These best books on time management will change your life forever.
That is, if you not only read, but implement them in your life.
Imagine it’s 5 P.M, and you aren’t through half of your daily tasks.
Or, your seemingly small project takes forever to complete?
You wish to spend more time with your family, but there’s never enough time?
You can relate, can’t you?
I could too, a few years back.
Procrastination isn’t unique to you. Everyone procrastinates.
Let’s see if it can be fixed?
Best books on Time Management
These books haven’t been selected at random.
They’re either endorsed, read, or shared by the world’s ultra-successful 1%.
Or, they’ve been on the bestsellers’ list in the time management category for quite some time.
I personally have read most, if not all of these.
Note that I haven’t “ranked” this list. So the last book on this list is just as good as the first.
Over 25 million copies have been sold so far.
The list of people who’ve praised the books include Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi, Meg Whitman, CEO, HP, and even Ariana Huffington, founder of Huffington Post.
Honestly, that’s quite a lot of testimonials, coming directly from the people who’ve been massively successful throughout their life.
There’s a very interesting “exercise” on the Paradigm chapter.
The chapter says a lot about how our perspective of things is so feeble,. It can be twisted, changed and with a little help, used to boost productivity.
One of its most impressive aspects is that it’s a book for “everyone”.
Doesn’t matter if you’re a student, a businessman, or a struggling Entrepreneur.
It focuses not only on time-management, but an overall growth as a person.
It has 4.7 stars on Amazon, and arguably the most number of positive reviews from verified buyers.
If you’re getting just one of the best books on time management, get this.
As in, it says we should write down the tasks and clear our mind of them.
This helps clear more of the brain-power and utilize it for the work we’re doing.
Additionally, it also lets us break the tasks into smaller, achievable goals.
This boosts the mental state and encourages us to get the smaller things done, a larger goal on the contrary generally is a productivity-killer.
Despite being published nearly 19 years ago, the book still sells like hot potatoes to this date.
The author, David Allen has been executive coach for Microsoft, Ford and many other billion-dollar brands.
The book may or may not make you the next Productivity-Godzilla, but, the author’s creditability and its Amazon reviews (4.5/5, from 3046 reviews) sure are enough to demand a peek at the least.
3. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time – Brian Tracy.
The “Frog” here denotes the most challenging task of the day.
The author says tackling the hardest task first leaves us with satisfaction.
It also takes majority of the stress off hence conserving and fuelling energy for other tasks.
A total of 21 ways to stop procrastinating have been listed in the book.
It’s available as Hardcover, Paperback, Audio CD, and also Multimedia CD.
Apart from my personal experience, I found multiple reviews on Amazon of people claiming to have actually changed their life for the better after the book.
If I was to list out its key points, I’d say it teaches the power of urgency, single-minded focus, pre-planning the day in advance, and deliberating the consequences.
The author, Brian Tracy, has over 40 books to his credit. He was the CEO of a $265 million company. I say we give the man a ear (or an eye maybe?).
Moreover, you’ll find a personal connect when reading it.
It’s not just a list of things to do.
But also a “story”, of a kid with 2 fathers. One rich and the other poor.
There are real-life cases of the book and the author’s ideas being rejected in the early days.
Even “questions” at the end of each chapter offer a reflective-phase after having read the chapter.
Additionally, illustrative graphs, info-boxes and other elements which keep the book interesting are available.
In my opinion? It doesn’t teach us how to manage time.
But, it teaches us how to manage money. Or, how to make more of it.
That’s one of the most important reasons why we wish to be masters of time anyway, isn’t it?
If there was 1 book, and 1 book only that I could recommend you for a “better, more prosperous life”, it would be this (except Stephen Covey, obviously).
One of his best time management quotes – “It is not only possible to accomplish more by doing less, it is mandatory” is my all-time favourite.
Here are some of the reviews he has received for this book-
And well, all of these comments are from authors and people of importance.
The book must be doing something right, right? (Yeah, I doubled, intentionally, skip judging my English and get productive!)
Let me be honest though, it isn’t for you if you’ve accomplished any bit of success in your professional life.
It’s for the absolute beginners.
If you stepped into your professional shoes yesterday, it’s for you.
If you’ve started and are running a business, you’ll find life and experience has taught you most, and probably more of the tips in the book.
The author isn’t some “celebrity” , but he sure is successful.
Wikipedia says Gary Keller is the founder of the world’s largest real estate company on the planet.
This is the one book I haven’t personally read so far. Yet, the reviews seem impressive.
I also tend to listen when someone successful says something.
The book largely talks of building momentum, staying on track, freeing ourselves from distractions and so on.
However, the primary focal point seems to be “focus”.
Every reviewer has said how it teaches laser-focus and hammering the nail all the way down.
It’s available as Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback and also as an Audiobook.
As the name suggests, Deep Work primarily focuses on, well, “focus”.
How to only concentrate on one single task and get it done at a time is what the book shares.
A large part of the book also goes towards minimizing time spent on social media.
Quite frankly, the tips do resemble what Musk practices and advocates – “Time boxing”.
However, Deep Work isn’t a copy.
I’ll just say that it makes us “implement” what we already know to be true, but most often end up ignoring.
Over 85% of its Amazon ratings are shared between 5 & 4 stars, says a lot huh?
Fair warning though, some chapters may seem like a repetition.
But overall? It totally qualifies as one of the best books on time management.
Jeff is the co-founder of the Scrum software development process.
The book garnered positive reviews and hence I decided to give it a try.
As the title suggests, the book is a time management book to its core.
However, it approaches the goal differently.
“Scrum” is generally limited to “industries” and more commercial arenas.
However, the book teaches us how it can be applied in personal lives as well for maximum productivity.
In other words, Jeff takes productivity and coats it with a technical flavour.
There’s a “takeaway” section after each chapter, summarizing the chapter’s content. And, visual data is available as well if that’s of interest to you.
At times, you may find things being a bit impractical, but hey, when is anything perfect?
It didn’t influence me as much as some other best books on time management listed here, but is worth a try.
He also has been a manager with Johnson & Johnson.
The primary point with the book is that with “tips”, it offers researched data, reasons and solutions for procrastination.
Being a Psychologist, Neil is capable of impacting our thought-process.
On one of the chapters, he mentioned “procrastination is rewarding”. And then he told how we do it because of the temporary relief it provides from fear and work.
Point being, most lines if not all are truly relatable if you’re a procrastinator.
It holds 4.4 stars on Amazon and is available as Kindle, Paperback as well as an Audiobook.
10. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
This one isn’t exclusively a time-management book. Rather, it’s a book on habit formation.
But, time-management is a habit by itself, isn’t it?
This book is currently #9th on the Amazon Charts and hence I’m not the only fan here.
It’s available as hardcover, paperback, Kindle, Audio CD and Audiobook.
The core of the book talks about building time for new habits, sustaining those habits, environment-altering etc.
Now, it’s marketed primarily for those who wish to stop smoking, eating too much and other such habits.
But, I personally believe the mindset it teaches can be used for everything else, including time management.
For starters, I like its “1% change accumulates to bigger changes” theory. Or, as I like to say, waste 1% less than what you did yesterday, in 6-months, you’d not be wasting a second!
It has a 4.8 star rating rated by 7,293 customers. That, I’d say is an extremely impressive rating.
The crux of the best books on time management
I truly am a bookworm.
And after reading 10 or so books on time management, I’ve found a couple points to be repetitive.
Considering how you’re searching for time management books, I suppose you could use a tip or two?
Here’s what most, if not all the best time management books advocate:
- Small time brackets: They all suggest breaking up your time in small brackets. So, focus not on the 1 hour ahead of you, rather the next 5 minutes. Attain maximum productivity for these 5 minutes, the rest falls in place.
- Pen & paper to-do lists: I get it, we’ve got smartphones and apps to do this. But for some reason, pen & paper goals seem to have more impact than the ones written down digitally.
- Psychological winding: Every book approaches this differently. Some aim at the “satisfaction” that comes after completing the goal, others aim at the consequences you may have to face by not doing so. Some others have even taken religious approaches. All in all, you mentally need to find a reason why you’re doing what you’re doing. It can’t just be a tick on the checklist.
- Getting started: This I personally believe in. Often times we wait for the right logo, the right name, the right time to get started with something. In fact, in “Eat That Frog”, Brian mentions how getting started on something is half the battle.
Final Words on Best Books on Time Management
Well, not all of these books will suit your taste.
Each of these appeal differently, to different individuals.
Primarily depending on what your current position is.
Or, what you expect to learn from these books.
The same book may have completely different result for two different individuals.
Either way, if you’re confused, just pick “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.
So that shall be all for this list of best books on time management folks, may the productivity be with you.