13 Best Time Management Books for 2024

Best time management books
Jacob UdodovJacob U. & Ksenia M.
03 Jan 2024
11 min read
Table of Contents

    Time management is a science.

    Millions of people want to stop procrastinating, save time, increase productivity, and accomplish their most important tasks. However, not everyone manages to change their habits and adapt their behavior to see the change. And not all of them take advantage of the top digital project management tools.

    Often, what separates us from changing our lives is the lack of guidance or structure. That is where the time management books come in. They provide all the necessary theory along with actionable advice and exercises to practice new knowledge. For example, what you learn in books about productivity can be applied in software for work and also in collaboration tools for remote teams you can apply skills about working with a team while working remotely.

    If you find yourself struggling with time management or are curious how successful people stay productive, then our list of 13 best time management books is just what you need. Each book offers a different take on productivity and doing more in less time.

    Check them out to find the best one for you!

    #1 Getting Things Done by David Allen

    Getting things done book cover

    David Allen is considered the founder of productivity. His book Getting Things Done was first written in 2001 and later revised to fit the new realities. With this system, you can also enhance the productive effect of scheduling with accurate schedule planner.

    The book is a guide to stress-free productivity. It addresses how we have too many projects to manage with circumstances changing all the time and offers a straightforward system called Mind Sweep to organize work and life. It helps define what it means when something is ‘done’ and what ‘doing it’ looks like.

    With a clear structure for all incoming tasks and projects, we can free our minds from constant worrying and get on with the most pressing tasks.

    Pair knowledge from David’s book with smart task prioritization, and you will never have to apologize to your boss for a missed deadline.

    Quotes from the book:

    “The big secret to efficient creative and productive thinking and action is to put the right things in your focus at the right time.”

    “The sense of anxiety and guilt doesn’t come from having too much to do; it’s the automatic result of breaking agreements with yourself.”

    #2 No Excuses! The Power of Self-discipline by Brian Tracy

    No excuses by Brian Tracy book cover

    This time management book is one of the best sellers for a good reason. It dismantles the myth that successful people are necessarily lucky or super talented. It talks about the power of self-discipline that any person can develop. The author is an example of this himself! Coming from a humble background, Brian managed to create a business empire and is now famous worldwide. Healthy and proper self-discipline and setting the right goals in cool planner online is about you after this book.

    Read this masterpiece to understand that you don’t need to be born into wealth and privilege to achieve what you want. The book will teach you how to stop the addiction to immediate gratification and avoid the path of the least resistance for the sake of long-term benefits.

    Speaking of successful people though, some inspiration won’t hurt. So, if you’d like to learn more about those who “made it”, check out our articles on ways that successful people plan their days and keep their daily routines healthy and productive.

    Quotes from the book:

    “If it’s to be, it’s up to me!”

    “You can make excuses or you can make progress. You choose.”

    #3 Master Your Time, Master Your Life by Brian Tracy

    Master your time Master your life by Brian Tracy book cover

    This one is effectively a textbook with a system for leveling up. It gives clear instructions to enable readers to achieve more in a shorter time in all areas of their lives. It offers a way of balance for us to not compromise what we want because of time scarcity, showing how we can have it all. No matter how cramped our online to-do lists are and how much you don’t want to open your own time planning app.

    Quote from the book:

    “Discipline yourself to do only those tasks that enrich and enhance your life and work and that give you a feeling of forward motion toward achieving the things you want and becoming the kind of person you want to be. This simple strategy will enable you to double and triple your productivity, performance, and results in the months and years ahead.”

    #4 Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

    Deep work by Cal Newport book cover

    Cal Newport popularized the term ‘deep work’ and urged everyone to shift from shallow to deep working.

    The author argues that modern employees spend most of their workday battling distractions or doing busy work. And there is much truth to that statement! How often do we check our phones, pop out for a coffee, get a message from a colleague, or look at our online time planner without actually doing something? The answer is: too often.

    This is one of the best books to read if you feel constantly busy, but hardly anything important gets done. It teaches readers to fight distractions and maintain their concentration and gives them the tools to change inside and out. And if you need that extra boost of motivation, the book features aspirational people and their working habits.

    Tip: If you work from home and struggle with focus, perhaps a little home office reorganization will help you make a mindset shift.

    Quotes from the book:

    “Efforts to deepen your focus will struggle if you don’t simultaneously wean your mind from a dependence on distraction.”

    “Clarity about what matters provides clarity about what does not.”

    #5 The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma and Adam Verner

    The 5AM Club by Robin Sharma book cover

    By now, we have all heard that the first few hours in the morning have an enormous impact on the rest of the day and our lives in general.

    The time management sensation by Sharma and Verner was introduced a couple of decades ago and is still very relevant today. The concept has been adopted by countless athletes, businesspeople, celebrities and others we tend to admire.

    Nobody really likes to wake up super early. Yet, those first hours when most people still sleep is arguably the best time to be awake and grind, crossing out tasks from your online calendar planner. There are no messages and calls. The streets are quiet. It is only you and your goals.

    If you want to take back control and join the early risers club, then grab this book right now! It features many tips and methods to start and maintain the 5 am routine. Carve out some time in the best digital daily planner and read it. And the way it is written is somewhat entertaining, too – it is presented as a story of two strangers who meet someone successful that becomes their mentor.

    Quotes from the book:

    “All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.”

    “Limitation is nothing more than a mentality that too many good people practice daily until they believe it’s reality.”

    “The smallest of implementations is always worth more than the grandest of intentions.”

    #6 Atomic Habits by James Clear

    Atomic Habits by James Clear book cover

    Many time management books offer a distinct system of a life-altering routine that readers should adopt. James Clear takes a different approach and talks about how little habits shape who we become. The idea is that it’s not about an abrupt change but rather small things that we do here and there, the decisions we make daily.

    At Bordio, we love this book because it is practical and universal. The methods and lifehacks will work even for busy readers who are reluctant to make big changes. It’s all about waking up a few minutes early, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, finishing the task right away if it takes 2 minutes or less, instead of keeping it in your week planner for a month. The chapters are spritzed with psychology, neuroscience, and inspiring stories of athletes and CEOs.

    Tip: We’ve made a list of good habits’ examples for anyone who wants to get new, fresh habit ideas and be inspired.

    Quotes from the book:

    “Success is the product of daily habits—not once-in-a-lifetime transformations.”

    “Getting 1 percent better every day counts for a lot in the long-run.”

    #7 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam

    168 hours Laura Vanderkam book cover

    There are 168 hours in a week and, according to Laura Vanderkam, it is much more than we think. In today’s busy world, we either give up on our dreams and hobbies or make sacrifices. But there is a better way. And it is all about rearranging the daily planner schedule, dropping unfulfilling jobs, and spending less time on unavoidable chores.

    Vanderkam does not promise a miracle, but if you are interested in feeling happier and fitting more in your days without a breakdown, then this book is what you need.

    Quotes from the book:

    “The majority of people who claim to be overworked work less than they think they do, and many of the ways people work are extraordinarily inefficient. Calling something “work” does not make it important or necessary.”

    “When you focus on what you do best, on what brings you the most satisfaction, there is plenty of space for everything.”

    #8 The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch

    The 80/20 principle by Richard Koch book cover

    There is a big difference between doing a lot and accomplishing a lot. The time management book by Richard Koch largely centers around the idea that 80% of results come from 20% of the workload. He advocates extreme prioritization of the top activities that generate the most value and outcome.

    The book features many examples from history and studies that showcase that we really don’t need to stay busy in order to get where we want. You will find tips for both business and personal lives. Read to learn how to be more efficient, understand what is important and what is not, and reclaim more time.

    Quotes from the book:

    “It is not shortage of time that should worry us, but the tendency for the majority of time to be spent in low-quality ways.”

    “Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.”

    #9 The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

    7 Habits of highlt effective people by Franklin Covey book cover

    Stephen Covey shares the seven habits typical for effective people. But it does more than that! The book goes deep into psychology and covers how we are conditioned to think a certain way that stops us from greatness. It gives us food for thought and encourages us to change how we see the world and ourselves. It is a guide to transforming our lives with minor changes to the routine and a significant paradigm shift.

    If you’re curious, here are the 7 habits that Stephen talks about (though we still strongly recommend reading the entire book!):

    1. Be proactive
    2. Begin with the end in mind
    3. Put first things first
    4. Think win/win
    5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood
    6. Synergize
    7. Sharpen the saw

    Quotes from the book:

    “Leadership is communicating others’ worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves.”

    “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are—or, as we are conditioned to see it.”

    #10 The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential by Leo Babauta

    The power of less Leo Babuta book cover

    We work on too many wrong things that steal time and add stress but little value. If you decide that enough is enough but unsure where to start, look no further! The hit by Leo Babauta teaches us to manage our lives better and eliminate the clutter. It talks about changing behavior by creating productive habits and limiting what we spend time on.

    After reading, you will know how to achieve more with the same time and resources that you already have.

    Quotes from the book:

    “Doing a huge number of things doesn’t mean you’re getting anything meaningful done.”

    “Principle 1: By setting limitations, we must choose the essential. So in everything you do, learn to set limitations. Principle 2: By choosing the essential, we create great impact with minimal resources. Always choose the essential to maximize your time and energy.”

    #11 Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy

    Eat that frog by Brian Tracy book cover

    The frog is the most crucial task of the day. Tracy argues that there is not much point in delaying this task, as it only demotivates us and provokes procrastination.

    In the book, you will find a detailed guide to upgrading your time management game. Brian shares techniques, like the Pareto principle, that help us do more. He also encourages us to go on a deep self-improvement journey by upgrading our skills, identifying the weak spots, and utilizing our unique talents.

    Quotes from the book:

    “Your ‘frog’ is your biggest, most important job, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.”

    “The difference between high performers and low performers is largely determined by what they choose to procrastinate on.”

    #12 The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

    The 4 Hour Work week by Tim Ferriss book cover

    Who doesn’t want to work less but have more time and money?

    Timothy shares how we can grow our income, drop unnecessary projects and jobs from our schedule, travel more and live our dream lifestyle. Ferriss explores an alternative take on work and retirement, where we go full-throttle for a short period of time and take longer breaks in between, instead of working and then retiring.

    The book has brilliant ideas but may come across as somewhat problematic nowadays. One of its key recommendations is to outsource the work to other people where the labor cost is lower. But as long as you don’t consider taking advantage of someone else on your way to freedom, this time management book is very inspiring.

    Quotes from the book:

    “What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.”

    “Focus on being productive instead of busy.”

    “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”

    #13 The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

    The one thing by Gary Keller book cover

    The book is praise to focusing on just one thing. It shows with theory and examples the benefits of focusing on one idea at a time. By limiting our focus, we produce better outcomes than if we spread ourselves across many different projects. The book is jam-packed with great tips on taking control of our lives and removing the blocks to our success.

    If you are a project manager or juggle several businesses, you know how hard it is to focus on just one thing. But if we think of how many times we tried to do all at once, only to have to fast-track our projects because we were running out of time and resources, then it becomes clear that Keller’s and Papasan’s idea is worth a shot.

    Quotes from the book:

    “It is not that we have too little time to do all the things we need to do, it is that we feel the need to do too many things in the time we have.”

    “You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects.”

    “The majority of what you want will come from the minority of what you do.”

    Final thoughts on time management books

    We hope that you found a couple of interesting books to get started on your time management journey. Do not let a bad habit stop you from improving. There is no point in waiting to break free from the limiting mindset. Get some of these time management books today and launch your self-improvement right away.

    These books will give you a new perspective and help shape a better future with many unique tools and techniques.

    Perhaps, once you’ve upgraded your skills of dealing with time, you’ll have a few free hours in the week to read productivity books or project management books from our curated lists.

    And remember: the best time management books are the ones which we apply in our lives.