Table of Contents Hide
- How The Best Time Management Books Have Selected?
- 8 Best Time Management Books
- 1. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
- 2. The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months
- 3. Manage Your Day-To-Day
- 5. Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
- 6. Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day
- 7. The 80/20 Principle: Achieve More with Less
- 8. 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management
- What is next?
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If you want to manage your time better, you must consider reading a good time management books. It is an effective route to get the required knowledge in an organized way. Also, get a better perspective on time management by reading the writer’s experiences and relating them to your own life.
There are more than one hundred books on time management. Each book contains valuable insights, tips, tricks, and solutions to time management issues from different viewpoints. How to find the right book that fits your need?
One effective way to select the right one is to go for best-selling books. They are good to go because thousands of people find the books helpful in improving their time management skills. They are likely to help you too.
In this article, you’ll get a list of eight best time management books that are best-selling and have received thousands of reviews in online stores. For each book, you will get a brief summary and main insights, so you can decide if a particular book is worth your time or not.
How The Best Time Management Books Have Selected?
Before you go for a book from the list, let’s give you an idea of how the books have been picked as the best time management books. Here are a few things considered to assemble the list and they are –
- Time management related: There are hundreds of articles available giving lists on time management books. But, most of the lists are mixed with productivity and other personal development books that will somehow be helpful in time management. However, in this article, you will get a list of books that are only dedicated to time management topics. Even in the description of each book, you’ll find key insights on time management, which means what time management lessons you’ll learn after reading a particular book.
- Customer reviews: Two popular online bookstores have been considered to make the book list – Amazon and Goodreads. The books that have received 1000+ ratings and 4.5 + stars on Amazon have been selected for the list. In addition, the books were picked from the time management genre on amazon. The book list is organized based on amazon review numbers. The book that gets more reviews is placed at the top of the list, and the following books are positioned according to descending review numbers.
- Practical perspective: Instead of considering a philosophical viewpoint, the book list of this article included books that focus on time management tips and techniques. So that you can utilize them in your day-to-day life and make life more manageable.
The ‘key points on time management’ section of each book description implied which time management skills you will learn from the book.
8 Best Time Management Books
Each book description includes an ideal audience, a brief summary, and key points on time management. Also includes an approximate review and rating number. Let’s delve into the book descriptions.
1. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
Ideal for: Overworked and overcommitted individuals:
- who are constantly busy but feel less accomplished in their life,
- who feels time inadequacy because of distractions and social responsibilities,
- who are having a hard time distinguishing their priorities.
Although the book was published in 2014, it is still in a top-selling position in the time management category. In this book, the author, Greg McKeown, emphasizes vital-few tasks over trivial-many tasks and doing less work but in a better way.
Instead of remaining busy getting more things done, we should focus on getting the right things done. This can be done when we say ‘no’ to non-essential work. Consequently, we can apply maximum time and energy to the tasks that matter to us.
However, before you start the process of essentialism, you need to develop the essentialist mindset. It involves three attitudes – Choose, Discern and Trade-off.
The writer outlined a three-part model to help you become an essentialist.
- Explore: distinguish essential few tasks from numerous non-essential tasks.
- Eliminate: exclude non-essential tasks, responsibilities, and distractions.
- Execute: do essential works in a better way and effortlessly.
Key points on time management:
- Discern essential and non-essential tasks. Prioritize essential tasks and eliminate distractions.
- Learn to say ‘no’ to less important tasks and plan for essential tasks carefully.
- Give more focus on the tasks that truly matter and will bring maximum results.
- Remove obstacles and create a smooth path to execute essential tasks successfully.
2. The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months
- Individuals who want to get more accomplished in less time
- business leaders who strive for faster execution and focused work,
- Entrepreneurs who want to turn their ideas into reality.
One of the best-selling books on time management. A groundbreaking book where the authors, Brian Moran and Michael Lennington, emphasize compressing planning and execution into 12-week cycles instead of 12 months.
Why is 12-week an effective way of planning? Because it is –
- You’ll get things done based on a sense of urgency,
- A 12 weeks timetable is more predictable than a 12-month plan.
- In a shorter time frame, you have a chance to reflect and make necessary changes.
- It is a more focused approach because there are few objectives to get accomplished,
- The plan is more structured, as you need to eliminate nonessential tasks to get things done in the given time frame.
The book is divided into two parts.
- Part 1: Understanding the fundamentals of the process, and
- Part 2: Executing the method in the right way.
The execution system of the 12 Week Year is built around 3 principles, 5 disciplines, and 1 cycle.
3 Core principles are:
- Accountability – be accountable for your actions and results, regardless of the circumstances.
- Commitment – doing whatever it takes to keep the promises you’ve made to yourself and to others. Be committed and avoid excuses.
- Greatness in the Moment – immerse yourself fully in the present.
5 Disciplines are:
- Vision – Having a clear goal,
- Planning – Breaking the goal in actionable steps,
- Process Control – Utilize tools and systems to stay on track,
- Measurement – Measure your progress,
- Time Use – manage time effectively.
Key points on time management:
- A clear goal will help you be focused on work
- A compressed plan will breed a sense of urgency to get things done.
- A solid plan based on your vision will increase the chance of reaching your goal.
- Measurement of your progress will keep you on track and let you manage your time efficiently.
3. Manage Your Day-To-Day
- Overextended and over-distracted people,
- Creative people who want to get more enjoyment in their work
- Individuals who are interested in being productive at work.
The book is a compilation of ideas, tips, and wisdom from 20 seasoned thought leaders and creative minds across various fields. It offers readers the toolkit to tackle interruptions and information overload challenges they face in modern society.
The book brings together the insights of four essential skills for success.
- Building a rock-solid routine
- Finding focus in a distracted world
- Taming your tools
- Sharpening your creative mind
Since every person is different, one approach won’t work for all. In this book the experts shared their wisdom and best practices for time management and productivity. So that you can utilize the insights to recalibrate your workflow and unleash your creativity. You can develop a system for you by combining the strategies based on your strengths, weakness, habits, and preferences.
Key points on time management:
- Develop an effective routine based on your body’s biological clock (circadian rhythm).
- Be focused on maximum efficiency.
- Practice single-tasking and avoid distractions.
- Manage technology and social media in the right way. Don’t let it control your life.
- Hone your creative mind by relaxing and adapting a new hobby.
4. The Lazy Genius Way: Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn’t, and Get Stuff Done
- Working parents trying to establish a work-life balance.
- Overcommitted moms yearning for a simplified life.
- Perfectionists who want to live a stress-free domestic life.
August 2021, it is not too long since the book was published. Within a short period of time, it received more than 3000 reviews on Amazon.
The book is not about doing more or less or doing things perfectly, it is about being genius for the things that matter and being lazy about the things that does not. Author, Kendra Adachi, emphasizes living a meaningful life and gives practical strategies to transform our lives. She shared 13 genius principles to make our daily life more manageable and live a stress-free domestic life. The 13 principles are:
- Decide once: Avoid making decisions repetitively for buying gifts, planning meals, cleaning the house, and creating traditions.
- Start small: Identify an area in your life that matters but is often overlooked. Choose a small step to move forward in that area and do it every day.
- Ask the magic question: What can I do now to make life easier later? This magic question will guide you to do only necessary things before they become urgent.
- Live in the season: Observe nature’s seasons and be present in the seasons. You will get the direction to do the next right thing.
- Build routines: Create a routine for the tasks you have to do throughout the day, but start with the tasks that matter to you and have a high impact on your life.
- Set house rules: Create a house rule by including other family members. There is no one rule that will work for every house. However, the best rule will come out after working together as a team.
- Put everything in order: When you put everything in the right place, you can recognize clutter easily and develop a better stuff habit.
- Let people in: Do not cringe to invite someone over or ask for help. Think beyond friendship. Allow people into your everyday life without feeling guilty for the mess.
- Batch it: Do the same kind of tasks all at once. Look for ways if batching can help you reduce repetitive tasks.
- Essentialize: Determine what is essential to living a meaningful life. Eliminate distractions and clutters that get in the way. Focus only on the essentials.
- Go in the right order: Handle your to-do list in the order – what matters, calm the crazy, and trust yourself.
- Schedule rest: If you want to do what matters, you should embrace self-care. Mindfulness is one of the ways of self-care. Practice it regularly.
- Be kind to yourself: You are worthy of kindness and deserve a pat for the accomplishments that matter to you. Never cringe to celebrate it or reward yourself.
Key points on time management:
- Set a routine and do high-value tasks first. You will feel satisfied with getting meaningful things done.
- Declutter your home and put things in order. You can save a lot of time and energy by doing so.
- Practice batching method. You can do more things in a short time.
- Identify essential tasks that matter most. You can easily cast out non-essential things and manage things in a better way.
5. Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
- Business leaders who are struggling with complex projects,
- Companies that strive to create high-performing teams,
- Individuals who want to get more done in less time.
In 1993, Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber invented the Scrum framework to simplify the product creation system in the tech industry. Soon this ground-breaking system gained enormous popularity and became a default system for tech companies to create products and software.
Because of wide acceptance in the tech industry, Jeff Sutherland decided to disclose the method for use in general business practice. This made him write the book “Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time.”
In this book, Jeff Sutherland and JJ Sutherland introduced the scrum management system to help companies develop high-performing teams and get more done in less time. It can transform the way companies work, create, plan, and think.
The system can be applied in every industry, from the automobile to the healthcare industry and judicial decision-making to advanced aerial combat. The idea of the scrum system incorporates continuous improvement based on customer feedback and adjusting goals accordingly instead of waiting for a project to finish.
The book is divided into Nine Chapters and an Appendix regarding scrum implementation. The process involves six steps:
- Fill the 3 main roles – Product owner (PO), Scrum Master (SM), Team (3-9 people)
- Create product backlog – Create a roadmap for a single product based on priorities.
- Sprint planning meeting – Conduct a team meeting to plan a sprint that can be completed within one month
- Sprint cycle – Once a sprint cycle is accomplished move on to the next one.
- Sprint review/demo – show up the progress of the sprint in the sprint meeting
- Sprint retrospective – Reflect on team performance and find ways to improve the process.
Key points on time management:
- Avoid multitasking and do one thing at a time.
- Prioritize based on 80/20, revenue, and customer’s requisition
- Plan judiciously instead of focusing on fantasy
- Break down a project into small chunks and actionable items.
- Working long hours results in fatigue which leads to mistakes.
- Happiness enables teams to be more creative and make smart decisions.
6. Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day
- Professionals who feel exhausted because of the busyness of modern life,
- Tech enthusiasts who feel like their devices are controlling them,
- Individuals who are striving for a meaningful life.
Released in 2018 and became a classic in the time management genre within a few years. Two tech nerds, Jake Zeratsky and John Knapp, introduced a four-step daily framework that anyone can apply to design their days systemically.
Instead of adding more to-dos in a day, the book suggests making time for the things that truly matter to you. The book includes 87 effective tactics in the four-step framework. The four steps are –
- Highlight: Choose a single activity and prioritize it for the day.
- Laser: Be laser-focused on that activity by eliminating distractions.
- Energize: recharge your body and mind by taking a balanced diet, exercising, and getting good sleep.
- Reflect: Evaluate your days and take steps to improve your system.
However, the four-step framework is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It could be modified according to one’s habits and lifestyle. ‘Make Time’ is not a book of productivity, nor does it suggests bringing extreme changes in your life. Instead, it recommends making a few lifestyle changes to free yourself from constant busyness and distraction. As a result, you will have more time and energy to devote to the things you care about.
Key points of time management:
- Goal setting: Chose a highlight based on urgency, satisfaction, and joy. It should be accomplished within 60 to 90 minutes.
- Planning: Schedule your highlights on the calendar, and try other tactics to get the highlights done.
- Focusing: Be laser-focused on your highlights and keep distracting matters at bay. Use technology smartly.
- Reflecting: Measure your progress toward your goal and tweak your approach whenever needed.
7. The 80/20 Principle: Achieve More with Less
- Individuals who want to achieve more in less time,
- Busy people who want to free up more time to enjoy happiness,
- Business leaders who want to increase profit by reducing cost and operational complexity.
The idea of the 80/20 principle is not new. More than 100 years ago, an Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto introduced it. In his study, Pareto noted that only 20% of the population owns 80% of the land and vice versa. His findings became popular after World War 2, and later his discovery is popularly known as the Pareto principle.
In The 80/20 principle book, Robert Koch revealed that the use of this principle spreads beyond the socio-economic context. We can apply it to every aspect of our life and business. We can achieve 80% results from 20% effort and get more done by giving less time and effort.
He explains how we can achieve more in life if we focus on high-impact activities. These are the 20% where we need to give more effort. We can get 80% of the result from these 20% activities. How to single out the 20% activities? In this book, Robert Koch shared systemic approaches to apply this principle to our advantage.
The 4th edition of the book is released recently. In its new version, there are four parts and 19 chapters. Let’s get an overview of the parts.
- Part One – Overture: A discussion on the 80/20 principle, its history, and its importance in our life. How the concept works in practice and what it can do for you. There are two ways to use the principle – 80/20 Analysis and 80/20 Thinking. The first way is a traditional and quantitative method, but the latter is a complementary and intuitive method.
- Part Two – Corporate Success Need Not Be a Mystery: In business, we can apply this principle to increase profit and reduce cost and process complexity. Robert Koch showed ten areas in business where the 80/20 concept is applicable. The areas are – Strategy, Quality, Cost reduction, Marketing, Selling, Information technology, Decision Making, Inventory management, Project management, and Negotiation.
- Part Three – Work Less, Earn and Enjoy More: You can achieve a better quality of life by using this principle. You will enjoy freedom by changing the way you think. When you successfully discriminate the worthwhile activities from the least valuable activities and use time accordingly, you do not need to think about time management. You will give maximum effort to do essential tasks. Consequently, you will be able to multiply your achievement, earn more, improve your relationships and be happier in your life.
- Part Four – The 80/20 future: In the modern world, networks are everywhere. It is not limited to the online social media network. We can see networks in football teams to the world financial system. How do you prosper in the world of networks and balance the supremacy of networks and the principle? The best advice is to find a small-sized network that is in an embryonic stage. Also, work with people who embrace the 80/20 principle and find your own 80/20 idea.
Key points on time management:
- Learn ten low-value uses of time and ten most valuable uses of time
- Avoid doing unnecessary things, and free up your time and resources for high-impact activities.
- Get success by giving effort to fewer skills and activities.
- Improve the quality of life by changing the way thinking and time use
- You do not need to think more about time management if you spend more time on high-impact tasks.
8. 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management
- People who are short on time and want to accomplish more in less time,
- People who are lazy and want to make better use of their time by avoiding procrastination and distraction,
- The overworked individual who wants to establish a work-life balance.
Want to know the time management approaches of successful people? Kavin Krush revealed those in this book. After interviewing seven billionaires, 13 Olympic athletes, 29 straight-A students, and 234 entrepreneurs, Kavin Krush figured out 15 secrets of time management. He disclosed the tactics on how successful people manage their time and their perspective on time management.
The book covers most of the time management skills to help you manage time better and boost your productivity. There are 21 chapters and two bonus sections. The book also includes 20 time and productivity hacks.
You will learn prioritization, email hacks, and meeting tactics for better time management. Know the importance of thinking beyond the to-do list and setting up a mindset for time management. Also, why is energy management more important than time management?
Here are a few things you’ll learn from the book.
- How to get rid of procrastination and social media distraction.
- How to use a calendar instead of a to-do list,
- How to utilize time blocking and day theming method
- How to establish a work-life balance.
- How to apply the 321-zero system for better email management
- Meeting hacks: How successful people participate in a meeting
- Why and how to say no.
- How to use the Pareto principle.
- How to save more hours in a week.
- Why energy management is more important than time management
- Morning rituals to increase your energy and attention.
Key points on time management:
- There are 1440 minutes a day. Spend it wisely.
- Set daily priorities and start the day with MIT (Most Important Task)
- Ditch the to-do list and schedule tasks in the calendar instead.
- Carry a notebook to capture key ideas and thoughts. Use paper-bound notebooks instead of digital ones.
- Check emails only three times a day and devote 21 minutes for each session.
- Avoid Unnecessary and lengthy meetings and say no to everything that does not go to your goal
- Follow the 80/20 rule and learn to delegate to have more time and accomplish more.
What is next?
This list covers the best-selling books on time management on Amazon.
If you want to gain in-depth knowledge on a particular time management technique, you may consider the following books-
However, there is a collection of 100+ books on time management, and some books are written for particular professional people- students, entrepreneurs, writers, lawyers, and even busy moms. You can find a book that fits your profession and purpose best.