The Best Books On Overcoming Procrastination

Tom Clohosy Cole Author Of War Horse
By Tom Clohosy Cole

The Books I Picked & Why

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

By Steven Pressfield

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Why this book?

Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art is a fantastic book, I only found it recently but it quickly became a favourite and a lot of the ideas have stuck with me. He talks about the forces of resistance, which we have to do battle with each and every day in order to free ourselves so we can do our work. Any creative output comes up against resistance, whether it’s distractions, procrastinations, or negative thought patterns. Putting a label on the forces working against us and unpicking what it takes to simply get started makes for reassuring reading. I find myself constantly coming up with reasons not to do things, and I’m glad that when I do, I can remember Stevens wise words to expect the fight every day and know that everyone is going through the same struggles. 


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The Practice: Shipping Creative Work

By Seth Godin

The Practice: Shipping Creative Work

Why this book?

The Practice is essentially quite a simple idea but the impact grows as you read the book, to the point where the message really sticks with you. Seth explains that everything in life is a practice. We are constantly training, learning, failing, improving, at everything we do. Anything we want to pursue, or dedicate ourselves to, will also take a lot of practice. We can’t expect to be the best at something straight away, all we can do is put the hours in and be patient. I read this book at the same time as I’d picked up painting again after many many years. I was frustrated that I couldn’t do it well and wasn’t getting the results I wanted. Reading ‘The Practice’ chilled me out and reminded me, that of course I wasn’t going to be a good painter straight away, I’d not done the work. It would take many hours and years of practice, but that’s ok.


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Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

By Cal Newport

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

Why this book?

If you worry that you are spending too much time on your phone and finding that it’s getting in the way of your life, you might find this book just the right push to get some distance from your devices. Cal Newport gives loads of practical advice on how to make your phone work for you, and not the other way around. This book encouraged me to delete a whole load of distracting apps that I was sinking hours into without realising. If you want/need to be more focused at work and have fewer things fighting for your attention then this book has loads of actions you can take. In a world where we are swamped with content, choices and distractions everywhere, you might find that taking the digital minimalism approach brings you a bit more peace of mind. Even if you take just a few of the suggestions on board from this book, its worth a read you’ll notice the difference.


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Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

By Greg McKeown

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Why this book?

Greg Mckeown says that the way to overcome procrastination is to become an essentialist. This means to focus on what is essential. I took this to mean doing fewer things but doing them better. I love the saying ‘swallow the frog’ - meaning get your hardest task done first. I’ve been trying to think each day, what is the most important/essential thing to do today, and then to focus my efforts on that. When you’ve done the hardest task, the rest of the day goes by like a breeze. Essentialism is in many ways like Minimalism. The less we have distracting us, the easier it is to do the one or two things that are really important us. It’s a good read and works well as an audiobook. 


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Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers

By Timothy Ferriss

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers

Why this book?

Tools of Titans is literally choc a block full of amazing advice from some of the top performers in their fields from around the world. They discuss the tools and routines that have helped them get to where they are. It’s fascinating listening to just how different people are and then in contrast spotting the things that come up time and time again. Like meditation or having a morning routine. There are book recommendations and all sorts of things that you’ll be constantly jumping on to google to search for. I really enjoyed this as an audiobook, as it’s got some great narrators. I definitely found some tools that helped me beat procrastination in here.


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