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The 7 Best Books to Be More Productive

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There are days when I struggle. Struggle to find motivation. Struggle to be organized. And struggle to pretend like I have it all together.

Maybe you’ve seen that Pinterest-perfect mom who somehow manages to balance everything. Maybe you just want to feel like you’re not battling everyday life. Either way, I’ve been there!

If you’ve ever felt like you’re struggling through life, try reading one of these books. Maybe you’ll never be one of those Pinterest-perfect moms, but these are wonderful books to point you in the right direction! 😉

P.S. Right now, get The Ultimate Productivity Bundle, which is filled with 46 resources to help you get organized, stay focused, and finally be productive.

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The Best Productivity Books to Help Moms Love Their Lives

There’s nothing more motivating than reading a great productivity book. Of all the productivity books that I’ve read, I found the following seven books to be the most encouraging and helpful books.

How to find more time in your day

If you’re having difficulty finding time within your day, I loved these two books.

168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think

168 Hours will help you to realize that you may not be using your time as well as you think. This book helped me figure out how I was spending my time and how I could be more productive with the time that I had.The main idea in 168 Hours is that we all have the same 168 hours to spend every week. However, most people still feel like they’re spinning their wheels and can’t be as productive as they’d like.

Most of the case studies in this book showed that people thought they were sleeping less and working more than they really were. So what were they doing with their time? And how could they be more productive and find more enjoyment in their lives?

Chances are, if you feel like you don’t have enough time, you’re not allocating your time as well as you should be. This book will show you how with well-researched data.

168 Hours will change the way that you think about the time that you have (and how you’re spending it).

The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You

The Fringe Hours will help women to make the most of their days, even the smallest pockets of time. After reading this book, I was able to find more time for the things I love.

“You are never too busy to make time for what you love. It’s just a matter of prioritizing – evaluating how you spend your days and dedicating time for what you value.”  – Jessica N. Turner

We all have pockets of time in our day that we may not be using as well as we could.

I thought I was the queen of multitasking (almost to the point of multitasking in an inefficient way), but The Fringe Hours helped me to see that I wasn’t using my time as effectively as I should be.

For example, it’s not the best idea to multitask when cooking dinner (my kids think burned food is normal)! But there are many other ways to multi-task to get more enjoyment out of life (my favorite was reading a magazine while brushing your teeth and drying your hair).

The Fringe Hours helped me to think about the creative ways that I wanted to spend my time and help me realize that I could make the most of even the smallest pockets of time. If you love to knit, try keeping a small project in your desk at work or in your car to work on whenever you have a spare second. I love reading, so I have the free Kindle app on my phone.

The main idea in The Fringe Hours is to find simple ways to get more enjoyment out of life, even if you only have a few minutes to spare. By prioritizing enjoyment, you can make every minute count.

How to organize your day

Maybe you already created a realistic expectation of what you can (and can’t) accomplish in a day, but you’re struggling to make it all fit. These three books will help you organize your day so that you’re making the most of your time.

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

Eat That Frog is a great book to help busy women be more productive and organize their lives.

“The ability to concentrate singlemindedly on your most important task, to do it well, and to finish it completely, is the key to great success, achievement, respect, status, and happiness in life.” – Brian Tracy

If you’re struggling to organize your day, Eat That Frog is a relatively quick read that will help you to be more productive. The main principle of the book is that by focusing on the most important thing first, you’ll be able to ensure that every day is a productive day.

While this book is technically a “business book,” its principles can easily be applied in the home. Time management doesn’t come easily to me, and I’ve always had to be a “list maker” to get anything accomplished. Eat That Frog will help teach you how to make your lists more effective so that you can easily prioritize and have more discipline in every area of your life.

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

“Many times busyness is equated with productivity. But those two words are not synonomous. Just because we are spinning our wheels… doesn’t necessarily mean that we are doing anything worthwhile.” – Crystal Paine

If you’re feeling frazzled and like you’re just trying to make it through the day, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode gives some great tips to take your life back. Read my full review in this post.

Note: I’ve also taken Make Over Your Mornings and Make Over Your Evenings with great success. These courses were both written by Crystal Paine, author of Say Goodbye to Survival Mode. They helped me to actually look forward to getting out of bed every morning.

It’s a great feeling when you actually feel in control of your calendar!

Better Than Before

Better Than Before is a great book for women to read if they want an effective way to change their habits.Better Than Before focuses on building habits to make the most of your life. The book discusses how to create and improve your habits based on your personality.

“We can build our habits only on the foundation of our own nature.” – Gretchen Rubin

Depending on whether you’re an “upholder,” “obliger,” “questioner,” or “rebel,” habits may or may not come easily to you. In Better Than Before, you’ll learn well-researched “pillars of habits.” You’ll also learn how to get motivated and stick with your habits.

Better Than Before will teach you how to use your personality strengths and weaknesses to create the life you’ve always wanted.

How to love the life you’re living

Ever wanted to try something new or figure out how to incorporate that long-lost hobby back into your day? These two books will show you how.

How to Do It All: The Revolutionary Plan to Create a Full, Meaningful Life – While Only Occasionally Wanting to Poke Your Eyes Out With a Sharpie

how-to-do-it-allThe title alone inspired me to read this book, but I love the way that How to Do It All encourages readers to try new things.

In addition to focusing on your family life, self-care and your personal identity are so important. This book will show you how to be the person that you’ve always wanted to be, while still making time for the important things (like your kids) already in your life.

How to Do It All discusses 12 areas that women should focus on for a well-rounded life. In the first part of the book, you’ll learn how to find more time for the things that you want to focus on. The second part of the book discusses how to incorporate each of the 12 areas into your life.

I read through How to Do It All and then found myself referring back to each of the sections. I’m still in the process of working through each of the twelve sections, but it’s a fun journey!

The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun

the-happiness-project“To be happy, I need to think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth.” – Gretchen Rubin

In The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin writes about her journey to focus on twelve areas of her life.

If you know that your life has a good foundation but you’re struggling to enjoy it, this book is for you. The Happiness Project will show you well-researched ways to incorporate happiness into the everyday mundane aspects of life.

Want to improve your budget? Exercise more? The Happiness Project tackles areas of your life that may not always bring you happiness. It shows you how and why you can be happier within different aspects of your life.

Reading productivity books won’t give you the life that you want, but they can help motivate you! These seven books helped me figure out what I needed to focus on to be more productive and find enjoyment in the everyday moments.

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Debbie @ Mom Simplified

Thursday 29th of September 2016

I LOVE some of these books. I am into Gretchen Rubin and Laura Vanderkam right now. I've heard of the Fringe Hours and Eat That Frog but haven't gotten to them yet. I can't wait!

Alison Lange

Friday 30th of September 2016

I hope you love them!


Monday 26th of September 2016

Great suggestions! I liked Crystal Paine's book, and I'm reading a different Laura Vanderkam book (I Know How She Does It) right now. I'll check the other ones out.

Alison Lange

Wednesday 28th of September 2016

I'm reading I Know How She Does It right now, too! So far, I still like 168 Hours better, but it's interesting to see the different time sheets and how women balance their family life.


Sunday 25th of September 2016

Jumping over from the Monday blog hop I love books so your post caught my attention right away. Thanks for the great list!

Alison Lange

Wednesday 28th of September 2016

Thanks, Jen. Let me know how you like them!

Nicole @ The Professional Mom Project

Sunday 25th of September 2016

Great suggestions. I really enjoyed reading The Happiness Project. I may have to check out some of these. Thanks!

Alison Lange

Wednesday 28th of September 2016

You're welcome, Nicole! Thanks for stopping by!