Productivity books

Top 10 Productivity Books That Can Transform Your Work in 2024

With the pressure to do more in less time, finding ways to be more productive has become incredibly valuable.

The American Psychological Association found that 71% of professionals feel stressed during the workday, making it challenging to stay efficient with constant demands. 

Problems like procrastination, information overload, and poor time management seriously affect productivity. This leads to stress and anxiety or even makes you consider changing jobs, as highlighted in the survey above. 

However, the path to transformation goes beyond recognizing these obstacles—it’s also about equipping yourself with the best productivity tools to overcome them. 

We have collated some of the best productivity books for you. Pick a book that resonates with you to learn expert tips and the surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results. 

1. How to be a Productivity Ninja: Worry Less, Achieve More and Live What You Do by Graham Allcott 

How to be a Productivity Ninja
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: Graham Allcot
  • Year published: 2014
  • Estimated reading time: 11 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner to intermediate 
  • No. of pages: 368
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.4/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.7/5 (Goodreads)

In his book, Graham Allcot, the founder of Think Productive, highlights the importance of attention management for productivity. He zeroes in on the equation: “Time + the right attention and focus = work done.”

Allcot introduces the idea of becoming a ‘productivity ninja’ by emphasizing qualities such as keeping a calm mindset, being decisive with tasks, and using refined workflows as powerful tools.

This book targets chronic procrastinators, multitaskers, and people swamped by overflowing inboxes. It provides tips and techniques to help you stay calm, finish your tasks, and maximize your time for productive activities instead of procrastinating. 

Allcot unveils the CORD model (Capture and collect, Organize, Review, Do) as a productivity ninja’s secret weapon and shares practical advice and exercises to help you master these techniques.

How well you protect and use your attention determines your success.”

Graham Allcot

How to be a Productive Ninja key takeaways 

  • Your attention is a valuable currency, so spend it wisely
  • The best way to get things done is to do them

What readers say 

“This is my favorite book since Getting Things Done by David Allen. Simple techniques to get the clutter out of your head and into a system of trust. I particularly like the analogies like thinking about how to do the work in advance, so doing the work is as easy as putting cherries on pies.”

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

Deep Work
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: Cal Newport 
  • Year published: 2016
  • Estimated reading time: 10 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner 
  • No. of pages: 304
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.6/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.2/5 (Goodreads)

‘Deep Work’ by Cal Newport is an engaging dive into productivity in today’s fast-paced world. 

Newport suggests that thriving in today’s competitive world requires working intensely—undistracted and highly focused.

At the beginning of the book, Newport draws a clear distinction between deep and shallow work, using real-life examples to guide you in prioritizing deep work for achieving focused success. 

The second part of the book offers strategies for you to develop deep work habits, including 4Dx (4 Disciplines of execution) principles like 

  • Work deeply
  • Embrace boredom
  • Quit social media
  • Drain the shallows

By the end of it, you’ll be motivated to devote more time to meaningful work and develop productive habits through focused success.

“What we choose to focus on and what we choose to ignore–plays in defining the quality of our life”

Cal Newport 

Deep Work key takeaways 

  • Multitasking and distractions are the enemies of productivity
  • Scheduling both work and free time is essential to restoring energy

What readers say

“Great read with practical tactics to deploy in order to achieve a deep work state consistently. I will be using these tips moving forward.” 

3. Organize Tomorrow Today: 8 Ways to Retrain Your Mind to Optimize Performance at Work and in Life by Dr. Jason Selk and Tom Bartow 

Organize Tomorrow Today
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author(s): Dr. Jason Selk & Tom Bartow 
  • Year published: 2015
  • Estimated reading time: 7 hours
  • Recommended level: Intermediate 
  • No. of pages: 240
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.7/5 (Amazon)
    • 4/5 (Goodreads)

In ‘Organize Tomorrow Today,’ Dr. Jason Selk and Tom Bartow present an easy-to-follow guide exploring successful habits. They offer eight effective methods to reshape your mind for stress-free productivity in both work and life. 

Drawing from athletics, psychology, and finance backgrounds, the authors provide practical advice, real-life examples, and personal development guidance. This helps you cultivate positive habits, track daily progress, and improve communication skills. 

This productivity book offers actionable advice if you seek productivity hacks and organizational tips.

“Greatness is predicated on consistently doing things others can’t or won’t do. Simply put, success is not about being brilliant. It is about being consistent.”

Dr Jason Selk & Tom Bartow

Organize Tomorrow Today key takeaways 

  • Encourage the habit of creating routines and systems for a focused life
  • Embrace your uniqueness and avoid excuses to stand out and excel 

What readers say:

“This is one of the best self-help books I’ve ever read! It’s already helped me at work with my procrastination and organization! This is a book I need to re-read every year!”

4. How to Stop Procrastinating: A Simple Guide to Mastering Difficult Tasks and Breaking Procrastination Habit by S.J. Scott

How to Stop Procrastinating
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: S.J. Scott
  • Year published: 2017
  • Estimated reading time: 4 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner 
  • No. of pages: 158
  • Ratings:
    • 4.2/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.7/5 (Goodreads) 

‘How to Stop Procrastinating’ is your go-to buddy for kicking off that pesky procrastination habit. Whether you’re a sometimes procrastinator or a full-time pro at leaving things to the last minute, this book’s got your back. 

Through this work, S.J. Scott lays out a simple, step-by-step plan to tackle procrastination in every corner of your life. He doesn’t just talk about it; he dives into why procrastination is a real downer—think poor grades, subpar work performance, and even financial hiccups. 

The book teaches anti-procrastination habits and equips you with everyday life tips, like the 25-5 Rule, tricks for setting motivating goals, and ways to gracefully say “no” without being a buzzkill. 

“The more time and effort it takes to do a task, the harder it is to get started”

S.J. Scott

How to Stop Procrastinating key takeaways 

  • Engage in a 5-10 minute daily review routine 
  • Be accountable for your tasks 

What readers say

“A refreshingly useful and entertaining book from the master of self-improvement who continues to find new ways to inspire and encourage his readers with simple yet powerful advice on how to build winning habits.” 

5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: Stephen R. Covey
  • Year published: 1989
  • Estimated reading time: 15 hours
  • Recommended level: Intermediate 
  • No. of pages: 381
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.6/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.2/5 (Goodreads)

Published in 1989 and boasting over 25 million copies sold, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Covey is a timeless guide for achieving maximum effectiveness. 

Covey focuses on the ‘character ethic’ and gives you seven habits that will help you move from dependence to interdependence. 

There are no quick fixes here. Covey’s all about making long-term behavior modifications and changing your perceptions to bring about personal growth and success. 

This book provides a framework for developing healthy habits and offers vital lessons to help you engage in renewal activities and identify essential areas for personal growth. 

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

Stephen Covey 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People key takeaways 

  • Focus on what you can control rather than what you can’t
  • Make decisions and prioritize actions based on your goals and purpose in life 

What readers say

“Covey’s book is not only a practical guide to better habits but changes your perspective on how your choices, both in physicality and mentality, can change your path for the better or the worse. Often, we do not even realize what our daily habits are. We simply carry on with life without thinking about some of our choices. But reading Covey’s book brings both your personal habits and professional habits under examination.”

6. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg Mckeown

Essentialism
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: Greg McKeown
  • Year published: 2014
  • Estimated reading time: 8 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner to intermediate
  • No. of pages: 272
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.1/5 (Goodreads)
    • 4.6/5 (Amazon)

In a world of information overload and countless options, Greg McKeown’s book urges you to cut out the non-essentials and concentrate on making the most impactful contributions to essential things—the disciplined pursuit of less.

The book presents five central ideas, emphasizing the value of letting go of trying to do everything and embracing essentialism. It encourages replacing false assumptions with three fundamental truths: 

  1. I choose what I do
  2. Only a few things matter
  3. I can do anything, but not everything 

This is not your typical time management or productivity book; it’s a structured discipline that assists you in identifying what truly matters in your life. And if you’re seeking a clear path to stress-free productivity and fulfillment, read Essentialism for extraordinary results. 

“Sometimes what you don’t do is just as important as what you do”

Greg McKeown

Essentialism key takeaways 

  • Set clear boundaries in your life
  • Do fewer things better

What readers say

“This book will challenge you to do only what’s essential in your life and eliminate the rest. The goal is “less but better,” achieved by focusing on the vital few, not the trivial many.”

7. Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt

Free to Focus
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: Michael Hyatt
  • Year published: 2019
  • Estimated reading time: 8 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner
  • No. of pages: 250 
  • Ratings:
    • 4.6/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.1/5 (Goodreads)

Are you seeking a simple and efficient productivity system to clarify priorities and focus on your work? Michael Hyatt has got you covered! 

‘Free to Focus’ introduces a groundbreaking approach to productivity, challenging the common belief that it’s just about doing more in less time. 

With a proven system supported by over 25,000 professionals, Hyatt’s three-step formula— Stop, Cut, Act—guides you to filter tasks, eliminate nonessentials, manage interruptions, and set boundaries for increased focus and impactful results in a distracted world. This game-changer book helps you move closer to your goals while reducing stress.

“If you want to master your schedule, increase your efficiency and output, and create more margin in your life for the things you care about, you’ve got to learn how to focus.”

Michael Hyatt

Free to Focus key takeaways 

  • Learn the power of yes or no to focus better
  • Plan your life first, and then adjust your work to fit your lifestyle goals

What readers say

“The simplest route to more time with who and what we love!” 

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

Scrum
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: Jeff Sutherland
  • Year published: 2014
  • Estimated reading time: 7 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner 
  • No. of pages: 258
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.6/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.2/5 (Goodreads) 

‘Scrum’ by Jeff Sutherland isn’t only about rugby formations. It’s a groundbreaking team performance framework created in 1993. This book explores the philosophy and diverse applications of Scrum beyond technology or the workspace.

In the book, you’ll delve into real-world examples and case studies illustrating how implementing Scrum can revolutionize your approach, making teams more effective and delivering faster results.

Whether in business, education, or improving your efficiency, this book provides valuable guidance on applying Scrum principles to achieve superior results in less time. 

“The Scrum Master, the person in charge of running the process, asks each team member three questions: 1. What did you do yesterday to help the team finish the Sprint? 2. What will you do today to help the team finish the Sprint? 3. What obstacles are getting in the team’s way? That’s It.”

Jeff Sutherland

Scrum key takeaways 

  • A regular feedback system is vital to keep your productivity project on track
  • Effective project management is all about promoting great teamwork

What readers say

“This book not only explains the whys of Scrum but does so with examples easily and engagingly. It is also nice to see how Scrum is being applied to solve more than software problems.” 

9. Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours by Robert Pozen 

Extreme Productivity
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: Robert Pozen
  • Year published: 2012
  • Estimated reading time: 10 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner
  • No. of pages: 304
  • Ratings:
    • 4.1/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.6/5 (Goodreads) 

Through this easy read, the author offers valuable insights into maximizing productivity while balancing your professional and personal life. 

Fueled by his expertise as a Harvard Business professor and an accomplished chairman for a global financial services firm, Robert Pozen advocates a shift from focusing on hours worked to prioritizing results. 

Pozen’s straightforward approach simplifies daily routines, prioritizes goal-setting, enhances decision-making, and avoids unnecessary attention to minor tasks. The book addresses professional productivity and offers guidance on personal skill development and effective relationship management. 

So, if you’re seeking practical strategies from someone who understands the complexities of maintaining productivity in various life domains, then ‘Extreme Productivity’ is a must-read. 

“To implement the general principle of active reading, you should follow a three-step process: 1. Grasp the structure of the reading. 2. Read the introduction and conclusion. 3. Skim the tops of the paragraphs.”

Robert Pozen

Extreme Productivity key takeaways 

  • Prioritize high-impact tasks over low-priority ones
  • Healthy work-life balance is essential for overall well-being 

What readers say

“A life-changing book – one that covers everything from work to play, family and friends. Pozen covers a lot of ground with his advice – and it’s all useful stuff. A great book and one going on my best list.” 

10. 23 Anti-Procrastination Habits: How to Stop Being Lazy and Get Results In Your Life by S.J. Scott

23 Anti-Procrastination Habits
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: S.J. Scott
  • Year published: 2014
  • Estimated reading time: 4 hours 
  • Recommended level: Intermediate 
  • No. of pages: 116
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.2/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.6/5 (AbeBooks)

Ever catch yourself saying, “I’ll do it later”? This book is here to change that. 

Scott recognizes the everyday struggle of putting off essential tasks, leading to stress and unfinished business. The key is to develop an ‘anti-procrastination mindset’ through practical and right productivity habits that promote consistent action and prevent stress. 

This book will help you form good habits that empower you to take control of your to-do lists and turn intentions into actions. 

“It’s not that hard to stop procrastinating. Really, all you have to do is form the same habits used by countless successful people and make them part of your routine.”

S. J. Scott

23 Anti-Procrastination Habits key takeaways 

  • Start small and build momentum
  • Focus on the result rather than the process

What readers say

“For a quick read with some good tips. This book gives basic info on different techniques and steps to stop procrastination.” 

Benefits of Reading Productivity Books 

The benefits of reading productivity books extend beyond getting more work done and developing good habits. These literary gems offer many insights, strategies, and practical tips to boost personal and professional effectiveness. 

Here are some key benefits of reading productivity books:

  • Time management skills: Learn how to manage time efficiently with these books as they provide practical advice on time-blocking, prioritization, and creating effective schedules to maximize productivity 
  • Enhance effectiveness: Get things done smarter and faster in everyday life with time-tested techniques for streamlining tasks and achieving better results 
  • Mindset shift: Many productivity books encourage readers to adopt a positive and proactive attitude towards challenges, viewing setbacks as opportunities for growth. This change in perspective helps you lead a fulfilling life and develops a growth mindset
  • Improved focus and concentration: Enhance your focus and concentration with productivity books, leading to better task engagement and memory
  • Insights into success: These books provide valuable glimpses into the minds of successful individuals, motivating, inspiring, and offering practical ideas for productivity improvement 

That wraps up our recommendations! We know that knowledge is critical. The productivity books’ insights can significantly impact your work and personal life, helping you eliminate productivity killers

So why not take it up a notch? Empower yourself with the best productivity apps for effective project management and workflow optimization.

Boosting Productivity with ClickUp

ClickUp

clickup user interface
ClickUp Project Management Software: A Look at Its User Interface

ClickUp is the ultimate productivity tool that seamlessly consolidates all your work across various apps into one collaborative workspace. 

From brainstorming ideas and managing your to-do list to customizing processes and automating routine tasks, ClickUp’s Project Management features have got you covered. This all-in-one platform enhances productivity with Custom Views, ClickUp AI automation, and many other features.

ClickUp Project Plan
ClickUp brings teams closer together with connected workflows, docs, real-time dashboards and more—helping everyone move faster, work smarter, and save time.

ClickUp productivity features 

  • Centralized task management: Manage your tasks with ClickUp Tasks. Create, organize, and prioritize tasks efficiently. Customize subtask details, set due dates, and assign responsibilities to ensure clarity and accountability 
ClickUp project task
Plan, organize, and collaborate on any project with task management that can be customized for every need.
  • Prioritize tasks: Streamline your workflow with ClickUp’s Task Priorities features. With four priority flags (Urgent, High, Normal, and Low), efficiently communicate task urgency and importance for a smoother project management process. Set filters based on due dates and priorities. Focus on the most critical and imminent tasks in your workflow, schedule your time, and focus on high-priority tasks
ClickUp 3.0 List view with filters
Filter your List view by status, priority, assignee, or any custom field to better tailor task lists to your needs
  • Dynamic to-do list: Stay organized and efficient with ClickUp to-do list that enables task management across devices, ensuring constant accessibility. The customization options, including formatting and task linking, provide a personalized experience. Checklist Templates help you save time and execute all your recurring tasks with ease, making this feature a robust tool for a systematic approach to completing all your tasks
ClickUp Quality Control Checklist Template
ClickUp Quality Control Checklist Template
ClickUp Self Care Plan To-Do List Template
ClickUp’s Self-Care Plan Template is designed to make it easier to create, track, and maintain a well-rounded self-care routine.
  • Smart time tracking: Use ClickUp’s Time Tracking feature to improve time management. No more hassle–quickly track time, set estimates, and jot down notes, whether you’re on your desktop, mobile, or browser. It has a global timer that lets you jump between tasks effortlessly. There’s even more–ClickUp syncs seamlessly with your favorite time-tracking apps like Toggl and Harvest and keeps you organized with features like notes, labels, and billable time-tracking 
ClickUp TimeTracking
ClickUp makes time tracking easy so you can focus on your work. Track time, set estimates, add notes, and view reports of your time from anywhere.

Let Your Productivity Soar to New Heights 

You know the saying, Knowledge is power. Use the insights from these books to form productive habits and succeed personally and professionally in this distracted world. 

Now that you have the knowledge and tools, sign up to ClickUp today to access productivity tools, Daily Planner Templates, and over 1,000 integrations. Put what you learned into practice with ClickUp!

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