The 16 Best Productivity Books

Productivity books can be very useful for getting more stuff done and managing your time more efficiently. This is a list of the 16 best productivity books, which are especially very helpful for students. However, also for people who are done studying, having a gap year or doing anything but studying, it can be very useful to read these books to self-educate yourself on anything related to productivity. Here they are!

The one thing – Gary Keller

The one thing is an easy to read and accessible book on how to get less distracted and be more focused on one thing by being single-minded to improve your results. By describing this, it tells you how to manage your time better, feeling less stressed and improve your productivity. This book is not only focused on getting work done, but also managing your busy personal live better.

Buy The One Thing 

The motivation hacker – Nick Winter

The motivation hacker’s main topic is increasing motivation to get more things done. The book focuses on precommitment, which means to set up goals consequences that will happen if you will not do something. In this way, you motivate yourself by keeping in mind what you will or will not achieve when (not) doing something.

Buy The Motivation Hacker 

The 7 habits of highly effective people –
Stephan Covey

This is has been a very popular book on productivity over the last past decades. Stephan Covey describes in a practical way the 7 habits to be more productive in life and be effective in attaining goals. These habits are to be proactive, develop an outcome-oriented mindset, put first things first, think win-win, seek first to understand and then to be understood, energize and to sharpen the saw to grow.

Buy the 7 habits of highly effective people 

Make time: How to focus on what matters every day – Jake Knapp & John Zeratsky

Make time describes how to make small changes in your life to get less distracted when working or studying. A good concept the book is that it is important to pick way of productivity that works for you. All people / students are different, so how to get things done in an effective way, depends on the person. In this book, four frameworks are presented; highlight, laser, energize and reflection, to improve focus and productivity.

Buy Make time: How to focus on what matters every day

The 4-hour Work Week – Timothy Feriss

Although this book is more focused on working and earning money instead of studying, it still contains useful ideas and tips on working efficiently. The 4 hour work week describes how to earn more money, while working less. This concept can be applied to studying; in stead of studying more to get better grades, focus on studying more efficiently, preferably in less time.

Buy the 4-hour work week

The Power of Full Engagement – Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz

In the power of full engagement, how to manage your energy better is described in a practical way to increase your productivity. These tips on energy management are divided in how to mobilize sources of energy, balancing stress, expanding your capacity an implementing routines. In this way, you could become more focused on and therefore more engaged in your work

Buy the power of full engagement

Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done – David Allen

This book also has ‘work better, not harder’ as a central point. By working and/or studying smart and efficiently instead of hard, you will hopefully feel less stressed and have more energy throughout the day. David Allen describes 52 principles on how to increase your focus and productivity to get more done in less time in an easy and fun way.

Buy Ready for anything: 52 productivity principles for getting things done

The Productivity Project – Chris Bailey

This book focuses on a general introduction to productivity, which is seen in this book as a concept of time, attention and energy. This books includes tips on how to avoid procrastination, limit multitasking and focus better on your work without getting distracted.

Buy The productivity project

The power of Habit: Why we do what we do and how to change – Charles Duhigg

As the title of the book reveals, the focus of the power of habit is on how to shape successful habits to avoid wasting (much) time. By making (study) tasks a habit, you will create an automatic routine for yourself. Because of this, you will procrastinate less and increase your productivity.

Buy the Power of Habit 

Deep Work: Rules for focused success in a distracted world – Cal Newport

Deep work focuses on how to get into the flow of work; act on avoiding distractions to create habits of working to create more focus for yourself.

Buy Deep work

Smarter, Faster, Better: The secrets of being productive – Charles Duhigg

Smarter, faster, better is written by the same author (Charles Duhigg) as the power of habit. In this book, he describes eight concepts on how to get more done in the same time (again, work smart instead of hard!). For example, motivation and setting goals to work more productive.

Buy Smarter, faster, better

168 hours: You have more time than you think – Laura Vanderkam

The title is already very interesting; people, including students, always say or even complain that they have too little time for all the things they want and have to do. However, there are 168 hours in a week, so you actually have quite some time. Laura Vanderkam describes this and she shows that by examining how you spend your time currently and setting priorities, you can do a lot of (fun) things in these hours.

Buy 168 hours: You have more time than you think

Eat That Frog: 21 ways to stop procrastinating and get more done in less time – Brian Tracy

Procrastination is a frustrating thing all students deal with. In this book written by Brian Tracy, it is described to focus on the most important tasks and how to get them done without thinking ‘oh, I will do it later, I do not feel like it right now’. The focus is on making your time management effective by improving your decision making, discipline and determination.

Buy Eat that frog

Getting Things Done: The art of stress-free productivity – David Allen

Being productive in a stress-free way is something all students and people with a job dream of. David Allen (also author of the 52 principles of productivity) describes on how to improve your time management to increase focus and feel less stressed.

Buy Getting things done

Living The 80/20 Way: Work less, worry less, succeed more, enjoy more – Richard Koch

As more books on this list, this book focuses on how to get more done in less time and by less effort to increase both your productivity and free time. In this way, you will hopefully feel successful and happy at the same.

Buy Living the 80/20 way

The only study guide you’ll ever need – Jade Bowler 

I already wrote a review on this book; read that here! If you are a student on high school, college or university you could definitely read the book to get more insights in whether your way of studying is actually the most effective, and how you could maybe improve this. It is also very fun to read how another student experiences her study journey. Do not expect to be a perfect student after you have read the book, but I think it could definitely contribute to better grades and passing your exams.

Buy the only study guide you’ll ever need

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