Best Books that Will Help You Manage Your Time
Are you always busy and have no time?
Do you find it hard to be productive?
Can’t seem to balance your work and life?
Regardless if you are a business professional, college student, or a stay-home parent, time management is an essential skill to learn. Not only does it makes you more productive and helps you get work done, but it also reduces your stress and makes you feel less overwhelmed.
Below are the top 10 best books on time management, organization, and productivity. Some are bestsellers, while some are the best time management books of all time. Read the list and pick a book that best suits your needs.
10 Best Time Management Books to Improve Productivity
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1. The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
This best-selling book sets the theme right at the start with this Russian proverb: “If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.”
Even though most of us knew we need to focus, most of us don’t. In this book, the authors provide many diagrams, analogies, and imageries like the above to illustrate the importance of focusing and doing the right thing.
Successful time management isn’t about doing things faster. It’s about doing the ONE thing that creates the biggest momentum and results for you.
If you are a visual learner and feel overwhelmed with creating balance in your work and life, this is the book for you. This short and simple book suggests an innovate way to counterbalancing your work and life instead of balancing them.
2. Busy by Tony Crabbe
This book is for busy people who have no time. Instead of managing time, this book teaches you how to manage your attention. The author says to replenish our ability to focus, we need to unfocus.
Written by a business psychologist, this book isn’t just about personal busyness. It also talks about business busyness. For example, how to stand out from the noise in the market, how to make your brand simple and how to develop a strategic position.
If you are an entrepreneur, self-employed or someone with a growing workload, this is the book for you. It will help you prioritize your work and sort out your overwhelming business life.
3. Essentialism by Greg McKeown
The premise of this book is to do what is essential.
The author suggests you don’t have to do it all. When you hold on to the mindset of “I have to”, you always struggle to have enough time. Instead, it’s better to change your mindset to “I choose to”.
This book is about accepting the reality of trade-off and making it deliberate. Since you can’t have it all or do it all, the author asks you to choose the trade-off which you want to make.
The author also uses common life examples such as getting rid of clothes in our wardrobe to illustrate his point of being essential. If you have problems with decision-making and identifying priorities in your life, this is definitely the book for you.
4. Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy
Do you have a problem with procrastination? If so, this is the book for you.
Most of us feel overwhelmed with the lack of time because we try to do too many things. Since it’s impossible for us to do everything, the author suggests that we should “eat the frog” first which is a metaphor for doing the most challenging and important task. The frog is also the task that has the most positive impact in your life.
This book is suitable for entrepreneurs, professionals and even students who find it difficult to set the right priorities. If you always feel that you don’t have enough time, read this book. It will help you get more done in less time.
5. Getting Things Done by David Allen
“Time management is useless the minute your schedule is interrupted.”
Our productivity is often affected by short-term distractions such as our ideas, obligations, and interruptions. To have stress-free productivity, we need our minds to be clear and relaxed.
This book provides you an organized system to help you collect your ideas and organize them so that your mind can be free from these distractions.
If you feel overwhelmed with responsibilities or future possibilities, this is the book for you. It will help you get your life in order and relieve your stress and worry. The system can be used by anyone and is applicable to both your professional and personal life.
6. First Thing First by Stephen Covey, Roger Merrill, and Rebecca Merrill
“How many people on their deathbed wish they spent more time at their office?”
Life isn’t about doing things faster, it’s about doing the right things.
Most people neglect important things in their life while trying to accomplish their day-to-day goals. This book is about setting priorities on meaningful things in your life such as your family, relationships, and peace. The author uses a principle-centered approach to time management.
If you need help organizing your life or feels a lack of meaning in your life, this is the book for you. The author has a process that helps you divide your tasks into four quadrants.
- Important and Urgent
- Important, Not Urgent
- Urgent, Not Important
- Not Urgent, Not Important
He also explains why it’s important to focus on the tasks in the second quadrant (i.e. the important but not urgent tasks) and how to select these tasks.
7. 18 Minutes by Peter Bregman
Time management isn’t just about getting things done or being productive. It’s about focusing on meaningful work too.
What separates this book from most time management books is that the author gets you thinking from the big picture perspective (macro) all the way to the current moment (micro). If you want to manage your time, you have to do it in such a way that it aligns with your long-term vision.
This book is divided into short chapters with lots of stories. If you are someone who loves learning through stories and other people’s experiences, this is definitely the book for you.
8. Level Up Your Day by S.J. Scott and Rebecca Livermore
If you often find yourself being distracted by time-wasting activities, this is the book for you.
Written by a habit-building expert and an experienced freelance writer, this book will help you be more intentional with your time and develop a daily routine.
In the book, the authors focus on six essential areas of your daily life that help you manage your time better. They are energy, eating, exercise, routine activities, working, and fun. The authors help you identify the most important activities in each category so that you can focus on them and get the maximum results.
This book is suitable for anyone who needs more structure in their life or someone who has been wasting their time with meaningless activities.
9. 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management by Kevin Kruse
“We can never get time back again. Unlike money, it is irreplaceable. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good.”
Are you constantly in a rush? If so, this book is for you. This book has a lot of great time-saving tips and concepts shared by successful people.
Based on survey research and interviews, you will learn the time-management secrets used by billionaires, Olympic athletes, straight-A students, and entrepreneurs.
If you are always feeling overworked and overwhelmed, why not learn how to be more productive from these successful people? This well-researched book will challenge your current mindset and offer some valuable insights.
10. Organize Tomorrow Today by Jason Sel, Tom Bartow, and Matthew Rudy
“Sports psychology meets wall street.”
Written by authors with different background and expertise, this book gives you an interesting perspective of time-management used by athletes and business people.
The authors believe that when you focus on everything, you focus on nothing, so they come up with the Organizing Tomorrow Today strategy. This strategy gets you into the habit of identifying your “3 Most Important, 1 Must” each day (which is your top three priorities and one main priority for the next day).
At the end of each chapter, there’s a summary of the benefit of mastering the step, the opportunity cost of not mastering the step, and a call to take action now. This will motivate you to get started.
If you are someone who needs a little push to get going and a simple strategy to follow, this is the book for you.
Hey there, I’m Yong Kang, best known as Nerdy Creator. I’m an author of seven books. I write about spirituality, self-compassion, and mindfulness. I love reading books, especially non-fiction. The list above is a combination of what I have read and my research. Each year, I create a Top 10 list of my favorite books.