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The 13 Best Productivity Books For 2019

Jacob Thomas Jacob Thomas Last Updated:
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Looking to get more done in less time? Below we list the 13 best productivity books available in 2019. Each of them is well-respected and would make a worthy addition to your collection. They are the best productivity resources currently available in 2019 and each one will teach you valuable ways to get more done in less time.

1. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey

Let’s start with a classic. First published in 1989, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey has stood the test of time and many people considered it to be one of the greatest productivity books ever written. We’re not going to spoil it for you and share each of the seven habits. We encourage you to actually read the book if you’re interested in learning what they are. Many people claim that it’s a life-changing read. But we will say that the lessons that Mr. Covey writes about will teach you how to:

  • Take control of your life
  • Make more strategic life decisions
  • Improve your relationships with family, friends, and co-workers
  • Overcome bad habits
  • And, yes, how to get more done in less time too.

This book is straightforward and you’ll read it quickly. It’s also very actionable so you’ll be able to immediately implement the things you learn. Updated versions even include well-designed infographics so that you can better grasp the information shared. Win!

2. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg

To reach peak levels of productivity, you need to develop winning habits. Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Charles Duhigg, shows you how in his book, “The Power of Habit”. This well-researched work argues in favor of a concept known as the habit loop, which is composed of three elements: a cue, a routine, and a reward. The cue is what triggers a habit. The routine is the habit itself. And the reward is what convinces the brain to remember (or not) the loop in the future.

According to Duhigg, the secret to habit change is recognizing what your cues are, developing effective habits to follow said cues, and rewarding yourself with something enjoyable. The lessons you learn from this book will help you become more efficient and productive. And once you’ve read his first book, Charles Duhigg has another named “Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business”. These two productivity books together will really supercharge your career and help you get more done, faster.

3. The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, by Gary Keller

The One Thing is a book by Gary Keller, co-founder of one of the largest real estate companies in the world, Keller Williams Realty. But this resource doesn’t have anything to do with buying and selling houses.

It’s all about simplification and readers can apply its principles to any profession. The One Thing champions the value of focusing on just one task at a time. Mr. Keller argues that to truly be productive, we must eliminate multitasking and prioritize single tasks. He then goes on to explain how to do this. Researchers have known for years that multitasking is productivity’s greatest enemy.

But that hasn’t stopped most of us from responding to emails during meetings and writing reports while talking on the phone. If you struggle with this, read The One Thing. You’ll be glad you did.

4. What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: And Two Other Short Guides to Achieving More at Work and at Home, by Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam’s best-selling book is actually three productivity books in one. Each is short and sweet. But even if they weren’t they’d still be worth your time. After reading, you’ll understand how to begin each day on the right foot, use your weekends to prepare for an amazing week, and how to get more done at work every day.

Most people don’t pay attention to their morning routines or the way they spend their Saturdays and Sundays. According to Laura Vanderkam, this is a huge mistake. The way you start your day and end each week will dictate how productive you can be. Major media outlets like Inc. and Forbes give Laura’s work high praise.

We suggest you give “What Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast” a read and begin implementing the author’s wisdom immediately.

5. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, by David Allen

Getting Things Done is more than a book. It’s also a time management methodology known as the GTD method. Author and top productivity consultant, David Allen, developed it. The GTD method bases itself on the idea that all planned tasks and projects should be written down and then broken into actionable work items. When this is done, mental energy can be spent getting work done rather than remembering what project needs to be completed when. Getting Things Done, which was first released in 2001 and updated in 2015, explains a five-stage workflow for better time management: capture, clarify, organize, reflect, and engage. After reading the book, you’ll know exactly what each of these stages entails and how to implement them into your life. If you’re looking for a productivity framework, this is the book for you.

6. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, by Cal Newport

Cal Newport is the author of the highly acclaimed book, “So Good They Can’t Ignore You.” You’ve probably heard of it. But rather than sit back and rest on his laurels, Newport returned to his keyboard and wrote another masterpiece. “Deep Work” was released in 2016 and became an instant classic. It teaches readers how to “focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.”

Newport claims that this skill is becoming increasingly rare and those that possess it will find extraordinary success. This book is especially important for those who struggle with distraction. If social media and email are constantly taking you away from the things that matter, “Deep Work” will be an invaluable resource.

7. Eat That Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time, by Brian Tracy

Procrastination is the opposite of productivity. To consistently get more done in less time, you must learn to stop putting difficult tasks on the backburner. In “Eat That Frog,” Brian Tracy reasons that the best way to beat procrastination is to begin each day with the task you’re dreading most. That’s when your mind will be freshest and best able to tackle intricate problems.

And if you’re wondering about the title, it’s inspired by a Mark Twain quote. The beloved American author once said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Mr. Tracy took this idea and ran with it. His book gives readers 21 tips to become more productive and successful.

8. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, by James Clear

Atomic Habits is a brand new addition to our list of productivity books, having just hit the market at the end of 2018. Its author, though, is well-versed in the areas of habit-building and productivity. He runs a well-loved blog that’s read by millions of people every month. In Atomic Habits, James Clear explains how to easily build good habits and break bad ones.

He argues that the key is focusing on small, one percent changes. If you can improve by one percent every single day, you can achieve just about anything. One of the things we love about this read is how actionable it is. James lays out a practical system you can use to change your habits for the better. Like we mentioned in regard to Charles Duhigg’s book, “The Power of Habit,” winning habits lead to amazing productivity.

9. Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, by Chip and Dan Heath

The Heath brothers are the best-selling authors of four books: “Made to Stick,” “Switch,” “Decisive,” and “The Power of Moments.” But for this list of productivity books, we only want to talk about “Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work.” This isn’t a typical productivity resource. What you learn within its pages, though, will help you get more done in less time.

Research shows that every decision we make as humans is based on bias. “Decisive” gives readers a four-step system to counteract these biases. By improving your decision-making abilities, you’ll give yourself the power to make more productive choices quicker.

10. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

The author of this book, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, is a legendary psychologist, best known for his research into “optimal experience.”

In Flow, Csikszentmihalyi explains how deep enjoyment, complete involvement, and peak creativity can be achieved at will, not just left to chance.

When you learn how to consistently enter into a flow state, you’ll not only become more productive but also enjoy your work more and experience a higher quality of life. Sound too good to be true? Read the book for yourself. We’re confident you’ll and up agreeing with The New York Times, Time Magazine and thousands of satisfied readers who love this work.

11. Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time, by Rory Vaden

This book is completely counterintuitive. It’s also 100% valuable and worth your time. But first, who is Rory Vaden and why should you listen to what he has to say? Rory is the successful co-founder of a global consulting firm that helps companies improve the customer experience. He’s also a best-selling author and runs a popular blog. Now, what’s the deal with “Procrastinate on Purpose”?

Didn’t we just say earlier in this article that procrastination is the opposite of productivity?

The title is really a play on words. In the book, Vaden argues that we need to procrastinate on things that don’t matter and focus more on what does.

It’s about prioritizing the right tasks. Everyone will benefit from reading this book. But if you have a hard time saying no to certain projects… If you’re constantly straining yourself to get more done, but not seeing the results you want… We recommend you prioritize this resource over all the other productivity books on this list.

12. Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, by Mason Currey

In this book, Mason Currey proves that there is no one-size-fits-all method for productivity.

The key to consistently getting more done in less time is finding the tips, tricks, and daily rituals that work for YOU and sticking to them. Daily Rituals catalogs the regular habits and routines of 161 inspiring minds.

Famous novelists, painters, scientists, mathematicians, and poets are included. If you’ve struggled to find the perfect daily routine for you, this book will give you plenty of ideas. Then you can begin implementing them and become more productive.

13. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, by Timothy Ferriss

Tim Ferriss is an internationally known author, entrepreneur, blogger, and podcaster. Each month, millions of people consume his work and glean valuable insights.

The 4-Hour Workweek is what launched his entire empire. And when we say “launched” we mean LAUNCHED to the stratosphere.

The book spent four years on the New York Time’s Best Seller list, has sold millions of copies, and has been translated into 40 different languages. It’s one of the most popular productivity books of all time! So what’s the big deal? Why so much fanfare over one book? The book teaches readers about lifestyle design and how to become more productive by outsourcing and delegating as many tasks as possible. That way they can make more money and work fewer hours.

Sounds great, right? Maybe a little bit like a pipedream, though?

It’s not. Tim gives real-life examples of how he’s used his system to achieve the 4-hour work week in his own life.

So Many Great Productivity Books. Start Reading Today!

The 13 productivity books listed above are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot of great information out there just waiting to be read. So stop waiting! Swing by your local library or fill your Amazon cart today and get started. If you begin implementing the time management tips, productivity tricks, and other secrets these books contain, you’ll start to see much greater success in your life and career. Good luck!

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