Best Time Management Books

   

Table of Contents

The most successful people pride themselves on their ability to manage their time wisely. Your skills and talents alone may allow you to progress to a certain point, but never all the way. Only when combined with exceptional time management skills will you be able to achieve everything you want in life.

Balancing your career and personal life remains one of the most difficult challenges in today’s modern society. A successful job is so often a demanding one that robs you of your time with friends and family members.

At a certain point in life, this can make you regret some of the decisions you’ve made. In the same way, putting your career on hold to spend time with family can also have its negative effects, and sometimes ends up with you resenting someone you love dearly.

How do you start addressing this problem? At the end of the day, it is just about time management. When you know how to manage your time, you can make anything a possibility.

One thing that plays a huge part in time management is knowing what’s important. You should organize your priorities and find out which among them, in the long run, will benefit you most.

Of course, there are a ton of other factors to keep in mind, all of which will be discussed in my compilation of the best time management books. It’s time for you to stop wondering whether to put more time on your family or your business. It’s also time for you to know how important self-care is and why it’s crucial to give yourself a break now and then.

While you will never be able to completely break free of the hold time, give yourself some form of control over it and of your life. You can do all that and more with the help of the following books:

Best Time Management Books

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

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

The Power of Full Engagement was one of the first books that helped me to start to understand myself, and to work to embrace how I feel and be intuitive. The key concept in the book is that you should be either fully engaged in a task, or fully disegaged and finding renewal. For example, finding the natural dips within your day and thinking about rituals and changes you could make. Maybe you go for a 20 minute walk at 3pm when you naturally find yourself less productive.
Joel Gascoigne
Co-founder/Buffer
Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (The 99U Book Series)

Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (The 99U Book Series)

A time management book. Personally, I like Manage your day-to-day by 99U. It is an extremely quick read, but provides some good insights for those who need some basic guidance regarding time management, especially in creative fields.
Andrew Elliott
Founder/GoDesignerGo
The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: Achieve More Success with Less Stress

The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: Achieve More Success with Less Stress

Elizabeth runs a successful consulting business that helps people make more meaningful use of their time. If you’re looking to focus less on the unimportant and more on what really matters, this book offers tested advice for achieving this goal.
Cal Newport
Author
Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life

Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life

An essential book for anyone trying to think, work, or live better.
Ryan Holiday
Media Strategist, Author, Founder/Brass Check
The Leader You Want to Be: Five Essential Principles for Bringing Out Your Best Self - Every Day

The Leader You Want to Be: Five Essential Principles for Bringing Out Your Best Self – Every Day

Amy Jen Su's helpful frameworks apply to the complicated issues we all grapple with as leaders. The Leader You Want to Be enables readers to show up as their best selves at work, at home, and as they go out into the world.
Jim Massey
Global Vice President / AstraZeneca
How to be a Productivity Ninja: Worry Less, Achieve More and Love What You Do

How to be a Productivity Ninja: Worry Less, Achieve More and Love What You Do

The book changed the way I plan and work towards my goal. It’s a one-stop source for achieving high productivity in work life.
Deepak Hariharan
Founder & CEO/MentorYes
Management Tips: From Harvard Business Review

Management Tips: From Harvard Business Review

Another favourite of mine, although is not like a real book, is Management Tips from Harvard Business Review. This is the handbook for every manager. It is full of actionable insights and the beauty of it is that you can apply them immediately. I always have it on me because each page contains a tip and I write the date on the page every time I use it. I promise you that using this system will supercharge your management powers in no time.
Radu Marcusu
CEO/Upswing
Juliet's School of Possibilities: A Little Story About the Power of Priorities

Juliet’s School of Possibilities: A Little Story About the Power of Priorities

Laura is my go-to expert for time management and Juliet's School of Possibilities is a delightful book. You can read it in a couple of short sittings, then go away with a lifetime of application.
Chris Guillebeau
Author
Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models

Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models

Super Thinking is meant to be a comprehensive collection of mental models needed for good personal and professional decision making, most of which are not effectively taught in schools. I believe if you can master these 300 concepts — yes, it is a lot, but they are very interrelated — you will completely level up your thinking. It’s the book I wish someone had given me earlier in my career, but it is good for anyone. As the anonymous saying goes, “The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” It comes out 6/18 and you can pre-order it now and find out more info (including the full list of models). They are grouped into nine narrative chapters, each with its own theme (e.g. time management, people management, unintended consequences, etc.) so it is easy to digest and refer back to.
Gabriel Weinberg
Founder & CEO/DuckDuckGo
What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School: Notes from a Street-smart Executive

What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School: Notes from a Street-smart Executive

Question: What books had the biggest impact on you? Perhaps changed the way you see things or dramatically changed your career path.

Answer:

  • “Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design” By Laurence Boldt
  • “Horse Sense: The Key to Success Is Finding a Horse to Ride” by Al Ries and Jack Trout
  • “What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School” by Mark McCormack
Christopher Lochhead
Host/Legends and Losers Podcast
Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done

Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done

For every minute you spend inside this book, you'll get back ten. Off the Clock will show you how to spend your hours more meaningfully, reclaim vast amounts of wasted time, and live a better life. Picking up this book will be one of the most valuable investments you make in yourself.
Chris Bailey
Creator/A Life of Productivity
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

This book taught me a valuable lesson about focusing on what’s most important and saying no to everything else. This approach freed up my time dramatically; suddenly focusing on sales and strategy was something I did, not something I wanted to do. If you’ve ever found yourself stretched too thin, feel simultaneously overworked and underutilised, or, and this one was a biggie for me, feel like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people’s agendas, then Essentialism is the game changer you’ve been looking for. This book changed my life and the business.
Heather Baker
CEO/TopLine Comms
The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done

The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done

My favorite business book is the Effective Executive by Peter Drucker. No question. Business literature is full of nonsense. Drucker doesn’t tolerate nonsense 🙂

Drucker defines an effective executive as anyone who gets the right things done (an “executive” for Drucker is broad — it’s essentially what we would call knowledge workers). It’s actually a really important point: being effective is not about your personality. The only thing that matters is if you get the right stuff done.

Steve Benjamins
Founder/Site Builder Report
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

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

Here are some of the guests and some of their books, in no particular order. I recommend all of the below books. If I didn't like a book, I wouldn't have them on the show.

James Altucher
Founder/StockPickr
Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

The best book on productivity and time management that I’ve read.
Adam Johnston
CEO & Co-Founder/Last Call Trivia
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

I've been a fan of Cal for a long time. His book So Good They Can't Ignore You is one of my favorites, but it's his new book that's probably had the biggest and most immediate impact on me. For those of you who enjoyed Tyler Cowen's Average is Over, you already know how important the ability to focus, be creative, and think at a high level is going to be in the future. This is a book that explains how to cultivate and protect that skill--the ability to do deep work. One thing I've already started doing since reading this book is recording the number of hours of deep work I do each day in my morning journal. It's a way of keeping a running tally and monitoring if I begin to get distracted or slow my pace. Anyway, great book!
Ryan Holiday
Founder/Brass Check
Creating an Effective Management System: Integrating Policy Deployment, TWI, and Kata

Creating an Effective Management System: Integrating Policy Deployment, TWI, and Kata

We have a poster at our company that reads ‘The systems you have in place are perfectly organized to produce the behaviors you are currently experiencing.’ If you are seeking new behaviors and better results, new systems are the only way to get there. Creating an Effective Management System is just the book to get you started. The decades of experience-based wisdom that Graupp, Steward and Parsons share will set you on a new path to a more joyful organization and the tangible results it will produce.
Rich Sheridan
CEO/Menlo Innovations; Author
Virtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Become More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business

Virtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Become More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business

This book shall become the bible on how to build your dream business, without working yourself into an early grave!
John Lee Dumas
Host & Founder/Entrepreneur On Fire
The Alchemist

The Alchemist

There was a moment where I was on a quest for self-discovery. I felt lost and wasn't sure if I was who I was because I made the decision to be me, or if my identity was programmed by culture, society and setting. Because of that, I started reading self-help books to reconstruct identity and mold who I wanted to be. This book helped me.
Ola Olusoga
Co-founder/Populum
Agile Selling: Get Up to Speed Quickly in Today's Ever-Changing Sales World

Agile Selling: Get Up to Speed Quickly in Today’s Ever-Changing Sales World

Agile Selling shows you how to become an overnight expert, capable of bringing a continuous string of sales-inducing ideas to your clients. Get it to develop superpowers your competitors will envy.
Genevieve Bos
CEO/IdeaString

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