time management books

10 Best Time Management Books for Busy Individuals in 2024

Ever felt like you’re racing against the clock or wishing for a pause button, trying to squeeze 48 hours’ worth of activities into a 24-hour day? 

Deadline stress and the fear of falling behind can make it feel like you’re caught in a crazy time tornado. Trust me, we’ve all been there. Who wants to deal with missed deadlines and never-ending to-do lists in a fast-paced world? 

Juggling work, personal life, and the constant stream of responsibilities has become daunting, leaving many overwhelmed. Poor time management affects you and ripples into your professional life, impacting everyone around you. 

The key to a more satisfying, productive work life lies in refining time management skills, and guess what? We’ve got the perfect game plan to tackle this time crunch.

This article will delve into the top 10 time management books for busy individuals like you. From mastering the art of prioritization to conquering procrastination, these books are your companions in the journey to efficient time management. 

Let’s dive in.

Top 10 Time Management Books

1. Organize Tomorrow Today: 8 Ways to Retrain Your Mind to Optimize Performance at Work and in Life by Jason Selk, Tom Bartow, and Matthew Rudy

Organize Tomorrow Today: 8 Ways to Retrain Your Mind to Optimize Performance at Work and in Life by Jason Selk, Tom Bartow, and Matthew Rudy
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Authors: Jason Selk, Tom Bartow, Matthew Rudy
  • Year published: 2015
  • Estimated reading time: 6 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner 
  • No. of pages: 240
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.7/5 (Amazon)
    • 4/5 (Goodreads)

Organize Tomorrow Today is a transformative guide to effective time management. Written by a sports psychologist and a former basketball coach turned business advisor, the book emphasizes the critical role your mindset plays in time management. 

The book lists the eight most effective ways to optimize your organizational skills. It shifts your focus from simply managing time to honing the mental toughness needed for success.

The concept of Hour of Power helps boost productivity and maximize time, along with other practical tips like setting three critical tasks for the next day and focusing on high-impact activities. 

“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.”

Jason Selk

Organize Tomorrow Today key takeaways 

  • Focus on one goal at a time—the key to positive results. Get organized and prioritize tasks with time management goals
  • Save time by structuring goals and making lifestyle changes that foster new habits and avoid procrastination
  • Reflect on your work process, not just results. Keep a positive mindset while embracing your uniqueness

What readers say

It’s already helped me make significant breakthroughs. I know it sounds corny but, just give it a read. Having struggled with consistency in business and personal life, a few key lessons truly resonated and have led to a mindset shift that has propelled me into consistent action for the past 30 days.”

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

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen Covey
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: Stephen Covey
  • Year published: 1989
  • Estimated reading time: 10 hours
  • Recommended level: Intermediate 
  • No. of pages: 381 
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.6/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.1/5 (Goodreads)

Have you ever wondered why some people can get more done within the same time as others? Well, this book explains that secret.

Published in 1989, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is a timeless guide to boosting productivity in both personal and professional spheres. 

The book’s core message is about changing your perception to bring effective self-change. The seven habits include being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, and providing a holistic approach to developing good habits that lead to success.

It teaches you to control every moment and ditch those time-wasting habits.

“The way you spend your time is a result of the way you see your time and the way you really see your priorities.”

Stephen R. Covey.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People key takeaways 

  • Control your life by implementing seven habits like taking charge, setting life goals, and focusing on real priorities
  • Achieve public victories through practices such as creating win-win situations, understanding others first, and collaborating with successful people for greater accomplishment 
  • Recharge your body, mind, spirit, and relationships to keep momentum. That’s the secret to long-lasting success

What readers say

I wish I had known this 40 years ago! My paradigm has completely shifted and I’m already calmer and more focused in my day and in my life.”

3. The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch

The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: Richard Koch
  • Year published: 1999
  • Estimated reading time: 10 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner to intermediate 
  • No. of pages: 336
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.5/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.9/5 (Goodreads)

Richard Koch’s The 80/20 Principle is your go-to guide for achieving significant results with minimal effort. 

The core idea is that 80% of the outcomes come from 20% of your efforts. Forget constant busyness–success is channeling your crucial 20% towards the essential stuff.

From historical context to practical corporate strategies, the book focuses on the 80/20 principles with illustrations and examples, teaching you how this principle works.

The last part of the book talks about how to stop wasting time, get back some free time and do things more efficiently in different areas of your life. 

“It is not shortage of time that should worry us, but the tendency for the majority of time to be spent in low-quality ways.”

Richard Koch

The 80/20 principle key takeaways 

  • Recognize that a small portion of your efforts often generates most of your results. So, identify and prioritize your most impactful tasks
  • Apply the 80/20 principle to business strategies to increase your profits and streamline processes 
  • Extend the application of this principle beyond business to your daily life. Change your mindset and focus on achieving an enhanced quality of life

What readers say

What resonated with me most about the book was the personal application aspect of the 80/20 principle to one’s life and the ability to balance efficiency with life enhancement experiences. Just an overall great reading experience.”

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

Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: Brian Tracy 
  • Year published: 2016
  • Estimated reading time: 3 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner 
  • No. of pages: 144
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.7/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.8/5 (Goodreads)

Have you ever found yourself procrastinating on critical tasks? What if there was a humorous yet effective strategy to defeat procrastination and optimize productivity? 

Inspired by Mark Twain’s quirky advice, the book advocates tackling the most challenging tasks head-on, emphasizing the philosophy of addressing the biggest frog first thing in the morning. Simply put, eat that frog. 

Tracy offers 21 practical tips and effective time management techniques with principles focusing on decision, discipline, goal setting, and determination. He shares surprisingly simple truths like planning, time blocking, and using technology smartly. 

Try this book for a game plan for better time management with maximum impact.

“The hardest part of any important task is getting started on it in the first place. Once you actually begin work on a valuable task, you seem to be naturally motivated to continue.”–Brian Tracy 

Eat that frog key takeaways 

  • Kickstart your success journey by crafting a solid plan. It’s the first step to turning your goals into triumphs 
  • Establish and prioritize your goals, focusing your energy on what truly matters for progress and success 
  • Know your strengths, weaknesses, and growth zones. Staying optimistic and self-disciplined will help you control your time 

What readers say

The book is short and sweet. It describes the most important principles of time management to make you a successful and satisfied person.

This book is good for everyone. If you feel yourself engulfed in your workload or are looking to achieve more with the little time that you have, this is definitely the book for you.”

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

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: David Allen
  • Year published: 2001
  • Estimated reading time: 6 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner 
  • No. of pages: 267
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.5/5 (Amazon)
    • 4/5 (Goodreads)

If you’re drowning in tasks, sweating over trivial matters, or starting projects but struggling to finish them, this book might be your turning point.

Getting Things Done is a classic among productivity and focus books, offering a comprehensive and practical approach to personal and professional time management. 

The idea of this book is pretty straightforward–too much information in your head makes it tricky to figure out what’s crucial. You think about tasks more than doing them, leading to stress and confusion. 

Allen’s methodology, commonly known as the GTD (Getting Things Done) system, systematically teaches readers task organization to free up mental space, thus leading to stress-free productivity. 

“Your ability to generate power is directly proportional to your ability to relax.”

David Allen

Getting things done key takeaways 

  • Capture all your tasks into a reliable system and decide whether you want to discard, delegate, or defer them. Follow this to keep your work organized and tidy 
  • Focus on outcomes rather than just thinking about doing tasks to complete your goals
  • Strive for continuous improvement for optimal task management and mental clarity 

What readers say

It’s very simple to understand, with clear examples and a step by step guide in how to organize your day to day and future vision in a way your mind can be free to flow and create”

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

The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy by Chris Bailey
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: Chris Bailey 
  • Year published: 2017
  • Estimated reading time: 8 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner
  • No. of pages: 304
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.5/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.9 (Goodreads)

The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey is not your typical self-help book; it’s like a productivity experiment-turned-guide. 

Chris spent a year doing all sorts of crazy things–-from surviving on minimal sleep to living in isolation for ten days. And the book spills the beans on what he learned during this wild ride. 

You’ll get helpful productivity hacks, like slowing down for better work, cutting out the unimportant stuff, and a bunch of other tricks—including the 20-second rule for handling distractions. Plus, get over 25 practical practices to boost your productivity game. 

If you enjoy trying new ways to tackle tasks or are curious about why multitasking is a myth, give it a shot! Because, let’s face it, being busy doesn’t always mean being productive.

“Directing your attention toward the most important object of your choosing—and then sustaining that attention—is the most consequential decision we will make throughout the day. We are what we pay attention to.”

Chris Bailey 

The productivity project key takeaways 

  • Level up your productivity game by working smarter–it’s all about juggling your time, attention, and energy like a pro
  • Increase productivity by aligning tasks to what truly matters to you–find that sweet spot where personal values and motivations go hand-in-hand
  • Apply the Rule of 3 to organize and optimize your life while fighting procrastination by making tasks more appealing and rewarding 

What readers say

“There was a lot of information in this book, but it was so well organized that I didn’t feel overwhelmed. I especially loved the chapter summary at the beginning of each chapter + the end-of-chapter challenge. It forced me to slow down with the book and apply what I had just learned.”

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

Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Authors: Jake Knapp & John Zeratsky
  • Year published: 2018
  • Estimated reading time: 8 hours
  • Recommended level: Intermediate 
  • No. of pages: 304
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.5/5 (Amazon)
    • 4/5 (Goodreads)

Improve your time management techniques with Make Time, written by former Google employees who understand the challenges of balancing work and personal tasks. 

This time management book provides a four-step framework and over 80 actionable tactics that will empower you, especially those in the tech industry, to prioritize what’s truly important. From nailing that core task of the day to maintaining focus and adopting healthy habits, they’ve got your back. 

With a down-to-earth and humorous tone, the authors share real-life stories, making it very engaging. 

Reading Make Time teaches you how to focus and gives your time management and productivity skills the push you always needed.  

“Shifting your focus to something that your mind perceives as a doable, completable task will create a real increase in positive energy, direction, and motivation.”

Jake Knapp

Make time key takeaways 

  • Keep in mind that lost time often comes from busyness and distractions. To overcome this, you’ll need more than just willpower—consider changing your default behavior settings
  • Don’t get caught up in busyness. Focus on what’s in front of you, and complete today’s task before moving on to the next one 
  • Adopt tactics and strategies to create barriers against time-wasting and keep your mind energized by taking good care of your body for overall personal development 

What readers say

We all need to read this. These guys are down to earth and explain how we unknowingly jumped on the hamster wheel and can’t get off. They’re not condescending and don’t lecture, they just threw a lifeline and I caught it with both hands. It’s smart, funny and real. If you feel like your life is not your own, and want to stop feeling so out of control, this is the solution.”

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

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: Cal Newport
  • Year published: 2016 
  • Estimated reading time: 8 hours 
  • Recommended level: Beginner 
  • No. of pages: 304
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.6/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.2/5 (Goodreads)

Are you tired of the constant buzz of emails and social media and want to find true fulfillment in your work? This is your jam.

Deep Work by Newport is like the productivity tool you never knew you needed. Imagine having a toolkit that lets you focus intensely and get more done in less time. That’s deep work

Newport’s got an interesting two-part plan: first, convincing you why it’s a game-changer, and second, handing you four solid rules:

  • Work Deeply: Learn how to focus intensely without distractions
  • Embrace Boredom: Yes, boredom is a secret weapon. Newport spills the beans on why
  • Quit Social Media: Shocking, right? But he makes a solid case
  • Drain the Shallows: Kick those shallow tasks to the curb

This book isn’t just about avoiding distractions and celebrating the opposite—deep work. He throws in real stories, like Carl Jung’s Tower, and many practical tips that help you enhance productivity and time management. And by the end, you’ll be motivated to focus intensely, cut out the noise, and channel your energy into what is essential. 

Read this if you’ve ever wished to lose track of time because you’re so engrossed in a task. 

“If you don’t produce, you won’t thrive—no matter how skilled or talented you are.”

Cal Newport

Deep work key takeaways 

  • Master complex tasks, boost your output, and find fulfillment in the process
  • Wave goodbye to shallow work and distractions while setting crystal-clear priorities and drawing boundaries to reclaim your focus
  • Make deep work your daily ritual. Schedule power sessions, amplify concentration, and train your brain for tasks that pack a punch

What readers say

“This was a great read with many tangible examples that I could put into practice. I read it as part of an optional book club at work, and I am excited to read it through again to pick up on additional tidbits that I missed the first time. If you’re looking to shift things around and tackle your wasted time to become more productive, this is the book for you!”

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

How to Stop Procrastinating: A Simple Guide to Mastering Difficult Tasks and Breaking the Procrastination Habit by S.J. Scott
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)
    • 3.2/5 (Goodreads)

Have you ever caught yourself juggling last-minute tasks and feeling the weight of unmet goals? 

This book is your go-to guide for mastering those challenging goals and breaking free from procrastination. It highlights how procrastination can negatively impact various aspects of life, from academics and job performance to health and finances. 

Stop Procrastination by S. J. Scott is filled with practical advice and introduces you to the 80/20 rule in a step-by-step plan, the 25-5 rule, and the art of gracefully saying no. 

It equips you to overcome procrastination and enhance your time management by allocating more time to important tasks and turning your to-do list into a well-tuned schedule for maximum productivity.

“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 

  • Uncover the reasons for procrastination; it could be perfectionism or the fear of the unknown holding back your productivity
  • Get real and identify your commitments by selecting five core projects that genuinely matter
  • Spice things up with S.M.A.R.T. goals, master the art of saying no, plan your week like a pro, and adopt daily habits from this book to kick procrastination to the curb

What readers say

The author lays it all out: how to start, where to start, the steps to follow, and how to make it all work. Having recently finished the book, I have made no progress; I hope to change that very soon. This is an easy book to read, suitable for anyone who needs to rid their lives of procrastination. I have recommended the book to all my friends.”

10. Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman 

Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: Oliver Burkeman 
  • Year published: 2021
  • Estimated reading time: 7 hours 
  • Recommended level: Beginner to intermediate 
  • No. of pages: 288
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.6/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.2/5 (Goodreads)

Did you know that if you live to be eighty, you’ve only around four thousand weeks to play with—crazy, right? 

But hold on, don’t panic yet. Take a deep breath and dive into the pages of Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks, a fun and thought-provoking time management book that illustrates how you can live a fulfilling life that’s way more than just watching the clock tick away.

He points out that time is limited and precious, tapping into insights from ancient philosophers, psychologists, spiritual teachers, contemporary thinkers, and other successful people.

The book challenges the modern mindset of constant hustling and the pursuit of getting everything done. Burkeman argues that the urge to focus on time mastery often leads to more stress and less fulfillment.

Try this to shift your perspective on time and live a more fulfilled life.

“We’ve been granted the mental capacities to make almost infinitely ambitious plans, yet practically no time at all to put them into action.”

Oliver Burkeman

Four thousand weeks key takeaways 

  • Explore how humans have analyzed and understood time, realizing its growing significance
  • Increase your productivity by strategically incorporating procrastination and prioritizing tasks
  • Dedicate spare time to meaningful family activities and engage in fulfilling hobbies

What readers say 

This isn’t a magic pill to suddenly make you manage your time. It’s a compilation of philosophies and perspectives that guide you to the ultimate truth about time management. I won’t spoil that for you, you’ll have to read it to find out!”

Implementing Time Management Strategies with ClickUp

Modern professionals rely on more than just time management books and delving into innovative time management tools to complement and enhance their strategies.

ClickUp Dashboards Improvement Rolling Time Period
Automatically update and adjust time ranges on incoming requests or tickets with Rolling Time Period in ClickUp Dashboards

One tool that has gained significant recognition in project and time management apps is ClickUp

ClickUp is not just another task management platform; it’s a versatile, all-in-one app designed to streamline workflows, boost collaboration, and improve time management skills.

Get more done in less time: 

ClickUp Tasks
Plan, organize, and collaborate easily with ClickUp Tasks

Effortlessly manage your time and boost productivity with ClickUp’s Time Management features. With the Calendar, Gantt, and Timeline views, plan your tasks your way. 

What makes it even more awesome are the time-saving tools like Start and Due Dates, Due Date Remapping, Drag and Drop Scheduling, Time Reporting, and many more that help you achieve your goals faster.

Track your time: 

ClickUp-Time-tracking
Organize and add notes to start a task with ClickUp Project Time Tracking

Stay focused on your work while easily tracking time with ClickUp Project Time Tracking

Whether on your desktop, mobile, or Chrome browser, take control of your schedule with global and manual time tracking. It helps you clarify task allocation, track progress, and ensure everyone stays on track.

Effortless reminders: 

ClickUp Reminders
Stay on track with quick & easy ClickUp Reminders.

Never miss a beat with ClickUp Reminders that lets you stay organized and streamline your workflow. This feature allows you to add, manage, or customize them with attachments, dates, and recurring schedules to suit your needs. 

Easily check off completed ones, snooze, reschedule, or smoothly delegate tasks to your team, keeping you organized and efficient.

Seamless integrations: 

ClickUp-Calendar
Manage your work in ClickUp with seamless task sorting by status, priority, assignee, and more

Sync ClickUp with your calendars, email, and other essential tools, allowing you to streamline your workflow and reduce manual data entry.

Time-saving templates: 

ClickUp’s Time Analysis Template is designed to help you track and analyze time spent on tasks

Use time log templates to get a crystal-clear view of your working hours allocation and schedule your tasks for maximum efficiency and productivity. 

Maintain transparency across your team, assess your performance by tracking progress, and transform your time management journey with these templates. 

Take Charge of Your Time 

So there you go! 10 best time management books to take control of your time, master hectic schedules, and efficiently manage tasks, ultimately saving precious time. 

Integrating advanced tools like ClickUp further amplifies one’s time management capabilities. 

With features such as task tracking, collaboration, and customizable workflows, ClickUp stands out as a versatile solution, complementing the timeless wisdom of these influential time management books. 

Don’t forget to check out our time management matrix and time blocking templates that can transform your busy schedule into productive days. 

Sign up for free to unlock the full potential of time management. 

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