5 books to help you save time and be more productive

I’m often asked by the managers I work with on advice and tips to help them be more organised, save time and be productive.

If this sounds like you then don’t worry. Help is at hand.

Here are my top five books to help you develop tools and techniques to get things back on track:

#1 How to be a productivity ninja – by Graham Allcott

I can’t suggest this book enough. I first read this a couple of years ago and the approaches outlined have, without a doubt, been pivotal in taking my organisation and productivity to even greater heights. It’s an engaging and easy read. In fact, it’s so useful that I’ve lent it to various friends and colleagues and always, always struggled to get it back. It’s also worth checking out the Think Productive blog (Think Productive is the company Graham set up in 2009).

#2 Tools of titans – by Tim Ferriss

You may have heard of Tim via his hugely popular podcast. His book, released in 2016, is a digest of every interview he’s done. Broken down in to three sections (‘healthy’, ‘wealthy’ and ‘wise’), it’s filled with great advice and tools to help you become more organised, feel more in control and boost your productivity. Don’t let the size of the book fool you. Whilst it is huge, it is such an engaging read that you’ll whizz through it in no time. It’s also cleverly designed in a way that you can just flip to bits that interest you.

#3 168 hours: You have more time than you think – by Laura Vanderkam

Laura writes in a really accessible and engaging way making this book an absolute joy to read. I read it in a couple of days. The premise of the book is that time is a great equaliser. We all have 168 hours per week. Doesn’t matter if we’re rich, poor, old, young etc. Key is what how you spend those 168 hours. This book will make you rethink how you use each and every hour, including doing a bit of a detox and getting rid of tasks and duties that others are better off doing. I also subscribe to Laura’s website, as she regularly sends out great tips.

#4 The seven habits of highly effective people – by Stephen R Covey

Whilst it’s one of the habits that focuses on how you organise your time, it’s when all the habits are used together that you hit the sweet spot. You might already be familiar with the four-box model that you see here. The thinking behind this model is outlined in the book. It transformed my thinking about how I best spend my time. So much so, that it meant I was able to hold down more than one management job at the same time (covering for colleagues maternity or illness) and not go crazy!

#5 Getting things done: The art of stress free productivity – by David Allen

Affectionately referred to as GTD by afficionados of David Allen’s approach, this is one of the original books and still one of the best. This book is filled with absolute gems. But be warned, David demands nothing less than you have an absolute audit on everything you’ve got going on (Graham Allcott’s book asks that you do the same). That short-term pain is worth it, though, for the dividends you will absolutely reap. David’s approach will help you better manage your workflow and projects. You can follow the GTD blog and podcast here.

I hope you found that useful. Are there any books, blogs or podcasts you’d suggest to other followers? Post your suggestions in the comments box below.

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