Do you feel like you’re always doing something but barely getting anything done? In other words, are you busy but not productive?
It’s easy to fall into the trap of always being too busy with a never-ending to-do list, both at work and at home. Though you’re constantly multi-tasking and running to catch up with all of your chores and obligations, you never feel like you’re getting done enough. This is because being busy doesn’t mean you’re being productive.
If you want to level up your productivity game, we’ve got you covered with the best productivity resources to follow.
Best Productivity Resources
Many people equate being productive with being busy, but the two aren’t the same. Being productive means producing results, meaningful results at that. That begs the question: how can you become more productive albeit less busy? The solution is education: educate yourself about strategies to maximize results while minimizing time. To that end, find some reputable productivity resources to follow and learn from—there’s no shortage of them on the web.
In this article, we’ve compiled a collection of the best productivity resources, including books, blogs, and podcasts. Let’s get productive!
Best Productivity Blogs
There are tons of productivity blogs on the web, discussing all the ins and outs of the subject. The best productivity blogs are both inspiring and actionable—they should not only motivate you but also provide tools to execute.
Here is our roundup of the best productivity blogs, in no particular order, to help you level up your productivity game.
Steve Pavlina is a popular figure in the personal development space. Steve is all about personal growth and becoming the best version of yourself in all aspects of life, and his Productivity blog is a treasure trove of helpful resources and valuable tips on how to optimize just about anything from your sleep to browsing habits.
Zen Habits is a one-person blog run by life coach Leo Babuta. His blog sweeps across mindfulness and minimalism, which is reflected in his approach to productivity: taking things one step at a time and getting rid of anything unnecessary rather than trying to be a Jack of all trades.
Founded in 2006, Pick the Brain is a blog dedicated to personal development with a broad focus: it covers anything and everything that can help you become a better version of yourself. There’s a whole section dedicated to personal productivity which contains a comprehensive selection of articles by contributors from around the world.
Tim Ferriss is an author, speaker, and entrepreneur. Ferriss is passionate about self-optimization and productivity. On his blog, he shares his thoughts, tips, and interviews with experts, authors, and coaches. He must know a thing or two about productivity, considering he found a way to work a maximum of four hours per week.
Keep Productive is your complete guide to productivity apps. Here, you’ll find a plethora of helpful productivity resources including guides, articles, and comparison reviews of digital tools such as to-do list apps, calendar apps, workflow apps, and more. If you are looking for a task or workflow tracking tool of any kind, Keep Productive is the place to go.
Dave calls himself an investigative designer; He designs productivity tools for various uses such as time management, goal tracking, and habit tracking, and shares them on his blog. You can download Dave’s productivity resources (calendars, forms, spreadsheets, etc.) for personal use free of charge. He also runs productivity experiments and shares reports and insights with his audience.
James Clear is the author of the New York Times bestseller Atomic Habits and an advocate of continuous improvement. He’s also famous for his weekly 3-2-1 newsletter where he shares 3 ideas from himself, 2 quotes from others, and 1 question for you. He blogs about habits, decision-making, goal setting, and focusing on the ways to make small, incremental improvements.
Best Productivity Podcasts
The beauty of podcasts is that you can entertain yourself on the go or while you are doing activities that don’t require much brainpower. And you can get things done while learning something useful.
Here are Shortform picks of the best productivity podcasts to follow in 2022.
If you feel sluggish and unmotivated in the morning, The 5 AM Miracle is the podcast for you. Host Jeff Sanders, a keynote speaker, productivity coach, and the author of The 5 AM Miracle, shares his insights about how to slay your day before breakfast.
In Getting Things Done, David Allen sits down with productivity experts, entrepreneurs, and simply successful people to get them to share the productivity secrets that help them stay on top of their productivity game and get things done.
The Action Catalyst is a podcast dedicated to inspiring and educating people so they can reach their full potential in both personal and professional lives. Every episode is an interview with an esteemed author, thought-leader, or speaker, sharing actionable tips and advice on how to stay on top of your daily agenda, keep up momentum, and stay focused on your goals.
If you feel chronically overwhelmed with all the tasks and responsibilities on your plate, Beyond the To-Do List is the podcast you should check out. Hosted by Erik Fisher, this podcast looks beyond the to-do list—as the name implies— discussing productivity as a means to living a balanced and meaningful life.
The One Thing is a podcast about “how to succeed in health, relationships, and money.” You’ll hear tips and strategies from the world’s most successful people on how to make the best use of your energy and time in all aspects of life, discarding the nonessential in order to give your all to what truly matters—the One Thing.
In Hurry Slowly, Jocelyn K. Glei pushes back against the conventional wisdom that “busy is better,” exploring ways to “hurry slowly:” getting things done while taking your time. If that resonates with you, this is the show for you.
Best Productivity Books
Productivity books offer models and systems to organize your time in the most effective and efficient way. So, if you’re looking for a more comprehensive and systematic approach to productivity, books are your best bet.
Here are Shortform picks of the best productivity books from our library.
There isn’t enough time in the day to meet all of the work and personal responsibilities you’re swamped with, let alone keep up with email, social media, and all the things you’ve been meaning to read. In Eat That Frog, business consultant Brian Tracy says the answer is to identify your most important task—the one with the greatest consequences—and do that first each day. It’s like eating a frog: when you have a big challenge, or frog to eat, it’s best to get it out of the way first; everything after that will be easier by comparison. Based on this insight, Tracy offers a list of practical tips for improved productivity and success.
In First Things First, Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, presents a time management approach that focuses on priorities, or “first things.” This approach teaches you to use your time effectively instead of just efficiently—in other words, focusing on what you spend your time on, rather than just how much time you spend per task. You’ll learn how to identify your priorities, schedule your time at the daily and weekly levels, and collaborate with others to ensure the best possible results for everyone.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People provides an inside-out approach to improving yourself and your life. This method entails examining and adjusting your character, your motives, and how you see the world in order to change how you behave and how you interact with others. Learn how to best focus your time, define your personal mission, and build productive relationships with other people.
Like most people, you’re probably easily distracted by wandering thoughts or social media updates while trying to be productive. In Deep Work, Cal Newport teaches you how to develop your focus and resist distractions so that you can rise to the top of your field and drive toward your most important goals. He contends that focus is like a mental muscle: Through deliberate training, you can strengthen your focus and expand your mental capacity.
While many business books tell you how to manage other people, this 1966 classic by management expert Peter F. Drucker explains how to manage yourself to be effective. Drucker says anyone can learn five practices for effectiveness: managing your time, focusing on just a few key tasks, making a unique contribution, maximizing your strengths, and making sound decisions. He explains how to implement these practices, which have remained relevant for over 50 years, even as technology and organizations have evolved.
In today’s tech-dependent, app-centered, notification-ruled world, it’s easier than ever to get distracted from what’s really important—your values, your relationships, and your work. In Indistractable, Nir Eyal develops a four-part model for gaining the modern-day superpower of “indistractability.” You’ll learn how your distractions start internally, why your schedule should be based on your values instead of tasks, how to diminish the power of external triggers in your life, and how to commit to yourself—so you can start driving your life instead of letting its distractions drive you.
Many of us wish that we could become more productive, or increase the productivity of our organization. However, it’s not always clear how to do this. You may believe that you simply need to work longer hours or push yourself to work harder. But doing so won’t necessarily increase your productivity. Instead, you need to make smarter decisions about how you motivate yourself, focus, set goals, and use data effectively. Smarter Faster Better explores the choices we can make to boost personal and organizational productivity.
The Getting Things Done (GTD) program is designed to help you do the things you have to do with less time, energy, and effort so you can do more of the things you want to do. It takes every task and reminder out of your head and into an external system of lists and files so that you can focus all your mental energy on the task at hand. You’ll identify the next action step for every item on your to-do list so that when you have time available you don’t have to think—just do. By gaining command of your day-to-day obligations, you’ll create more time and energy to work toward your long-term goals.
We feel constantly pressed for time. We feel we have to do it all. But because we’re going in so many directions, we make little progress in any of them. Yet most of these activities are trivial. As Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism puts it, we’re majoring in minor activities. The way out of this trap is to practice essentialism: “do less but better.” McKeown explains how you can distinguish the vital few from the trivial, then eliminate the nonessentials and make your optimum contribution in your life and work.
You have a unique talent you were born to master, but knowing how to reach your creative and professional goals is not always easy. In The 5 AM Club, Robin Sharma explains how to discover your inner genius and maximize your abilities by adopting an early morning routine that activates your creative and productive potential. Your daily “Victory Hour” will enable you to narrow down your goals and reach them like a master. With this powerful tool, you can become influential in your field and create a lasting impact on the world.
With so many things vying for your time and attention, it’s difficult to be meaningfully productive these days. Many people believe that to be productive, they just need to work longer hours or push themselves harder. But that will only make you more tired and busy, not necessarily productive. The key to being productive is to know what to focus on, when to focus, and what to discard.
If you want to activate your productivity potential, we’ve got you covered with the best productivity resources, including blogs, books, and podcasts listed above.
Did we miss your favorite productivity blog, book, or podcast? Let us know in the comments!