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:Mindset / Success and goal setting

7 best productivity books to help you work smarter, not harder

woman in smock reading a book in an art studio woman in smock reading a book in an art studio

When most people think of life as an entrepreneur, they think of late starts in the morning and a flexible schedule with loads of free time. But that couldn’t be further from the truth when you decide to make a living for yourself. To help combat any overwhelming feelings, working smarter—not harder—is the name of the game. Here are seven of the best productivity books that will transform how you see your time and to-do list and—you guessed it—help you work smarter, not harder. It’s time to get more done with more space to breathe.

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

If you’ve ever felt like there are so many tasks to do that it’s inevitable to procrastinate on something, you’re correct. In Eat That Frog, Brian Tracy offers advice on how to tackle the most challenging tasks of the day. This ensures that the tasks you do get done are those that have the most impact on your life. Eat That Frog is a metaphor for eating a live frog at the top of the day, knowing that everything after will be a piece of cake. For example, writing the draft for your next course versus doing laundry that you can put off without it having a huge impact on your well-being. 

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

Imagine a life where you can live more and work less. That’s precisely what New York Times Bestselling author Timothy Ferriss is teaching in this best-selling productivity book. Timothy ditches the ideas of “deferred life plans” and traditional retirement. Instead, he explores concepts such as mini-retirements (a series of retirements throughout one’s life at any age), encouraging readers to live for today. Tim also dives deep into ways to buy back more time. This includes knowing when to delegate tasks and even exploring hiring virtual assistants without breaking the bank. 

Content Machine: Use Content Marketing to Build a 7-figure Business With Zero Advertising by Dan Norris

As the new age-old saying goes, “Content is King.” In this book, which is complete with usable, downloadable content, Dan Norris outlines how to market content so you see returns on investments. Norris challenges readers, whether they’re entrepreneurs, bloggers, etc., to look at themselves as “content marketers,” not just content creators. From his experience, this has been one of the most significant contributing factors to his success as an entrepreneur. 

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Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! By Robert T Kiyosaki

No matter how much passion you may have for your entrepreneurial endeavors, the truth is that making money is a tremendous driving force behind why you work so hard toward your goals. Businessman and entrepreneur Robert T. Kiyosaki shares all of the lessons he learned as a child from his Rich Dad (the father of his childhood best friend) and his Poor Dad (his biological father, a working-class man) that shaped his mindset towards money. Most importantly, Kiyosaki explores transitioning from working hard for money to making your money work for you (hello, passive income). 

Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life by Marie Kondo

You may know Marie Kondo for her hyper-organizational skills in the home, but she’s also a wiz at organizing your professional life. In Joy At Work, Marie Kondo teams up with Rice University business professor Scott Sonenshein to offer expert advice on tidying your workplace, whether it’s in a traditional workplace or at home. You’ll walk away from this read feeling lighter, happier, and able to push your productivity into full gear. 

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Recognized as a classic in the best productivity/self-help book field, Stephen R. Covey deep dives into seven essential habits to help you live as the best version of yourself no matter your age or occupation (among other things). From “being proactive” to “beginning with the end in mind,” this book has inspired millions of people over the past few decades and is more than deserving of a spot on your bookshelf. 

How to Break Up with Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life By Catherine Price

Whether you’re responding to social media comments or checking the stats on your latest blog post, chances are you find yourself on your phone a lot. As a creator, it’s sometimes hard to draw the line between necessary phone usage and mindless scrolling, especially if Instagram and other social media apps are a part of your content strategy. In this book, journalist Catherine Price lays out practical tips on building a healthy relationship with your phone and disrupting the addictive nature of the apps.

Let us know if you’ve read any of these best productivity books @teachable. Share this with a creator that may need the push to work smarter and not harder as well.



Author: Mika Robinson, Mika is a NYC-based lifestyle blogger and freelance writer. When she’s not creating content on her blog, astoldbymika.com, she’s somewhere in the digisphere writing content for your favorite platforms and go-to brands.

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