Productivity and Procrastination

Procrastination and unproductivity go hand-in-hand. I’ve read a lot of books on productivity, many of which include substantial sections on procrastination and how it inhibits productivity. Interestingly–and somewhat ironically– procrastination is a characteristic that seems to be most pervasive amongst overachievers and perfectionists.

If you are trying to become more productive (who isn’t), but find that you are having difficulty implementing new strategies due to procrastination (for example, you know you should be planning and making a project list each day, but you just don’t get around to it or intentionally avoid doing it), here’s what you should do.

First, step back and look at the causes of your procrastination. In my opinion–and in the opinion of many, many others (just read the reviews on Amazon)–the very best book on procrastination is called “The Now Habit” by Neil Fiore (who Steve mentioned in one of his earlier posts). Until you can uncover the sources of and deal with procrastination, you will never be able to implement even the most simple productivity tools since your procrastination will undermine you getting started.

Second, once you have a better understanding of procrastination, read “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. This is one of the best books on organization and productivity. But … and a BIG but–if you tend to procrastinate, only read this book AFTER you have read “The Now Habit.” Otherwise, it’s putting the cart before the horse and you will find yourself getting frustrated.

Try these books. They work.

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