⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
Last Updated on

Procrastination, Productivity

15 Books on Procrastination To Help You Start Taking Action

Written by Leon Ho
Founder & CEO of Lifehack
⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄

Procrastination. It’s a little bugger that gets to all of us. As research[1] points out, around 20-25% of adults are chronic procrastinators. A whopping 50% concede to putting things off now and then.

But it’s not just about idle time or delaying the inevitable. According to a study,[2] by productivity author Darius Foroux, involving over 2200 people, about 88% of the workforce tend to procrastinate for at least an hour a day. The kicker? If you’re earning $40k a year, three hours of daily procrastination can cost you a staggering $15,000.

Procrastination is basically a beast that gnaws away at your productivity, your potential, and even your paycheck. We’ve all given in to this beast, whether it’s at work or in our personal life.

But procrastination isn’t an invincible monster. It’s a habit, a bad habit that can be broken.

So, if you’re keen on achieving more in life, you’ve got to learn to tame this beast. Break this habit. Snap this avoidance loop. We’ve got just the tools to help you do it.

I’ve rounded up a list of 15 standout books that arm you with practical strategies to stop procrastinating and start doing.

A word of caution though: Don’t try to read them all at once. That’s just inviting our old friend’s procrastination back into the picture.

ADVERTISING

Instead, start small. A chapter a day, a few pages, or just 15 to 30 minutes of dedicated reading time. The key isn’t to race through the list—it’s to soak in each book, to learn, and to apply.

And if you’re wondering which one to start with, pick the one that sparks your interest the most. That way, you’re more likely to stick with it.

15 Must-Read Books on Procrastination

Here are the 15 must-read books on procrastination that can help you get back on track and make the most of your time:

1. “The Now Habit” by Neil Fiore

Fiore’s book helps you understand why you put things off. Fear of failing? Fear of succeeding? Or trying to be perfect? This book dives into these reasons and gives you ways to fight them.

It’s about replacing the avoidance with action, guilt-free play, and smart time management.

The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play
    The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play
    $13.91
    Read Now
    Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
    05/15/2024 10:17 pm GMT

    2. “Eat That Frog!” by Brian Tracy

    Tracy’s book uses Mark Twain’s idea of ‘eating the frog’ – doing your toughest task first. His 21 techniques help you prioritize, plan, and stay focused.

    By handling the hard stuff first, you stress less and get more done.

    Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
      Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
      $8.39
      Read Now
      Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
      05/15/2024 05:42 pm GMT

      3. “The Procrastination Equation” by Piers Steel

      Steel’s book uses an equation to explain why we put things off. He digs into why we value now over later, why we lack confidence, and why we’re not motivated.

      By understanding your equation, you can change your behavior and get stuff done.

      The Procrastination Equation: How to Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Stuff Done
        The Procrastination Equation: How to Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Stuff Done
        $12.89
        Read Now
        Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
        05/15/2024 05:37 pm GMT

        4. “Solving the Procrastination Puzzle” by Timothy A. Pychyl

        Pychyl’s book makes understanding why we put things off easy and provides real solutions. His focus on being mindful and kind to yourself can help you feel less guilty when you procrastinate and take small steps towards your goals.

        Solving the Procrastination Puzzle: A Concise Guide to Strategies for Change
          Solving the Procrastination Puzzle: A Concise Guide to Strategies for Change
          $9.49
          Read Now
          Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
          05/15/2024 05:47 pm GMT

          5. “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield

          Pressfield’s book names the thing that stops us from reaching our goals “Resistance”. This internal force causes procrastination.

          By recognizing and battling Resistance, you can overcome creative blocks and achieve your potential.

          The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
            The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
            $10.99
            Read Now
            Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
            02/19/2024 02:51 am GMT

            6. “Deep Work” by Cal Newport

            Newport’s book introduces ‘Deep Work’, focusing on a demanding task without distraction. He provides strategies like embracing boredom and quitting social media.

            Mastering deep work can boost your concentration, improve your work, and kick procrastination to the curb.

            Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
              Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
              $14.32
              Read Now
              Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
              05/15/2024 08:57 pm GMT

              7. “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg

              Duhigg’s book looks at how habits are made and changed. By understanding this, you can spot what triggers your procrastination and replace it with productive behaviors.

              It gives you a real plan for changing bad habits and creating good ones.

              The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
                The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
                $10.53
                Read Now
                Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                05/15/2024 09:02 pm GMT

                8. “Procrastinate on Purpose” by Rory Vaden

                Vaden’s book talks about ‘multipliers’, people who make more time by allowing themselves to spend time on things today that will save them time tomorrow.

                His ‘Focus Funnel’ can help you manage your time better, get more done, and stop unnecessary delays.

                Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time
                  Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time
                  $13.42
                  Read Now
                  Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                  05/15/2024 05:52 pm GMT

                  9. “Getting Things Done” by David Allen

                  Allen’s GTD method is a powerful way to handle your tasks. It suggests recording all your tasks outside your head, organizing them properly, and reviewing them regularly.

                  This can clear your mind and reduce anxiety, freeing you to focus on your work and procrastinate less.

                  Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
                    Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
                    $10.79
                    Read Now
                    Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                    05/15/2024 05:57 pm GMT

                    10. “The Art of Procrastination” by John Perry

                    Perry’s book introduces ‘structured procrastination’, the idea that you can make your habit of delaying tasks work for you by rearranging your priorities.

                    If you’re a chronic procrastinator, this book can help you turn your habit into a strength, not a weakness.

                    The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing
                      The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing
                      $12.95
                      Read Now
                      Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                      05/15/2024 06:02 pm GMT

                      11. “The Willpower Instinct” by Kelly McGonigal

                      McGonigal’s book explains the science behind self-control and how to use it to stop procrastinating.

                      By learning why we often lose self-control, you can build your willpower, control your impulses, and make the most of your time.

                      The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It
                        The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It
                        $12.89
                        Read Now
                        Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                        05/15/2024 10:37 pm GMT

                        12. “The 5 Second Rule” by Mel Robbins

                        Robbins’ book introduces a simple strategy to get you moving—the 5-second rule. You’ve got an idea to act, move within 5 seconds, or your brain will stop it.

                        Using this rule can help you fight procrastination and start taking action.

                        The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage
                          The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage
                          $13.99
                          Read Now
                          Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                          02/19/2024 03:16 am GMT

                          13. “Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done” by Jon Acuff

                          Acuff’s book is all about getting things done. He says trying to be perfect is the biggest reason we don’t finish tasks, and he provides ways to overcome this.

                          By dropping the need for perfection, you can make real progress, procrastinate less, and get more done.

                          Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done
                            Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done
                            $10.59
                            Read Now
                            Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                            05/15/2024 06:32 pm GMT

                            14. “The End of Procrastination” by Petr Ludwig and Adela Schicker

                            Ludwig and Schicker’s book gives you tools, based on science, to finally stop procrastinating.

                            They focus on motivation and its role in beating procrastination and offer a guide to building a satisfying career and happy life.

                            The End of Procrastination: How to Stop Postponing and Live a Fulfilled Life
                              The End of Procrastination: How to Stop Postponing and Live a Fulfilled Life
                              $9.91
                              Read Now
                              Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                              05/15/2024 06:37 pm GMT

                              15. “Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It Now” by Jane B. Burka and Lenora M. Yuen

                              Burka and Yuen’s book digs into why we procrastinate. They look at things like fear of failure and success, resisting control, and the rush of last-minute work.

                              Their strategies can help you overcome these barriers, stop putting things off, and get more control over your life.

                              Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It Now
                                Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It Now
                                $14.76
                                Read Now
                                Lifehack is reader-supported. We earn a commission, at no additional cost to you.
                                05/15/2024 06:42 pm GMT

                                Final Thoughts

                                The 15 books I’ve listed offer solid advice, backed by real science and real experiences, about how to kick procrastination to the curb. They dive deep into why we procrastinate and offer real-world tactics to fight it.

                                Start with the book that grabs your attention the most, and make a commitment to read it every day. As you read it, take in the insights, try out the strategies that fit you, and see how they change things for you.

                                As a sidenote, if you want an even more systematic approach to end procrastination, my team and I have developed the Time Flow System to help you start taking action and making progress easily. Try out the Time Flow System here!

                                Reference

                                ⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
                                Advertising
                                Advertising
                                Advertising
                                Advertising
                                Advertising
                                ⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
                                ⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
                                ⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
                                ⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄