• Angela

Late Summer Reads - 7 Books to Get You Back in a Productivity Mindset

Updated: Aug 29

August can often be a month of transition when it comes to making progress on our goals. Summer is winding down, and most of us are trying to enjoy the last few weeks of relaxation before jumping back into familiar routines. We all need a ‘productivity transition period’ or in real terms – just a break from running around and being busy.

The twilight days of summer are also a good time to reflect, re-assess personal priorities, and recalibrate our goals so that we have momentum going into the final months of the year. We can take the opportunity to start thinking about the new habits and routines we want to put into practice this fall.


With that in mind, the ONTrac team came up with our top 7 list of productivity and time management books. The list includes both old and new thought leaders. Any of these books would be a thought-provoking beach read during the last weeks of summer and help you get in a renewed frame of mind before fall.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change - Stephen R. Covey

Written 30 years ago by renowned author, educator, and businessman, Stephen Covey, yet this book remains relevant today. It’s not a quick read, but if you take the time to digest the principles, it can shift your perspective on relationships, career and how you grow and show up as a person each day of your life.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business – Charles Duhigg

Provides you with the science behind how our habits are formed and real-world examples that make it easy to understand. The insights help you see the patterns that lead to your own behaviors and how to change the ones that are not good for you.

Eat the Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastination & Get More Done in Less Time – Brian Tracy

Brain Tracy has authored many well-known books in self-help, business performance, leadership, and time management. Eat the Frog! is highly recommended for people who struggle with procrastination (who doesn’t!). The book distills the solution down to a simple idea – make the first task of your day the most important and most difficult one – eat the frog. If you tackle your most unsavory task first, you will have the biggest impact on your day, increase productivity, and gain a greater sense of accomplishment.

Deep Work: Rules for Focus in a Distracted World - Cal Newport

Are you addicted to multi-tasking? Do you find yourself constantly distracted - smart phone, email, social media, instant messaging, back-to-back meetings? Well you may want to read this book. In Deep Work, Cal Newport explains why our world of constant connectivity is producing mediocre professionals. Learn to cut through the distractions and create space for focused, demanding work – deep work – and in the process, become elite and successful in your career.

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones – James Clear

Based in science and psychology, the book gives a framework for small incremental changes to successfully build new habits and sustain them. Using examples from real-life, high achievers across different industries and professions, James Clear brings to life key points while inspiring readers.

168 Hours: You Have More Time than You Think - Laura Vanderkam

This book centers on the idea that how we spend our time is a matter of choice. Most of us allow ourselves to be victims of ‘not enough time,’ but Laura Vanderkam offers tools to help identify your biggest priorities so that you can accomplish more of the things that are important to you. Everyone can find the book’s concepts useful, but it is particularly relevant for the modern woman who is struggling to manage home, family, and career responsibilities.

Thinking Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman

A groundbreaking book in the study of human behavior, its premise is that our minds have two systems for decision making: 1) fast, intuitive, and irrational, 2) slow, deliberate, and logical. Will state upfront - this is a dense book. It hammers home points through data, case studies, and research (the author is a Nobel Prize winner in Economics after all). But if you are an intellectual and enjoy the academic approach to understanding human behavior, you will find this book very thought-provoking.

Let us know what you think of our list in the comments. Enjoy your week!

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