The best time management books

6 authors have picked their favorite books about time management and why they recommend each book.

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Start Finishing

By Charlie Gilkey,

Book cover of Start Finishing: How to Go from Idea to Done

This book came to me at a perfect time. I had at least 12 projects (which are anything to which you will give energy to) rolling around in my head and none of them were being moved forward. Gilkey’s process of helping me narrow down my choices and then prioritize my projects helped me get the clarity I needed and I was able to get two done in just two weeks!!!

Start Finishing

By Charlie Gilkey,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Start Finishing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How much of your time and attention gets focused on what truly matters to you? Most people's honest answer is: not enough. For anyone who feels buried by busywork, responsibility, distraction, and fatigue, productivity expert Charlie Gilkey presents Start Finishing-a systematic, root-cause approach for overcoming the pitfalls to productivity and turning your ideas and dreams into finished projects.

The critically acclaimed, award-winning Start Finishing presents a nine-step method for converting an idea into a doable project by addressing the challenges you'll face and helping you create a reality-based plan for seeing it through. Learn how to identify your genius, build…

Who am I?

Way back in 1994 I decided to build my career on the mission of helping people make better choices with their time. And my goal has always been to keep the solutions simple. I believe we have way too much in our lives that is complex and hard. While my primary work is as a keynote speaker, I have chosen to devote a significant amount of my professional hours to being a coach. I love helping people develop a plan for improvement that is aligned with their values and goals, and then walking with them through their season of change.


I wrote...

Juggling Elephants: An Easier Way to Get Your Most Important Things Done—Now!

By Jones Loflin, Todd Musig,

Book cover of Juggling Elephants: An Easier Way to Get Your Most Important Things Done—Now!

What is my book about?

Juggling Elephants tells a simple but profound story about one man with a universal problem. Mark has too much to do, too many priorities, too much stress, and too little time.

As he struggles to balance his many responsibilities without cracking under the pressure, Mark takes a break to attend the circus with his family. There he has a surprising conversation with a wise ringmaster. He leaves with a simple but powerful lesson: Trying to get everything done is like juggling elephants—impossible. So Mark begins to think about his work, family, and personal life the way a ringmaster thinks about the many acts in a three-ring circus. He discovers that managing his various acts can be fun and easy once he changes his attitude and follows his new friend's ongoing guidance. 

Four Thousand Weeks

By Oliver Burkeman,

Book cover of Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals

How do you fit in everything you need to do at work and in your home life? The answer is you can’t. Difficult choices must be made, and Oliver Burkeman’s latest book helps you do that. The usual time management advice focusses on people becoming more efficient, but this isn’t enough. Burkeman offers a more realistic appraisal and a set of insights that range from the practical to the profound. Your first test is to make sure you find the time to read it!  

Four Thousand Weeks

By Oliver Burkeman,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Four Thousand Weeks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who are we?

We’ve had the privilege to be part of a profession that has developed beyond all recognition. Both of us worked in senior public relations roles and know how difficult leadership can be in this context. A desire to combine what we’d learned with the best research resulted in us becoming professors in a university business school. Our aim is to provide a bridge between practice and academia, an ambition that has led us to work with inspiring practitioners and researchers around the world. We’ve had a great time and as you’ll see from our ‘book picks’ we draw on many perspectives to inform our work as authors, educators, and researchers. 


We wrote...

Strategic Public Relations Leadership

By Anne Gregory, Paul Willis,

Book cover of Strategic Public Relations Leadership

What is our book about?

This fully updated edition furthers the authors’ pioneering approach to integrating thinking around public relations, leadership, and strategy. It addresses contemporary developments such as AI and global ‘grand challenges’ and introduces fresh perspectives from Chief Executives on what they expect from strategic communicators at the top of their game. Concise and practical, this book ‘moves the dial’ on leadership thinking and action for current and aspiring senior professionals. 

Public relations professionals operate in an increasingly challenging and complex environment. Pressures from outside organisations: new accountabilities, empowered stakeholders, increased public cynicism, and a fractured communication landscape. Internally, there are loud demands for a strategic contribution and a clear need to coach and counsel senior managers who find themselves constantly scrutinised. This book charts the way.

Getting Things Done

By David Allen,

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

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.

Getting Things Done

By David Allen,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Getting Things Done as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The book Lifehack calls "The Bible of business and personal productivity."

"A completely revised and updated edition of the blockbuster bestseller from 'the personal productivity guru'"-Fast Company

Since it was first published almost fifteen years ago, David Allen's Getting Things Done has become one of the most influential business books of its era, and the ultimate book on personal organization. "GTD" is now shorthand for an entire way of approaching professional and personal tasks, and has spawned an entire culture of websites, organizational tools, seminars, and offshoots.

Allen has rewritten the book from start to finish, tweaking his classic text…

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 Power of Full Engagement

By Jim Loehr, Tony Schwartz,

Book cover of The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal

This book shares the secrets to being highly productive. In the book, the authors explain that the key to high performance isn’t time management, but energy management. Applying these insights will allow a person to accomplish far more than most people. I know, because I have been applying them for over 20 years and they work!

The Power of Full Engagement

By Jim Loehr, Tony Schwartz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Power of Full Engagement as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Synopsis coming soon.......

Who am I?

Michael Beck is an executive coach, business strategist, author, and president of Eliciting Excellence. Over his 20 years as a professional executive coach, he has helped leaders improve their interpersonal skills, sharpen their strategic thinking, and enhance their judgment. Although he started his career as a poor leader, over the years, he learned how to be a good communicator, came to understand human nature, and developed into a business strategist. His engineering and business degrees, combined with his executive experience in a wide range of industries allows him to bring keen insights to readers and clients.


I wrote...

Eliciting Excellence: Bringing Out the Best in People

By Michael Beck,

Book cover of Eliciting Excellence: Bringing Out the Best in People

What is my book about?

Eliciting excellence is the essence of exceptional leadership. Everyone accepts that good leadership is important, but rarely is the question raised as to why and how good leadership makes a difference.Although developing good strategies and making smart decisions are important,bringing out the best in people is the most important ability a leader needs in order to produce great results.

The Organized Mind

By Daniel J Levitin,

Book cover of The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

This book is a hefty one—I recommend the audiobook if you’ve got a bad back—but it will help you understand how your brain works in a way that almost no other book can. And the better you understand your mind, the better you’ll be able to make it do what you want, and how to protect yourself from the things that might otherwise sabotage your creative thinking.

The Organized Mind

By Daniel J Levitin,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Organized Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In The Organized Mind, New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Daniel Levitin offers practical solutions to the problems of information overload.
___________________________________________________

Overwhelmed by demands on your time? Caught in an unproductive spiral of emails and multitasking?

You're not alone. When we're deluged with information our creativity plummets, our decision making suffers and we grow absent-minded. Nowadays, we drown in our inboxes, forever juggle several tasks at once and try to make complex decisions ever more quickly. This is information overload.

Combining the latest neuroscience with everyday examples, Daniel Levitin explains how to take back control…


Who am I?

You know how most young kids go through a phrase where they ask “why” about everything, and then they ask it again, and again, and again? Well, I never really outgrew that. I studied journalism because it gave me permission to be curious about new things every day, and to ask experts “why.” Marketing gave me a new way to chase my curiosity: Why are people clicking this ad, opening this email, following that social account or searching for that phrase? I’ve helped 30% of the Fortune 100 answer the questions about why their content is working, or isn’t, and my first book, The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas, was born from my introspective curiosity about how my own idea generation process worked. 


I wrote...

Book cover of The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas

What is my book about?

In The Content Fuel Framework, trained journalist and award-winning content marketer Melanie Deziel shows you how to maximize your creativity by systematizing it. This simple framework catalyzes the brainstorming process, making idea generation effortless and nearly automatic. No more writer's block. No more asking "what should I post?" No more waiting for that "big idea" to show up in its own time. 

Never before have we consumed as much content, in as many forms, and in as many places as we do now. This means marketers, creators, and anyone who communicates with an audience is under more pressure than ever to deliver unique content, consistently. How can you fill all those web pages, social feeds, blogs, and newsletters, every single day?

Work Less, Make More

By James Schramko,

Book cover of Work Less, Make More: The counter-intuitive approach to building a profitable business, and a life you actually love

James is one of my friends and mentors and when he speaks, I listen. He has the rare ability to condense decades of wisdom into a handful of principles & strategies that anybody can use to quickly increase their income. Most of the book contains simple, common-sense strategies that will have you nodding your head and then scratching it, wondering how you didn’t think of doing it that way before. Reading this book was also a personal revelation for me because it inspired me to write my first book and even inspired the title.

Work Less, Make More

By James Schramko,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Work Less, Make More as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

I have been interested in motivation, productivity, and growth my whole life. I find it fascinating how we all have 24 hours; however, some people can maximize that time to create success while others let it go to waste. It all comes down to mindset. As an entrepreneur, I’ve consumed countless books, courses, and coaching programs to create what I call the “Rockstar Mind.” It has helped me tour the world opening for bands like KISS, write two best-selling books and 3 hit songs, and run two online businesses while supporting my young family during a global pandemic. I’m always looking for the edge to create more impact in my day.


I wrote...

Hobby Boss: Turn Your Passion Into Profits Online

By Steve Mastroianni,

Book cover of Hobby Boss: Turn Your Passion Into Profits Online

What is my book about?

Have you ever wished you could make money doing what you love? Hobby Boss is a simple step-by-step system for creating a profitable online business out of your favourite hobby—by teaching that hobby to other

enthusiasts!

Based on my own success in building a six-figure annual revenue with my hobby business, Hobby Boss walks you through my “Four Pillars of Profit” for creating and growing any online hobby enterprise. Use them to quickly create your first solution, your first sale, and your first customer success story. By following the steps laid out in each chapter, you’ll have your own Hobby Business Plan filled out and ready to launch in twenty-four hours or less!

The Myth of Multitasking

By Dave Crenshaw,

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

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. 

The Myth of Multitasking

By Dave Crenshaw,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Myth of Multitasking as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Multitasking Doesn't Work-Learn What Does!

"...multitasking is, in fact, a lie that actually wastes time, energy, and money. Most of all, it robs us of life and our relationships with others." -Chuck Norris, world-renowned actor and martial artist

Through anecdotal and real-world examples, The Myth of Multitasking proves that multitasking hurts your focus and productivity. Instead, learn how to be more effective by doing one thing at a time.

Productivity and effective time management end with multitasking. The false idea that multitasking is productive has become even more prevalent and damaging to our productivity and well-being since the first edition…


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.

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

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.

Time Management from the Inside Out

By Julie Morgenstern,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Time Management from the Inside Out as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


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.

Pick Three

By Randi Zuckerberg,

Book cover of Pick Three: You Can Have It All

This book takes on the question that every successful woman is asked, “How do you balance it all?”  Randi lives the concept that you can have it all, just not at the same time. Life is full of choices and this book breaks down a daily strategy to prioritize the most important areas of your life. She makes it so real, I could almost hear her voice, cadence, and smile. There is an honesty and vigor in the pages that really hit me hard to look in the mirror!

Pick Three

By Randi Zuckerberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pick Three as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times bestseller!

In this motivational handbook-both a business how-to and self-help guide-the New York Times bestselling author of Dot Complicated takes on the fallacy of the "well-balanced" life, arguing that the key to success is learning to be well-lopsided.

Work. Sleep. Fitness. Family. Friends. Pick Three.

In an increasingly demanding world, we've been told that we can do everything-maintain friendships, devote ourselves to work, spend time with family, stay fit, and get enough sleep. We just need to learn to balance it all. Randi Zuckerberg doesn't believe in being well-balanced. We can't do it all every day,…


Who am I?

I'm a Greek mom and entrepreneur at heart. Growing up, we cherished spirited conversations, ideas, and researching topics we loved. The whole goal was to really push each other to higher states of intellectual rigor that would improve the quality of life. Ideas and communication rival great food and Greek dancing fun. I share my passion for Philotimo (Greek imperative of love of honor and working for the greater good) through my books, brands, and marketing agency. I'm a fierce advocate for women and small businesses and have been featured in USA Today, Small Business Journal, Amazon Entrepreneurs, and enjoy being a weekly guest on national radio shows. 


I wrote...

The Balance Between Hustle & Flow: Knowing When to Make Things Happen and When to Let Them Happen

By Theo Prodromitis,

Book cover of The Balance Between Hustle & Flow: Knowing When to Make Things Happen and When to Let Them Happen

What is my book about?

Entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and all those on a personal growth journey face two key questions: Should I hustle more to get greater results? Should I go with the flow and let serendipity unfold? Theo offers a powerful, intuitive roadmap for tapping into the sweet spot between hustle and flow - one that will change your business and your life. What do I really want? How can I serve?

By challenging readers to dig deep into their own souls and inner wisdom, Theo unlocks the potential of each and every human she touches. She shares immediately actionable tips for doing the most with the precious time you have here on Earth. The balance between hustle and flow is available to all of us. Are you ready? You’re ready.

First Things First

By Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, Rebecca R. Merrill

Book cover of First Things First

Covey is internationally acclaimed for The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. However, I have a penchant for his also famous First Things First, a gem with visceral concepts that stick like honey in the brain. 

For example, the brilliance behind “Quad Two”—shorthand for items and to-dos that are important yet not urgent. Because they are not pressing, the things (and people) that matter most often get waylaid—propelling us into a life missing our passions and aspirations. Only cropping back up when they do become urgent—such as neglecting health until we can’t fully function.

And who can proceed in life unchanged following his introduction of the “Big Rocks” concept. I won’t do a spoiler alert. Let’s just say it merges prioritization with a singletasked focus.

Finally, I’m a sucker for the thoughtful worksheets nestled throughout First Things First.

First Things First

By Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, Rebecca R. Merrill

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked First Things First as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The authors of this book apply insights from their previous book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", to the daily problems of people who must struggle with the demands of work and home life. Rather than focusing on time and change, the book emphasizes relationships and results.

Who am I?

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” - Goethe. As Singletasking notes, we’ve become relentlessly disrespectful of the people and experiences right in front of us. Reversing this is a mission of mine. Nothing seems more important than redirecting our lifelong attention to what matters most. As an international author and speaker about both Singletasking and personality styles, I’m convinced paying attention to and honoring each other is the key to a meaningful life and deep relationships.


I wrote...

Singletasking: Get More Done one Thing at a Time

By Devora Zack,

Book cover of Singletasking: Get More Done one Thing at a Time

What is my book about?

Too many of us have become addicted to the popular, enticing, dangerously misleading drug of multitasking. But you can beat it, while improving your life in the process.

Singletasking marshals convincing neuroscientific evidence to prove that you really can’t do more by trying to tackle several things at once—it’s an illusion. There is a better way to deal with all the information and interruptions that bombard us today. Singletasking explains exactly how to clear and calm your mind, arrange your schedule and environment, and gently yet firmly manage the expectations of people around you so that you can accomplish a succession of tasks, one by one—and be infinitely more productive. Singletasking is the secret to success and sanity.

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