5 must-read books to increase productivity


I am constantly learning and trying on new ways to increase productivity. So in this post, I will be sharing 5 books that helped me do that and can help you too (should you choose to read them.)

If you’re not a reader, yet, check This 1 simple fact changed my mind about reading books

For the past couple of years, I have been obsessed with increasing my productivity. Given the goals that I have set for myself, all the things I want to cross off my bucket list, and the speed with which I want to accomplish results, I just had to up my game. I wasn’t always like this though.

I wasn’t always conscious of my time, intentional, goal-oriented. My family used to consider me a “lazy” person, and so did I honestly. I had a “chalta hai” (indifferent) attitude. I used to procrastinate A LOT! There was no drive or any sense of urgency to make things happen. I have been an average student all my life until I “woke up” (you can read about my awakening here). It is only after I woke up that I started striving for excellence in all areas of my life. Over time, with introspection, I got clarity. And once there was clarity, I discovered a sense of purpose, a “WHY”, which intrinsically pushed me to do and be more.

I created a vision for my life, set goals for myself, made plans to achieve those goals. It is now harder for me to not do the work than to do it. It takes more effort and convincing to not work. Here are 5 books that helped me create the right mindset for success, abundance, and achieving goals.

“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. 
A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. 
A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.”

Greg Reid

Time is money!

We all have the same amount of time in one day – from billionaires to people struggling for survival – So it is not about the amount of time we have but what we do with that time that really matters. [Same can be said for achieving financial freedom — It’s not about how much money one makes but what one does with the money they make — tropic for another post perhaps]

Now, you may be thinking that different people were born in different conditions – it is not that easy for everyone, etc., – and that is a valid point. While it is true that conditions play a certain role, but at the end of the day, results are a function of action; What we do with the time we have determines the results we accomplish.

I know of and have read/heard stories of now financially free, successful people, who were at one point struggling for survival. So, if they can do it, anyone can do it.

There’s a saying:

“If You Are Born Poor It’s Not Your Mistake, But If You Die Poor It’s Your Mistake.”

Okay, now down to business…

5 books that will boost your productivity (in no particular order)

1. “The One Thing” by Gary Keller

“If you chase two rabbits, both will escape.”

Chinese Proverb

This book is about the importance of focus and shares tips/tricks for how we can focus majority of our time on the things that matter the most.

“Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus”

“Success demands singleness of purpose. You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects.”

You can buy “the One Thing” here

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

As the name suggests, the intention of this book is for one to create a 4-hour workweek — and this book is loaded with productivity bombs to help us achieve that. 

This book can easily be considered the Bible of productivity. It comes with exercises at the end of each chapter to put what we learn into practice.

You can buy “The 4-Hour Work Week” here

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

The name says it all. In this book are 21 time-tested methods to increase your performance and get more done in less time. 

The best part, it is a quick read!

This book also comes with exercises at the end of each chapter, doing which will certainly increase your productivity.

You can buy “Eat That Frog!” here

4. “No Excuses!: The Power of Self Discipline” by Brian Tracy

Self-Discipline is the ability to do what you should do when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not. 

Elbert Hubbard

One of the main differences between successful and unsuccessful people is — Successful people make a habit of doing the things unsuccessful people don’t like to do.

Successful people are more concerned about activities which are goal-achieving vs activities which are tension relieving (Long-term vs Short-term gratification.)

This book covers all areas of life (success/goals, health, finances, relationships, etc) and the importance of Self-Discipline in conquering all those areas. Again, there are several exercises at the end of each chapter so you can apply what you’re learning. 

Buy “No Excuses!” here

5. “The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It”  by Michael Gerber

This book in particular is for entrepreneurs. It is about how one can systemize their business so it can work without them being present all the time. Make the business work for you instead of you working for the business.

There are adaptations of this book for particular professions as well such as doctors, accountants, contractors,  etc. – but I haven’t read them.

Get your copy of “The E-Myth” here

Bonus Read — “Millionaire Success Habits” by Dean Graziosi has some productivity nuggets in it. Also, it has exercises to know your “WHY”, Analysing your strengths so you can create your income while doing what you love.

In the end, I would like to point out that — Learning is not enough, application of what we learn is key! So whatever you do learn, be sure to apply them to get the results; Take action!

If you want things in your life to change, you’re going to have to change things in your life.


Happy Reading and keep doing your best!

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