12 Best Productivity Books for Entrepreneurs

12 Best Productivity Books for Entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur, you know that time is your most valuable asset. You’re constantly juggling tasks, projects, and deadlines, and it can be tough to stay on top of everything.

That’s where productivity books come in.

The right productivity book can help you:

  • Set clear goals and priorities
  • Break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable ones
  • Eliminate distractions and focus on what’s important
  • Develop better habits and routines
  • Optimize your time and energy

If you’re looking for a productivity boost, here are 12 of the best productivity books for entrepreneurs.

Top 12 Productivity Books for Entrepreneurs

1. Atomic Habits by James Clear

“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”

James Clear’s Atomic Habits dives into the incredible impact of small, incremental changes on our habits. It’s all about those little habits that pack a punch!

Clear emphasizes the concept of atomic habits, which are small, consistent actions that may seem insignificant at first, but over time, they accumulate and create remarkable results.

In the book, Clear offers practical strategies and actionable advice that are easy to implement. He shares effective methods to break bad habits and establish positive ones.

What’s great about Atomic Habits is that it presents a realistic approach to personal and professional growth. Clear provides real-life examples and vivid anecdotes to make his ideas come to life.

With over half a million reviews on Goodreads, Atomic Habits is perhaps the most popular productivity book on this list, and you may wonder if it lives up to the hype. Rest assured, this book surpasses expectations and delivers on its promises.

If you’re looking for a roadmap to make continuous improvement a natural part of your life, this book has got you covered.

Order Atomic Habits on Amazon

2. Indistractable by Nir Eyal

“Most people don’t want to acknowledge the uncomfortable truth that distraction is always an unhealthy escape from reality.”

From the best-selling author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products comes a book that unravels the science of attention and presents a groundbreaking approach to combating distraction in our information-saturated world.

Nir Eyal’s Indistractable addresses the prevalent issue of distraction in our modern, tech-driven society. In a casual and relatable tone, Eyal explores the root causes of distraction and provides practical strategies to reclaim our focus and regain control over our time and attention.

The book delves into internal triggers and provides tips for managing external distractions, setting goals, creating time-boxed schedules, and practicing focused work to enhance productivity and accomplish meaningful tasks.

Throughout the book, Eyal offers actionable advice, insightful anecdotes, and helpful exercises to guide readers on their journey to becoming “indistractable.” By applying the principles outlined in this book, you can cultivate a deep sense of focus, boost your productivity, and lead a more fulfilling life.

Order Indistractable on Amazon

Related: 7 Marketing Lessons I Learned from “Hooked” by Nir Eyal

3. The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

“Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls — family, health, friends, integrity — are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.”

A must-read for entrepreneurs who want to maximize their productivity, The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan provides a simple roadmap to cut through the clutter and focus on what truly matters.

The book challenges the notion of multitasking and instead advocates for identifying the one thing that, when accomplished, makes everything else easier or unnecessary. Keller and Papasan provide practical strategies for identifying and prioritizing this crucial task, leading you to sharpen your focus and remove any distractions standing in your way.

Packed with compelling examples, stories, and insights from successful individuals across various fields, the authors showcase how focusing on the one thing can lead to remarkable achievements.

Order The One Thing on Amazon

Related: 25 Best AppSumo Lifetime Deals for Entrepreneurs

4. Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy

“One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not to be done at all.”

With millions of copies sold worldwide, Eat That Frog! Is Brian Tracy’s most popular book.

If you find yourself constantly struggling with procrastination and yearning for a solution, Tracy’s book is like a divine intervention.

The “frog” in the title symbolizes the most difficult and important task on your to-do list. Brian Tracy emphasizes that by prioritizing and completing this task early in the day, you can eliminate procrastination, increase productivity, and achieve greater success in both personal and professional endeavors.

Packed with twenty-one rules and principles, Eat That Frog! provides a comprehensive roadmap to conquer difficult tasks, overcome the perils of procrastination, and elevate your performance and productivity to new heights.

Order Eat That Frog! on Amazon

5. Do the Work by Steven Pressfield

“A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.”

Steven Pressfield is a prominent figure in the realms of historical fiction, screenplays, and self-help literature. His most popular book, The War of Art, explores the different forms of resistance faced by artists and entrepreneurs, and offers practical strategies to overcome these obstacles and thrive creatively.

Do the Work picks up where The War of Art left off and serves as a concise and motivational guide that focuses on overcoming resistance and embracing the creative process.

Pressfield encourages readers to take action, face challenges, and remain persistent in their creative endeavors. The book provides practical advice and serves as a powerful tool to help individuals bring their ideas to life and achieve their goals.

Drawing from his own experiences as an author and screenwriter, Pressfield delves into the challenges and obstacles that often hinder progress and offers actionable advice to break through them.

This book is a perfect companion to other works by Pressfield, particularly The War of Art and Turning Pro.

Order Do the Work on Amazon

Related: 20 Podcasts That Will Make You a Better Entrepreneur

6. Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg

“Every choice we make in life is an experiment.”

Though I considered adding The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg to this list, I must admit that his follow-up work, Smarter Faster Better, is even better and takes productivity insights to greater heights.

This book explores the science of productivity and provides valuable insights into achieving better results in all aspects of life. Drawing from cutting-edge research, it explores the key factors that set highly successful individuals and organizations apart from others.

Duhigg presents a compelling framework that emphasizes the importance of motivation, goal-setting, decision-making, focus, innovation, and teamwork in attaining peak performance.

Smarter Faster Better offers a wealth of interesting ideas and mental models, but the one that resonated with me the most was that of “cognitive tunneling.” Duhigg highlights how this mental glitch that occurs when our brains are forced to transition abruptly from relaxed automation to panicked attention can result in catastrophic events, as evidenced by the Air France Flight 447 tragedy.

Order Smarter Faster Better on Amazon

7. Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy.”

In his seminal book Flow, renowned psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi presents an in-depth exploration of the concept of flow, where individuals experience optimal engagement and enjoyment in their activities. Like a skilled surfer riding the crest of a wave, those in flow become fully absorbed and energized by their pursuits, achieving peak performance and profound satisfaction.

The book provides valuable techniques, backed by thorough research and real-life illustrations, to cultivate the state of flow and reach peak performance in different areas of life. In fact, Csikszentmihalyi’s groundbreaking work on the flow state has been a key reference in several of the books on productivity featured on this list.

Order Flow on Amazon

8. Getting Things Done by David Allen

“If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.”

No list of the best productivity books would be complete without featuring the works of productivity guru David Allen. While any of his books offer a wealth of productivity hacks, Getting Things Done stands out as the most influential and valuable resource.

Allen’s book offers a comprehensive framework for organizing tasks, reducing stress, and achieving greater efficiency. Allen’s methodology, known as GTD, provides a step-by-step approach to managing workflow, capturing ideas, and maintaining a clear and stress-free mind.

If you’d like to boost your productivity, improve time management, and excel in your business endeavors, make sure to grab a copy of Getting Things Done today.

Order Getting Things Done on Amazon

Related: 21 Movies Every Entrepreneur Should Watch for Inspiration

9. Mini Habits by Stephen Guise

“Be the person with embarrassing goals and impressive results instead of one of the many people with impressive goals and embarrassing results.”

Stephen Guise’s Mini Habits is a productivity book that introduces a simple yet powerful strategy for creating positive changes in one’s life. The core concept revolves around the idea of setting extremely small, manageable habits, or “mini habits,” to overcome resistance and build momentum towards bigger goals.

Guise argues that traditional approaches to forming habits often fail because they require significant willpower and can be overwhelming. Instead, he proposes setting mini habits that are so easy to do that they almost feel effortless. By committing to these mini habits consistently, they become ingrained in our routines, leading to lasting behavioral changes.

With relatable examples and practical advice, Mini Habits is one of the best books on productivity for entrepreneurs and content creators.

If you enjoyed Atomic Habits (see #1), you’ll find Stephen Guise’s Mini Habits to be a fantastic addition to your reading list of business books.

10. Deep Work by Cal Newport

“If you don’t produce, you won’t thrive—no matter how skilled or talented you are.”

Deep Work is easily one of the best productivity books for entrepreneurs and business owners to improve focus, productivity, and business success.

In the book, bestselling author and productivity expert Cal Newport advocates for the importance of focused, undistracted work in today’s hyper-connected world. Newport argues that deep work, which refers to the ability to concentrate without interruption on cognitively demanding tasks, is becoming increasingly rare but is essential for producing high-quality work and achieving professional success.

Throughout the book, Newport provides actionable strategies for cultivating deep work habits. He also shares real-life examples of individuals and organizations that have embraced deep work principles and achieved remarkable success as a result.

In simple terms, Deep Work encourages entrepreneurs and creators to reevaluate their work habits, prioritize depth over shallowness, and unlock their full potential in an increasingly distracted world.

Order Deep Work on Amazon

11. Drive by Daniel Pink

“Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.”

For entrepreneurs in pursuit of motivation, Daniel Pink’s bestseller Drive offers all the necessary answers.

Drawing and expanding on insights revealed by two scientists, Harry F. Harlow and Edward Deci, Pink offers us a fresh perspective on human motivation.

Throughout the book, Pink intertwines scientific research, engaging stories, and practical examples to emphasize his points. From innovative companies that have successfully implemented these principles to individuals who have found fulfilment by embracing intrinsic motivation, Drive offers a compelling case for adopting a new approach to motivation in both our personal and professional lives.

Order Drive on Amazon

Related: 125 Inspirational Quotes for Entrepreneurs to Stay Motivated

12. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

In The Compound Effect, bestselling author and entrepreneur Darren Hardy highlights how making small, positive changes and maintaining consistent habits can create a profound impact on one’s life.

The core concept of the compound effect is that small actions, when consistently applied, will compound and build momentum, ultimately resulting in substantial improvements in various aspects of life, including personal growth, relationships, health, and finances.

The book contains practical examples and relatable stories that demonstrate how the compound effect works and how it can lead to exponential growth and success in all areas of life.

Order The Compound Effect on Amazon

Final Thoughts

There you have it — the 12 best productivity books for entrepreneurs. These aforementioned books offer a treasure trove of lessons and insights that can change the way you approach work.

From mastering time management to harnessing the power of habits and unlocking your creative potential, these books provide valuable tools and strategies to elevate your productivity and achieve greater success.

Did I leave out any of your favorite productivity books? Please share your favorite productivity book in the comments section below. I’d love to hear your recommendations.

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Sandeep Mallya
Sandeep Mallya is the Founder & CEO of Startup Cafe Digital, an award-winning digital marketing agency in Bangalore, India. He is an active member of the startup community, having worked with several early-stage startups and accelerators. 99signals is Sandeep's online marketing blog. The blog currently features 200+ in-depth articles, how-to guides, and hacks on a wide range of online marketing topics such as SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, blogging, and more.


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