The most recommended books on procrastination

Who picked these books? Meet our 40 experts.

40 authors created a book list connected to procrastination, and here are their favorite procrastination books.
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Book cover of How to Avoid Making Art (or Anything Else You Enjoy)

Olivia H. Miller Author Of Essential Yoga: An Illustrated Guide to Over 100 Yoga Poses and Meditations

From my list on inspiration just when you need it most.

Why am I passionate about this?

I strive to inspire others through my writing, yoga card decks, and workshops; therefore, I’m passionate about finding inspiration and passing it on to others. For me discovering a dose of wise counsel or learning how someone else endured and overcame challenging times is a lifeline…especially when I feel hopelessly stuck. These 5 books are a balm for the soul, quieting the negative self-talk long enough to clear a path to joy, optimism, and creativity. I hope these recommendations bring the same sense of inspiration for you…just when you need it most! 

Olivia's book list on inspiration just when you need it most

Olivia H. Miller Why did Olivia love this book?

This wise and wonderful little book humorously holds up a mirror to the self-sabotaging techniques that can snap a fledgling idea right off the vine. (Procrastination, anyone?) Each page features “advice,” along with hilarious illustrations, on how not to be creative, and has me ROTFLMAO with recognition. Here are some faves: “Smoke a lot of dope for inspiration. Forget why it’s called dope. Forget your inspirations.” “Compare your work to the masterworks of the great masters.” “The minute you have an idea, ask yourself: How much cold, hard cash is it worth?” “Take seriously every negative thing anyone says.” (To wit, “That ain’t art, sister.”) With a wink and the perfect amount of reverse psychology, this whimsical book skillfully catapults me out of a creative funk!  

By Julia Cameron,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Avoid Making Art (or Anything Else You Enjoy) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In How to Avoid Making Art, the bestselling author of The Artist's Way delivers a (tongue-in-cheek!) guide to doing anything and everything you possibly can to avoid making art. Anyone who is engaged in a creative pursuit will no doubt identify with these wonderful cartoons by award-winning artist Elizabeth Cameron of creative wannabes doing everything except actually getting down to work.  

"For most people creativity is a serious business," says Julia Cameron. "They forget the telling phrase 'the play of ideas' and think that they need to knuckle down and work more. Often, the reverse is true. They need to…


Book cover of Time Management from the Inside Out: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule--and Your Life

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

From my list on to boost your productivity.

Why am I passionate about this?

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. 

Liisa's book list on to boost your productivity

Liisa Kyle Why did Liisa love this book?

People have productivity challenges for different reasons. Sometimes, we need to learn specific skills or techniques. Sometimes we are unproductive because of external factors out of our control. More often, we have to identify, address, and overcome internal factors that are hampering our ability to get things done – which is the focus of this book.

By Julie Morgenstern,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Time Management from the Inside Out as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A thoroughly updated and expanded edition of the definitive guide to managing and freeing up time

Applying the groundbreaking from-the-inside-out approach that made Organizing from the Inside Out a New York Times bestseller, Julie Morgenstern set a new standard for the time- management category. Her system has helped countless readers uncover their psychological stumbling blocks and strengths, and develop a time-management system that suits their individual needs.

By applying her proven three-step program-Analyze, Strategize, Attack-and following her effective guidelines, readers will find more time for work, family, self-improvement, or whatever is most important to them. Time management is a learnable…


Book cover of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Doug Motel Author Of What’s Working Now

From my list on getting out of your head and into your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my journey, I've sought to blend my interest in ancient wisdoms into a coherent, accessible philosophy I call "Nowism." My aim has been to simplify and share complex teachings in a way that resonates and helps. Through my writing, performing, and speaking, I try to bring these concepts to life, hoping to ignite a spark of understanding and self-discovery in others. More than anything, before I leave this world, I want to contribute something (no matter how small) to the legacy of personal empowerment. I aspire to help people see the world more clearly, to understand themselves more deeply, and to find joy in the present moment.

Doug's book list on getting out of your head and into your life

Doug Motel Why did Doug love this book?

Greg McKeown's Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less is more than a book; it's a life-altering philosophy.

As someone brimming with creative energy and ideas, I found myself often lost in a sea of projects, losing sight of my true goals. This book was a revelation. It adeptly distinguishes between essentialist and non-essentialist mindsets, compelling you to evaluate your intentions and commitments.

Through its teachings, I've learned to eliminate non-essential projects, focusing only on what truly aligns with my core objectives. It's a must-read for anyone looking to declutter their life and mind, ensuring that every action taken is a step towards what genuinely matters.

The journey of trimming the unnecessary from my life is ongoing, but it's liberating to have fewer, more meaningful irons in the fire.

By Greg McKeown,

Why should I read it?

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

Joanne Foster Author Of Bust Your BUTS: Tips for Teens Who Procrastinate

From my list on procrastination, motivation, and kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.

Joanne's book list on procrastination, motivation, and kids

Joanne Foster Why did Joanne love this book?

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.

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.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“Gripping…how can teachers snatch back their critical role and give children the necessary space to fail? They could start by making parents read Lahey.” — New York Times Book Review

In the tradition of Paul Tough’s How Children Succeed and Wendy Mogel’s The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, this groundbreaking manifesto focuses on the critical school years when parents must learn to allow their children to experience the disappointment and frustration that occur from life’s inevitable problems so that they can grow up to be successful, resilient, and self-reliant adults.

Modern parenting is defined by an…


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

Bruce Tulgan Author Of The Art of Being Indispensable at Work: Win Influence, Beat Overcommitment, and Get the Right Things Done

From my list on understanding and driving human behavior.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent the last 29 years studying human behavior; advising people how to affect human behavior; and advising business leaders how to help their organizations help people do more better faster; help individuals do more to help their organizations and to earn more for themselves and their families. 

Bruce's book list on understanding and driving human behavior

Bruce Tulgan Why did Bruce love this book?

Great advice about living life and being strong and being happy and satisfied with your work and life from one of the greatest military leaders in American history. This guy led and commanded the mission to get Bin Laden!!!! He was and led NAVY SEALS for 37 years. This book is short and sweet and brilliant and beautiful and a great gift for yourself or anyone else! Brilliant and beautiful. 

By William H. McRaven,

Why should I read it?

2 authors 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…


Book cover of Creative Procrastination: Organizing Your Own Life

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

From my list on to become a self-starter.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.

Jeff's book list on to become a self-starter

Jeff Davidson Why did Jeff love this book?

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…

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.

What is this book about?

Emphasizing the need to increase periods of relaxation and personal creativity, the author offers suggestions for eliminating unproductive routines, coping with depression, and effectively managing time


Book cover of Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

Tereill Peay Author Of My Broken Stiletto: A Woman's Guide to Up Leveling Your Faith, Finances, and Fashion

From my list on to improve style, increase cash, illuminate confidence.

Why am I passionate about this?

Throughout my journey, I’ve had to endure many challenges coming from humble beginnings so I wrote my book based on my experiences of being the 1st generational college graduate to overcoming many obstacles that affected my self-esteem while running a multimillion-dollar branch in the banking industry. Writing My Broken Stiletto allowed me to showcase that being resilient is a mindset that can be challenging but worth the reward when you get out of your own way.

Tereill's book list on to improve style, increase cash, illuminate confidence

Tereill Peay Why did Tereill love this book?

If you are anything like me you might have a hard time with your to-do list. Typically I don’t have an issue with doing things that light me up it’s those boring tasks that suck the joy out of your day which then leads to procrastination.

Well, say no more to that notion once you dive into this book. Eat that Frog is a small but powerful book that will help you with productivity. I call this a golden egg because I’ve been able to implement many of his strategies into my everyday life with ease and flow.

The concept of the book is to do the thing that you wouldn’t want to do first and that would be eating the frog. Trust me on this it works and once you get going you might find yourself in a place that is unrecognizable in a good way.

This book is…

By Brian Tracy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Achieve work-life balance by conquering procrastination and get your most important work done, now with new chapters on technology and maintaining focus

The fully revised and expanded edition of the global bestseller with over 3 million copies sold world-wide

The saying goes: if the first thing you do each morning is eat a live frog, then you’re done with the toughest thing for the day. Eating that frog means tackling your most challenging task—and it’s also the one that can have the greatest positive impact on your life.

Productivity and time management coach Brian Tracy shows you how to organize…


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

Eileen McDargh Author Of Burnout to Breakthrough: Building Resilience to Refuel, Recharge, and Reclaim What Matters

From my list on for surviving and thriving in disruptive times.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.

Eileen's book list on for surviving and thriving in disruptive times

Eileen McDargh Why did Eileen love this book?

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.

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.

What is this book about?

"Inspired me to ask myself why and to stop postponing the forgotten dreams." ―Geneen Roth, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Women Food and God and This Messy Magnificent Life

Full of inspirational insights and advice, lifehacks, and real-world examples, Someday is Not a Day in the Week is CEO Sam Horn’s motivational guide to help readers get what they want in life today rather than "someday."

Are you:
• Working, working, working?
• Busy taking care of everyone but yourself?
• Wondering what to do with the rest of your life?
• Planning to do what makes you…


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

Joanne Foster Author Of Bust Your BUTS: Tips for Teens Who Procrastinate

From my list on procrastination, motivation, and kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.

Joanne's book list on procrastination, motivation, and kids

Joanne Foster Why did Joanne love this book?

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.

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.

What is this book about?

Transform your thoughts and find the confidence to navigate your teen years with positive thinking

Being a teen can be an emotional roller coaster. When you’re overwhelmed by unrealistic expectations from your friends, family, social media feed, teachers, and even yourself, it’s normal to have thoughts and feelings like This is too hard or I'll never measure up. With A Year of Positive Thinking for Teens, you'll discover how to overcome these anxious thought patterns, and build a happier, more positive mindset to achieve your goals.

Let go of stress with relatable prompts and reflections―all grounded in positive thinking and…


Book cover of It Chooses You

Lee Crutchley Author Of Nobody Knows What They're Doing: The 10 Secrets All Artists Should Know

From my list on when you feel lost in life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a writer from a small town in England that nobody has heard of, who now lives in Berlin. I have written books about depression, insomnia, creativity, and travel that have been translated into 20 languages. My book How to Be Happy (or at Least Less Sad) was called "a wonderful tool for anyone struggling with depression – or even just feeling blah" by Publishers Weekly. My latest book Nobody Knows What They're Doing is available now.

Lee's book list on when you feel lost in life

Lee Crutchley Why did Lee love this book?

Miranda July was struggling to finish her new movie script and, instead, interviewed a bunch of people she found through the Pennysaver. This book is the product of that procrastination, and I don't think I've ever related to anything more. It helped me to see the value of procrastination in general, and to realise I actually need to procrastinate. It's how I think and, counterintuitively, it's how I get things done. So these days, if I feel that need to procrastinate, I don't beat myself up about it, I do it. I'm much more productive as a result. I’m also much better at realising the difference between needed procrastination and laziness.

By Miranda July,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the summer of 2009, Miranda July was struggling to finish writing the screenplay for her much-anticipated second film. During her increasingly long lunch breaks, she began to obsessively read the PennySaver, the iconic clas sifieds booklet that reached everywhere and seemed to come from nowhere. Who was the person selling the "Large leather Jacket, $10"? It seemed important to find out - or at least it was a great distraction from the screenplay.

Accompanied by photographer Brigitte Sire, July crisscrossed Los Angeles to meet a random selection of PennySaver sellers, glimpsing thirteen surprisingly moving and profoundly specific realities, along…