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What Are the Best Productivity Books for Freelancers?

Nov 22, 2020
(updated: Dec 5, 2022)
Max 5 min read

Every successful freelance career begins with not only personal talent but great tools to empower your small business. That toolbox could include software tools like the freelancer’s Scribble, Indy, or social media networking groups. It should also include business books that teach you how to develop a successful business solo.

There are books on all aspects of freelancing, but let’s chat about one top concern: productivity. Freelancing is the first chance many people have to truly rely on self-accountability. It isn’t always easy. To make the most of each day, try these productivity books for freelancers to read.

The Freelancer’s Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Have the Career of Your Dreams – On Your Terms by Sara Horowitz & Toni Sciarra Poynter

I’ve listed this book first with good reason: it should top all new freelancers’ reading lists. Sara Horowitz and Toni Sciarra Poynter are heroes in our freelancing community, continuously finding ways to make freelancing more viable or successful in today’s working world. This book is their ultimate guide for any freelancer.

For productivity, The Freelancer’s Bible offers tips on structuring your schedule and career, setting yourself up for long term success.

4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

This productivity classic is popular everywhere, but freelancers benefit most. After all, getting more done means we make more money.

Ferris focuses on the 80/20 theory: 80% of anyone’s productivity comes from 20% of their time. He writes about identifying any time-wasters making up the other 80% of your time, as well as finding solutions to get more from each day. Tools like time trackers help by showing you where your time goes.

books for freelancers

The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday follows and writes about stoicism. This philosophy focuses on accepting things as they are, finding peace in reality rather than getting swept up in the way we wish things were.

This book in particular emphasizes changing your view of hurdles. Holiday teaches us how to see challenges as opportunities for growth. This way, we can find ways to succeed with them instead of letting them block our productivity.

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin

Seth Godin is known for his books about various types of people in professional environments. Linchpins are his third category of people, with this book explaining who linchpins are and how we can all practice their best qualities.

Linchpins are people who push through any challenge and get things done. When everyone else is struggling with making their usual process work with a particular problem, linchpins bust through blockages, using creative problem solving to overcome in their own way. Godin teach us how we can be like linchpins by getting creative, being independent thinkers, and persevering.

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie

Stress is a major obstacle against productivity. We’ve all felt “analysis paralysis,” getting so hung up on stressing about an issue or problem that we don’t get anything done.

Dale Carnegie is known for writing about happiness, so it’s no surprise that one of this positivity guru top books is about stress relief. Every freelancer should read this book for tips on pushing past stress so we can move on and make headway with our task lists.

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity by David Allen

Few thinkers are more revered for their productivity expertise than David Allen, so Getting Things Done is a must-read for all freelancers or business owners. In this book, Allen describes his “Getting Things Done” or GTD time management method. It involves writing down each project so they’re off your mind, then breaking down each project by action items.

This method cuts stress by giving any freelance business pro a simple, straightforward plan to follow. You can tackle one task after another rather than constantly assessing your progress, trying to figure out what to do next.

book for freelancer's productivity

Stocking Your Business Bookshelf

Many people think of it differently but in truth, freelancing is running a business. Having one professional alone doesn’t make your business any less innovative or accomplished. Successful people in freelance make each day a learning experience, with reading lists among their top learning tools. Start with the top-notch productivity books above.

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