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A bookshop with an arm reaching out to choose a business book from the shelf.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the day-to-day running of your business, you’re not alone. Productivity can be a huge struggle for business owners, especially when you’re trying to do it all yourself.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of our favourite business productivity books to help you get organised and take back control. From time management tips to goal setting strategies, these books will help you make the most of your day so you can focus on what’s important.

  1. The Alter Ego Effect by Todd Herman
  2. Deep Work by Cal Newport
  3. Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed
  4. The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
  5. SYSTEMology by David Jenyns
  6. Automate It with Zapier by Kelly Goss

If you’re looking for some business productivity inspiration, look no further than these six books. They’re sure to help you get organised, optimise performance and make the most of your time.


1.   The Alter Ego Effect by Todd Herman

Todd Herman is a mindset coach who has worked with hundreds of elite athletes, entrepreneurs, business leaders and entertainers to help them be more resilient, confident and courageous.  He has developed a technique of tapping into your alter ego to boost your personal performance.

Front cover of The Alter Ego Effect book by Todd Herman.

It’s a bit like when Clark Kent takes off his glasses and suit and becomes a Superman – we can all develop an alter ego to overcome self-doubt and negativity.  This book is our top choice for productivity because developing an alter ego will help you achieve your goals, whatever they may be.  Being productive is more than just getting more done in less time, and Todd’s book will set you up for success in whatever form that takes.

Find The Alter Ego Effect by Todd Herman on Amazon.


2.   Deep Work by Cal Newport

If you’ve ever got distracted by your phone, or gone down a rabbithole of social media when you’re supposed to be working, then this book is for you!


Front cover of the Deep Work book by Cal Newport.

Deep Work by Cal Newport explains how to unleash the superpower of concentration to get tasks done, especially those which require deep thinking.  It will make you better at what you do, avoid interruptions and choose which task to focus on next.

There are actionable tips for producing quality work, particularly for ‘knowledge’ workers who perform cognitively-demanding tasks.  By developing and practising better working habits you will supercharge your days, getting more done to a higher standard of excellence.

Find Deep Work by Cal Newport on Amazon.

3.   Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed

The secret to high performance is often one’s attitude to failure and in Matthew Syed’s Black Box Thinking he teaches how to use these moments to achieve great success.

Front cover of the Black Box Thinking book by Matthew Syed.

Matthew also compares different approaches to mistakes, for example in the airline and medical worlds.  In aviation they achieve an excellent safety record because they review and learn from mistakes, sharing them with others for equally good performance worldwide.  The medical profession, however, often seeks to cover up mistakes which leads to further avoidable medical errors costing thousands of lives every year.

The book also discusses marginal gains and how breaking down a big problem into its constituent parts, and then rigorously reviewing them to improve what doesn’t work effectively, can have a significant impact. This fits exactly with our approach to continuous improvement at Solvaa.

Find Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed on Amazon.

4.   The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

Life is incredibly complicated these days, with so many things to remember, and we are huge fans of a checklist at Solvaa – not just checklists but documented processes as a whole.  In Atul Gawande’s book he takes checklists to a whole new level.  The Checklist Manifesto is subtitled How To Get Things Right and explains how every area of life, any industry, can benefit from a checklist mentality.

Front cover of The Checklist Manifesto book by Atul Gawande.

From improving survival rates in medicine to fighter pilots who need to remember incredibly complex information in order to fly their jets, checklists can transform the workplace.  Using checklists forces you to take stock of what needs to be done and to do that consistently without missing any steps.

Find the Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande on Amazon.

5.   SYSTEMology by David Jenyns

David Jenyns founded SYSTEMology when he needed to find a way of removing himself from the day-to-day operations of his business.  He learned how to scale the business without a single-person dependency, by organising his business functions and optimising the everyday tasks.

Front cover of the SYSTEMology book by David Jenyns.

The SYSTEMology book promises to create time, reduce errors and scale your business with proven business systems and builds on what we love and hold at our core here at Solvaa.  It works for even the busiest business owners, especially those who want to introduce systems and processes but simply don’t know where to start.

Find SYSTEMology by David Jenyns on Amazon.

6.   Automate It with Zapier by Kelly Goss

The final choice for our favourite productivity books is Automate It with Zapier by our founder, chief problem solver and chief automator, Kelly Goss. 

Kelly is a huge advocate of streamlining your systems and simplifying your processes, documenting them and then automating them.  Doing this is a game-changer for productivity as it means that many of your boring, manual tasks can be done by robots!

In Kelly’s book she goes through the steps of brainstorming your processes, analysing and simplifying them before choosing the best candidates for automation.  Once you’re ready to automate then each stage is described in detail, from getting started with Zapier and building your first automation to how it can be applied across the business.

This book will help you work smarter, not harder, which is something we’re all striving for!

Find Automate It with Zapier on Amazon.

How to get started with automation in your business

If you’d like to find out more about the difference automation can make for your business, then we have plenty of free resources:

  • Our free e-book is the perfect introduction to business automation.
  • Our YouTube channel features Kelly showing you how easy it is to automate various business processes.
  • Our Zapier functions cheat sheet delves into the powerful inbuilt helper apps which can supercharge your automations

Other helpful articles

These articles will help you understand more about how automation can benefit your business:

And finally, if you’re really keen to transform your business using automation then we will be offering a training course soon!  You can join the wait list to keep up to date with the latest news.



Read more about how our certified experts use Zapier workflow automations to simplify processes and increase efficiency.

Solvaa is a process and automation consultancy specialising in improving sales, operations and financial administration workflows. We help you to simplify and streamline existing processes, integrate your business tools to make data transfer more efficient and automate manual tasks to increase productivity. We are Zapier Certified Experts, Pipedrive Certified Experts and Xero Certified Advisors. 

Contact us today to discuss how Solvaa can help you simplify, improve and automate all aspects of your business with Zapier to save you time, reduce costs and keep you agile as you grow.



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