You have dreams and aspirations, and as a savvy hacker, you have planned your day-to-day activities to lead to your future success. You do your best to organize and plan your day but still feel that you are not getting enough work done. Does this sound like your regular day? It is then time to brush up on your productivity skills and take some inspiration from others. Success is not just about getting work done but also about figuring how if anything has gone wrong in the process of work. As professionals, entrepreneurs, freelancers, businessmen, and students, you are always looking to improve your productivity and time management, organize your work, and remove all the distractions coming in your way.
The year 2020 has been extremely strenuous and challenging for everyone. With the COVID pandemic keeping us at home, it has been tough to motivate yourself for work. Deciding to be productive in 2021 is a common goal for everyone but difficult to achieve without a plan. It is no surprise that books can help you manage your energy flow, time, and other work-life hacks. In this article, we have compiled a list of 10 best books on productivity to help you get more work done in the coming year.
1) "Eat That Frog" by Brian Tracy
As the common saying goes, "If you eat a live frog in the morning, you will have the satisfaction knowing that it is the worst thing you will do throughout the day," Tracy uses this metaphor to convey an important message in his book. He emphasizes the importance of doing the most challenging task in the morning. If you are looking for ways to overcome procrastination, Tracy does an excellent job of motivating his readers to get work done and stop procrastinating. He has broken the book down into 21 steps to create a positive impact on your work. He also shares successful time management techniques and how to zero in on your critical tasks.
2) "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey
In this book, Covey stresses on prioritizing works and making a pattern of things. He says, "Paradigms are powerful because they create the lens through which we see the world... If you want small changes in your life, work on your attitude. But if you want big and primary changes, work on your paradigm." The book provides a methodology for life and work. You can use this book to organize yourself and stay on track in life. Covey talks about setting your objectives and creating your priorities. He uses a bunch of analogies and focuses on developing new habits and defining your goals and priorities. It is one of the most effective and impactful productivity books ever written and has captivated readers for years. Further, it has transformed people's lives across the globe, including CEOs and Presidents, and is a must-read when you are trying to figure out how to be efficient.
3) "Getting Things Done" by David Allen
Allen says that "People often complain about interruptions that prevent them from doing their work. But interruptions are unavoidable in life." Allen suggests a framework where you can customize your needs and action them. While Covey focuses on defining your values and goals, Allen focuses on practical, actionable ways to improve your efficiency. When you have planned your goals using Covey's technique, you can then follow Allen's way to get your work done. Getting Things Done is the modern Bible for increasing productivity. His steps include creating a 'collection bucket' and noting all your tasks and then creating a 'next action' list for other works. Moreover, he also suggests creating a well-organized workspace and getting started with a clean environment. Give this book a read to improve yourself both personally and professionally.
4) "The 4 Hour Workweek" by Timothy Ferriss
Timothy Ferris' 4-Hour Workweek gives an exact blueprint for creating productivity and using Time Management Techniques to develop a healthy lifestyle. Published in 2007, this book provides an overview of Tim's life when he gave up his nine to five job for a 4-hour workweek. Following his principle of "being able to quit things that do not work is integral to being a winner," Tim shares a step by step guide on how to start earning a five-figure income by working only four hours per week. This is a good read for freelancers or entrepreneurs who want to live their life on their own terms. Moreover, it is about using less time to do more work and thereby improve your efficiency.
5) "Atomic Habits" by James Clear
Atomic Habits provides a fair understanding of practicing healthy habits to achieve success. James Clear provides a proven framework of habits for improving your day. He offers practical strategies to form good habits, break the bad ones, and master a healthy lifestyle. He says that the problem is not you, but the problem is your system. Bad habits tend to make a permanent place in your system and take time to change. With this book, you will be able to reshape the way you think about work and success. Whether you are an employee looking for growth or a freelancer searching for new clients, you should adopt his successful habits for a healthy lifestyle. James Clear's Atomic Habits is a must-read for those looking for tools and strategies to transform your habits for achieving remarkable success
6) "The Productivity Project" by Chris Bailey
Chris Bailey turned down a lucrative job to pursue his dream of the experiment for achieving productivity. In his eye-opening and engaging read, Bailey offers a plethora of insights for anyone looking to improve their productivity. In today's time, most of us have shifted to work from home, requiring improved creativity, focus, and mental energy. His book covers the important aspects of productivity like time, attention, and energy and how to use them effectively. He also stresses on identifying the triggers of procrastination like boredom, difficult work, and ways of eliminating them. This book is an excellent read because it speaks about individual productivity topics, breaks them down, and provides practical solutions for them.
7) "The Effective Executive" by Peter Drucker
Famous management consultant Peter Drucker presents a strategic guide on focusing your energy to increase your productivity. He starts his book with the five major habits of effectiveness for executives. It provides various techniques for learning effectiveness with time management techniques, decision making, building on strengths, etc. He further goes on to explain the elements of decision-making for executives. This book is strongly recommended for all working professionals who want to be successful in their work and increase their productivity.
8) "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg
Charles Duhigg observed the power of habits in this 2012 New York Times bestseller. He believed that our habits rule our lives, be it good or bad. Creating effective habits can lead to a lasting change, and they emerge out of practice. He stresses on the fact that our brain receives a cue on what step should be taken. Hence, it is important to form successful habits that can create a lasting impact on your lifestyle. This book would be a good read for everyone- from students to professionals- to imbibe in their regular life. This would increase their energy and thereby work productivity.
9) "Free to Focus" by Michael Hyatt
Most often, we tend to equate productivity by doing more work. However, author Michael Hyatt disagrees with this and stresses on getting things done the right way. He suggests that being productive is to cut the clutter and direct your efforts towards meaningful things in life. The book follows a systematic approach with each chapter focusing on a key point like time management, healthy routine, and procrastination and concludes with improving your productivity. He relates with real-life stories and offers actionable strategies to enhance your workflow, and improve your work productivity. This book is sure to add value to your life if you are looking for a no-fuss work pattern.
10) "The One Minute To-Do List" by Michael Linenberger
This book is most suited for people who are always exhausted with their never-ending work. While you always make a to-do list before starting your day, you often tend to ignore that when working. This book talks about the ease and efficacy of creating a to-do list. He suggests that you should focus on the right things and avoid burdening yourself with overwhelming work. He suggests organizing your work based on the urgency- Critical Now- tasks that are essential to be completed today; Opportunities Now- tasks that are urgent but can wait for a few days; Over the Horizon- tasks that can wait for more than ten days. You need to spend 20 seconds on each of these categories and your workflow will be organized. This is an interesting read for all those looking to plan and organize their work smoothly, and concentrate on the important ones.
When you are looking to improve your productivity, these ten are some of the best productivity books to inspire you to work more. These books will help you achieve more in life. Pick one, start reading it, write down the important points you can use, and try applying these tips and techniques in your life. These books would help you in your personal and professional life and help in making 2021 a successful and productive year.
Kaivan Dave is an Entrepreneur. Who is passionate about eCommerce, Branding, and Leadership.