The best books on overcoming procrastination

Tom Clohosy Cole Author Of War Horse
By Tom Clohosy Cole

Who am I?

I’m an illustrator from Brighton, living in London. I’ve spent 10 years working in the field and over time have had to figure out how to juggle projects in order to make ends meet. I spend a large chunk of my time in my studio working and while I’m working I’m listening to audiobooks because it’s one of the only things that keeps me focussed on the task at hand. Over this time I’ve had quite a few challenges with overwork and getting burnt out and so I’ve listened and read quite a few books on improving working practice. The books I recommended are a few of my favorites that especially resonated with me.

I illustrated...

War Horse

By Michael Morpurgo, Tom Clohosy Cole,

Book cover of War Horse

What is my book about?

Michael Morpurgo's global bestselling children's book War Horse has been adapted into a picture book for the first time. Illustrated throughout, it brings the beloved children's classic to life for kids aged 5 and up.

Master storyteller Michael Morpurgo has adapted his much-loved novel, War Horse, for a picture book audience. This powerful book for younger readers tells the enduring story of a friendship between a boy and his horse and is a gateway to help children understand the history and chaos of the First World War. As we move beyond centenary commemorations and continue to strive for peace across the world, War Horse remains an important book for generations to come.

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The books I picked & why

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

Why did I love 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. 

By Steven Pressfield,

Why should I read it?

19 authors picked The War of Art as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A succinct, engaging, and practical guide forsucceeding in any creative sphere, The War ofArt is nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul.

What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do?

Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid theroadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dreambusiness venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece?

Bestselling novelist Steven Pressfield identifies the enemy thatevery one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer thisinternal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success.

The War of Art emphasizes the resolve…

Book cover of The Practice: Shipping Creative Work

Why did I love 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.

By Seth Godin,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Practice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the bestselling author of Purple Cow and This is Marketing comes an elegant little book that will inspire artists, writers, and entrepreneurs to stretch and commit to putting their best work out into the world.

Creative work doesn't come with a guarantee. But there is a pattern to who succeeds and who doesn't. And engaging in the consistent practice of its pursuit is the best way forward.

Based on the breakthrough Akimbo workshop pioneered by legendary author Seth Godin, The Practice will help you get unstuck and find the courage to make and share creative work. Godin insists that…

Book cover of Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

Why did I love 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.

By Cal Newport,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Digital Minimalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Learn how to switch off and find calm - from the New York Times bestselling author of A World Without Email

'Digital Minimalism is the Marie Kondo of technology' Evening Standard

'An eloquent, powerful and enjoyably practical guide to cutting back on screen time' The Times

'An urgent call to action for anyone serious about being in command of their own life' Ryan Holiday

'What a timely and useful book' Naomi Alderman, author of The Power

Do you find yourself endlessly scrolling through social media or the news while your anxiety rises? Are you feeling frazzled after a long day…

Book cover of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Why did I love 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. 

By Greg McKeown,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Essentialism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The life-changing international bestseller that started a global movement - now updated with the new 21-Day Essentialism Challenge and an exclusive excerpt from EFFORTLESS

Have you ever found yourself struggling with information overload?

Have you ever felt both overworked and underutilised?

Do you ever feel busy but not productive?

If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is to become an Essentialist.

In Essentialism, Greg McKeown, CEO of a Leadership and Strategy agency in Silicon Valley who has run courses at Apple, Google and Facebook, shows you how to achieve what he calls the disciplined pursuit of…

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

Why did I love 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.

By Timothy Ferriss,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Tools of Titans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times Bestseller

The latest groundbreaking tome from Tim Ferriss, the best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek.

From the author: "For the last two years, I've interviewed nearly two hundred world-class performers for my podcast,The Tim Ferriss Show. The guests range from super celebs (Jamie Foxx, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc.) and athletes (icons of powerlifting, gymnastics, surfing, etc.) to legendary Special Operations commanders and black-market biochemists. For most of my guests, it's the first time they've agreed to a two-to-three-hour interview, and the show is on the cusp of passing 100 million downloads.

"This book contains the distilled tools,…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in procrastination, life satisfaction, and information technology?

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