Productivity And Self-improvement Books

Productivity And Self-improvement Books

Welcome to a personally selected collection of books on productivity and self-improvement which are full of practical solutions on problems like procrastination, habit building, focus and motivation, time-management, self-care, efficiency and mind-clarity. The reads that you will find here can help you put the foundation of your personal support systems, which can enhance your focus, minimize time wasters, and improve effectiveness and productivity both in your work and generally in life. If you’re looking to expand your library of books this year, you can’t go wrong with any of these titles.

 ♦Personal development   ♦Career development   ♦Minimalism


Personal development books

The Productivity Project – This book gives awesome practical tips and advice on topics like habits, procrastination, and efficiency and is a great starting point for becoming more productive.

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity – “Our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential.”

Mindset – “Talent isn’t passed down in the genes; it’s passed down in the mindset.”

The Alchemist – An inspiring and beautifully written tale, with nuggets of wisdom that spread the message that you should never give up on your dreams because sometimes they are much closer than you think.

A New Earth – “The primary course of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.”

How to Win Friends & Influence People – This book carries a strong message of “being the change you want to see in the world” by teaching you how to become a likable person, handle your relationships well and win others over.

The Power of Habit – Habits shape our behavior much more than we realize. The habits we have determine our progress in life but, luckily, if we understand the way habits are formed we can change them for good.

The Compound Effect  – By Darren Hardy – Seemingly insignificant and small actions taken daily have the power to accumulate massive results over a period of time.  The book shares tactics and systems which set the foundation to your actions and help you focus on your stronger life objectives.

Living the 80/20 Way: Work Less, Worry Less, Succeed More, Enjoy More – The 80:20 Principal, also known as Pareto Principle, is more than relevant in today’s age where information and work overload is the new modern. In this book, you will learn how just 20% of your actions can deliver 80% of the results if you focus on the things that are really important.

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life Before 8AM  - By Hal Elrod – The S.A.V.E.R.S. principle stated in this book, which is all about building morning habits (Silence, Affirmation, Visualization, Exercise, Reading and Scribble (journal) reveals the bliss of the morning hours where we can get time to enhance our mental clarity, sharpen our focus, clear our vision and set into productivity state for the rest of our day.

Eat That Frog – “eat that frog” is a metaphor for taking up the most challenging task of your day first. The book helps you deal with procrastination, prioritize and get the right things done.

Deep Work – This book speaks about resisting the temptation of distractions and remaining concentrated.  If you struggle with the 8-second, less than a goldfish attention span, this book will give you 4 rules to help you focus more than ever before.

Don’t Touch This Book! – If you are someone who is absolutely not interested in secrets, who is least bothered about success and health, and who has never felt the wish for internal and external wealth, then it will certainly be better if you don’t touch this book. If you do, it’s at your own risk.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – The book gives guidance about both personal and professional effectiveness and suggests 7 life-changing habits, which, if adopted well, can lead your way to success.

The Personal Workbook:

Getting Results the Agile Way: A Personal Results System for Work and Life, by J.D. Meier – “A lot of people wait for their moment of inspiration before they start, but what they don’t realize is that simply by starting, the inspiration can follow.”

Brain Rules – What exactly do sleep and stress do to our brains? Why is multi-tasking a myth? Is it true that men and women have different brains? This book speaks about it all. If you understand how the brain works, you will be able to better manage yours.

The Happiness Advantage – This book looks at happiness in an angle that other positive psychology books don’t and simplifies the hippie-dippy idea of happiness down to a very practical level. It basically offers practical things that you can do every day in order to become happier and achieve more.

Decisive – A book about decision making that focuses on how to make better and smarter decisions and what gets in the way to make the right one.

Better Than Before – The Gretchen Rubin’s book on habits is an excellent resource for reflecting on our personality and preferences before trying to make or break a habit. Your unsatisfying experience trying to wake up early to be more productive is explained there.

The Ultimate Book of Famous Quotations: 10,000 Famous Quotations to Inspire, Motivate, Comfort and Cheer You!  – this book is just a big collection of quotes which you can turn when you need a good dose of inspiration.

Choose Yourself by James Altucher – The book points the real path to success, which is to stop relying on your boss, corporations, the government or someone else for help and to forge your own path by focusing on yourself.

The 4 Hour Body – “For a long time, I’ve known that the key to getting started down the path of being remarkable in anything is to simply act with the intention of being remarkable.” Tim Ferriss

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – “…Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it.”

Life Hacker: The Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, and Better – a book full with hacks, tips and tricks that help you to get things done faster and more efficiently. No philosophy here, only straight up tools to get more out of your computer and your smartphone, make your life more automated.

Insane Productivity for Lazy People: A Complete System for Becoming Incredibly Productive – an entertaining read that has plenty of examples and insights about what can destroy or boost productivity. The book encourages you to implement simple productivity tools that can allow you to do more work in a day than most people can do in a week.

One Year to an Organized Life: From Your Closets to Your Finances, the Week-by-Week Guide to Getting Completely Organized for Good, by Regina Leeds – This book takes you on a yearlong journey of organization with baby steps. The author helps you break down tasks into categories and assign them to a specific month. Each month has weekly assignments which help you build routines over time and make small progress each day.

What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings and Life, by Laura Vanderkam – A very easy and enjoyable read that is filled with useful nuggets of information which will help you if you struggle with getting things done in the morning.

Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day – This book is ideal for anyone who wants to take control of their time and attention. The author offers tons of tips and tricks on how to stay focused, energized, and time efficient.

To-Do List Formula: A Stress-Free Guide To Creating To-Do Lists That Work! – This book contains of Step-By-Step instructions for creating the perfect To-Do list. It explains exactly how to keep your To-Do list system running, as well as the pros and the cons of paper vs online To-Do lists.

The Productive Person: A How-to Guide Book Filled with Productivity Hacks & Daily Schedules for Entrepreneurs, Students or Anyone Struggling with Work-Life Balance, by Chandler Bolt, James Roper and Jamie Buck – A great book for people who work for themselves or in a company where they are allowed to manage their own schedules every day and always feel there isn’t enough time to get everything done.

Profit from the Positive: Proven Leadership Strategies to Boost Productivity and Transform Your Business, by Margaret Greenberg, and Senia Maymin – a fantastic blend of top business practices and concepts of positive psychology, this book is well-structured with solid takeaways, reflection questions, tools, and summaries that will keep you busy for long.


 ♦Personal development   ♦Career development   ♦Minimalism

Career development books

The success Principles – “What others think of you is none of your business.”

Confessions of a Recruiting Director: The Insider’s Guide to Landing Your First Job – when it comes to getting jobs and internships, this book gives a good insight about the job-hunting process and explains how to stand out. The author goes through writing résumés and cover letters and provides a fairly large index full of examples. He also covers topics like interviews, how to impress gatekeepers, how to follow up an interview the right way, and more.

Your Money: The Missing Manual – Setting goals, budgeting, getting out of debt, making money, and investing – this book provides a roadmap of how you can begin to accumulate wealth based on basic principles of good money management.

Rich dad Poor Dad – Although controversial and often heavily criticized, this book gives a different perspective on how we think about money. It speaks about assets and liabilities and helps you develop the mindset and financial knowledge on how to get out of the rat race.

The 4-Hour Work Week – This is a lifestyle design book that goes around the idea to pursue the life we want, and set up the necessary systems to make it work. It gives lots of outside-the-box concepts and new-age thinking that has nothing to do with the traditional 9-5 office.

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days – If you need to decide on a big opportunity, solve a problem, or clear out an idea, or just needs to get answers today, this book offers a transformative formula for testing ideas withing a week’s time.

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time – A book full of engaging stories and real-world examples that provide practical solutions for solving what seem like intractable and complicated work problems.

 ♦Personal development   ♦Career development   ♦Minimalism

Minimalism books

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – If you struggle with having too many interests, like me, then this book will show you how not to fall prey to the temptation to try and tackle them all at once and have more focus on what’s important.

The One Thing by Gary Keller – this book is about simplicity. It explains that doing less is actually more effective than doing many things at once, and will allow you to reach “success” much faster.

Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – This book takes you through a step-by-step process of organizing and storing your belongings, simplifying your living space and making it more peaceful and clean place.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth  that is an antidote to the “let’s-all-feel-good” mindset that has infected modern society.

168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think – a fun and inspiring, practical guide that can help you to figure out how to get the most out of you time and your live.

The Joy Of Less – A book about minimalism, but not rigid “100 items” minimalism. It’s about having enough and also about the value of space.


Pssst… want to get a book for free? Go to Audible 

If you love listening to inspiring books while traveling, relaxing or commuting, Audible can make it super easy for you to literally “gulp” a new book in a few hours.

Who am I to talk about productivity and self-help books?

I have been writing about productivity and self-improvement on this blog and for over 10 years before that, I was reading (and listening to) various books on personal development, productivity, and self-improvement topics. That is a lot of time and a lot of books and on this page, I share my personal collection of recommended reads.

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A Little Note & Thanks

Note:This page is a constantly growing collection of books on productivity and self-improvement and I suggest you bookmark it so you don’t miss any new book suggestions. 

Thanks: If you see a book you like and you purchase it using the links on this site, LiSt Contents receives a very small commission at no extra cost to you.

(Disclosure:Amazon images and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates. As an Amazon Associate, LiSt Contents earns a commission on qualifying purchases.)


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