20 project management books you NEED to read

Project management can get all-consuming and very busy at times, but it’s super important to surround yourself with resources that can keep your momentum going.

There are tons of project management books out there, it can be hard to choose where to start. So we’ve narrowed it down to twenty of the best to help you out!

Which one will you read first?

Article Contents

1. Deep Work by Cal Newport

Cal Newport is known and liked for giving ‘unconventional’ advice and keeping it real. In his latest book, he delves into the key to achieving success: the ability to ignore distractions and keep focus.

The concept of ‘Deep Work’ is learning the skill of completely focussing on the task at hand and completing it without moving away from it.

Set out as a set of ‘rules’ Newport talks us through how to be better at what we do, achieve more in less time and feel truly fulfilled.

2. Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy 

‘21 ways to stop procrastinating and get more done in less time’ 

That’s the promise on the cover of Brian Tracy’s international bestseller. Based on the premise that if you get your hardest task of the day done first (eat the frog!) then you’ll be a lot more productive for the rest of the day. 

The book talks you through exactly how to pick out these crucial tasks and work through them efficiently. 

Tracy claims that effective time management comes down to decision, discipline, and determination. And with this easy-read, you can master all three!

3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey 

This title is known for ignoring trends and instead, simply goes through the proven principles of highly effective people: fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity. 

Targeted at people not only looking to improve themselves professionally but also personally, the book helps readers become more effective in every aspect of their life.

Covey has achieved the amazing milestone of being a bestselling author with this book for a massive fifteen years. In the latest addition, he re-visits why the seven habits are still relevant and answers the many questions he has received over the years.

4. How to be a Productivity Ninja by Graham Allcot 

‘Worry less, achieve more and love what you do!’

Keeping to that simple mindset Graham Allcot visits the subject of productivity in the age of the ‘information overload’

If you’re a person who constantly has a full inbox, notifications coming in and someone always knocking at your office door, this is the book for you!

Techniques covered in this book include ruthlessness, mindfulness, Zenlike calm and stealth and camouflage. So not your typical list, but super effective nonetheless!

5. Master Your Time, Master Your Life by Brian Tracy 

The second title from Brian Tracy on this list, but this time focusing on ‘time’. The basis of this title is that you can get more done if you simply get the timing right.

Based on new research into productivity, paired with Tracy’s real-life experiences, he delves into the argument that we may get stuck on something, but it’s not our fault! It boils down to the timing and this book helps you to understand when you’re most productive.

After you’ve finished reading, you should have a whole new mindset that could change your life for the better. 

6. The Getting Things Done Workbook: 10 Moves to Stress-free Productivity by David Allen 

Originally published over fifteen years ago, a new version of this title including updated advice for today’s ever-changing world has been released.

David Allen’s original book became one of the most influential business books of its era, and now with updated and fresh new perspectives, he’s done it again!

With lots of simple tips to follow that can be easily integrated into your everyday life, with real-life examples to reference, the book can have you well on your way to ‘getting things done’!

7. Rework: Change the Way You Work Forever, by Jason Fried and David Heinmeier Hansson

You may have heard of these guys before, they invented the software ‘37signals’ which led to them releasing this ‘different kind of business book’.

Claiming to ‘explore a new reality’ this duo of authors claim that anyone can be in business, and they can help you achieve your business goals.

Rework is designed for people going it alone with straightforward language to make everything seem easier. This title will help you to start your own business with helpful inspiration and professional guidance. 

8.Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results by James Clear

 ‘Tiny changes, remarkable results’

James Clear claims to have hit on a revolutionary system that helps you get 1% better each day- and that’s enough!

He calls them ‘atomic habits’ and wants to show you exactly how they can change your life!

Presented as simple hacks alongside relevant anecdotes and real-life examples, it’s easy to steam through this book and start changing your mindset for the better!

9. The Checklist Manifesto: How To Get Things Right, by Atul Gawande

The humble ‘checklist’ is the main subject of this book and Atul Gawande champions everything about it!

The premise is simple, if you have a checklist, you’re less likely to fail and that goes for every aspect of our lives. But, we’re talking about business here and how the simplest of ideas can translate to big business.

With a philosophical approach, Gawande nails the mix of a thought provoking and enjoyable read.

10. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

‘You want less. And you want more’

Gary Keller and Jay Papasan have identified that we want less on our plate and higher productivity at the same time! But how do we achieve that?

The co-authors talk us through exactly how to clear through the clutter, keep energy levels up and stress levels down.

This book is perfect for people who are feeling bogged down by the distractions around them and are looking for a simple way to work through it. 

11. Hyper focus: How to work less and achieve more, by Chris Bailey

‘How to work less, and achieve more’

The idea of this book is to zero in on our attention spans, as this is one of the most powerful and underrated resources that we have!

In Hyperfocus you’ll learn:

  • How working fewer hours can increase our productivity.
  • How drinking caffeine strategically instead of habitually gives us more energy.
  • How we get more done by making our work harder, not easier.
  • How we do our best creative work when we’re the most tired.

If you’re struggling with work/life balance, this book can help you through that. It’s packed full of practical tools and advice that you can follow to make a noticeable difference in your everyday life.

12. The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey

‘Proven ways to become more awesome!’

We all want to be more productive, so this book can be useful to anybody! Chris Bailey (in his second title on this list) addresses the fact that the information out there on the subject is so vast, that it’s sometimes difficult to know where to start. 

But the aim of the book is to break it down into small digestible chunks to see what works for you. The great thing is, Bailey has tried every single way that he talks about! In order to write this book, he spent a full year testing and experimenting with all the techniques that he could- and documented everything.

So, instead of trying every one of them yourself, just dive into this book!

13. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Instead of just telling you how to change habits, Charles Duhigg also looks at why we develop these habits in the first place. 

This can be a great insight if you’re interested in looking into your own behaviours and how you can change them for the better.

Duhigg takes about the behavioural science behind this but puts it in simpler terms so we can weave the findings into our everyday lives.

Taking evidence from real-life cases, this book delves into how habits can transform businesses and lives. 

14. The Time Chunking Method: A 10-Step Action Plan For Increasing Your Productivity by Damon Zahariades

‘Time management made easy’

Damon Zahariades delves into the phenomenon of ‘Time Chunking’, how it works and the benefits of using it.

Self-proclaiming to go further into the method than anything else you’ll read online Zahariades champions time chunking as a way forward for productivity. After finishing the book, you’ll be able to put together an action plan for using and managing your time to create the best outcome.

15. Make Your Brain Work: How to Maximize Your Efficiency, Productivity and Effectiveness by Amy Brann 

Amy Brann uses insights from neuroscience to take a look at what really makes us tick! And although Bran is an expert in brain science, we don’t have to be!

She does a great job of breaking everything down in a clear, engaging way so we can discover how to function at the top of our capabilities, more of the time.

The book aims to help you learn habits and behaviours, to help you achieve what you want. All by training your brain to work in a way that you want! 

16. Stop Procrastination: Overcome Procrastination, Increase Productivity, Stop Self Sabotage and Get All Things Done by Bob Covey

If you feel that procrastination is getting in the way of your success, then this book is the one for you!

It will help you to understand why you procrastinate, the behaviours that lead to it and how to combat them.

You’ll cover how to identify and set your priorities, the importance of visualization and by the end of the book, you’ll have a seven-day action plan to move forward with.

17. The 80/20 Principle: The Secret of Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch

Learning how to be more effective but with less effort? Sign us up! 

The 80/20 principle is said to be one of the great secrets of highly effective people and businesses. In basic terms, the book claims that 20% of our time accounts for 80% of the work we accomplish.

Richard Koch helps to identify how to make the most of the 20%, with systematic and practical advice. 

After reading this book, you’ll be equipped to live the 80/20 life, with new priorities and skills to see you through.

18. The Miracle Morning: The 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8AM by Hal Elrod

Often described as ‘magical’ this book is ideal for a morning person or someone who wants to become one!

The book is based around six sections, called ‘Life S.A.V.E.R.S’- silence, affirmations, visualisation, exercise, reading and scribing. The premise is to take just one minute per day on each of these and see what a difference it can make to your life.

The author himself has a wonderfully inspiring story (no spoilers!) and his easy to follow tips has earned him hoards of fans all around the world.

19. Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action by Simon Sinek

Based on the most-watched Ted Talk of all time, Simon Sinek’s book encourages us to all start with the ‘why’.

His opinion is that it doesn’t matter what we are doing in business, it only matters why we’re doing it.

The book analyses people like Steve Jobs and Martin Luther King, and how they think. Discovering that they all started with ‘why’.

The book helps you analyse your own business and get right to the core of why you are doing what you do and how this can be the secret to your success. 

20. Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferris

Now, this book won’t make you an instant billionaire, but it can certainly set you on the right path!

Tim Ferris has interviewed some big names in his career, including Jamie Foxx and Arnold Schwarzenegger, but also successful athletes and business people. In all of his interviews, he covers what has made them successful?

Then he’s got all of the answers together and written this book!

So if you’re looking for an inspirational read, something to make you jump out of bed in the morning and fist bump the air, this is the one for you!

Conclusion

With twenty books in this list to choose from, there’s bound to be something that resonates with you, so get started on your Amazon wishlist.

A wise person once said that buying books doesn’t actually buy you the time to read them (and there’s a Japanese word for it too: TSUNDOKU). But you’ve read this list, so that’s a start! 

Taking time to read books that inspire you can have a great effect on you, and your business, so make sure to take some time to indulge in a page or two. You never know what will come from it!

Project.co can help with all your project management needs! With Project.co all the information for each project is kept in one place giving your team and clients a single source of truth. Create your free forever account today to get started.