7 Best Time Management Books for 2024

Managing time is still one of the biggest challenges for most people who want to improve their productivity. Time management books offer a very unique and in-depth approach to developing time management skills and expertise. They provide a more structured framework, practical strategies, inspiring stories, and insights.

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“I’ve doubled my revenue thanks to Timeular and managed to halve how much I work.” – Valdemar Alfred, Owner of Valdefar

In this article, we’re going to explore some of the best time management books and how they can help you improve your productivity.

What are the best time management books?

1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

We’re starting with the classics. Considered a top productivity book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is such a well-known book that has consistently ranked on lists of the most influential business books ever written.

The book offers a roadmap to personal and professional success, going beyond productivity hacks, because the author believes that effectiveness is not just about producing more in less time but about cultivating a mindset and a set of habits that direct your life in a meaningful way.

7 habits of highly effective people

Key takeaways from the book

By internalizing and practicing the seven habits of highly effective people, readers can expect to gain increased self-awareness, improved goal-setting and achievement, enhanced interpersonal relationships, greater personal productivity and fulfillment, balance, and success in life.

According to the author, to see the change in your work, overall productivity, and personal development, you have to make fundamental changes in your daily habits and behaviors on a deeper level, and that’s where the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” will enter.

About the author

Stephen R. Covey was a renowned educator, author, and businessman. With a background in business management and organizational behavior, he dedicated his career to helping individuals and organizations achieve success based on timeless principles.

2. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

Don’t worry; this is not an unusual cookbook. By eating that frog, you’ll tackle the most challenging tasks and achieve work-life balance.

In this best-selling time management book, Brian Tracy teaches readers fresh strategies and practical advice to overcome procrastination and conquer your most important tasks. With a more motivational tone, the Brian Tracy book guides you on how to prioritize effectively, defeat procrastination, and get your most important work done. 

eat that frog

Key takeaways from the book

As mentioned, the book’s central focus is on how to manage your big tasks and the most important ones, your frogs, first thing each day. It works as a manual with 21 principles and techniques to guide the reader on successful time management and less procrastination, such as: planning the day, applying the 80/20 rule, using the ABCDE method, single-handling every important task first, identifying key constraints, and more.

About the author

Brian Tracy is a motivational speaker, sales trainer, and author who has written numerous self-help books on success, leadership, and goal setting. His main focus is on practical advice and strategies to improve personal and professional effectiveness.

3. 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think

Time is one of our most valuable assets, and the constant feeling that we don’t have enough time to do things is almost universal.

In 168 Hours, a top-rated book on time management, Laura Vanderkan argues that the cause behind this feeling is often a lack of self-discipline and awareness about how we spend our 168 hours each week and offers strategies to the reader to use those hours more effectively.

Key takeaways from the book

The book has a very interesting approach because it suggests time tracking as the first step to reclaiming control of your schedule. By diligently tracking your time for a short period, you gain a clear picture of where your hours go. This newfound awareness empowers you to identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions about how to allocate your time more effectively.

It is a very refreshing and practical perspective on time management. Vanderkam recognizes that everyone’s situation is unique, and the book offers a flexible approach that can be adapted to your specific needs and goals. 

“168 Hours” also features real-life examples of successful people who manage to balance work, family, and personal pursuits within a 168-hour week. 

TIP: Read our post on Time mapping and learn how it boosts your productivity.

About the author

Laura Vanderkam is a renowned writer, speaker, and expert on time management and productivity. Vanderkam’s work emphasizes the importance of prioritization, goal-setting, spending time together and maximizing productivity to lead a fulfilling and balanced life.

4. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

The best-selling book by Greg McKeow addresses time management on a more philosophical level. It helps readers save time and energy by prioritizing activities and tasks, filtering the essential ones, and saying no to distractions.

Going against the trends of some of the other books we’ve mentioned in this article, Essentialism challenges the idea that doing more is better, and instead, it argues that by focusing on what is truly essential, we can achieve more and live more fulfilling lives.


Key takeaways from the book

Some of its key takeaways are that less is more. By focusing on what is truly essential, we can achieve more and live more fulfilling lives.

The ability to say no is essential. We need to learn to say no to the things that are not essential so that we can say yes to the things that are. Progress is better than perfection. It’s not about time management; it’s about priority management. We need to focus on managing our priorities, not just our time, and you are not your productivity. Your worth is not defined by how much you achieve.

About the author

Greg McKeown is a writer and speaker who focuses on leadership and strategy. He has consulted with companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook, and his core message is about achieving more by doing less. He emphasizes this in Essentialism to help the reader simplify his life, focus on what matters most, and achieve his goals.

5. Atomic Habits

If you are looking for a great time management book that emphasizes taking small steps, this is the one for you!

Small habits have the power to make huge changes and bring remarkable results to your life. That is the main message of James Clear’s best-selling book, Atomic Habits.

The book focuses on the science behind habit formation and offers a practical framework for creating good habits and breaking bad ones. James Clear describes a four-step process for changing habits, which he calls the Four Laws of Behavior Change: cue, craving, response, and reward.

Key takeaways from the book

Atomic Habits offers a very refreshing perspective on personal growth. Instead of focusing on willpower and drastic changes, the author encourages readers to focus on making small, sustainable improvements that can accumulate over time. By understanding the psychology of habit formation, readers can design their environment and routines to support their goals.

About the author

James Clear is a writer and speaker known for his expertise in habits, decision-making, and continuous improvement. Before becoming a bestselling author, Clear worked as a performance coach, helping athletes and executives achieve their peak performance.

6. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

We’ve been saying this a lot, but we do live in a world full of distractions. That is why it is so important to find the right tools for self-improvement and tips on how to manage our tasks and time spent on daily activities.

Deep Work, by Cal Newport, proposes a solution: cultivating the ability to perform deep work through deliberate strategies to set you apart.

Key takeaways from the book

Newport outlines different philosophies, like the Deep Work Scheduling Method, which involves carving out specific distraction-free periods in your day. He even suggests more radical approaches, like the “Monastic Mode,” where you temporarily disconnect from the internet entirely.

This is one of the greatest books on time management because Newport showcases real-life examples of successful individuals who leverage deep work. From historical figures to contemporary entrepreneurs, these examples illustrate how deep work can propel anyone toward excellence in their field. 

By embracing the deep dive into work and taming distractions, Newport argues we can reclaim our focus and achieve true professional success.

deep work

About the author

Cal Newport is a professor of computer science at Georgetown University. His work focuses on the intersection of technology and human behavior, particularly how technology impacts our ability to concentrate and produce meaningful work. His concern about this distraction issue inspired him to explore the concept of Deep Work.

7. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Some people call it the bible of productivity, but we are going to say that Getting Things Done, by David Allen, is a guide to improve your productivity in general. The book is a renowned productivity system designed to combat stress and overwhelm by taking control of your to-dos.

Read also: How to get organized at work when you are overwhelmed

book things done

Key takeaways from the book

The author emphasizes the importance of getting all your tasks and commitments out of your head and into a trusted system, like lists or project management tools. This frees up mental space and reduces anxiety. The book also outlines a five-stage workflow for managing your projects and tasks: capture, clarify, organize, reflect, and engage.

Getting Things Done incorporates regular reviews of your system, and managing tasks,which ensures your lists stay current and you don’t lose track of anything. Through these reviews, you can also identify new priorities and adjust your workflow as needed.

About the author

David Allen is a very experienced productivity consultant and the founder of the David Allen Company, which focuses on productivity, action management, and executive coaching. His Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology is a widely used system for personal organization and task management, which confirms the success of the methodology and practical tips of the book.

best time management books

Key criteria for selecting the top time management books

At a time when everyone can write anything on any subject, we must stick to those that matter. That is why it is so important to pay close attention to a few aspects while selecting the best books for time management, such as:

The credibility of the author

Look for authors with proven expertise in productivity or related fields. Their background, experience, and qualifications should demonstrate their competence in guiding readers on time management strategies. Consider their professional achievements, publications, and any relevant certifications they may hold.

The practicality of the techniques

The book’s recommendations should be readily applicable to your daily life. Avoid overly theoretical or complex approaches that are difficult to implement. Look for actionable time management tips, steps, tools, and strategies that you can integrate seamlessly into your routine.

Relevance to your specific needs

Not all time management approaches are one-size-fits-all. Evaluate whether the book caters to your unique circumstances and goals. Consider factors like your work style, personality type, and the specific areas you want to optimize performance and time management (e.g., focus, procrastination, task delegation).

Read also: How to become a high performer at work


There are so many time management books available with different approaches, from the laser focus of Deep Work to the all-encompassing system of Getting Things Done or more philosophical lines of thought, such as Essentialism.

Regardless of your work style or personal preferences, there’s a book out there to equip you with the tools and strategies to conquer your to-do list and reclaim control of your time. The key to success lies not just in reading but in applying the valuable insights you gain. Experiment with different techniques, personalize your approach, and find what works best for you.

Are you ready to start your time management improvement journey? Which book will you choose?

FAQ related to time management books

What are some highly recommended time management books?

There are many highly recommended time management books, such as the ones we mentioned in this article. The best time management book for you will depend on your specific goals and needs. Consider some of the key criteria we also mentioned in the article to help you choose the most suitable option.

How can time management books help improve productivity?

Time management books help improve productivity by providing structured frameworks to organize your tasks and goals, along with practical strategies you can use immediately. From motivation to actionable tips, they offer a wealth of resources to unlock your full potential.

Are there any time management books specifically for students?

Yes, there are several books that are specifically for students, such as Getting Things Done For Teens, by David Allen, or Time Management For Teens And College Students: The Ultimate Guide for Balancing School and Life for Teens and Young Adults, by Kara Ross. Those books focus on more specific challenges of students who are trying to balance their academic life and extracurricular activities while still feeling productive.

Which time management book is suitable for beginners?

Many of the options we covered on our top list are good options for beginners, such as Eat That Frog or The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Usually, it is better to choose those with easier language, that avoid specific jargon, and that can guide people on a journey of improvement through useful and realistic tips on productivity and time management.

Can you suggest time management books for entrepreneurs?

Deep Work, Essentialism, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People are very good options for entrepreneurs. They address some of most entrepreneurs’ common issues and worries and help them focus on the most critical tasks to move their business forward.

Are there any time management books with practical exercises?

Yes, some time management books offer practical exercises, such as Getting Things Done and Atomic Habits. You can find some specific exercises in these books that improve time management skills.

What are the best time management books for busy professionals?

Most of the books we suggest in our top time management books are suitable for busy professionals because they all provide strategies, exercises, and useful tips to help professionals and students better manage their important tasks, their most challenging tasks, and even new habits.

Do time management books provide strategies for overcoming procrastination?

Yes, most of the books we suggest in our list focus on providing useful advice on overcoming procrastination and offer practical strategies to help you tackle it.

Are there any time management books available in audiobook format?

Yes, it is easy to find time management books in audiobook format. This allows busy people to save time and learn and absorb new information while performing tasks from to-do lists, such as commuting or exercising.

How long does it take to see results from applying time management techniques mentioned in these books?

It is hard to give an exact timeframe because those results will vary depending on the complexity of the techniques you’re trying to apply or how committed to the new habits and new tasks from the books you are. Consistency is the key to achieving better results in a shorter time, so focus on building that to see faster and better results.

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