            Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity
                              Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity
                              $10.90
                              Read Now
                              Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                              05/18/2024 08:37 am GMT

                              15. “The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy” by Chris Bailey

                              The author turns his year-long productivity experiments into an insightful guide.

                              Covering time, attention, and energy management, this book offers practical advice to boost your efficiency.

                              The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy
                                The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy
                                $13.49
                                Buy Now
                                Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                                05/18/2024 08:42 am GMT

                                16. “Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity” by Tim Challies

                                This book provides a refreshing take on productivity from a Christian perspective.

                                Focusing on stewardship of time and resources, it’s a unique guide for integrating faith into effective life and work practices.

                                Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity
                                  Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity
                                  $8.49
                                  Buy Now
                                  Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                                  05/18/2024 08:47 am GMT

                                  17. “Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time” by Jeff Sutherland

                                  Sutherland, the co-creator of Scrum, explains how this agile methodology can be applied beyond software development to improve productivity in any field.

                                  He includes case studies and practical advice for implementing Scrum.

                                  Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
                                    Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
                                    $15.60
                                    Buy Now
                                    Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                                    05/18/2024 08:51 am GMT

                                    18. “Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction” by Chris Bailey

                                    This is a deep dive into managing attention in a distracted world.

                                    You’ll learn strategies for balancing intense focus and creative thinking are both practical and transformative from this book.

                                    Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction
                                      Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction
                                      $14.99
                                      Buy Now
                                      Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                                      05/18/2024 09:02 am GMT

                                      19. “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

                                      Csikszentmihalyi explores the concept of ‘flow’, a state of intense focus and immersion in activities.

                                      He explains how achieving flow can enhance performance and make activities more rewarding.

                                      Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)
                                        Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)
                                        $7.49
                                        Buy Now
                                        Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                                        05/18/2024 09:07 am GMT

                                        20. “The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles” by Steven Pressfield

                                        The book addresses the internal obstacles that prevent us from achieving our creative potential.

                                        The author personifies these obstacles as ‘Resistance’ and provides strategies for overcoming it.

                                        The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
                                          The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
                                          $10.99
                                          Read Now
                                          Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                                          05/18/2024 09:12 am GMT

                                          21. “The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done” by Peter F. Drucker

                                          This is a timeless guide on effectiveness in leadership.

                                          With a focus on decision-making and prioritizing, it’s an essential read for those in executive roles.

                                          The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done (Harperbusiness Essentials)
                                            The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done (Harperbusiness Essentials)
                                            $11.39
                                            Buy Now
                                            Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                                            05/18/2024 11:02 am GMT

                                            22. “Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

                                            The Heath brothers provide a framework for effecting change, using a metaphor of a rider, an elephant, and a path.

                                            It’s useful for anyone looking to implement changes in their personal or professional life.

                                            Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
                                              Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
                                              $11.98
                                              Buy Now
                                              Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                                              05/18/2024 11:12 am GMT

                                              23. “Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World” by Cal Newport

                                              Newport advocates for a minimalist approach to technology use. He offers strategies for using digital tools more intentionally to avoid distraction and enhance focus.

                                              Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World
                                                Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World
                                                $15.49
                                                Buy Now
                                                Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                                                05/18/2024 09:17 am GMT

                                                24. “The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right” by Atul Gawande

                                                The author makes a compelling argument for the power of checklists in managing complex tasks.

                                                It’s an eye-opening read that highlights the importance of simplicity and order in achieving success.

                                                The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
                                                  The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
                                                  $8.89
                                                  Read Now
                                                  Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                                                  02/20/2024 02:52 am GMT

                                                  25. “So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love” by Cal Newport

                                                  Newport challenges the conventional wisdom of ‘follow your passion’ and argues that skill and mastery are the keys to loving what you do.

                                                  He advocates for a craftsman mindset towards work.

                                                  So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
                                                    So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
                                                    $14.73
                                                    Buy Now
                                                    Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                                                    05/18/2024 09:22 am GMT

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

                                                    Fiore offers a comprehensive strategy to overcome procrastination.

                                                    His concept of “unschedule” and focus on the psychological aspects of procrastination make this book a unique and helpful guide.

                                                    The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play
                                                      The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play
                                                      $13.91
                                                      Read Now
                                                      Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                                                      05/15/2024 10:17 pm GMT

                                                      27. “Time Management for System Administrators: Stop Working Late and Start Working Smart” by Thomas A. Limoncelli

                                                      The author provides time management techniques tailored for the unique challenges faced by system administrators, offering practical and field-specific tips to efficiently manage workloads.

                                                      Time Management for System Administrators: Stop Working Late and Start Working Smart
                                                        Time Management for System Administrators: Stop Working Late and Start Working Smart
                                                        $18.51
                                                        Buy Now
                                                        Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                                                        05/18/2024 09:27 am GMT

                                                        28. “Free to Focus: A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less” by Michael Hyatt

                                                        Michael Hyatt introduces a system that combines time, energy, and attention management to increase productivity while reducing stress.

                                                        It’s a must-read for anyone aiming to achieve more while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

                                                        Free to Focus: A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less
                                                          Free to Focus: A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less
                                                          $15.79
                                                          Buy Now
                                                          Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                                                          05/18/2024 09:37 am GMT

                                                          29. “Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success” by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness

                                                          This book by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness is a treasure trove of strategies for peak performance, combining scientific research with real-world applications.

                                                          It’s great for athletes, business professionals, and anyone looking to perform at their best without burnout.

                                                          Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success
                                                            Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success
                                                            $16.99
                                                            Buy Now
                                                            Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                                                            05/18/2024 09:47 am GMT

                                                            30. “The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage” by Mel Robbins

                                                            Robbins introduces a simple yet powerful tool to foster courage and action.

                                                            The book focuses on the five-second decision window and how to use it to overcome fear and hesitation.

                                                            The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage
                                                              The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage
                                                              $13.99
                                                              Read Now
                                                              Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                                                              05/18/2024 09:42 am GMT

                                                              Final Thoughts

                                                              Productivity isn’t just about getting more work done; it’s about enhancing the quality of every aspect of your life. It’s about making time for what matters most, both in your professional endeavors and in your personal world.

                                                              These books aren’t just guides to doing more; they are blueprints for a more intentional and fulfilling way of living.

                                                              I encourage you to dive into the books from this list that resonate with you. Each one offers a unique perspective, a different toolset, and potentially life-changing insights.

                                                              Whether it’s mastering the art of habit formation, learning to focus deeply, or understanding the psychology behind productivity, these books hold the keys to unlocking your best self.

                                                              ADVERTISING

                                                              You don’t have to read them all – start with one that speaks to you and let your journey begin from there. May these reads inspire you, challenge you, and guide you toward a more productive and fulfilling life!

                                                              Reference

                                                              ⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
                                                              Advertising
                                                              Advertising
                                                              Advertising
                                                              Advertising
                                                              Advertising
                                                              ⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
                                                              ⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
                                                              ⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
                                                              ⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄