Everyone is busy and everyone wants to do more, but we all only have the same 24 hours to split between work, sleep, and fun.
To meet this demand, an entire industry of productivity coaches, experts, and gurus have risen up to help us wring more time out of each day. Unfortunately, a good portion of these people are simply out to get your money. Since we all want to get more done, we’re all vulnerable to someone selling us a new solution.
To make it easier, we’ve gathered a list of 20 of the best productivity coaches and experts—people who are actually worth your hard-earned time. Your day is precious, so spend some of it finding out how to make the rest even more valuable. A small investment in new productivity techniques can pay off in massive returns over time.
1. Tim Ferriss
Tim Ferriss is likely the first person you thought of when you saw the title of this post. Ferriss is the infamous author of The 4-Hour Workweek, and has since built a career as a productivity expert.
On his blog, you can keep up with his immensely popular podcast The Tim Ferriss Show (which has over 400 million downloads), and subscribe to his newsletter 5-Bullet Friday. Ferriss always has a lot of different projects going, but his focus is primarily on learning and sharing insights from others. On his podcast, he interviews successful people from a variety of backgrounds, including a Navy SEAL, startup founders, and musicians.
Beyond The 4-Hour Workweek, Ferriss has written more 4-Hour themed books, such as The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef, but has also written books like Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers.
Follow him on Twitter: @tferriss
2. Craig Jarrow
Craig Jarrow is founder of Time Management Ninja, where he promises to help you win the battle against wasted time. Unlike many other productivity gurus, Jarrow’s goal isn’t to entrap you in complex strategies that only he can help you implement. Instead, he focuses on building a set of empowering skills and habits that grant you more control over how you spend your time.
On his site, Jarrow says: “I believe in the simplest answer to bring about the most effective result.” Simplicity and usability are core to his recommendations. When it comes to rebuilding your habits, overly complex tactics only make personal growth too difficult to be sustainable. Jarrow hosts a blog and provides a tip of the day.
Follow him on Twitter: @TMNinja
3. Katie Mazzocco
Katie Mazzocco runs Full Spectrum Productivity, a site focused on providing productivity expertise for small business entrepreneurs. Mazzocco was a small business owner herself, but traded in her career in the wedding industry for one dedicated to helping fellow entrepreneurs once she saw the stress they were dealing with. She’s since written the book Revolutionary Productivity: How to Maximize Your Time, Impact and Income in Your Small Business, and writes regular posts on productivity, including Decision Fatigue: It’s a Real Thing! and Reverse Engineer for Better Productivity.
Mazzocco also offers a unique place to start: after a quick survey, you can schedule a virtual tea date with her. She promises even a quick chat will help you clarify your goals and your directions.
Follow her on Twitter: @FSProductivity
4. Chris Bailey
Chris Bailey is author of Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction and The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy, and runs the website A Life of Productivity. Bailey started his site after he graduated business school, turned down a few job offers, and dedicated one year to pursuing a business based around his passion for productivity. His site has since exploded in popularity, as he translates academic articles into actionable tips, interviews productivity experts, and conducts productivity experiments on himself.
Bailey focuses on concrete, practical tips about tools and habits, as well as creating a lifestyle centered around focus and meditation. You can start with a Ted Talk he recently did called ‘How to Get Your Brain to Focus’ or check out some of his favorite articles.
Follow him on Twitter: @Chris_Bailey or @ALOProductivity
5. David Allen
David Allen is a productivity coach most well known for his book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, which spawned the now widely known GTD model. GTD is a personal productivity methodology to live by. The five-step process asks you to Capture what has your attention, Clarify the process, Organize the information, Reflect on the process and Engage with the task.
GTD has found such significant popularity because it’s relevant to work, life, and school. Entrepreneurs, executives, parents, and students have all found improvements learning from and following the model.
Follow him on Twitter: @gtdguy or @gtdtimes
6. Pierrette Abeel
Pierrette Abeel runs a site called Smart Productivity Solutions. Abeel takes a unique approach to productivity coaching, focusing not only on internal habits but external spaces. She writes articles about organizing your office and cleaning up your inbox, as well as how to build good, productive behaviors.
Abeel focuses on providing relief, helping you figure out how you can reduce stress and regain control. She offers a five-day productivity challenge you can sign up for on her homepage to get started.
Follow her on Twitter: @ProductivityDC
7. Lee Cottier
Lee Cottier is a “Productivity Ninja,” a tongue-in-cheek job title for trainers at Think Productive, an organization that runs productivity workshops and courses. Think Productive also offers productivity coaching and consultants to help people and organizations get more done.
Cottier focuses on helping people become the best at what they do, and encouraging and facilitating the effort they already put in, but in more productive ways. Cottier, and the rest of the trainers at Think Productive, structure their sessions around workshops and at-desk coaching, so participants can put principles into practice right away.
Follow him on Twitter: @LeeCottier
8. Grace Marshall
Grace Marshall is a productivity coach specializing in helping others adopt new, less stressful ways of thinking about work. Marshall has the qualifications to prove it: she’s a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner and a DiSC-certified trainer.
Her passion for productivity springs from a natural disorganization, and the frustration we all feel when time seems to be running out. She’s the author of 21 Ways to Manage the Stuff that Sucks Up Your Time and How to Be REALLY Productive; she also runs a blog on her website.
Follow her on Twitter: @GraceMarshall. Fun fact: Barack Obama follows her.
9. Kayla Matthews
Kayla Matthews is a tech journalist and blogger who also runs a blog called Productivity Theory. She keeps the blog to help others learn to manage their time better and feel more positive in managing the day-to-day. Her blog presents a variety of useful hacks, motivational quotes, and career advice. If you have specific productivity problems, such as maintaining focus, she also has numerous challenges you can take to focus on particular problems.
Matthews also owns and edits a blog called Productivity Bytes that’s more focused on the technical side of productivity. There, she covers topics, from her favorite gadgets to blockchain.
Follow her on Twitter: @KaylaEMatthews
10. Matt East
Matt East is a productivity coach and consultant. He’s also the host of The Goal Achievement Podcast and The Better Humans Podcast, both of which you can find on his site.
His goal is to help ambitious, successful people improve their performance even more, all while increasing their enjoyment of life in general. Productivity isn’t exclusively about getting more done, but includes living a more focused, deliberate life. As such, East also coaches leisure, showing participants how they can get more out of life as a whole.
Follow him on Twitter: @Matt_East_
11. Brittany Berger
Brittany Berger is the founder of WorkBrighter, a site that challenges the notion that we should work smarter. Productivity coaches so often call on us to work harder or smarter, but few acknowledge the realities of fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Her pitch is to instead focus on working “brighter,” meaning that you define productivity in a way that works for you.
Berger has a newsletter, a YouTube channel, and a blog, where she also produces content about marketing and self-care.
Follow her on Twitter: @thatbberg
12. Leo Babauta
Leo Babauta runs Zen Habits, a blog dedicated to mindfulness and the necessity to clear clutter from your daily life. Without cleaning up your old way, adding new productivity techniques is going to be a losing battle. Babauta focuses on figuring out how to live more simply and clarifying what’s most important in your life.
Babauta also runs a program on fearlessness, which teaches people to embrace the inevitable uncertainty that comes with doing meaningful work.
Follow him on Twitter: @zen_habits
13. Jill E. Duffy
Jill E. Duffy is a writer that covers technology and productivity. Her work has appeared on sites like Zapier, Fast Company, and PCMag. Duffy also runs a blog called Productivity Report, which focuses on bridging the gap between research and personal productivity.
All too often, productivity coaches only try to replicate the habits and tricks that have been successful for them. Duffy instead works from research, writing from a considered perspective based on applicable, useful evidence.
Follow her on Twitter: @jilleduffy
14. Alexandra Cavoulacos
Alexandra Cavoulacos is the co-founder of TheMuse and coauthor of The New Rules of Work. She writes about careers, management, productivity and entrepreneurship.
The Muse is a platform for professional development, offering skill-building, advice, and tools for finding jobs. The Muse also gives companies the chance to demonstrate their culture and values through employee stories and testimonials.
Follow her on Twitter: @acav
15. Dave Crenshaw
Dave Crenshaw is an author, speaker, and productivity coach who specializes in the intersection between productivity and leadership. Crenshaw’s work is informed by an ADHD diagnosis, which prompted him to develop systems that enabled focus and organization.
Crenshaw founded Invaluable Inc., a company that offers educational tools to promote productivity for people and organizations. He also offers courses via LinkedIn Learning and has written numerous books, including The Power of Having Fun: How Meaningful Breaks Help You Get More Done and The Myth of Multitasking: How ‘Doing It All’ Gets Nothing Done. If you prefer visual learning, he also has a vlog you can follow.
Follow him on Twitter: @DaveCrenshaw
16. Phoebe Gavin
Phoebe Gavin hosts a YouTube channel called Better with Phoebe that’s full of personal productivity hacks. Gavin’s audience is primarily millennial women, and her content focuses on getting people through the doldrums of their mid-late 20s.
Through intentional lifestyle design and sustainable, actionable tips, Gavin helps her audience design lives they love to lead.
Follow her on Twitter: @betterwphoebe
17. Lindsey C. Holmes
Lindsey C. Holmes is a productivity strategist and founder of Usable Tech Co. Usable Tech Co is a social media marketing, digital strategy, and mobile development agency focused on developing the online presence of small- to mid-level businesses.
Holmes collects her Twitter and Instagram posts on her site and frequently posts useful productivity tips. Her specialty in usable tech gives her unique insight into using and developing technology that’s actionable and beneficial. Usable Tech Co also helps teams get more done from their expertise in automation, workflow, and productivity, which makes her an even more worthy follow for productivity fans.
Follow her on Twitter: @lindseycholmes
18. Laura Vanderkam
Laura Vanderkam’s pitch is to help you spend more time on what matters and less time on what doesn’t. And who wouldn’t want that? To make that goal easier, she’s written books like Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done, I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time, and 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think. She’s also a public speaker, garnering millions of views for one of her TED Talks, and hosts two podcasts.
Her podcast Before Breakfast comes out every weekday morning, offering productivity tips that promise to help your day start off right. You can find more resources on her website, where she also blogs regularly.
Follow her on Twitter: @lvanderkam
19. Laura Stack
Laura Stack is the CEO of The Productivity Pro, a consulting firm that helps stressed-out leaders in high-pressure environments boost their performances. Her specialty is motivating teams to be more productive and demonstrating mindset shifts that can reduce stress.
She’s written books like Faster Together: Accelerating Your Team’s Productivity and is a member of the National Speakers Association’s hall of fame. The Productivity Pro has a blog, newsletter, and links to her books and talks. On Twitter, she regularly posts useful productivity tips that you put into action right away.
Follow her on Twitter: @laurastack
20. Penelope Trunk
Penelope Trunk is a serial startup founder and now a productivity coach. She’s founded four companies, all centered on making and developing communities. She wrote throughout her experiences and has since authored a bestselling book, Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success, and started a successful career advice blog.
Trunk now focuses her coaching on the intersection between work and life, helping her clients clarify their goals and get started moving in the right direction.
Follow her on Twitter: @penelopetrunk
Who are your favorite productivity coaches and experts? Is there anyone we missed? Let us know in the comments below!
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