This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive a commission with no extra cost to you. For more information, please read my disclosure.
If you never procrastinate, you are probably a liar. Everyone does it in a different way, and getting yourself busy with countless errands does not mean being productive at all. This post features the 10 best books about procrastination you should read in 2021 if that’s something you struggle with.
You may be using your willpower to push yourself to work, but you’ll soon realize it’s not an endless resource. Building systems around managing your time and implementing good, actionable strategies from the books below is a proven way to get rid of procrastination and become a highly effective person!
Now, if you are reading this, you probably already found yourself procrastinating for too long instead of doing something important. In this case, reading a whole book may not be the best solution for you at the moment (leave it for later).
A quick summary of a book with the main ideas highlighted may be just what you need right now to start actively implementing anti-procrastination strategies. That’s why I included a link to the Blinkist summary for every featured book in this guide!
In A Hurry? Top 5 Procrastination Books:
Most common reasons for procrastination
Top-5 reasons most people procrastinate according to different studies are the following:
- Perfectionism. There are two kinds of people:
- someone who acts right away, figures out the first draft, learns in the process, and updates it later
- someone who doesn’t start doing anything until they are certain they know all the details and can do it perfectly (oftentimes it means things never get done as there is always room for improvement)
- Fear of failure or success. Self-esteem plays a big part in this. What if you aren’t good enough and fail after all that hustling? Should you even bother trying?
- Distraction-rich environment. Cluttered surfaces lead to a cluttered mind. They also take time away from important tasks. People and pets require your attention all the time. Smartphones are actually smart and can prevent you from being productive. If you don’t learn to manage the distractions, nothing will ever get done.
- Lack of organization. Keeping everything in your head is a direct road to getting overwhelmed and procrastinating. Find a good productivity planner that works for you and organize your work in the most efficient way. Plan your day in advance and don’t allow any time windows for procrastination!
- Simple laziness. Sometimes you just don’t feel like doing anything and it doesn’t have any further issue to dig into. Give yourself time to rest, maybe it’s just your tired body asking for a timeout. If laziness doesn’t go away, here are some strategies to get productive when you don’t feel like it.
Read this article to find out all 18 common reasons why people procrastinate and what you can do to overcome each of them!
Can books help overcome procrastination?
For a chronic procrastinator, reading a book about procrastination is simply another form of procrastination that makes you feel a little bit better about yourself. If you have a really urgent task that requires your attention right now, no matter what book you grab to read, it will only stop you from getting things done at the moment.
You can choose and buy one of the books from this list now, but make sure to address important stuff you may have before you start reading it. All of the mentioned books are great but they won’t give you immediate results: in most cases, it’s some small lifestyle changes you need to make a habit of over time to avoid being such a big procrastinator.
Good books about procrastination help you manage your time wisely, sort out your priorities and keep yourself together to get more done every day. But don’t use reading them as an excuse for not working!
How to recognize a good procrastination book?
There are so many procrastination books out there these days! So how can we find a really good and helpful one? Let’s see a few characteristics of a good book about procrastination:
- It has actionable strategies. Out of all the unnecessary blabbing many self-help books are guilty of, there are a few gems with really useful strategies you can learn and implement in your own life. We are looking for actionable steps and simple things everyone can do to avoid procrastination.
- It contains real-life examples and scenarios. Talking about hypothetical helpfulness of the time management throughout the whole book is something many authors do. Instead, we want real-life examples of beating procrastination we can all relate to and get inspired by.
- It’s well-structured and easy to understand. Writing one endless piece of text that’s just an unorganized stream of consciousness is a thing of the past. Nowadays every book has a well-thought structure to help the reader navigate the content. Short one-bite chapters are especially perfect for a procrastinator who already wastes too much time on unnecessary stuff.
- It has a ton of great reviews from the readers. What can say more about the book than hundreds of reviews from actual readers? There is no one book that appeals to everyone, but if it pleased a ton of people, it should be worth reading.
Now, as we clearly defined the main qualities of a good book, let’s see the 10 best books about procrastination you can read in 2021!
10 Best books about procrastination to read in 2021
1. Procrastinate on Purpose by Rory Vaden
“Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time” is a new gem by Rory Vaden, the author of a previous bestseller “Take the stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success”.
It literally teaches you how to procrastinate intentionally, instead of letting stress and anxiety control your time. Vaden narrows your focus down to really important things while reducing the heavy workload of your crazy long to-do list.
People call it their read of the year and a modern version of famous Rich Dad Poor Dad book.
2. 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management by Kevin Kruse
This book is what I meant by the importance of real life examples! Subtitle says that inside we’ll find “The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students, and 239 Entrepreneurs”. If that’s not the result of unique good-quality research, I don’t know what is.
All these successful people surely know something about time management! Kevin Kruse uncovers 15 secrets they all have in common to help us minimize procrastination, maximize productivity, and still have enough time left for family, friends, and hobbies.
3. Deep Work by Cal Newport
While everyone else is constantly distracted by their phones and other things, Cal Newport offers you to master the skill of deeply focused work so you can become a more unique and extraordinary expert by repeatedly applying it to your field.
“Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World” is an extremely well-written piece of knowledge that explains the importance of staying focused and shares a very practical approach to achieving it.
4. The 5 Choices by Kory Kogon, Adam Merrill, and Leena Rinne
As expected from the name of the book, “The 5 Choices: The Path to Extraordinary Productivity” teaches the five specific choices you should be always making if you want to be a more productive person.
This is a very useful book for procrastinators as it covers many aspects of an effective person: from prioritizing important tasks over urgent ones to managing your energy well and avoiding burnout. These three authors definitely know what they are talking about!
5. Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy
If you haven’t heard about Brian Tracy, you likely aren’t into personal development that much. He’s been teaching us to be successful and productive for quite a long time!
“Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” is one of Brian’s best books aimed to help you stop procrastinating by applying one simple trick: eating frogs! Don’t worry, you don’t have to eat real frogs, that’s just what he calls the most important task you should get done first.
As if the book wasn’t actionable enough, there is also a workbook that goes with it. Inside, you’ll find exercises for each of 21 chapters of the book – and will definitely learn to eat your frogs and enjoy it!
6. Getting Things Done by David Allen
In his book called “Getting Things Done”, David Allen teaches us “the art of stress-free productivity”. It’s kinda what we procrastinators need as many of our procrastination reasons come together with stress. We either stress about something too much instead of doing the work or procrastinate too much and start to stress because of not doing the work.
David Allen is here to help us beat that vicious cycle. His approach is based on allowing yourself to relax from time to time to be able to work effectively and “unleash your creative potential”. There is also a workbook for applying the GTD strategy to your life along with learning it.
7. The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins
“The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage” is written by Mel Robbins, who is one of the world’s most popular influential speakers. It shows you an incredibly simple principle for getting things done and not letting any excuses kick in.
The five-second rule is one of the core rules of Mel’s life and teaching and she literally talks about it everywhere! Other than reading her book, you can also watch her free course, listen to her TEDx talk, watch an amazing full-of-wisdom interview by Tom Bilyeu, or participate in her main course for building real confidence.
8. I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam
Every aspiring female entrepreneur should add “I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time” to her reading list!
Being a time management expert, Laura Vanderkam studied hundreds of women with a pretty convincing income level ($100,000+ a year) to find the specific patterns that work for them in terms of work-life balance. In her book, she lays out many actionable strategies for managing your time so you can have both: a successful career and a thriving family.
9. The Procrastination Cure by Damon Zahariades
“The Procrastination Cure” promises us “21 proven tactics for conquering your Inner Procrastinator, mastering your time, and boosting your productivity”. Inside, Damon shows us the right way of keeping a to-do list so it’s not overwhelming, a 3-step approach for balancing your energy during the day, and the power of prioritizing your tasks in accordance with your goals.
He solves a procrastination puzzle piece by piece by conquering each of the most common causes of procrastination. It’s one of the best books on how not to procrastinate because it covers all aspects of having a productive routine, including having an accountability partner and dealing with your inner perfectionist.
10. Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte
The last one on my list of books to help with procrastination is called “Overwhelmed”. As I mentioned earlier, being overwhelmed is one of the most common reasons why procrastinators procrastinate. It’s not about battling laziness or inability to work, it’s more about finding the time for everything you want to fit into your schedule.
This book is not as formal and strict as some of the previous ones. The author shows “how to work, love, and play when no one has the time” by sharing the life insights from multiple people she interviewed. It’s an honest revelation of why we are all so busy, sprinkled with a variety of funny and engaging personal stories.
She even mentions how multitasking damages your brain in the long run, which I recently covered in my science-based post on how distractions affect productivity at work!
More self-help books for procrastinators
So many books, so little time! As a bookworm myself, I have this saying on a bookmark, but should probably put it on my wall or something as well.
Of course, I couldn’t stop with just ten! There are so many good books about procrastination on the market. I wish I had time to read them all!
Here are a few more books that didn’t quite make it to the top-10 but really look promising!
- Stop Procrastinating: A Simple Guide to Hacking Laziness, Building Self Discipline, and Overcoming Procrastination
- The Procrastinator’s Handbook: Mastering the Art of Doing It Now
- Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It Now
- Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving
- Solving the Procrastination Puzzle: A Concise Guide to Strategies for Change
- The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging, and Postponing
- The Procrastination Equation: How to Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Stuff Done
- 23 Anti-Procrastination Habits: How to Stop Being Lazy and Overcome Your Procrastination
I feel like I would become a much worse case of a procrastinator than I am now if I dedicate myself to reading every single procrastination book there is. That said, remember to not just read a book but implement the actionable strategies for yourself. Otherwise reading a self-help book just for the sake of reading is simply a waste of time.
10 famous quotes about procrastination
To finish this, I’d like to share a few of my favorite quotes about procrastination. Maybe they’ll inspire you to go do something without even reading a book!
1. My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time. – Charles Dickens
2. The really happy people are those who have broken the chains of procrastination, those who find satisfaction in doing the job at hand. They’re full of eagerness, zest, productivity. You can be, too. – Norman Vincent Peale
3. Following-through is the only thing that separates dreamers from people that accomplish great things. – Gene Hayden
4. Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all. – Peter Drucker
5. Success is not obtained overnight. It comes in installments; you get a little bit today, a little bit tomorrow until the whole package is given out. The day you procrastinate, you lose that day’s success.Israelmore Ayivor
6. Procrastination is like going to a fancy restaurant and filling up on bread and not leaving enough room for dinner. – Richie Norton
7. If you have goals and procrastination you have nothing. If you have goals and you take action, you will have anything you want. – Thomas J. Vilord
8. Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow. – Denis Waitley
9. Begin while others are procrastinating. Work while others are wishing. – William Arthur Ward
10. In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.Theodore Roosevelt
Conclusion on best procrastination books
These were my 10 (well, 18 actually) best books for getting rid of procrastination. Which one did you find intriguing and added to your wishlist? Share with me in the comments!
To be completely honest, most of the procrastination books are based on the same concepts. You really don’t need to read them all: you’ll probably start noticing some repeating thoughts at one point. Some are structured better than others and give you clear steps to follow.
It’s much more effective to read one of the top books on procrastination and do what it says to actually stop procrastinating than to passively read a ton of books without acting on it!
Dealing with procrastination is a life-long process. You can’t completely get rid of it or end it now with some magical trick but you can implement good strategies and have systems in place to get things done much more often. If you know more self-help books for procrastination, please don’t share them in the comments, I have enough on my list already!