The best books on procrastination

3 authors have picked their favorite books about procrastination and why they recommend each book.

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The Now Habit

By Neil Fiore,

Book cover of The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play

I recommend this book to my coaching clients and friends and family members because it provides clear, practical, effective advice for getting things done without beating yourself up. Using Fiore’s “Unschedule” is so motivating and positive, you avoid feeling guilt-ridden or otherwise miserable with yourself. My favorite part? Rewarding yourself with guilt-free play.

The Now Habit

By Neil Fiore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Now Habit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

In order to earn my Ph.D. in Psychology before I turned thirty, I had to learn how to be efficient and productive. As a life coach and author of two dozen books, I’ve spent the past twenty years helping people overcome challenges, get things done, and get more out of life. 


I wrote...

You Can Get it Done: Choose What to Do, Plan, Start, Stay on Track, Overcome Obstacles, and Finish

By Liisa Kyle,

Book cover of You Can Get it Done: Choose What to Do, Plan, Start, Stay on Track, Overcome Obstacles, and Finish

What is my book about?

It doesn’t matter what you’ve got going on or what you’re trying to do, this book is designed to help you be more productive. Inside you'll find: three essential keys to get things done; seven effective time management strategies; a five-part process to figure out what you really want; how to prioritize; how to devise and implement a plan; eight ways to get started; six essential tools to stay on track; how to overcome obstacles and common setbacks; how to identify and overcome self-sabotage; how to know when it’s okay to quit a project (and when it’s not); four common challenges to finishing — and their solutions; and how to finish something well.

The War of Art

By Steven Pressfield,

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

For me, as an artist, there is no greater feeling than bringing a vision into reality and welcoming the formless into form. Having to wrestle with the angels of creativity and the demons of resistance is exhausting, soul-enlivening work. Steven Pressfield brilliantly describes and guides readers through this process in his seminal work The War of Art. Steven invites us to square our shoulders towards all that we’ve been resisting, as a means of facing the life we know we’re capable of and called to live. The book is divided into three parts, or books within the book: Book One is called, simply “Resistance: Defining The Enemy.” Book Two is titled “Combating Resistance: Turning Pro” and outlines the differences between an amateur and a professional, and Book Three is my personal favorite: “Beyond Resistance: The Higher Realm” where he waxes poetic about our connection to the Muses and the…

The War of Art

By Steven Pressfield,

Why should I read it?

13 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…


Who am I?

From the time I could hold a crayon, I was drawing. I often don’t know how I truly feel about something until I make art about it. Led by imagination and curiosity, I'm a seasoned traveler in liminal spaces and love guiding people between the mystical and the mundane. With 20-plus years of experience as an Artist and Creative Director, I've discovered that solutions to any problem can be found through triumphs in imagination and a willingness to view the situation from a different perspective. By peeking into my own shadow, darkness, and hidden places, I've gained a profound reverence for the human soul and deeper compassion for what it is to be alive.


I wrote...

The Keepers of Color: A Creative Hero's Journey Into the World Within

By Jon Marro,

Book cover of The Keepers of Color: A Creative Hero's Journey Into the World Within

What is my book about?

Inspired by Joseph Campbell and his lifelong study of The Hero’s Journey, The Keepers of Color is designed to take you on an adventure into yourself. It is aimed at reawakening your sense of wonder, imagination, and boundless creativity, as you move from your fears and doubts into your hopes and dreams. 

Part coloring book, part journal, and part folktale, The Keepers of Color will ask you to contemplate the very simple, but profound question of why you are here. It serves as a reminder to the life you are capable of living and a training ground where you can practice playing full-out by giving your whole heart to something. 

Book cover of Someday is Not a Day in the Week: 10 Hacks to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life

Moving from burnout to breakthrough is about becoming clear on what really matters. Sam Horn, the most prolific and powerful wordsmith I have ever known, comes up with subtle and not-so-subtle ways of hitting you between the eyes and asking “what are you waiting for?” 

Becoming clear on what really matters is not about goal setting. But rather, it’s about what makes you excited, more playful, purposeful, and passionate about your life. As with the other books, I have highlighted so much. Now, my task is not just to read but to do. Sam not only crafts a process but her method of questioning will stop you in your tracks. She has a wealth of pertinent quotes that jump out on almost every page: from Buddha to Hugh Jackman, from Anais Nin to Eleanor Roosevelt.

Someday is Not a Day in the Week

By Sam Horn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Someday is Not a Day in the Week as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to make a difference—by helping others become wiser and/or happier. But how? Colleagues, clients, and friends tell me that I have a capacity for energy that is boundless. I resisted that statement. It sounded “fluffy”. How could I make a difference if I saw “energy” as being some flighty firefly? Then, when I went through 2 bouts of burnout, I realized that energy was the secret—the secret to resilience, the secret to growth and service. Reading, writing, and speaking fill me with the energy to grow, learn, laugh, and serve. I trust these books and my writing will bring the same to you.


I wrote...

Burnout to Breakthrough: Building Resilience to Refuel, Recharge, and Reclaim What Matters

By Eileen McDargh,

Book cover of Burnout to Breakthrough: Building Resilience to Refuel, Recharge, and Reclaim What Matters

What is my book about?

The World Health Organization had already listed Burnout as a global occupational hazard before the pandemic. From employees stressed to the breaking point to organizations battered by resignations and shrinking markets, this book offers solid advice and insight that is timely, relevant, and actionable. Because all leadership starts with self-leadership, you’ll find a clear road map to breaking free of personal and professional demands while being given a clear formula for building a life of your design.

At the same time, you’ll find a nuanced, broader perspective about a workplace that is “preheated” for overachievers. Leaders will be equipped with valuable questions and practices to help employees turn burnout into fired up. But make no mistake. You’ll find this a big-hearted book, written in a lively style with lots of relatable examples and immediately applicable advice.

Thrivers

By Michele Borba,

Book cover of Thrivers: The Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine

Michele Borba begins her latest book by getting right to the heart and mind of what matters for optimal child development—and then she moves on to the importance of cultivating will. In total, she focuses on seven integral points—self-confidence, empathy, self-control, integrity, curiosity, perseverance, and optimism—describing why each of these attributes matters, and how to nurture them. If you want your child to be happy, resilient, and able to flourish even through adversity, then Thrivers is an excellent resource for you.

Thrivers

By Michele Borba,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thrivers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

I write about supporting and encouraging children’s and teens’ intelligence, creativity, productivity, and well-being. I’m an educational consultant with over 35 years of experience working with parents, teachers, and students within diverse communities, and I’m the award-winning author of seven books. I focus a lot on gifted education and procrastination. Within my books, articles, and presentations, there are tons of strategies and resources to help motivate kids—and empower their learning. My books include Being Smart about Gifted Learning and Beyond Intelligence (both co-authored with Dona Matthews), ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids, Bust Your BUTS, and Not Now, Maybe Later.


I wrote...

Bust Your BUTS: Tips for Teens Who Procrastinate

By Joanne Foster,

Book cover of Bust Your BUTS: Tips for Teens Who Procrastinate

What is my book about?

Bust Your BUTS helps people 10+ understand, prevent, manage, and eliminate procrastination. In this follow-up to my parenting book, Not Now, Maybe Later, I describe 28 BUTS (different reasons why kids procrastinate). I don’t judge—rather I offer concise, relatable explanations, and I share hundreds of practical tips for busting those BUTS. There’s information on motivation, and on how to confront various challenges, become organized, use time wisely, set attainable goals, and become more productive.

Bust Your BUTS received a Benjamin Franklin Award™ from the Independent Book Publishers’ Association. This is the book procrastinators need now. Plus, it’s a timely resource for parents, teachers, or anyone who wants to learn more about effort, responsibility, and fulfillment. A quick and motivating read—no BUTS about it!

Book cover of A Year of Positive Thinking for Teens: Daily Motivation to Beat Stress, Inspire Happiness, and Achieve Your Goals

Katie Hurley is a highly respected child and adolescent psychotherapist who really knows how kids think and feel. She wrote this book during the pandemic, and she offers reassurance and lots of practical motivational strategies to empower kids when they feel stressed, overwhelmed, or stuck. The book is beautifully organized—day by day over the course of a full year—and it includes many resources as well. A Year of Positive Thinking is a book that kids can refer to often, including whenever they need a boost to increase their confidence, embrace uncertainty, confront change, or maximize their potential.

A Year of Positive Thinking for Teens

By Katie Hurley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Year of Positive Thinking for Teens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

I write about supporting and encouraging children’s and teens’ intelligence, creativity, productivity, and well-being. I’m an educational consultant with over 35 years of experience working with parents, teachers, and students within diverse communities, and I’m the award-winning author of seven books. I focus a lot on gifted education and procrastination. Within my books, articles, and presentations, there are tons of strategies and resources to help motivate kids—and empower their learning. My books include Being Smart about Gifted Learning and Beyond Intelligence (both co-authored with Dona Matthews), ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids, Bust Your BUTS, and Not Now, Maybe Later.


I wrote...

Bust Your BUTS: Tips for Teens Who Procrastinate

By Joanne Foster,

Book cover of Bust Your BUTS: Tips for Teens Who Procrastinate

What is my book about?

Bust Your BUTS helps people 10+ understand, prevent, manage, and eliminate procrastination. In this follow-up to my parenting book, Not Now, Maybe Later, I describe 28 BUTS (different reasons why kids procrastinate). I don’t judge—rather I offer concise, relatable explanations, and I share hundreds of practical tips for busting those BUTS. There’s information on motivation, and on how to confront various challenges, become organized, use time wisely, set attainable goals, and become more productive.

Bust Your BUTS received a Benjamin Franklin Award™ from the Independent Book Publishers’ Association. This is the book procrastinators need now. Plus, it’s a timely resource for parents, teachers, or anyone who wants to learn more about effort, responsibility, and fulfillment. A quick and motivating read—no BUTS about it!

Book cover of Creative Procrastination: Organizing Your Own Life

Having control of your time, the author proclaims, is of no value unless it frees time for the human side of life – thinking, creating, planning, and enjoying. My thoughts exactly! Being in control of your time includes paying attention to your health, allowing for more relaxation and creativity, stress reduction, and more joy in everyday life. 

I find this to be so true: We become so prone to using every minute of the day "wisely" that even when we are tired and don't feel well, we push ourselves to do more to justify our paycheck or our existence. "Creative procrastination," as she calls it, is time deliberately planned and scheduled for your own use. 

The reasons why we procrastinate negatively include fears of disapproval, failure, making mistakes, being wrong, sticking our necks out, being noticed, not being noticed, confronting the unknown, committing ourselves, getting into trouble, taking on too…

Creative Procrastination

By Frieda Porat,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Creative Procrastination as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

I'm the internationally recognized expert on work-life balance, harmony, and integrative issues, and since 2009, hold the registered trademark from the USPTO as the “Work-Life Balance Expert®." I'm the author of several popular books including Breathing Space; Everyday Project Management; Simpler Living; and 60 Second Organizer. Delivered with passion, I offer his cutting edge, hands-on strategies for a balanced career and life to audiences from Singapore to San Diego, with clients as diverse as Novo Nordisk, Worthington Steel, Lufthansa, American Law Institute, and the National Association of Realtors. I've been a guest on Late Night with Charlie Rose, CNBC, America in the Morning, the Australian Broadcasting Company, and USA Today Sky Radio.


I wrote...

60 Second Self-Starter: Sixty Solid Techniques to get motivated, get organized, and get going in the workplace.

By Jeff Davidson,

Book cover of 60 Second Self-Starter: Sixty Solid Techniques to get motivated, get organized, and get going in the workplace.

What is my book about?

Whether you are stalled on the smallest of tasks or on major projects with long time spans, you'll find that The Sixty-Second Self-Starter is both a valuable tool and an action guide for helping you become more accomplished and more satisfied with your work and your life.

You’ll find great value in The Sixty-Second Self-Starter for several reasons. The 60 tips range from time-tested techniques to fresh and innovative insights that other people have found to be helpful. Also, the book was written in an engaging, friendly, witty, down-to-earth style. As a former procrastinator, I share with you the insider techniques and vital lessons that I’ve learned over the years which help keep procrastination at bay. 

Make Your Bed

By William H. McRaven,

Book cover of Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World

This is definitely one of my favorite reads. Procrastination is one of the key parts of anxiety, and this book is a great way to tackle and overcome procrastination. This book might be short, but it is insightful, practical and valuable. The audiobook version is easy to listen to, and inspiring to play in the background while doing everyday tasks! 

Make Your Bed

By William H. McRaven,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Make Your Bed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Make a new start in 2022 with positive daily habits for a healthy mind, from the incredible No. 1 New York Times bestseller

THE INCREDIBLE NO. 1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

'SUPERB, SMART, AND SUCCINCT' FORBES
______

Struggling to find structure? Finding yourself lacking motivation?

Start by making your bed.

Maintaining routine and structure is more important than ever in the age of home working, flexi-time and the general chaos of life.

In Make Your Bed, Admiral William H. McRaven shares 10 life lessons he learned during his Navy Seal training that helped him overcome challenges not only in his…


Who am I?

I'm Dr. Chloe Carmichael, clinical psychologist and USA Today bestselling author of Nervous Energy: Harness the Power of Your Anxiety (endorsed by Deepak Chopra). As a clinical psychologist, a lot of people ask me how to get rid of their anxiety. They're often surprised to learn that actually, we don't always want to get rid of anxiety—because the truth is that anxiety actually brings many benefits, if we know how to unlock them. Anxiety’s healthy function is actually to stimulate preparation behaviors. In this book, I share nine tried and tested tools with step-by-step instructions and real life examples to help readers harness the healthy power of anxiety.


I wrote...

Nervous Energy: Harness the Power of Your Anxiety

By Chloe Carmichael,

Book cover of Nervous Energy: Harness the Power of Your Anxiety

What is my book about?

Nervous energy is something many of us are familiar with—it’s the urge to double check our work, to create a tidy strategy for an overwhelming goal, or make a to-do list and tick every box neatly. But when work and life become more complex and unpredictable, when there isn’t a straightforward to-do list or clear step by step solution, this nervous energy can spiral into anxiety and stress, becoming a roadblock to success. Instead of merely trying to overcome anxiety, Dr. Chloe Carmichael uses a combination of storytelling and step-by-step directions to share nine powerful tools that help you harness this energy in a productive way.

Nervous Energy is a practical guide to transforming anxiety and nervous energy into a powerful positive force.

The Practice

By Seth Godin,

Book cover of The Practice: Shipping Creative Work

In The Practice, Godin successfully does that “thing,” that he is so uniquely good at: sharing wisdom with panache and joy, not condescension or cliché. He artfully argues for the creative to better empathize with their audience, and in doing so, create better art. Since, creativity is nothing without impact.

The Practice

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…


Who am I?

I have been addicted to reverse engineering things since I was a kid. I wrote The Creative Curve to reverse engineer the science of creativity. What could academic research teach us about creativity? If we talked to some of the world’s leading creatives, what would they tell us? My goal is to help readers unlock the part of them (that, as I argue, we all have) that is creative. When I’m not writing, I invest in tech startups that I think will leverage the principles from my book. I live in New York City with my mischievous, but incredibly adorable corgi Maven. 


I wrote...

The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea, at the Right Time

By Allen Gannett,

Book cover of The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea, at the Right Time

What is my book about?

Overturning the mythology around creative genius and revealing the science and secrets behind achieving breakout commercial success in any field. Including interviews with everyone from the Broadway team behind Dear Evan Hansen, to the founder of Reddit, from the Chief Content Officer of Netflix to Michelin star chefs, The Creative Curve reveals the four laws of creative success and identifies the common patterns behind their achievement.

Essentialism

By Greg McKeown,

Book cover of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

In our world of 24/7 connectivity and overly busy lives, Greg McKeown provides the key to happiness and success; decide what you want to achieve (i.e., what’s essential to you), and then focus all of your energy on that while tuning out other distractions. As someone who tries to “do it all,” this book helped me understand how to be strategic in how I spend my time.

This book is a must-read for anyone who has ever felt stretched too thin, who has said yes when wanting to say no, or who has felt the frustration of having precious time dedicated to someone else’s agenda.

Essentialism

By Greg McKeown,

Why should I read it?

4 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…


Who am I?

I'm the founder of Life Organized Inc, a firm specializing in the organization of people, their lives, and physical spaces. Known for creating solutions that are as aesthetically appealing as they are practical, I transform spaces from the inside out. My areas of expertise include home and office organization, time management, digital decluttering, organizing for academic success, maximizing productivity while working from home, and management of everyday chaos. I'm a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the NYU Stern School of Business.


I wrote...

Secrets of an Organized Mom

By Barbara Reich,

Book cover of Secrets of an Organized Mom

What is my book about?

My book offers a life-changing approach to decluttering and streamlining your home so you and your family can live a simpler, less chaotic life.

Room by room, I address the most problematic areas in the home—from the tornado-struck play area to the packed basement—and tackle organizing in manageable bites. In addition to organizing tips, I address how to avoid social overload, preaching the power of “No”—for example, when your child wants to attend multiple birthday parties in one weekend. As the mother of twins, I have first-hand insight into the lives of crazed moms. Combining the humor of a sympathetic friend and the no-nonsense advice of a true type-A personality, I offer clever, appealing solutions that are genuinely achievable for everyone.

The Gift of Failure

By Jessica Lahey,

Book cover of The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed

Is your child experiencing setbacks? Difficulties? Mistakes? Failures? Do not fret! Author Jessica Lahey understands your concerns, and she shares why these kinds of challenges can be advantageous and serve as stepping-stones for children’s growing autonomy. In The Gift of Failure, she discusses the importance of encouragement, resilience, collaboration, and more as she explores different circumstances that children encounter. And, she provides many suggestions to help them reframe obstacles as opportunities. I think this book is, and will continue to be, an extremely relevant read for parents.

The Gift of Failure

By Jessica Lahey,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Gift of Failure as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

I write about supporting and encouraging children’s and teens’ intelligence, creativity, productivity, and well-being. I’m an educational consultant with over 35 years of experience working with parents, teachers, and students within diverse communities, and I’m the award-winning author of seven books. I focus a lot on gifted education and procrastination. Within my books, articles, and presentations, there are tons of strategies and resources to help motivate kids—and empower their learning. My books include Being Smart about Gifted Learning and Beyond Intelligence (both co-authored with Dona Matthews), ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids, Bust Your BUTS, and Not Now, Maybe Later.


I wrote...

Bust Your BUTS: Tips for Teens Who Procrastinate

By Joanne Foster,

Book cover of Bust Your BUTS: Tips for Teens Who Procrastinate

What is my book about?

Bust Your BUTS helps people 10+ understand, prevent, manage, and eliminate procrastination. In this follow-up to my parenting book, Not Now, Maybe Later, I describe 28 BUTS (different reasons why kids procrastinate). I don’t judge—rather I offer concise, relatable explanations, and I share hundreds of practical tips for busting those BUTS. There’s information on motivation, and on how to confront various challenges, become organized, use time wisely, set attainable goals, and become more productive.

Bust Your BUTS received a Benjamin Franklin Award™ from the Independent Book Publishers’ Association. This is the book procrastinators need now. Plus, it’s a timely resource for parents, teachers, or anyone who wants to learn more about effort, responsibility, and fulfillment. A quick and motivating read—no BUTS about it!

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