Best time management books and podcasts

As years pass by, productivity gurus are able to come up with more sophisticated yet effective time management strategies. In spite of this, some basics never change and don’t need reaffirmation. In this blog post, 5 books about time management and several podcasts will be introduced.

Time Management Books

The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future

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Ryder Carroll tried many organizing systems, both digital and paper, before developing his own method dubbed The Bullet Journal. He shared the time management system with family and friends before it eventually became a global movement. Proponents call it a diary, to-do list and future log all-in-one.

The personalized scheduling systems can be created in any paper-bound journal. They are especially loved by artists who go crazy with colorful pens. However,  having artistic skill isn’t a prerequisite to maintaining a Bullet Journal. If you prefer the tangibility of a paper scheduling system, this one’s worth evaluating.

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

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They say timing is everything, but what does that really mean? Can we ever really know if the time is right — whether it be for a big move, a new job or a new relationship?  

Author Daniel H. Pink insists the answer is yes in When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. Instead of thinking of good timing as an art, Pink encourages readers to think of it as a science.  

Drawing on a rove of research from psychology, biology and economics, Pink answers interesting questions like: How can we use the hidden patterns of the day to build the ideal schedule? Why do certain breaks dramatically improve student test scores? How can we turn a stumbling beginning into a fresh start?

The 80/20 Principle, Third Edition: The Secret to Achieving More with Less

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According to Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, 80 percent of effects come from 20 percent of causes. In other words, a small amount of work produces the majority of the results.

The principle has several applications, but it’s particularly useful for optimizing productivity. In The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less, author Richard Koch modernizes the concept with specific examples of how to achieve more with less effort, time and resources.

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

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As far as time management books go, Eat That Frog is a classic. In the book, author Brian Tracy explains the “hidden” time management secret of every successful person: They don’t try to do everything.

As previously mentioned, there is never enough time for everything on the proverbial to-do list. Therefore, the goal is to solely focus on the most important tasks and make sure those get done.

The title of the book comes from an old saying, often credited to Mark Twain: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

The metaphor speaks to prioritizing the most challenging task with the greatest potential impact, everyday.

15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management: The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students, and 239 Entrepreneurs

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In this book, author Kevin Kruse outlines how implementing a few simple habits could dramatically 5x or 10x productivity in key areas.

The book is based on on survey research and interviews with an impressive lineup of billionaires, Olympic athletes and straight-A students. Kruse also examines the habits of more than 200 entrepreneurs, including Mark Cuban and Kevin Harrington.

Time Management Podcasts

Getting Things Done

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The Getting Things Done (GTD) podcast features interviews with people from all walks of life about their journey with time management. The podcasts include personal and professional stories from both time management beginners and veterans.  Topics routinely discussed include creativity, productivity and mental flow.

An exemplary episode:

Episode 44: GTD for creative people

Beyond the To-Do List

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Erik Fisher’s podcast features interviews with interesting individuals sharing both success stories and lessons learned from failure. Remote management, work-life balance and creativity are all routinely explored subject matters.

An exemplary episode:

The Productivityist Podcast

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In this podcast, self-described “productivity enthusiast” Mike Vardy examines tactical time-management techniques that have been shown to boost efficiency and effectiveness. Vardy strives to make recent scientific data accessible for listeners, as he explores topics like mindfulness, ADHD and parenting.

An exemplary episode:


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Don’t think you have time to become a regular podcast listener? Each episode of ProdPod lasts no longer than 2 minutes. With that said, host Ray Sidney-Smith manages to pack tons of action-oriented information into every show.

An exemplary episode:

Back to Work

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In this podcast, co-hosts Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin discuss productivity, constraints and communication. Despite the average episode being 1.5 hours long, the show maintains a brisk pace due to the duo’s comedic banter.

Instead offering quick tips, Back to Work delves into “the why” behind important topics like work, identity and expectations.

An exemplary episode:

Extreme Productivity With Kevin Kruse

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After taking an interest in the plight of “the overwhelmed modern worker,” New York Times best-selling author Kevin Kruse sought to uncover the secrets behind achieving productivity.

Each 15-minute show is based on insights gleaned from Kruse’s previous interviews with billionaires, Olympic athletes, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and more.

An exemplary episode:

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