It’s a wonder that these lines are appearing on the screen in front of you now and not next week. But since no procrastination was employed in the production of this column, you will be able to learn about a few of the best books to help you stamp out all kinds procrastination. (Wait, where is that list? Oh, phew. A couple of other tasks got in the way…)
The Power of Habit may be the most important book to recommend for getting past your unproductive habit of procrastinating. Author Charles Duhigg examines the routine and often unconscious behaviors that rule so many of us through amusing anecdotes and science-based research. He offers productive techniques to help you break bad habits, restructure your life and meet your goals. If your goal is to procrastinate more, well, even Duhigg can’t fix that.
In 2002, Steven Pressfield wrote The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle, and changed many a writer’s life: He identified how outward ambitions get in the way of creative discipline. The key? To identify and get rid of resistance so that you can identify and focus on the best process for you.
Wait: The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy probably shouldn’t be on this list; there’s nothing we procrastinators love more than a good excuse. But Partnoy, an investment banker and corporate lawyer, isn’t talking about slothful waiting — he wants to show how deliberate, strategic waiting can work wonders.
In Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, Chip Heath and Dan Heath address one of the major factors behind any kind of procrastination: how hard it is to change our behaviors. But the Brothers Heath want to show us that change doesn’t need to be frightening, and use anecdotes that may inspire you to make your own changes.
Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow is a superb book that awards judges did not put off checking out: They put it on many, many lists; it even won a 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom. Are you still sitting there? Do not procrastinate; buy this book and learn how to use both kinds of thinking to get much more done.