Best Books to Improve Personal Productivity | Iris Reading
Best Books to Improve Personal Productivity

Best Books to Improve Personal Productivity

Best Books to Improve Personal Productivity

Some of the best personal productivity books include:

With these books, you’ll learn how top performers achieve their goals and apply their strategies.

If you never seem to accomplish everything on your to-do list after your workday, you’ll benefit from learning new ways to improve personal productivity. 

Start with the actionable tips provided in these self-improvement books.

This post explores the top books to improve your productivity.

Let’s dive in!

1. Atomic Habits by James Clear

Atomic Habits is an excellent book that can help you develop the required habits for success. In this book, James Clear provides a proven framework for day-by-day improvement. It is a good read if you’re interested in improving your productivity.

Learn practical strategies to help you create good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that result in remarkable results. 

You may notice that even though you want to stop certain bad habits, you keep repeating them again and again. 

The problem isn’t you! It’s your system.

Bad habits keep repeating because you have the wrong system for change. 

To reshape how you perceive progress and success, start by reading Atomic Habits

Take advantage of the tools and strategies James Clear provides to change your life.

2. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit is a highly informative book that can help you succeed in life. In this book, Charles Duhigg provides tools to help readers break bad habits and build good ones. He explains how cravings can create and power new habits, increasing your productivity.

Learn how habits are formed and get answers to how they come about and tips that will help you break bad habits. 

Duhigg teaches that you cannot extinguish a bad habit but change it (the golden rule to habit change).

This book offers scientific evidence, including on-sight research projects, interviews, and case studies. 

The author explained the mechanics of habits meticulously. 

At first, you consciously decide what to focus on at work, how often to exercise or drink, etc.

However, you’ll find that it stops being a choice with time and your behavior becomes automatic. 

Reading “The Power of Habit” will help you understand how this happens, so you can rebuild the pattern to effect positive change in your life. 

If you’re looking to increase your productivity, start by understanding the mechanics of habits.

3. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss

The 4-Hour Workweek stands as a perfect book choice for people looking to manage their time better and improve personal productivity. Tim Ferriss provides readers with the blueprint to create their dream lifestyle and achieve financial freedom. This book is a must-read for people looking to quit their regular jobs and create a business.

According to Tim, doing unimportant things well will not make them important.

So, don’t focus on doing too much work as best as you can. 

Instead, channel your energy toward completing the few tasks that will result in the biggest progress.

Learn how Tim successfully achieved higher pay after quitting his 9-5, 80-hour work per week for a 4-hour work per week. 

You can also get there by practicing this book’s principles and actionable tips. 

The concepts and methods in The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich will help you achieve your goals when applied to your work.

4. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers provide insights into the lives of some individuals who have done extraordinary things. It is an excellent self-improvement book, as it teaches you what separates the best from the rest. The author, Malcolm Gladwell, believes that we can understand the logic of success by studying how successful people started.

This book encourages readers to learn the early days of successful people instead of paying too much attention to their lifestyle. 

Gladwell argues that most people become successful because they benefit from hidden advantages and cultural legacies. 

These benefits help them work, learn, and understand the world differently from others.

According to Gladwell, you can shape the world to your desires by working hard enough, asserting yourself, and using your mind and imagination. 

After reading Outliers: The Story of Success, you’ll understand what makes the best and brightest people in society successful.

Gladwell argues that practice and not innate talent matters the most when achieving success. 

“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good,” he writes.

5. Tools of Titans by Timothy Ferriss

Tools of Titans is an excellent self-improvement book that shares the habits and beliefs of 101 top performers. It highlights the principles successful use to improve themselves, achieve goals, and live happier. Applying the lessons in this book will help anyone become more effective.

According to Tim Ferriss, you can become successful by emulating people who succeed the way you want to succeed. 

Learn how the titans motivate themselves, succeed in their work, and stay healthy and happy. 

One typical behavior among many titans is the visualization of long-term goals.

It’s a lot easier to know what you’re fighting for when you visualize your long-term goals. 

After two years of interviewing celebrities and athletes on his podcast, Tim Ferriss shares the lessons and more. 

Lessons from top Performers like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Jobs, Marc Andreessen, and more will help you better yourself. 

Find out in this book what makes these people successful. 

You will learn the habits they apply in their daily life, their early morning routines, and more.

Ferriss also shares the type of books these successful people read. 

Tools of Titans has all the tips you need to achieve your own goals.

6. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

Since its first release in 2002, Getting Things Done has helped many people to improve their productivity. In this bestseller, David Allen teaches that most people experience stress due to inappropriately managed commitments they accept or make. It’s an excellent choice to help you excel personally and professionally.

Allen teaches that if you want to get things off your mind, you must do that with your mind. 

He explains that we only have things on our minds because we want them to be different, but we don’t have a clear picture of the intended outcome.

There are no reminders for the outcome and the required actions, and/or we have not decided on the next step to take.

Thinking about something without making any progress is a waste of time. 

To get things done, you’ll require two basic components; outcome (define what “done” means) and action (what “doing” looks like). 

The principles in Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity are proven and can help you navigate your self-improvement journey.

7. High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard

World’s highest-paid performance coach, Brendon Burchard, teaches six habits that can change your life in this book. Backed by science, this book will help you through your self-improvement journey. It highlights six effective habits for reaching long-term success.

According to Burchard, the six habits that will change your life are:

  • seeking clarity, 
  • generating energy, 
  • raising necessity, 
  • increasing productivity, 
  • developing influence, and 
  • demonstrating courage. 

He advises readers to find and follow their purpose. 

Developing this habit requires working on yourself, your social sphere, skills, and service to others.

Maintain a positive attitude, as this is a common trait among top performers. 

Extraordinary people don’t have fewer challenges than others, yet they are more positive. 

Develop this habit by asking yourself what you have to look forward to and believing that great things are coming.

Burchard encourages readers to increase their productivity by focusing on the important work. 

Learning to separate the vital from the unimportant will help you avoid wasting time on menial tasks. 

High Performance Habits includes a free online assessment to help you track your progress when implementing these new practices in your life.

8. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is one of the best self-improvement. The author believes that how you see life depends on your perceptions, and you can change your life by changing your perceptions. Identifying the habits that can help your life’s journey and practicing them is a surefire to increasing personal productivity.

Stephen Covey has written 49 books that have helped a lot of people better themselves. 

His book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is an international bestseller, which guides readers on changing habits.

In this classic book, Covey provides actionable tips to help you take control of your life and achieve professional and private victories. 

He believes that change can happen only when you change yourself fundamentally and not just alter your behaviors and attitudes on a surface level.

The first three habits of highly effective people focus on self-mastery and becoming independent. 

Habits four to six focuses on developing collaboration, teamwork, and communication skills. 

At this point, you’ll learn how to move from independence to interdependence.

The last habit focuses on continuous improvement and growth. This book will help you turn your life around for good.

9. Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey

Learn what top creatives do every day through brief bios and vignettes in Mason Currey’s Daily Rituals. This enjoyable and fast-paced read provides insights into the routines of 161 of the world’s most popular artists. Practice some of these daily habits to increase your productivity.

Mason Currey describes the daily rituals of Thomas Wolfe,  Agatha Christie, Franz Kafka, and more. 

Some common activities among these top professionals include long work, early morning or late night work, and more. 

They have a daily scheduled, uninterrupted time to perform tasks.

In this book, Currey highlights that most top achievers don’t work too much. 

Their best work only takes a short time, and they always have time to socialize, read, think, and relax. 

Most successful people also ingest chemical stimulants such as alcohol, coffee, and more.

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work is a well-written book that will make you feel good about your odd habits. 

It points out that there’s no one way to create good work. 

Sometimes, the best methods are super weird.

10. Make It Stick by Peter C. Brown, Henry Roediger, Mark McDaniel

Make It Stick is an excellent self-improvement book for people who want to learn more effectively. It teaches you how to learn and can make you more intelligent and productive. The authors discourage ineffectual learning habits such as massed practice and rereading.

In this book, you’ll learn the role memory plays in improving various areas of your life. 

A strong memory is essential when performing cognitive tasks. 

The authors explain that we understand new responsibilities better and are more productive when we retain the things we learn.

Rereading is not an effective learning habit because it is time-consuming and doesn’t lead to durable memory. 

It also makes you feel like you have mastered content when all you’ve done is familiarize yourself with what the text says and not the meaning.

One important lesson from Make It Stick is that mindless repetition does not build memory. 

If you’re looking to improve your retention, you’ll benefit from the Iris Reading course on maximizing memory

Once you pay the one-time fee, you’ll have lifetime access to practical information to help you remember what you read.


Books on productivity can help you achieve your goals and change your life for the better.

Some of the best books to improve personal productivity include:

  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
  • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  • The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss
  • Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Tools of Titans by Timothy Ferriss
  • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
  • High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  • Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey
  • Make It Stick by Peter C. Brown, Henry Roediger, Mark McDaniel

Learning the strategies in these books and applying them in your life is a surefire way to become successful.

However, you’ll also benefit from taking the Iris Reading productivity course. The course is ideal for students and busy professionals, as it’s packed with 33 instructional videos and top productivity apps.

Take the Iris Reading Productivity Course today!

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