For me, productivity is just a fancy way of saying “Get your sh*&t done in the fastest and most efficient way.” Everyone with a clear goal in life that wishes to kick-start some action and get things done, has to know at least something about what are best methods to become more productive and finish what they’ve started.

I am sure you’ve heard that there are countless studies and researches out there talking about what are the most effective ways to become more productive and keep at it. Truth to be told, there are endless ways in which you can start doing anything however there is no such thing as a system that fits them all. It’s rather an accumulation of numerous methods that address different topics, like focus and building effective schedule so you will start with your M.I.T first (Most Important Task) and avoid feeling overwhelmed, or how to build will power, self-discipline and better habits towards taking action in the right direction.

As someone that is running a very tight schedule, while trying to keep a healthy balance between life, family and work (including running a business, courses, consulting to startups and companies, blogging and more) sometimes I find myself in a hectic race against the clock to get stuff done.
What I’ve found is that success doesn’t come overnight, it takes a constant effort and motivation to keep moving forward and doing what is important rather what it fun and easy.

Here are my top 5 books about productivity, that inspired me the most and provided me with doable tips and methodology that I’ve assimilated into my daily routines:

Brain Tracy | Eat That Frog

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

If you start your day by doing something unpleasant but necessary, you will develop a habit of goal achiever. Guaranteed.

Definitely one of the best tips on productivity coming from the world-class life and business coach, Brain Tracy. His book on productivity keeps a simple guideline for the reader to flow with practical tips on how to be more time efficient. One of his best tips is that successful people do what is hard but necessary first rather than unsuccessful people who are doing what is fun and easy. You will go through his 21 tips and principles that Tracey himself uses to create outstanding results in his life. What I liked about his book is that he uses a very simple to follow tips that you can start doing right away.

What you will learn from this book: Eat that frog:

  1. How to build an effective “To Do” list and break it down to reasonable and realistic milestones (super helpful).
  2. How to plan your day and avoid the illusion that you need to do everything on that list. Instead, focus on what is important that has the most significant effect on your prime goal.
  3. Practical and doable tips on effective time management that you can start practicing right away.

Tim Fariss | The 4-hour book

“Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.”

Coming from one of the best serial entrepreneurs, a New York Times best-selling author Tim Fariss, where he shares an interesting perspective on a life of achievement and redefines the way we should think about work. Rather than working hard let’s work smart. This book is inlaid with vivid examples of people that have left their day jobs and started a side business by applying the principles of the 80\20 concept.

Key takedowns from this book:

  • You will hear Tim’s remarkable life story of how he got from an average revenue of $40,000 a year running his business on a crazy schedule of investing ~80 hours a week(!) through implementing the 80\20 principle and moving to a revenue of $40,000 a month, by working only 4 (!) hours a week.
  • How to outsource the most boring and unproductive parts of your life in order to get control over your free time and do what you love.
    He shares practical examples on how you can outsource for less than $5 ( It works! I’ve tried that both on my personal life and in my career, you can read more on how I’ve reached over $5.5M in sales in just one year!)
  • Doable techniques of eliminating more than 50% of your time distractors and working smarter not harder.
  • The lifestyle and that mindset of the new millionaires and how to live a frugal yet prosperous life.
  • What are the main obstacles and hurdles you will encounter when working on your goals and how to overcome OR even avoid them?

Stephen R. Covey|The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”

How to boost your productivity to achieve your targets in life?
How to set the right goals and achieve your targets?

If you are going to read only one book on time management and productivity in your life, make sure that you start with 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I’ve come back to this book countless times throughout my career. This book was recommended by some of the top performers in the world as Presidents, CEOs, Enterpernures to teachers, life coaches, and colleague students. Though sometimes it is not the easiest book to read and some chapters are full of diagrams and flood of information, it does, however, put you in the right perspective of what are the best ways to build an effective “To Do” list that one can easily follow. What is so great about this book is that it offers a step by step methodology of achievement and proactiveness. Definitely one of my best recommendations to you and a fine addition to Domore4yourlife’s manifesto!

Key takedowns and what you will learn from this book:

  • If you want to achieve anything in life, you must shift your mindset from being busy to being proactive. Taking deliberate and constant actions towards achieving your goals.
  • What are the 7 habits of highly successful people, what are they doing differently than most of the people and what we can learn from them on achieving our top goals?

Willam Mcraven|Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life

Admiral William H. McRaven served with a great distinction in the U.S Navy. In his 13 years as a Navy SEAL, as a four-star Admiral, he commanded of all U.S special operation forces. In his book, he shares his adventurous life in the Navy with gems of wisdom that helped him in building super effective teams and a hard steel character. If you want to learn from the best about the true meaning of self-discipline and how to overcome challenges, I definitely advise you to read his book. Having said that, though I think that some of the tips are definitely easy to implement and live by, there are some tips that are too vague in my opinion and less doable. Nevertheless, a great book about self-disciple and productivity.

What you will learn?

  • How making up your bed in the morning will help you in becoming more productive?
  • What is the secret of productivity coming from the best of the best, the Navy Seals?
  • How to build a tough character with unshakable principles of self-discipline?

Tim Fariss| Tools Of Titans

Tools of Titans. A recommended book for productivity
The perfect combination and the “right” way to read a book (Photo by Alex Lyhovez)

Usually, I like to recommend books from different writers, I think that everyone has a unique point of view on matters like personal development, productivity, motivation and such. Tools of Titas by Tim Friss is a slightly different book then what you may be familiar with. His book is an accumulation of best lessons that he has learned from over 200 world-class performance leaders about health, money, top performance, productivity and of course, personal development.

Tim had shifted his writing style from a fluent story with the main topic to more of an almanac of different topics where you straight jump to what interest you the most. Tim has moved from books you can read fluidly cover-to-cover to more of an encyclopedic style. Though with some of the interviews it felt as if I am receiving an “appetizer” without the main dish, meaning no actual blueprint of how to become better, still I found it very interesting to have a glimpse on the mindsets of some of the world’s most successful people.

Key takedowns and what you will learn from this book:

  • There is no formulaic path to health, wealth or wisdom.
  • There is no recipe you can just plug and play on your path to becoming successful. This book has all the tools and tactics used by the best in the world in their field, and yet, it’s up to you to pick which ones will work for you.

Wrapping it up:

All of the books are practically talking about the same things as; focusing on one task each time, avoiding multitasking, understanding what is important, keep a positive mindset when starting to do anything, don’t’ afraid to fail and keep pushing forward. There is no formula, magic trick or shortcuts. In order to become successful and more productive, you must practice and find the best method that works for you.

What are your favorite books about productivity? Feel free to share your best recommendations.

Till next time, Alex.

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