Top 15 must read productivity and time management books for 2019

Mark Trego
Jan 10, 2019

Do you already have New Years resolutions you’re slipping on?

Do you need something to reset your mind for better time management and productivity as your embark on a new set of goals this year?

We’ve compiled the top 15 best books on productivity and time management that will give you a fresh perspective, new ideas, and a new focus going into 2019.

1. The Power of Habit:

It’s a fairly common understanding that the habits you allow to form eventually determine what you accomplish and become. Charles Duhigg’s book not only harps on this but gives you the why behind habits and how you can change them. The focus is less on “just doing it” and more on understanding human nature and how to harness our true potential to create better lives, businesses, and more.

2. The Now Habit:

This book on habit and procrastination takes a different approach and focuses on the mindset of perfectionism and how it fuels the negative habit of procrastination and gives us a heavy burden of guilt for enjoying life. Dr. Fiore offers actionable tips and techniques for getting things done sooner and faster so you can shake the guilt and enjoy time to live.

3. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity:

A recently updated version of the original from 2002, this book has long been a best seller and essential of the topic. It’s the “ultimate”  book on personal organization to help you excel both personally and professionally no matter what your profession. The principles are proven and loved by tens of thousands and now this version addresses our changing work and life dynamic with technology to help you get the same results.

4. The Four Hour Workweek:

There’s nothing more appealing than the title of this long time bestseller by Tim Ferriss. Tim Ferris gives the exact blueprint for creating a productivity and time management plan to create the lifestyle of your dreams and achieve financial freedom. Tim famously gave up the 9-5, 80 hour work weeks for a 4 hour work week and a significant pay raise. He outlines the principles and actionable tips on how to get there. You can apply these concepts and methods to your own work as many case studies in the book have!

5. Deep Work:

The title may be confusing but deep work is simply “ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task”, according to author Cam Newport. Newport argues that we’ve lost the ability to truly focus uninterrupted and go into a state where we are our most productive and creative. Deep Work is essential to reaching new levels of expertise and putting in the work in better time to bring our ideas to life. He gives scientific evidence and tips on way you can bring yourself to a state of deep work and excel at your craft to reach fulfillment in your life and work.  

6. The War of Art:

This one is for those of you with a creative profession, particularly writing or design. If you’re a freelander in those fields, this book really directly applies to you. The author provides a detailed look at what holds us back from achieving creative work and all the excuses we use to keep us from focusing on our goals. Steven Pressfield refers to it all “Resistance” and provides you with both the inspiration and tools to beat it and maintain the creativity necessary to create what you envision.

7. The Pomodoro Technique:

If you’ve been playing around with improving your productivity for awhile now, you have probably heard the term “Pomodoro”. This is the book that really started it all. Francesco Cirillo introduces a new approach to time management: breaking your work into 25 minute “bursts” of focus separated by 5 minute breaks. He claims this is the perfect amount of time to produce quality work with focus. Knowing we have a time limit helps us stay committed. The breaks are just long enough without losing “flow”. This book includes more time management tips wrapped around this idea millions have adopted.

8. When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing:

Daniel H. Pink explores something we rarely think about but fight against all the time: timing. Instead of looking at time management on a small scale like a daily schedule, Pink explores the idea that the way we structure and plan our personal and professional lives can dramatically increase our performance. He covers everything from educational breaks to what time of year you should start a business to what time of day you should exercise to organize your life for peak performance.

9. The Progress Principle:

This book teaches you how to beat procrastination with another approach you’ve probably heard of: small wins. The writers analyzed the lives of employees across seven companies to determine what motivated them and what demotivated them to get things done. The duo then aims to teach you how to remove the obstacles to getting work done including meaningless tasks, relationships, and poorly organized schedule. This is a great time management guide for both individuals and teams.

10. The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide To Getting The Right Things Done:

Legendary management consultant Peter F. Drucker’s goal in this book is to remind you that whether you’re an executive to many or a few, your job is to “get things done right”; that’s it. The rest of his book shows you how to eliminate whatever is not that so you can streamline productivity and break the habits that hold you back from being the best you can be. Really, it’s a strategic guide on knowing where to focus your energy; an essential for productivity.

11. The ONE Thing:

A well-decorated bestseller, this book is about focus; simply focusing on what is most important in both life and business. By wanting less and only focusing on attaining what is truly important, you can hyper focus on achieving it. The more we want, the thinner we spread ourselves, and the more mistakes we make and setbacks we face. This concept can be applied across disciplines and industries. This book helps you narrow down what it really is you want and align your focus and tasks to achieve it – stress free.

12. Vision to Reality: How Short Term Massive Action Equals Long Term Massive Results:

This book is about personal productivity but not just simply getting things done, rather, aligning your habits and to-do list to support your long term dreams and goals. Coach and author Honoree Corder gives you a blueprint on how to discover your long term goals and find ways to eliminate the meaningless distractions to align your daily habits and tasks and achieve them. There’s also helpful info on how to manage and inspire others to be productive towards team goals as well.

13. Mindfulness in Plain English:

Some of you may already be rolling your eyes at the concept of mindfulness because you associate it with yoga instructors and upper middle class stay-at-home moms and not executives or entrepreneurs. This is a huge missumption. Mental health and clarity is vital to your productivity and time management. This book breaks down the, very relevant, concept of Mindfulness in simple, clear terms and how you can apply it to your life to improve your mental clarity and eliminate distraction.

14. The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life Before 8am:

This is a much more personal approach to productivity starting with something productivity experts love to obsess over: the morning. This is a really simple book on how to turn the most fundamental part of your day into a platform for success. Hal Elrod gives your the actionable steps on exactly what to do each morning to visualize your day, get in the right mindset, boost your energy and keep it going for the day. It’s a great book to start with to transform your productivity.

15. The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It:

When it comes down to it, the antithesis of procrastination is willpower. If you can figure out how to harness and strengthen your willpower, you can defeat procrastination and be at your productive best. Kelly McDonigal says that willpower is not a virtue but rather a mind-body response and it’s something we can train and strengthen. This book is stock full of exercises that can help you to recognize the moments you lose will power and how you can train yourself to learn to overcome these.

A fresh start to 2019 begins with a fresh perspective. Align your productivity and time management for a strong break this year by absorbing new and timeless advice from the top business leaders. We hope our suggestions here are helpful to you and your 2019 is a huge success! To improve personal and team productivity, try Hibox for free today.

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