Is Ali Abdaal’s Productivity Hacks Book Worth the Hype: Our Feel-Good Productivity Review

by | 20 Apr, 2024

Ali Abdaal Book Productivity Hacks

As a long-time subscriber to Ali Abdaal’s YouTube channel, it didn’t take much convincing for me to grab a copy of “Feel-Good Productivity” – Abdaal’s Productivity Hacks Book. But is it worth the hype?

Small side note in case you don’t know who Ali Abdaal is:

Ali Abdaal is a UK-based YouTuber, entrepreneur, and former doctor known for his content on productivity, personal development, and effective studying techniques.

After graduating from Cambridge University with a degree in medicine, Abdaal worked as a doctor in the UK’s National Health Service before pursuing content creation full-time.

His YouTube channel, launched in 2016, has amassed 5 million YouTube subscribers. Abdaal’s videos often explore themes like optimizing work efficiency, building better habits, and the nuances of leading a balanced life.

Alongside YouTube, he runs various online courses and co-founded the productivity tool company, “Partum.” His approach combines practical advice with personal insights, making complex concepts accessible to a broad audience.

Overview of Feel-Good Productivity

Feel-Good Productivity” is quite a good read for someone looking to inject some positivity into their work habits. From cover to cover, this book by Ali Abdaal invites you to explore productivity through a fresh, more approachable lens.

I enjoyed Adaal’s ability to intertwine practical advice with relatable anecdotes. Just like his popular Youtbe Channel, he adds his unique (and modern spin) while sharing valuable productivity hacks.

The concept of moving from SMART goals to NICE ones, for one, introduces a revitalizing perspective on setting objectives that are truly motivating.

feel good cover

Critiques arising from my journey with the book were minor but noteworthy. While the content is solid, some might find certain sections a tad repetitive if they’re well-versed in productivity doctrines. But overall, the book’s inviting narrative makes even the familiar concepts enjoyable to revisit.

This isn’t your typical productivity guide; it’s centered around the concept of achieving what truly matters to you, in a way that leaves you feeling good rather than drained.

Engaging Writing Style

As I made my way through the pages of “Feel-Good Productivity,” I couldn’t help but feel a wave of relief. It’s not every day you come across a productivity book that puts well-being at the forefront. Unlike other productivity guides that can be heavy with to-dos and routines, Ali Abdaal’s take on the subject is like having a chat with a good friend who really knows their stuff—friendly, insightful, and full of aha-moments. Once again – his YouTube persona shines through the pages.

Reading this, I found the ideas were presented in such a playful manner, that it sparked my curiosity. “Productivity doesn’t have to be a grind; it can actually be enjoyable” – type of way!

It’s fair to say, the book isn’t a one-size-fits-all treasure map to productivity nirvana. For a few, parts may come across as familiar territory if you’re well-versed in personal development literature. But even then, the personal anecdotes bring a freshness that keeps you nodding along in agreement and eager to try out these new strategies in your own life.

Innovative Productivity Concepts

This book cleverly avoids the typical one-size-fits-all approach and instead emphasizes personalized strategies that resonate with your individual lifestyle. It’s refreshing to have a productivity guide that recognizes our unique differences and offers tools tailored to what actually makes us tick.

One aspect I found particularly beneficial is how the book steers you toward identifying what really matters in your life and work. It’s not just about crossing things off a to-do list; it’s about making sure that your to-do list truly aligns with your personal values and goals. You end up feeling more fulfilled because you’re working on what genuinely brings you joy.

The author’s perspective is grounded and pragmatic, making the concepts accessible without overcomplicating things. However, there’s no sugarcoating here; the book points out that real productivity isn’t always a walk in the park. It takes effort to shift habits and mindsets, and the author does a fine job of navigating readers through this process.

In short, “Feel-Good Productivity” isn’t your average productivity manual. It doesn’t just throw strategies at you, but rather, it’s a journey of self-discovery that teaches you how to be productive in a way that feels authentic and sustainable for you.

Real-World Applications

The key takeaway for me was the shift from traditional goal setting to NICE goals—goals that are energizing and practical. Implementing this approach has actually made me look forward to my to-do list each morning, rather than dread it.

The anecdotes and strategies woven throughout the pages are highly relatable. Whether I was at the coffee shop or curled up at home, I could easily apply the insights and noticed a difference in how I approached my work. I did hit a few snags when trying to tailor some techniques to my unique situation, but that’s to be expected—no single book has all the answers.

Yet, this hasn’t just been another read that I forget about in a week. The principles outlined have stuck with me, and I’ve found myself returning to specific chapters when I need a refresher or extra motivation – and even rewatching Ali’s old videos.

Sure, it may not be the silver bullet to end all productivity woes, but it’s certainly equipped me with a more positive outlook on productivity.

Physical Quality and Design

After getting my hands on “Feel-Good Productivity,” I must say its physical form didn’t disappoint. The book’s cover texture feels nice to the touch, and it’s flexible enough to handle some wear and tear. Weighing in at just 8.8 ounces, it’s light enough to carry around without any hassle. Despite its handy size, with dimensions of 9.21 x 6.02 x 0.6 inches, the text within is very readable—no squinting necessary.

The pages, all 270 of them, are bound neatly into the paperback cover. I appreciate the thickness of the pages; they’re sturdy yet crisp, making the act of flipping through the book a subtle pleasure.

Its simple and uncluttered design gives it an inviting appearance, and there’s an evident quality feel as soon as you pick it up.

Bottom Line

“Feel-Good Productivity” has been a delightful and insightful companion for me, and it might just be the breath of fresh air your bookshelf needs.

Ali Abdaal extends a friendly hand to guide you through making meaningful changes without the pressure, and you can sense that encouragement with every page.

Pros and Cons


  • Engaging Style: The way Abdaal writes is both engaging and relatable, making it easier to grasp the more complex productivity concepts.
  • Fresh Insight: There’s a new take on goal setting that goes beyond the typical SMART goals, introducing something called NICE goals, which feel more dynamic and inspiring.
  • Practical Tips: You can start applying the tools and techniques from the book right away in your daily life for immediate productivity improvements.
  • Accessible Concepts: Even if you’re new to the productivity game, the concepts are presented in a straightforward and simple manner, making them easily understandable and implementable.
  • Positive Approach: I appreciate the focus on a positive mindset. It’s not only about checklists and productivity hacks; it’s about cultivating an environment where productivity naturally blossoms.


  • Overlap with Other Books: If you’ve read a lot of personal development books, some of the themes in “Feel-Good Productivity” might feel familiar.
  • Content Density: While well-structured, the book packs a lot of information, which can be overwhelming for some readers.
  • End Too Soon: As with any good read, you might find yourself wishing there was more to devour once you reach the end.

What Other Readers Are Saying

With a strong 4.6-star rating from over 1900 reviews (at the time of checking), it’s clear that I’m not the only one who appreciates its value.

Several readers mentioned that even without reading popular books in the productivity genre, this one stood out on its own, delivering unique and applicable messages. Ali’s use of language is pointed out as a mix of simplicity and brilliance, easily digestible yet profound. It’s like he’s having a conversation with you, helping you understand why certain productivity strategies are effective.

I empathize with those who felt that pre-“Feel-Good Productivity”, their efforts at being productive were more akin to well-disguised procrastination.

It’s not all praise though; some readers expected more from the book, perhaps seeking deeper technical strategies. But for anyone sitting on the fence, consider this reader-shared sentiment: the book’s insights into daily life application make it a worthy addition to your shelf. The book concludes leaving you wanting more—a sign of a truly compelling read.


In summary, my time with this book has been quite transformative.

I’ve been re-evaluating my own productivity strategies and found Abdaal’s approach to be both refreshing and effective. It’s a guide that not only challenges the way you think about productivity but also provides you with the tools to make those changes stick.

Sure, some of the concepts may echo other personal development reads, and you might crave more content, but the pros here outweigh the cons significantly.

Having spent some quality time with “Feel-Good Productivity,” I can confidently say that Ali Abdaal brings a refreshing perspective to the productivity conversation. This isn’t just another book preaching tired techniques and checklists. Instead, it offers a positive spin on productivity that’s both energizing and practical. Simplifying complex principles into actionable insights, it really stands out from the typical fare.