The 16 Best Time Management Books to Help You Be More Productive

POSTED ON Dec 27, 2023

P.J McNulty

Written by P.J McNulty

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In the entrepreneurship space, the mastery of time isn't just a skill, it's a superpower.

As you venture into authorship, understanding the nuances of time management becomes not just beneficial, but essential.

These books are more than just texts; they are your allies in carving out time to turn your vision into a published masterpiece.

The Best Beginner-Friendly Time Management Books

The journey to exceptional time management begins with a solid foundation.

The following five books are pillars in this domain, offering timeless strategies that will resonate with your dual role as an entrepreneur and an aspiring author.

1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey

Covey’s classic provides a principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. Key takeaway: Prioritize tasks to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

2. Eat That Frog!” by Brian Tracy

This book is a call to action against procrastination, emphasizing the need to tackle the most significant tasks first. Central idea: Your ‘frog' is your biggest, most impactful task.

3. The Time Trap” by Alec Mackenzie and Pat Nickerson

A deep dive into identifying and overcoming common time-wasting activities. Essential concept: Recognizing and avoiding time traps is crucial for time management.

4. 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think” by Laura Vanderkam

Vanderkam challenges readers to reevaluate their weekly time allocation. Core message: Effective time management is about making smarter choices.

5. Time Management from the Inside Out” by Julie Morgenstern

This book offers a step-by-step guide to creating a personalized organizational system. Key principle: Time can be managed like physical space for better efficiency.

The Best Advanced Time Management Books

Building upon a solid foundation, it’s time to elevate your time management skills with advanced strategies.

These six books introduce sophisticated techniques, perfectly suited for balancing the demands of writing, business, and personal life.

6. Deep Work” by Cal Newport

Newport champions the practice of focused and uninterrupted work. Central idea: Achieving a state of ‘deep work’ is key for high productivity.

7. The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss

Ferriss redefines the work-life balance with unconventional wisdom. Core lesson: Leveraging delegation and automation can significantly free up time.

8. The Effective Executive” by Peter Drucker

A guide to making impactful decisions and efficient use of time. Key takeaway: Focus on contributions that make the most significant difference.

9. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown

McKeown teaches the art of prioritizing the ‘vital few’ over the ‘trivial many’. Main concept: Embrace a minimalist approach to time and task management.

5. Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day” by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky

A practical guide to reshaping your daily routine for maximum productivity. Essential strategy: Designate time for tasks that align with your goals.

10. Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done” by Laura Vanderkam

Vanderkam explores innovative ways to maximize time and productivity. Key insight: Perception of time is as important as actual time management.

The Best Specialized Time Management books

Time management is not a one-size-fits-all skill.

The following five books offer unique perspectives and strategies, tailored to address specific challenges you may face as an entrepreneur and writer.

11. The One Thing” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

Focuses on the power of prioritizing a single task to achieve extraordinary results. Core principle: Success is sequential, not simultaneous.

12. Time Warrior” by Steve Chandler

A non-traditional approach that advocates a mindset shift in dealing with time. Key message: Adopt a warrior-like mentality to overcome time challenges.

13. Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time” by Jeff Sutherland

Introduces Scrum methodology to enhance productivity and efficiency. Essential concept: Iterative progress and flexibility are key to managing time effectively.

14. Time Management for Creative People” by Mark McGuinness

Tailored for the creative mind, this book offers strategies to balance creativity and productivity. Central idea: Structuring time can unleash creative potential.

15. The 12 Week Year” by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington

Proposes a revolutionary approach to planning and execution. Key insight: Shorter planning cycles lead to increased focus and faster achievement of goals.

How to apply ideas from books about time management

Now that you're equipped with the theoretical knowledge from these time management titans, it's crucial to translate these principles into practical, actionable steps.

This section is designed to guide you through the process of integrating these strategies into your daily routine, particularly focusing on planning, writing, and publishing your own nonfiction book.

Identify Your ‘Frog'

Begin each day by identifying the most critical task related to your writing. This could be researching, drafting, or editing a chapter.

Allocate Time Blocks

Dedicate specific hours of your day to writing, using techniques from ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People' and ‘Deep Work'. Guard this time against interruptions.

Set Realistic Goals

Using insights from ‘168 Hours' and ‘The 12 Week Year', establish achievable writing goals for each week or month.

Prioritize Tasks

Apply the principles from ‘Essentialism' to focus on tasks that significantly advance your writing project.

Review and Adapt

Regularly review your progress and adjust your schedule and goals as needed, taking cues from ‘Time Management from the Inside Out'.

How to use time management to serve your business strategy

Integrating these time management principles into your business strategy is not just about finding more hours to write; it’s about optimizing your overall efficiency as an entrepreneur.

This involves delegating non-essential tasks, automating processes where possible, and ensuring that every action you take aligns with your broader business goals, much like the methodologies presented in ‘The 4-Hour Workweek' and ‘Scrum'.

Remember, efficient time management in your business frees up more time and mental space for your writing endeavors.

Are you ready to master time management?

Mastering time management is a journey, one that transforms not just your writing but your entire approach to business and personal development.

As you apply the lessons from these seminal books, observe how your productivity soars and your writing flourishes.

Perhaps, in this process, you'll gather unique insights and experiences worth sharing.

Consider writing your own book on time management, adding your voice to the conversation and inspiring others in their entrepreneurial and writing pursuits.

Start today, and turn your mastery of time into a legacy of knowledge.

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