Effectively managing your time is a tough task to take on. However, once you’ve mastered your time, you have mastered your life. Time management is one of the most crucial elements of productivity, work-life balance, and ultimately, success. In fact, as the leading factor behind what you get done and where you focus your energy, time management can make or break you. Hence the helpful books on time management.
That’s why to be successful, it’s important to take the reigns on your time to live your best life. Because when allowing your time and energy to be wasted on things of little importance, you’re holding yourself back and eating into valuable hours that could be spent being productive and making an impact.
To learn how you can maximize and take control of your time, here are 10 helpful books on time management.
1. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss
In Tim Ferriss’ popular book, The 4-Hour Workweek, the successful entrepreneur teaches readers how they can live more and work less. Ferriss shares how he went from making $40,000 a week to $40,000 a month, and provides a blueprint for how you can too. The author explains how you can reduce your work while increasing your impact. The book also offers helpful tips and case studies to provide examples and statistics behind why his methods work.
2. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
David Allen is a well-known productivity consultant and author. His famous book, Getting Things Done, offers useful tactics for approaching professional and personal tasks in a timely and effective manner. The book, which spurred a “GTD” phenomenon spanning conferences, seminars, textbooks, and more, was originally published 15 years ago but Allen recently tweaked the classic text to add new and important perspectives catered to younger generations and the new workplace.
3. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
In Essentialism, public speaker, business consultant, and author Greg McKeown shares a new approach for achieving peak productivity. And to McKeown, it’s not about getting more done in less time, it’s about getting the right things done. McKeown describes his “way of the essentialist,” providing a step-by-step approach for eliminating the unnecessary and focusing on things that are essential. According to McKeown, “it’s about doing less, but better, in every area of our lives.”
4. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande
A checklist isn’t only a list of things you need to get done. In fact, according to best-selling author Atul Gawande, the checklist reveals the complexities of our lives and how we can best go about dealing with them. Even as knowledge becomes more and more available, with specialized training and education, people and organizations continue to fail. That’s because we are experiencing an overabundance of complex knowledge that exceeds our bodies’ abilities to thoroughly comprehend the information and then take proper action on that knowledge. As Gawande reveals in his riveting book, The Checklist Manifesto, the solution is simple: checklists. Through personal stories and statistical evidence, Gawande explains what checklists can do and what they can’t do, but ultimately how they can improve our lives if done correctly.
5. When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink
In his book, When, best-selling author Daniel H. Pink uses science to support his strategies for time management. Your life is dependent on timing. However, most people don’t know how to time things out correctly. That’s because, according to Pink, timing is a science. Pulling in research from psychology, biology, and economics, Pink reveals how you can use timing to best live your life both at work and at home. In his book, you’ll learn the science behind building the perfect schedule, tackling new items on your to-do list, taking breaks, and more. His cutting-edge research seeks to help you live a richer and more engaged life.
6. The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy by Chris Bailey
Chris Bailey, the author of The Productivity Project, speaks from experience. After turning down many job-offers to pursue a lifelong dream, Bailey spent a year experimenting and researching productivity. From getting little to no sleep to cutting out caffeine and undergoing intense workouts, Bailey experimented on himself to uncover what helps and what hinders productivity. As a result of his experiments, Bailey published The Productivity Project, chronicling the lessons he learned and the best productivity practices he discovered.
7. The Time Chunking Method: A 10-Step Action Plan For Increasing Your Productivity by Damon Zahariades
Entrepreneur and productivity expert Damon Zahariades’ The Time Chunking Method, Zahariades shares his favorable approach to time management. As one of the most popular time management strategies today, “the time chunking method” explains how anyone can get more done, keep up their motivation, and create more free time for themselves. The book is a blueprint for the popular method, covering a variety of topics from how to get through a laundry list of small tasks to explaining the importance of diet in productivity and actionable tips to prevent burnout.
8. Rework: Change the Way You Work Forever by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
In Rework, by New York Times best-selling authors and technology entrepreneurs Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, the authors reject the notion that effective work involves long hours, nonstop hustle, and a “whatever it takes” mindset. Instead, thanks to technology and today’s available resources, working or starting a business doesn’t have to be about 80-hour workweeks. In their book, Fried and Hansson explain the importance of an “easy-is-better” approach and why it’s time to “rework work.”
9. The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future by Ryder Carroll
Another highly popular time management approach is “the bullet journal method.” Written by Ryder Carroll, founder of the popular Bullet Journal, an all-around organizational system, the book not only provides insight and advice on how to use the effective organizational tool but focuses on “international living”—a method Carroll created that weeds out distractions and boosts time and energy to live a meaningful life. You don’t have to be a Bullet Journal user to take advantage of Carroll’s helpful book. Explaining how to track the past using only a pen and paper, how to organize the present by relaxing as you tackle your daily to-dos, and design the future by transforming your curiosities and dreams into step-by-step goals.
10. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy
Even with 24 hours in the day, sometimes it still feels like there isn’t enough time to get everything done. Luckily, Brian Tracy’s book, Eat That Frog!, explains why you don’t have to. In his book, Tracy teaches readers the importance of prioritization and why they need to focus on only the most important tasks. Based on the old saying that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you’ll be satisfied knowing you have completed the worst, most difficult task of the day already. And Tracy shares how you should not only tackle the most challenging task first thing every day but the one that will have the greatest impact.