The Best Books on Productivity


“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker

Welcome to the Sources of Insight list of the best productivity books!

Below is a curated collection of the best personal development books I have been able to get my hands on.

Want to know more about how I decided if a book makes it to my list? Read this longer post on how I build my book recommendation lists.

Happy reading!

The Top 10 Productivity Books

Here is a list of my top 10 productivity books that might help you focus, prioritize, use your strengths, improve your energy, and amplify your productivity  …

1. 18 Minutes


Peter Bregman shares a refreshingly simple approach to productivity.  His framework helps you establish your goals and priorities at the annual, daily, and moment-to-moment level, while dealing with distractions and setting boundaries.

2. Flow


You know those times where you lose yourself in the moment, or you are “in the zone.”  That’s flow.  Flow is a state of mind where you are fully energized and fully engaged in the task at hand.

You can also think of flow as your “peak” productivity experiences, where you are performing at your best.   Flow experiences are both demanding and rewarding.  This book is how to create more flow experiences in your daily life.

3.  Getting Results the Agile Way


This is my book.  I share with you a very simple approach for unleashing your productivity and realizing your full potential.

My approach combines what I’ve learned from sports psychology, positivity psychology, project management, and more to help you think better, feel better, and take better action.  It really comes down to “better energy, better results.”

4.  Getting Things Done


This is a timeless classic for anyone who wants to master time management and, well, as the title says, actually get things done.

In essence, it’s about figuring out what’s worth getting done, and then making a time and place for those things to get done.

5.  Go Put Your Strengths to Work


This is one of the greatest books on how to actually use your strengths to sharpen your skills, improve your productivity, and generate more energy as you go.

Imagine if you could get better at what you do, while enjoying what you do, and actually have more energy when you are done, than when you started.

Energy is your force multiplier when it comes to productivity, and your strengths are the keys to generating this energy.

6.  Hyperfocus



This is a great book for helping you direct your attention for maximum results.  Chris Baily does a great job of helping you deal with different types of distractions, create a more effective work environment, control your motivation, and multi-task more strategically to stay engaged and enjoy your productivity.

7.  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People


This is another timeless masterpiece on the art and science of productivity.  Stephen Covey gives you a framework for thinking about priorities and doing them.

He teaches you how to be proactive, how to begin with the end in mind, and how to put first things first.

He also teaches you how to renew yourself and how to achieve better results with other people.  He help you become more productive by focusing on whole person productivity and by helping you collaborate more effectively to amplify your results.

8.  The 80/20 Individual


This book teaches you how to focus on the small set of activities that produce your greatest results.

A cornerstone concept in this book is that 80 percent of changes in the world result from the most powerful 20 percent of actions and ideas.

Learn how to use your “20 percent spike” as a lever for your own exponential results.

9.  The Power of Full Engagement


When people think of productivity they often think of time management.  But according to Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, the key is to manage energy, not time, if you want to achieve better results.  And they show you how to master your energy on every level: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

10.  The Productivity Project


Imagine experimenting with all the different productivity approaches and methods out there to see what works and what doesn’t and then sharing your results and what you learned. Well, that’s what Chris Baily did during his pursuit of improving his personal productivity.

The Best Books on Productivity by Category

With the top 10 productivity books in mind, now here is a list of the best books on productivity by category to help you master your productivity skills…

Getting Started with Productivity

Advanced Productivity Books



Drive, Energy, and Motivation



Learning and School



Teams and Organizations

To-Do Lists

Work-Life Balance

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