Time management | 7 min read

The top 5 books on time management

time management books

There are few things as empowering as a good book. They can be vessels of experience, repositories for hard-won lessons, or even guides to developing abilities –straight from the people who’ve mastered them. When the success of a tradie business relies on its owner’s perspective and skill set, it’s no surprise that books on subjects like time management sell out.

Running a tight ship is critical to keeping a business alive, and it leaves hard-working entrepreneurs with more time to devote to their families and their passions. For these reasons, we’ve put together a list of highly recommended books on managing your time and winning back more of life’s precious hours.

The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss

 

The 4-Hour Work Week is a guide to avoiding the worst of the working life’s harsh realities. It offers sage advice on chasing the dream of an early retirement, achieving a perfect work-life balance, and avoiding the dreaded burn-out.

 

Top Takeaways

  1. How to reduce your working hours and still get the results you’re after.
  2. How to travel the world and work remotely.
  3. How to take shortcuts and live large.
  4. How to work in quick bursts instead of marathon sessions.

 

Who Should Read This?

People who want to retire early.

Passive income is the ultimate time management goal for a small business owner. It’s true that opening up a tradie business and setting it on the right path to growth takes a lot of hands-on work. The hard part is making sure your involvement shrinks over time.

Ferriss’ advice makes short work of the problem, leaving the reader with a wealth of ideas on how to get the most amount of high-quality work done, in the shortest amount of time possible. Likewise, his advice on working from the comfort of your home (or a distant shore, or an alpine lodge) is a timeless reminder that you needn’t chain your productivity to any single location.

 

Becoming the 1%: How to Master Productivity and Rise to the Top in 7 Days by Dennis Crosby

 

Becoming the 1% it’s so jam packed with insights on efficiency and productivity that one has to marvel at author Dennis Crosby’s dedication to parsing through damn near every guide to productivity techniques. Dense and informative, this book will make for some very invested reading.

 

Top Takeaways

  1. How to find the right time management technique for you.
  2. How to find your productive spark in only seven days.
  3. Seven core principles for time management and productivity.
  4. How to set goals and achieve them, “just like an Olympic athlete.” Seriously.

 

Who Should Read This?

People who enjoy having options.

Crosby’s approach to time management toes the line between madness and genius: learn ‘em all, and pick your poison. With the sheer volume of potential time-saving approaches that this book outlines, we’d be surprised if anyone can read through it without reaching a major revelation by the end.

 

Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy

 

This book derives its title from a piece of advice from Mark Twain: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing bad will happen to you for the rest of the day.” Brian Tracy puts together a beginner-friendly guide that wastes no time in guiding readers through 21 chapters of advice for greater productivity.

 

Top Takeaways

  1. How to get your priorities straight and ace your most crucial tasks.
  2. How to implement strategies to help you achieve your daily goals.
  3. How to minimise your procrastination and maximise your productivity.
  4. How to spend more of your time with the people and things that make you happy.

Who Should Read This?

Chronic procrastinators.

The author knows we’re all guilty of procrastination, and offers a hand to those caught up in the worst of it. His approach sets reasonable targets for readers of all kinds, and encourages them to climb out of the procrastination habit one step at a time. And we can’t help but agree with the underlying lesson: set rational goals for yourself, don’t rush into habits you aren’t ready to maintain.

 

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

 

David Allen’s bears the professional title of Time Management Consultant –and while the book does carry the authority of a senior player in the game, it presents its ideas in clear terms. This version is actually an update to what has become a classic in the literature on better time management, this time aimed at a generation fixated on “Getting Things Done (GTD)”.

 

Top Takeaways

  1. How to organise your mind and prepare it for productivity and creativity.
  2. How to use the “Do it, Delegate it, Defer it, Drop it” Rule.
  3. How to shoo away distractions and interruptions.
  4. How to balance personal and professional time.

 

Who Should Read This?

The easily frazzled.

Time management depends on one’s ability to maintain their zen, and David Allen appeals to those who struggle with precisely that. His book introduces a system designed to help free the mind from distractions, making use of certain fundamental principles for fine-tuning an approach to time management.

 

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

 

Atul Gawande is a firm believer in the power of checklists. He pushes for this checklist-based approach to ordered thinking through his own analysis, written in plain and simple English, and curates a series of anecdotes from across a wide range of professions to support his point.

 

Key Takeaways

  1. How to design and implement a superior checklist.
  2. How to deal with complex tasks by breaking them down and doing them in order.
  3. How to avoid mistakes and improve work routines.
  4. How to declutter your project load.

 

Who Should Read This?

Those who need a crash course on strategic thinking.

The Checklist Manifesto is arguably the most honest title this book could hold, as it makes a very passionate argument in defense of the checklist. For the average reader, his core message is bound to stick: for best results and maximum efficiency, your knowledge has to be applied strategically –take what you know, lay it out in clear and organised terms (via a checklist, naturally), and apply them as best as you can.

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