Recently, I told you about the four most important steps I took to stop procrastinating so much.
Step one was all about becoming a machine that can learn. People who have a life-long learner mindset have helped them improve many things related to procrastination, like self-discipline, empathy, mindfulness, and emotion regulation. I write about how this mindset has helped me a lot.
Today, I want to show you the eight books that helped me the most on my own journey to get over procrastination.
With no further ado, here are the eight best books on procrastination that I have read.
The Now Habit by Neil Fiore
This is where it all began for me. This is the first book I’ve ever read about procrastination that I have read.
I remember it as if it were yesterday. It was hard to move into a new apartment with Jonas. I had no self-control at all back then. Every day, there was an internal battle between trying to be productive and giving in to distractions. These days, I felt so much guilt.
In the end, I’m glad I had to go through that time. So why did I start this journey of lifelong learning, personal growth, and becoming the best me?
An old-fashioned book called The Now Habit has no scientific evidence to back it up, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have good ideas. These ideas include a guilt-free plan, the Unschedule, the work of worrying, and three-dimensional thinking.
Three things you’ll learn from this book:
The idea of giving up play isn’t good. I’ve made this mistake many times. When I wasn’t working, I felt bad about myself for not working. Fiore’s unconventional strategy is to put play first and make a promise to do it before even thinking about work.
Tracking your time is one of the easiest ways to cut down on procrastination and get rid of a lot of the guilt that comes with it. Forced to keep track of your time, you waste less of it. Plus, you feel better about yourself because you know you’re doing better than you thought you were doing.
Find ways to lessen your fear and make you feel safe. We often put things off because we have hidden fears, like fear of success, fear of not being good enough, or fear of failing. We can calm down and be more productive if we make ourselves feel safe in our lives.
The Procrastination Equation by Piers Steel
This is a great book and one of my favorite ways to get over procrastination.
As for the book itself, though, I don’t think of it as a book about procrastination at all. It’s more about the science of how people get excited. Piers’ whole strategy for dealing with procrastination is based on getting you to do what you need to do.
At the heart of the book is his motivation equation, which shows why we’re motivated to do something or not. If we don’t want to do an important task as much as we want to do things like watch TV, play video games, or eat ice cream, we put it off.
As long as we have more motivation for other things than for the things we’re putting off, we’ll put them off.
Three more things you’ll learn from this book:
Technology is a big reason why people don’t get things done. When it comes to procrastination, there has been a five-fold rise in the last few decades. Why? Video games, TV shows, smartphones and other modern temptations are too sexy and we have a hard time resisting them, so we can’t stay away from them
A lot of people say they procrastinate because they’re tired. At the end of the day, when you are tired and your job has already taken the best part of you, you won’t want to clean the garbage. Fatigue makes people more likely to avoid tasks, lose interest, and make the difficult even more painful.
Be careful about how you make your environment. In short, you need to get rid of everything in your environment that makes you want to put things off and fill it with things that make you want to get things done.
Solving the Procrastination Puzzle by Timothy Pychyl
This book is great for people who procrastinate because it’s short and very useful.
There are a lot of important things you can learn about procrastination by reading this book in one or two days. In addition, it makes you feel good because you’ve actually done something.
Three things you’ll learn from this book:
It’s all about short-term mood boosts! It happens when we want to do something but it makes us feel bad, so we do something that makes us feel better. It’s all about how you feel. And it’s all about how you feel.
Focus on getting going.
I’ve written a whole article on this. The main point is that the pain is in the anticipation, not when you do something you don’t want to do. Once we start, good things start to happen. We just have to get over the first resistance.
Your mind is a machine that gives you reasons to think about things. Your mind will come up with all kinds of excuses to keep you from doing the things you should be doing. These reasons can be seen through and thrown out.
Getting Things Done by David Allen
Ever feel like there’s an anxiety that doesn’t seem to go away, even though you try to fight it off? Is there a fear of forgetting or missing something important?
This book will help you calm down.
All about getting your life in order so that you feel more in charge of it. You just know that you’ve thought of everything. You know you have a good picture of your life. You know it’s somewhere in your computer.
The GTD system will cut down on how much stress and anxiety you feel on a daily basis.
Three things you’ll learn in the book:
People who are well-organized and have a system they can trust say they have a mind that is like water. During Zen master Shunryu Suzuki’s time, he said, “If your mind is empty, it is always ready and open to anything.”
It’s the two-minute rule. As far as productivity rules go, this is one of the best ones out there! Simple: “If the next thing can be done in two minutes or less, do it right now.”
Your mind is a great place to come up with ideas, but it’s a terrible place to keep them in order. This may be the main point of the book. When you have a lot of ideas, you need to put them into a system that works well. Because if you don’t, you’re going to be confused and overwhelmed a lot of the time, which makes you feel bad.
Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff
This book was very important to me because it helped me get over procrastination for two reasons. To start, it made me feel a lot less guilty about what I had done. Second, it helped me move from being critical of myself to being kind to myself.
It all comes down to having a healthy relationship with yourself. Make mistakes, have flaws, and mess up. It’s OK to do these things from time to time. Those are the kinds of situations where it’s important to treat yourself with kindness and compassion instead of self-hatred.
If you’re having a hard time with guilt and self-criticism, this book will make a huge difference.
You’ll learn three things:
Self-compassion is better than self-criticism. The more self-compassionate someone is, the better they are at being happy, healthy, having good relationships, feeling better about their whole lives, and so on.
Self-forgiveness, not self-punishment, cuts down on procrastination. Is about making a place where people feel safe and cared for, not afraid. A safe place will make you less likely to put things off.
The more self-compassionate you are, the less likely you are to put things off. As long as you truly care about yourself, you’ll always want the best for yourself, and that’s never a reason to put things off.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
In terms of mindfulness and being present, I could have chosen any other book on the subject. Because I like it so much, I think everyone should read it.
The truth is that being mindful is a game changer when it comes to overcoming procrastination. The ability to look at your thoughts and emotions from a distance, stay calm, safe, and not judge them makes a big difference.
This book will teach you three things:
In other words, you aren’t your thoughts. You are the person who sees your thoughts. You are not the clouds. You are the sky. You are not the waves on the surface. You are the deep water, not the surface. It helps to know that when you realize that, you don’t take your thoughts as seriously, which helps you get things done faster.
A silly thing to do is to be critical of yourself all the time, though. If you could have done better, you would have. There’s no point in always beating yourself up. At any given time, you do the best you can with the information you have at the time.
Guilt and self-pity are selfish. It’s all about me. Everybody doesn’t care about how you feel, and nobody thinks they’re that important. Do what needs to be done no matter how you feel.
The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal
If you want to stop procrastinating, you need to have more willpower to get things done.
Wake up early, study for exams, go to the gym, or clean the dishes… We want to do all of these things. We want to do something, but we don’t have the willpower to do it.
If you want to learn about willpower, The Willpower Instinct is by far the best book you can find. To build real self-discipline, this book gives you a crash course in everything you need to know to learn how to do things right (and self-discipline is the one thing that will make all the difference in the long-run).
Three things you’ll learn:
Having a lot of willpower is both a physical and mental thing. Willpower isn’t just in your head. It’s in your body, too, and you can use both. This is why energy, deep breathing, stress, and other things are so important.
Self-control may be at risk from stress the most out of all the things that can happen to us People are more likely to procrastinate when they’re stressed because they don’t have a lot of willpower to do things when they are stressed.
People who work out are more likely to be strong. This is in line with a recent study that found that people who exercise regularly are less likely to put things off.