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 disclaimer.
If procrastination were an Olympic sport, we’d all be gold medalists. Everyone does it in one way or another, and getting yourself busy with a mile-long to-do list does not always mean you are productive. This post features the 20 best books about procrastination you should read in 2023 to understand and defeat procrastination once and for all.
Top 3 books on procrastination in 2023
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 these books is a proven way to avoid procrastination and become a truly productive person!
Now, if you are reading this as a way of procrastinating on doing something important, reading the whole book may not be the best solution for you at the moment (bookmark or add it to the cart and get back to work!)
20 best procrastination books in 2023
Based on the book structure, online reviews, and the criteria explained below, these are the 20 best books about procrastination you can read in 2023:
Best procrastination books 1-10:
Why You Do It, What to Do About It Now
Author: Jane Burka, Lenora M. Yuen
“Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It Now” is a must-read book that dives deep into the reasons behind our procrastination habits. Written by two psychologists, it shares their experiences, insights, and even some humor to help us understand why we put things off. This book is perfect for anyone who’s ever struggled with procrastination, no matter your occupation or background.
The authors explore the fears that lead to procrastination, like fear of failure, success, and losing control, and they provide practical tips for overcoming these roadblocks. The book is written in a relatable and non-preachy tone and is included in the top 100 Amazon books on personal time management.
2. The 5 Second Rule
Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage
Author: Mel Robbins
“The 5 Second Rule” 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 take her course to build real confidence.
3. The Now Habit
A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play
Author: Neil Fiore
“The Now Habit” is an amazing book that not only aids in beating procrastination but also helps you enjoy your leisure time guilt-free! Published in 11 languages with over 100,000 copies sold, it addresses the impact of technology on our procrastination habits.
Dr. Fiore’s techniques are designed to lower stress and increase your fun time, all while getting things done more efficiently.
What sets “The Now Habit” apart is its focus on the root causes of procrastination. Instead of just treating the symptoms, it addresses the deeper underlying reasons, such as irrational fears or past experiences. Readers say that once they understood the real problem, their procrastination habits gradually melted away, making them happier and less anxious.
How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life
Author: Nir Eyal
“Indistractable” is an international bestseller that teaches you how to regain control of your time and attention.
Written by behavioral design expert Nir Eyal, this book dives deep into the hidden psychology behind our distractions. It’s a game-changing read for anyone who’s tired of constantly being interrupted by notifications, colleagues, or even family members.
The book goes beyond just telling you to stay away from your devices. Eyal introduces a four-step, research-backed model to help you become “indistractable.” You’ll learn how to deal with dysfunctional company culture, why time management is actually pain management, and how to raise indistractable kids in today’s world.
5. The Procrastination Cure
21 Proven Tactics For Conquering Your Inner Procrastinator, Mastering Your Time, And Boosting Your Productivity!
Author: Damon Zahariades
“The Procrastination Cure” is a comprehensive list of strategies to deal with various kinds of procrastination. 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.
6. Eat That Frog!
21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
Author: Brian Tracy
If you haven’t heard about Brian Tracy, he’s one of the most influential people in the field of personal development. He’s been teaching us success and productivity tips for quite a long time!
“Eat That Frog!” is one of Brian’s best books aimed to help you stop procrastinating by applying one simple trick: eating frogs! Don’t worry, you won’t have to eat real frogs; that’s just what he calls the most important task you should cross off your list first.
As if the book wasn’t actionable enough with 21 strategies, there is also a workbook that goes with it. Inside, you’ll find exercises for each of the 21 chapters of the book, which will help you learn to eat your frogs and enjoy it!
7. The Fear of Failure
How To Become An Action Taker, Stop Worrying, Overcome Procrastination and Perfectionism
Author: Wilda Hale
“The Fear of Failure” is a book that will change your perspective on failure and help you break free from the chains of procrastination and perfectionism. It’s a must-read if you’ve ever missed out on life-changing opportunities because of fear or self-doubt.
The author, an entrepreneur with personal experience of overcoming failure, shares valuable insights from his journey and stories about other successful people who have faced setbacks but managed to bounce back.
In this book, you’ll learn the origins of your fear of failure and how to overcome it, keep perfectionism under control, and stop self-sabotaging through procrastination. It offers practical advice on managing stress, gaining inner peace, and becoming a happier version of yourself.
8. The Lazy Genius Way
Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn’t, and Get Stuff Done
Author: Kendra Adachi
“The Lazy Genius Way” is a New York Times bestseller that redefines what it means to live well. Kendra Adachi started the “lazy genius” movement, inviting you to embrace a life where you focus on what truly matters to you while being “lazy” about the things that don’t.
The author urges you to let go of the never-ending “shoulds” and start living life on your terms! With the thirteen Lazy Genius principles laid out in the book, you’ll learn how to approach relationships, work, and even mundane tasks like sorting mail in a whole new way.
By following this guide, you can finally break free from societal expectations and live the life YOU want without the complications of everyone else’s ideas of what your life should look like.
9. Procrastinate on Purpose
5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time
Author: Rory Vaden
“Procrastinate on Purpose” is a new gem by Rory Vaden, the author of a previous bestseller called “Take The Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success”.
The book 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 called it their “read of the year” and a modern version of the famous Rich Dad Poor Dad book.
10. Getting Things Done
The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Author: David Allen
In his book called “Getting Things Done,” David Allen teaches us “the art of stress-free productivity.” It’s arguably what we procrastinators need as many of our procrastination reasons come hand in hand 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 world-famous productivity methodology (GTD) is broken down into five fundamental steps: Capture, Clarify, Organise, Reflect, and Engage. There is also a workbook for applying the GTD strategy to your life along with learning it.
Best procrastination books 11-20:
11. The Productivity Project
Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy
Author: Chris Bailey
“The Productivity Project” is a fascinating exploration of productivity in all aspects of life. To write this book, the author turned down generous job offers to spend a year experimenting with personal productivity while also researching and interviewing top experts in the field.
From spending weeks with almost no sleep to living in isolation for ten days, Chris documented the impact of these experiments on the quality and quantity of his work.
With over 25 best practices to boost your productivity, “The Productivity Project” is an eye-opening and engaging read that will help you accomplish more in your work and personal life. It shares the counterintuitive lessons from the author’s journey, such as slowing down instead of hustling, eliminating the unimportant, and embracing productive procrastination.
12. Stop Procrastinating
A Simple Guide to Hacking Laziness, Building Self Discipline, and Overcoming Procrastination
Author: Nils Salzgeber
“Stop Procrastinating” is an action-oriented book for procrastinators that will help you break this bad habit and stop feeling guilty, overwhelmed, and stressed from not getting enough done.
This book will provide you with more than 20 science-based strategies to overcome laziness, beat procrastination, and make progress with your projects.
By following the advice in this book, you’ll discover the real reason behind your procrastination, learn simple tricks to build good habits, and explore the new science of willpower.
The book also explains the link between technology, distractions, and procrastination and provides you with rarely discussed strategies that tackle the root cause of the problem.
13. The Procrastinator’s Mind
Why We Procrastinate and How to Overcome It?
“The Procrastinator’s Mind” is a compassionate and insightful book for understanding and overcoming the habit of procrastination. The author goes deep into the psychology of procrastination, exploring its connection to self-esteem, emotions, fears, sense of identity, and more.
This book acknowledges that procrastination often stems from the avoidance of tasks that challenge our self-esteem, effort, or abilities. By helping readers build awareness of the subconscious and conscious processes that drive their procrastination, the author offers proven practices to inspire discipline and ultimately reduce the tendency to procrastinate.
14. Laziness Does Not Exist
Author: Devon Price, Ph.D.
“Laziness Does Not Exist” is a thought-provoking and timely procrastination book written by a social psychologist that challenges the deeply ingrained belief that productivity is the ultimate measure of self-worth.
Drawing from their own experience, Dr. Price delves into the psychological roots of the “laziness lie,” tracing its origins back to the Puritans and examining how it has persisted and intensified in the digital age, where work-life boundaries have become increasingly blurred.
The book is full of practical tips for overcoming society’s relentless pressure to do more and features interviews with countless overworked people.
How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction
Author: Chris Bailey
“Hyperfocus” is a practical guide to staying focused in a world where our attention is constantly being overwhelmed. The book offers valuable insights into how to take control and achieve a greater sense of purpose and productivity.
Drawing on recent neuroscientific research, Bailey explains the two focus modes of the brain: one is responsible for deep concentration and high productivity, while the other one is all about creative ideas.
This book discusses various topics, such as identifying and managing distractions, creating a mindful physical environment for work, working fewer hours for increased productivity, taking intentional breaks, strategic multitasking, and much more.
16. The Procrastination Equation
How to Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Stuff Done
Author: Piers Steel
“The Procrastination Equation” explores the world of procrastination, offering insight into why we deliberately put off tasks even though we understand the consequences.
In his groundbreaking research, the author debunks the myths surrounding procrastination. He investigates the cultural, psychological, and biological reasons behind this behavior.
Through this book, you can learn the various ways we procrastinate, which of them you are most susceptible to, and how you can overcome them to improve your happiness and performance.
17. 23 Anti-Procrastination Habits
How to Stop Being Lazy and Get Results in Your Life
Author: S.J. Scott
“23 Anti-Procrastination Habits” is a detailed guide for overcoming procrastination and getting rid of your lazy habits.
The book provides a step-by-step blueprint for dealing with procrastination, focusing on the root causes and offering actionable strategies and productivity tools. With 23 procrastination-related habits, you’ll learn how to prioritize tasks, approach challenging projects, and stay motivated enough to actually take action and get things done.
18. Stop Worrying; Start Writing
How to Overcome Fear, Self-Doubt and Procrastination
Author: Sarah Painter
“Stop Worrying; Start Writing” is a book designed to help aspiring writers overcome negativity, self-doubt, and procrastination in their writing journey.
As a bestselling author and host of the Worried Writer podcast, Sarah shares practical advice on breaking through writer’s block, handling self-doubt, and maximizing productivity.
If you got stuck while writing your novel or planning a blog, this book is an invaluable resource to get you back on track.
How to Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time
Author: Brigid Schulte
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 other 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.
The book also mentions how multitasking damages your brain, which I also covered in my science-based post on the effects of workplace distractions on productivity.
20. Do the Hard Things First
How to Win Over Procrastination and Master the Habit of Doing Difficult Work
Author: Scott Allan
“Do The Hard Things First” offers a hands-on approach to help you defeat procrastination, combat negative self-talk, and break free from unproductive habits.
By following Scott’s step-by-step method, you’ll learn to take control of your distractions, identify what holds you back, and develop a strong work ethic. This book teaches you how to prioritize critical tasks, avoid random activities, and make better decisions, all while building self-confidence and eradicating fear.
Structured to save time and boost mental energy, it empowers you to stop letting procrastination rule your life and start taking charge today.
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, even if you find the most amazing procrastination book on the planet, it will only delay getting things done.
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 the end, it comes down to a bunch of small lifestyle changes you need to turn into habits over time to avoid being such a big procrastinator.
Good books about procrastination will help you manage your time wisely, sort out your priorities and keep yourself together to get more done every day. They will also help you uncover the deeper reason behind your procrastination and find ways to deal with it.
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? Depending on your reading speed, this list alone might be enough for a year of reading. So how do you choose?
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 introduce into 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 the hypothetical helpfulness of time management throughout the whole book is something many authors do. Instead, we want real-life stories 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 good book has a well-thought structure to help you navigate the content. Short one-bite chapters are perfect for a procrastinator who already wastes too much time on unnecessary stuff.
- It has a ton of great reviews from readers. What can say more about the book than hundreds or thousands of positive reviews from actual readers? No one book appeals to everyone, but if it pleased a ton of people, it should be worth reading.
- It speaks your language. When it feels like the author gets you and shares their ideas and strategies in a way that makes sense to you, you know it’s a good book. When you click with the author’s style, you’ll find it easier to overcome procrastination and enjoy the journey.
Conclusion on best procrastination books
These were the 20 best books for getting rid of procrastination in 2023.
So many books, so little time!
I feel like I would become a much worse case of a procrastinator than I am now if I dedicated myself to reading every single procrastination book there is. That said, remember not just to read a book but incorporate actionable strategies into your own life. Otherwise, reading a self-help book just for the sake of reading is simply a time-waster that creates an illusion of productivity.
To be completely honest, most of the procrastination books are based on the same concepts. You certainly don’t need to read them all: you’ll probably start noticing some repeating thoughts after reading the first few.
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 reliably.