The best books to boost your productivity

Liisa Kyle Author Of You Can Get it Done: Choose What to Do, Plan, Start, Stay on Track, Overcome Obstacles, and Finish
By Liisa Kyle

Who am I?

In order to earn my Ph.D. in Psychology before I turned thirty, I had to learn how to be efficient and productive. As a life coach and author of two dozen books, I’ve spent the past twenty years helping people overcome challenges, get things done, and get more out of life. 


I wrote...

You Can Get it Done: Choose What to Do, Plan, Start, Stay on Track, Overcome Obstacles, and Finish

By Liisa Kyle,

Book cover of You Can Get it Done: Choose What to Do, Plan, Start, Stay on Track, Overcome Obstacles, and Finish

What is my book about?

It doesn’t matter what you’ve got going on or what you’re trying to do, this book is designed to help you be more productive. Inside you'll find: three essential keys to get things done; seven effective time management strategies; a five-part process to figure out what you really want; how to prioritize; how to devise and implement a plan; eight ways to get started; six essential tools to stay on track; how to overcome obstacles and common setbacks; how to identify and overcome self-sabotage; how to know when it’s okay to quit a project (and when it’s not); four common challenges to finishing — and their solutions; and how to finish something well.

The books I picked & why

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Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

By David Allen,

Book cover of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Why this book?

This is a classic and for good reason. I love the idea of putting each thing you have to do on its own piece of paper because once you do, you can organize and manage everything on your plate. You can triage and prioritize what needs to happen when, in any area of your life. And the “Someday/Maybe” file is a great way of retaining ideas and plans that aren’t a priority right now.


The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play

By Neil Fiore,

Book cover of The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play

Why this book?

I recommend this book to my coaching clients and friends and family members because it provides clear, practical, effective advice for getting things done without beating yourself up. Using Fiore’s “Unschedule” is so motivating and positive, you avoid feeling guilt-ridden or otherwise miserable with yourself. My favorite part? Rewarding yourself with guilt-free play.


The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

By Timothy Ferriss,

Book cover of The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

Why this book?

Most of all, I love that the focus here is on freeing up time for your non-work life. This book is packed with practical advice to work smarter, rather than harder. Rather than toiling for long hours, figure out how you can leverage other people to do the work that you do have to do yourself and automate the processes you can. See what processes you can “batch” so that you do them less often, more efficiently – like responding to your email only once a day.  


The Myth of Multitasking: How "Doing It All" Gets Nothing Done

By Dave Crenshaw,

Book cover of The Myth of Multitasking: How "Doing It All" Gets Nothing Done

Why this book?

It makes me a little crazy when people insist on multi-tasking because they are being unnecessarily hard on themselves. Research has proven that it is much less efficient and effective than simply focusing on one thing at a time. When I can convince my clients to stop multi-tasking, they are shocked at how much easier it is to get things done. They are calmer and less stressed. 


Time Management from the Inside Out: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule--and Your Life

By Julie Morgenstern,

Book cover of Time Management from the Inside Out: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule--and Your Life

Why this book?

People have productivity challenges for different reasons. Sometimes, we need to learn specific skills or techniques. Sometimes we are unproductive because of external factors out of our control. More often, we have to identify, address, and overcome internal factors that are hampering our ability to get things done – which is the focus of this book.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in time management, procrastination, and productivity?

5,887 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about time management, procrastination, and productivity.

Time Management Explore 17 books about time management
Procrastination Explore 14 books about procrastination
Productivity Explore 6 books about productivity

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Why Don't Students Like School?, Into the Wild, and The Alchemist if you like this list.