We all wish we had more time in a day so we could accomplish more and squeeze as much as possible out of every moment. But the clock is not changing anytime soon, so how can we get more done? We turned to productivity experts and best-selling authors and noticed some common themes:
- Seek clarity each day to determine your top priorities.
- The right daily habits can increase your productivity.
- When work does not align with your values, it affects your productivity.
Put these 10 motivating, action-oriented titles on your reading list and soon you’ll be accomplishing more than you ever imagined.
If you are tired of feeling as if your life is a juggling act (and you’re not the greatest juggler), read this book. Through a parable, the author highlights how our reluctance to change can prevent us from living a productive life. Learn the five steps that can help you become healthier and more productive, and live in harmony with your work life.
Legendary time-management expert Brian Tracy tells it to us straight: “There isn’t enough time for everything on your to-do list, and there never will be. Don’t try to get it all done, make sure you get the most important things done.” Eat That Frog is a metaphor for tackling the most challenging task of your day first—the one you are most likely to procrastinate on—because it can have the biggest impact on your day and life. The 21 productivity tips included in this book just might change how you function.
3. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
by David Allen
David Allen’s classic book Getting Things Done is your quintessential guide to personal organization, time management and productivity. “What we truly need to do is often what we most feel like avoiding,” he writes. Learn the four Ds—do it, defer it, delegate it, or delete it—as well as other gems, and get more done in both your personal and professional life.
Author and personal-development expert Darren Hardy offers the fundamentals of being productive in every aspect of your life—and it boils down to the action steps you take each day. When your work and habits are aligned with your core values, says the author, productivity ensues. “A daily routine built on good habits is the difference that separates the most successful amongst us from everyone else,” he writes.
5. High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way
by Brendon Burchard
“We learn that the more we are true to ourselves, the more we can connect with and contribute to the world,” writes performance expert, Brendon Burchard. Discover the six habits needed to master productivity and achieve success. Without mastering them, says Brendon, life is a never-ending struggle. Becoming a high performer is first about seeking clarity. The book offers tips and exercises based in science that you can implement right now.
If you already consider yourself an achiever, this book will show you how to take your accomplishments to the next level. The author encourages you to define what an ideal day looks like so you can focus and live according to what you truly love and want to do—with work, life, family and friends, and in your community.
This book’s mantra: Reduce your number of goals and focus on the essentials. “Doing a huge number of things doesn’t mean you’re getting anything meaningful done,” says Leo Babauta, known for his website zenhabits.net and minimalist lifestyle. Reduce the noise in your life so you can focus on doing what matters most to you. Start with one tiny step, create a positive feedback loop, work in accountability and put everything you have into accomplishing your goal.
Left unexamined, our habits are just as likely to hinder our progress as they are to enhance it, says backpacker, blogger and best-selling author Tynan. Without a deliberate system for building positive habits, we become our own worst enemy. Understand specific habits in every major area of life and learn the path to implementing them. This is a great way to get younger readers (adolescents and college-age) interested in productivity and goal-setting.
9. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
by Charles Duhigg
Since writing this book, Pulitzer-Prize winner and best-selling author Charles Duhigg has lost 30 pounds and started training for the New York City Marathon. He did so by following the methods he lays out: First analyze your habits and then discover how to change them. He believes exercise is a “keystone habit” that triggers widespread productivity. People who exercise are more likely to eat better, be more productive at work and live with less stress. The key to productivity isn’t found in extraordinary people, he says, but in ordinary people who learn to maintain positive habits on a regular basis.
“We live in digital time. Our pace is rushed, rapid-fire and relentless. Facing crushing workloads, we try to cram as much as possible into every day.” The key to overcoming this time crunch, Jim Loehr writes, is not to manage our time more effectively, but to manage our energy. Increase your productivity by balancing energy expenditure with energy renewal. In this book, the author lays out a road map to becoming more fully engaged, physically energized and emotionally connected. When your energy is at its peak, you will also be more mentally focused and spiritually aligned.
Read more: 10 Best Books to Help Achieve Your Goals
Read more: Become Smarter, Faster, Better!
Sandra Bilbray is a contributing editor for Live Happy, and the CEO and owner of themediaconcierge.net.