As small business owners, we don’t have a choice. We must maximize productivity if we’re going to build a successful business while also doing all those life things like self-care, family, and community.
Fortunately, BookAuthority combined Amazon star ratings with recommendations from 200 experts like Jeff Bezos to Warren Buffet to create some great reading lists – including a great list of productivity books.
We reviewed their list and plucked out four productivity books that seemed especially relevant to small business owners.
(If you like this list, you might check our list of the best small business marketing books recommended by BookAuthority experts.)
Ready to level up your productivity, effectiveness, and profitability? Check out these highly-rated and expert-recommended small business productivity books.
1. “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World”
By Cal Newport | 2016 | 4.92 stars
If you’re familiar with the Eisenhower Decision Matrix, you know that you should set aside time each week to focus on non-urgent but important tasks.
In “Deep Work,” Cal Newport shows you how to maximize the effectiveness of the time you invest in those focused periods of concentrated effort. The book is part philosophy (why should I believe in deep work?) and part action (how do I do this deep work thing?).
Since we’re trying to be productive, we’ll just skip ahead to the second part where Newport lays out a training regimen that’ll prep your mind and habits to support deep work.
2. “Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers”
Tim Ferriss | 2016 | 4.91 stars
Tim Ferriss, the entrepreneurial guru who wrote “The 4-Hour Workweek,” has interviewed hundreds of best-in-class athletes, business leaders, politicians, and more for his podcast The Tim Ferriss Show.
“Tools of Titans” mines Ferriss’ archive for productivity tips he’s picked up from those interviews. How do high performers start their day? What books are they most likely to gift to others? What are the biggest productivity killers in their lives?
And, in typical Ferriss style, the knowledge bombs are dropped in easily-digestible packages for the time-cramped entrepreneur.
3. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change”
Stephen R. Covey | 1989 | 4.85 stars
This classic owned a place on my dad’s bookshelf throughout my teenage years. Today, he’d probably say something like, “Yup. It’s an oldie but a goodie.”
Some of you probably weren’t born yet when Stephen Covey unleashed his seven-pronged approach to self-mastery, collaboration, and continuous improvement. Wanna know the seven habits? Well, OK …
- Be proactive. Take ownership of your success.
- Begin with the end in mind.
- Put first things first (including more love for the Eisenhower Decision Matrix!).
- Think win-win in interactions with others.
- Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
- Work with folks who complement your own strengths.
- Sharpen the saw. Never stop learning.
Hey, it’s been out since 1989. Don’t get on me about spoilers.
4. “Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long”
David Rock | 2009 | 4.69 stars
As the authors of the books on this list will tell you, productivity is largely a mental game.
In “Your Brain at Work,” David Rock introduces us to our brains by following the lives of two highly-successful professionals with two demanding and distracting young children.
By better understanding our brains, we learn how to manage distractions, stay focused, solve problems, keep our cool, and collaborate with others more effectively.
Sounds like a winner, right? I’ll go order it right after I lie down for a bit.
Hey, I’m not napping. I’m just resting my brain.