Audiobook Bundle! Self-Command: How to Get Yourself to Do Things, plus its follow up, Self-Doubt. Also includes Self-Calm - a modernization of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

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IMPORTANT UPDATE (Apr 2023): Self-Command and Self-Doubt are now also included with my new video course about simple techniques to plan and finish long-term side projects. Because Udemy frequently runs discount promotions they may even be cheaper to get that way, and then you'd also have the course which pairs well with these. Check that link above to see if that's the case today. (Self-Calm isn't part of that offer, but it's available free separately.)

A reader's recommendation:

"It's been a stressful couple of years for everyone. And it's still ongoing... I've been more distractible, less focused, and either unproductive, or else diligently working on the wrong things... leaving tasks half finished. I have many friends who say the same.

I wanted to share something that's helped. I'm not big on self-help books, or rigorous GTD [Getting Things Done] mechanisms. But this one has really clicked with me. I'm only halfway through it, and it's already been a big help.

Chris DeLeon's Self-Command is a very straightforward and humane system for staying on task and remaining productive in the face of distraction, stress, or ambiguity.

If you find yourself doomscrolling, thrashing around unproductively, or unable to get started on those big projects, then you don't even need to read that whole page - just buy it and get started. I saw real results from the second day after starting it.

It comes with a lovely companion piece, Self-Calm, which I wrote about here:"

-Jonathan Hartley

(Originally posted on Facebook, reshared here with permission)

The need for Self-Command

You know what you intend to do.

You already have what you'll need to do it.

Yet, somehow, months or even years pass, and you haven't done it.

Why does that happen?

More importantly, what can be done to change it?

Many people today know what to do, but aren't doing it.

Before the internet, the major roadblock used to be a lack of information. We couldn't find next steps to follow. We couldn't find answers to questions we ran into. We couldn't find support services, systems, or software.

The internet has made it easy to find answers about what to do, and how to do it.

Access to information is rarely our bottleneck anymore. Instead, we wind up overwhelmed, having too much.

The internet gave us new, massive obstacles: unlimited distractions, infinite options, and an endless outlet for spiraling on our fears.

Why don't we do what we mean to do?

The short, simple answer: we're trying to do too much at once. Too many things at the same time. Too large of things to handle in one sitting. Things that are too advanced for our level of experience.

The net result is, counterintuitively, not merely doing less or less effectively, but sometimes not doing anything at all.

We grind ourselves down and wear ourselves out by attempting things we weren't quite ready to make happen. Then, making it worse, we beat ourselves up for not having much progress to show after burning all that energy and time stressing ourselves over it.

Learning how to untie (and prevent!) those knots takes a longer answer.

Philosophers have grappled with this question for thousands of years. They tended to deal with it from an academic angle, removed from everyday life, but this is a deeply practical issue.

Before I bring you down this rabbit hole - or, better, save you time by handing to you what I mined while spending years down in there - it may help to explain how I fell into it in the first place.

This began from game development, but isn't limited to that.

After more than a decade training people new to game development, I found that no matter which aspect of game making they were most interested in - code, art, audio, writing, marketing, or otherwise - I saw the same patterns and challenges over and over in their backgrounds.

They were feeling discouraged from failed past attempts.

They got overwhelmed during the unrewarding early stages of the learning curve.

They lost their way long before achieving the kinds of results that inspired them to start.

I've spent thousands of hours one-on-one with clients, and nearly half my lifetime facilitating groups of beginners, helping people from different backgrounds overcome variations of this universal problem. I refer to it as universal, because I found many of the strategies and ways of thinking that worked for new game developers, I was adapting from methods I'd already used in the past on unrelated tasks, to better get myself to do a wide range of things I meant to do:

• Blogging weekly for 5 years

• Writing a 550-page programming textbook

• Podcasting for 4 years, for more than 130 episodes

• Making prototypes nightly for 219 consecutive days

• Creating online courses used by 350,000 people

• Starting two businesses without outside funding

• Recording YouTube videos daily for over a year

In other words, these methods were in no way confined to learning how to make games.

The techniques are applicable whenever for the stage we're at we need to get ourselves to begin something, to stay with it, or even in the moment, to pull our actions back into alignment with our intentions.

This is not a typical audiobook. It's a real-life stat upgrade.

In this material you'll gain simple techniques and processes to guide your attention in a way that's more resilient to distractions. You'll pick up mindsets to push through uncertainty with greater courage. You'll get tools to confidently navigate common hangups that arise from pressures and perfectionism.

The same stress knots interfere with our taking action, whether it's to finish a project, advance our careers, or even just to finally use learning resources we've stockpiled from random sales. It applies to non-work, as well, whether that's getting to the gym more consistently, reading more fiction, or getting ourselves to meditate.

If someone wants to start a podcast, but has barely started, that is not a podcast problem. 

That's a problem of getting ourselves to do what we mean to do.

The same is true for starting a side business, writing a book, learning an instrument, practicing art, or countless other adventures we are technically free to do, but are not taking advantage of.

What will be your priority when you're better able to stay on task?

• Hone your employable skills?

• Pick up a new hobby?

• Finish and release your own product?

• Actively improve self-care routine?

It's time to advance in the direction you've intended to, but have been putting off.

It's possible to change your situation. This begins in a new way, today.

Responses to Self-Command

"Several years after listening to Self-Command, Chris’ whiteboard technique continues to be central to my daily productivity. Having already been a bit of a nerd for productivity hacks and techniques, I found the techniques and mindsets Chris discusses to be really fresh and incredibly practical."

-Praneil Kamat

"I was a person who would sit and internally debate about what I need to do next. Then it would turn into hours of me thinking about working/completing task and not actually doing them.

I have only listened to half of Self Command so far but by applying Chris' method I have been dramatically more productive. But most importantly I now enjoy my downtime without the stress/anxiety of something needing to be done. Based on what I've listened to so far if you find yourself thinking about doing "stuff" rather than actually doing This audiobook will give you the tools to get on track and be in control of your time."


"Ever since I started Self-Command, I get so much more done in a day than ever before, with less unintended side tracking. I'm so very grateful for Chris' wonderful work. I highly recommend it."

-Sang Nguyen

"It's surprising how such simple ideas have such a positive effect, on both projects and morale."

-Klaim (A. Joël Lamotte)

"I love it! Honestly. Listening to it I think gives you a good kick! I like to listen to it while I walk or during my workout."

-Martina Natale

"I started using @ChrisDeLeon's 'Tiny Whiteboard' technique, and as a chronic scatterbrain I cannot TELL you how much it has improved my productivity... If you're very easily distracted like me and staying on task (especially during these hell times) has been a challenge, I super recommend it! ...absolutely check out his books at TONS of stuff on how to reprogram your mindset to be more productive and kinder to yourself. I don't think I know a creative professional who doesn't struggle with productivity issues and/or negative self talk, and Chris' work is a huge resource for doing better work and feeling better about it. Can't recommend it enough!"


"I have diagnosed ADHD, so it's always hard to make decisions about how I should be spending my time. Self-Command gave me new tools to help cut through the noise and spend more of my time on things that matter... I can always ask myself, 'Would I put this on my whiteboard?' and that question invariably helps me get back to the things that I want to be doing."

Game Designer

"I was pleasantly surprised to find how well this fits in with all the GTD (Getting Things Done) stuff I've been looking into. In fact, it kind of seems like the missing element of GTD, or at least my implementation. At first, I thought I would be putting aside all of my current productivity systems I've been experimenting with, but it seems like this idea fits in with just about any type of organization system, planner, or productivity method I've ever heard of. Because, really, those tools help you focus on what you should be doing, while this system is a tool to actually do that thing. They should complement each other well."

-Anthony Juarez

"@ChrisDeLeon over-delivers in every possible way. Years of research and refinement, text, audio... even the opportunity to buy it by volunteering."


"Chris' book Self-Command changed the way I do tasks (work related or otherwise). It's a simple and powerful tool that anyone can make use of. It's been the only system I've stuck to for several years without deviation... this changed my level of productivity so profoundly that I feel it would be selfish not to share."

-Brian Nielsen (LinkedIn post)

"I've been using Chris's Self-Command method all year, it works... I'm a pretty organised person with todo lists and spreadsheets etc. I need to be in order to run my business effectively. But [the] Self-Command method helped me to take things to a new level in a difficult year (2020) and beyond. I recommend it... This is very easy to get started."

-Jake Birkett

"Veteran shoutout for Chris's book Self-Command. Talks about solving a meaningful problem many of us have. If you find yourself struggling to start, I can not recommend it higher. We all know service jacks you up, especially with setting independent, meaningful goals. Check it out"


"If you have any to-do list system, whether it be a bullet journal, a to-do list app, Trello, Asana, or anything else, you know how easy it is to get overwhelmed when looking at it. Heck, you may even have a large whiteboard right in front of you, chock full of tasks that are constantly staring at you, but never get done. The Tinyboard Method forces you to distill what you're working on down to one specific thing that you're currently doing. That's all you need to think about, which means your focus skyrockets and you get way more done in less time. And I'll let Chris' excellent book explain them in more detail. There's plenty more nuance to this system, and he explains it perfectly (and he's a great audio book narrator too!)... Get Chris' books."

-Akash Thakkar

From, "How to Get an Insane Amount Done Every Day"

"I love creative work. I'll start making something, maybe divert briefly to an exciting adjacent opportunity, perhaps explore and research it a little, think about how to fold it into the rest of the work, and in a few hours I've redesigned my project. And that's great! This is how projects improve. But, it's not how they get finished. When I want to finish something I need it to keep moving forward, so I have to commit to completing the occasional task. I've found Chris' technique excellent for this. I don't use it for everything, but when I know I need to get something done, and that my brain will need its leash, I pop the task up on my little whiteboard and get it finished."


Friends-and-Family Sharing License

We're all better off in a world where more people have an easier time getting themselves to do the things they mean to be doing.

Your download includes a fully transferrable friends-and-family sharing license. What this means is you are welcome to copy or pass these files on to people you know, at no cost to you or them.

Help out a friend, coworker, or family member.

This is built right into the agreement, so it's not stealing, or doing anything wrong.

The "I Will Volunteer" Option

Confident you'll benefit from this material, but not in a position at this time to afford the purchase?

This entire program is also available, at no direct cost, through a unique arrangement: the "I Will Volunteer" option. How this works is simple: you can receive all the material, free, simply by agreeing to spend a minimum of 2 hours on specifically helping other people within the next year, or fairly recently did.

That's it.

It's fully up to you when, how, or where to do this. Also left to your judgment is what "counts."

Guest speak at a public school. Run a workshop activity at a shelter. Organize a donations drive. Assist a non-profit with fundraising. Serve at a food kitchen. Participate in an important protest. Call and write representatives to support the USPS.

This is not required to be through a formal organization, and I'm not asking for any receipts or proof. Do this on your own in whatever way works for you. Help a neighbor who temporarily needs additional assistance. Pick up litter in your local park. Find some way to assist someone who you don't expect will be able to help you in return.

Worried or feeling unsure as to whether you'll be able to get yourself to follow through on this? Fortunately, that's literally what this material exists to address. Apply techniques from this content to search out and pick a way to help others, use the same techniques to sort out timing or other logistics, and to get yourself to do it.

If and when it works, you'll be more ready to get yourself to do this--and the many other things--you mean to do.

Let's even say, hypothetically, my particular approach here and this way of thinking doesn't help for you. Maybe you're worried, in that case, you might feel saddled with guilt, if it begins to feel those two hours are overbearing pressure and don't look likely to happen.

Well, I don't want that for you, either. In combination with that money-back guarantee below, if you choose to use this no-cost volunteering option, but it is not working well for you, consider yourself off the hook - can think of it as a refund on the volunteering promise. So if it does work, and helps you do it, then do it. Otherwise, no harm in having given it a shot, and nothing owed.

Here's the link, to use the I Will Volunteer license option:

Or, the URL without that code on the end can remove the option, if you'd prefer to buy the material outright, not giving the volunteering aspect any further thought:

Normal (full price):

Reminder: no proof or details are required to use the volunteering option. I'm trusting you to uphold your side of the deal, for the kids (or the homeless, local non-profits, etc.). People everywhere can use some help from another person who knows how to get themselves to do things.

Extended Money-Back Guarantee

If you purchase the audiobook and decide within 4 months of the purchase you're not 100% satisfied with it, and the difference it's making for you, simply let me know by email within that time (, and I'll fully refund your payment through Gumroad. This leaves ample time to get completely through the material, to really test it out in practice, and to determine whether and how much it's helping. If this material doesn't work for you, I don't want your money for it.

Included Formats for Self-Command (Book 1 of 3)

After years of development, research, several rewrites, and integrating feedback from testing with dozens of people putting it into practice, Self-Command: How to Get Yourself to Do Things is ready.

Audiobook formats: DRM-free m4b, one-file mp3, also split into chapter mp3s (14 files)

Transcript formats: epub, mobi, azw3, plain text, PDF

Run time: 4 hours 54 minutes

Bonus Example 1 of 2: Reducing overwhelm

This particular method isn't from the audiobook, but it's simple and pairs well with it. (The general idea of the video below is also what's further elaborated on in my new video course, which includes Self-Command and Self-Doubt as downloads at the end.)

Bonus Example 2 of 2: How to not do something

Self-Doubt - Extra Add-On Content (Added May 2022)

I've recently completed a new audiobook/ebook: Self-Doubt. It's bonus material directly building on the Self-Command productivity methods.

Whereas Self-Command is about techniques and ways of thinking to better stay on task, Self-Doubt covers a variety of strategies to overcome reasons why we put off or avoid giving ourselves new kinds of tasks in the first place. Self-Doubt is based on assorted tips that come directly from training conversations with people who were applying the Self-Command methods and/or beginning game development.

Responses to Self-Doubt

"Great book (Self-Doubt), even better than Self-Command - A++. Excellent format. Loved the often snappy-answers/reality checks for the quick answer, followed by the longer explanations. Truly great compilation of questions."

-Joe Cassavaugh
Puzzles By Joe

"As a mid 30's career changer, these addressed deep seated fears I have but didn't really want to articulate. I thought this was great! A lot of value added for me, the answers had some great nuggets of wisdom. Especially because the ask is a little over 2 hours this is an easy recommendation I'd make to others as an addendum or expansion pack for Self Command."

-Jeremiah Franczyk
MMO Associate Systems Game Designer

"One of the things I loved in Self-Doubt is the importance of getting your work out there. If you don't publish your work, you will not benefit from it, and the public who you can help will also not be benefitting from it. It helped me finish a book that I've been working on since 2019."

-Rodrigo Bonzerr Lopez

"The last part - 'what if I don't see or feel myself making progress?' - was really good. The language is very understandable for me (English is not my first language). The pacing of the speech is spot-on."

-Barış Köklü

"There were many points made in the book that were insightful and were note-worthy (literally), thank you for making this!"

-Abhishek Keerthi

Included Formats for Self-Doubt (Book 2 of 3)

Audiobook formats: DRM-free m4b, one-file mp3, also split into chapter mp3s (12 files)

Transcript formats: epub, mobi, azw3, plain text, PDF

Run time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Bonus Example for Self-Doubt: Making time for tasks that move us towards having better problems

Near the end of Self-Doubt I introduce the Intention Log technique, which is an easy addition to the Self-Command practice that gives an approximate log of where our intentions are being spent. I alluded there to possible uses of color when doing this, here's a more specific approach to that which I've been using since:

Self-Calm - Bundled Content (Added June 2020)

This is a separate audiobook and ebook included as bonus material. It's not directly part of the same productivity strategies.

Instead, this a new, more accessible adaptation of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. Several parts of Self-Command reference that classic Stoic text for its influence on the techniques and thinking in the main audio program. This material covers additional points on sorting our thoughts to be less overwhelmed by regret, sorrow, anger, and fear.

The source material this is based on originated as two decades of notes the Roman emperor made to himself, now in public domain, mostly in bite-sized reminders or reflections on what he learned from his philosophy tutors, civic leaders, stories popular in his time, and his firsthand experiences in dealing with his unusual responsibilities. The original text has been thoroughly rewritten to modernize it, lightly updated for less dated examples, and tweaked throughout to make it easier for a modern listener to follow it more easily than existing public domain or scholarly editions.

Contrary to modern use of the word "stoic," the emphasis and strategy in this material is not on suppressing or ignoring intense feelings, but instead deals with taking a pragmatic perspective to help us think more clearly through times of stress, to live and act in a way that's more consistent with how we mean to be.

Though different in style, tone, and approach, this material pairs well with Self-Command. Whereas Self-Command focuses mainly on the external side of taking near-term specific actions, Self-Calm complements that by dealing more with untangling some common long-term internal barriers and anxieties which otherwise normally can bind us up.

This full second audiobook is included as a separate download alongside Self-Command, covering an additional 7 hours 11 minutes of audio run-time, or 251 standard pages in ebook form. This version of the text is not word-for-word, however the material is not abridged. Original paragraph numbers have been left in the ebook to easily compare or look up related parts in any available translation.

The friends and family license defined above does apply to this content as well. You are welcome and encouraged to share it directly with anyone in your life who you believe will find it useful. If you're mainly here for Self-Command but know someone who may be interested in Self-Calm, or vice versa, feel free to send your friend, family member, or coworker the other--or both.

Responses to Self-Calm

"I started my second listen through of Self-Calm. I can honestly say that the thoughts it provoked have contributed to a marked improvement in life as to how I cope with stress. Thank you for making this."

-Dmitri Roujan

"I sincerely appreciate your time and energy that went into this. I have always been very high strung that each of us need to maximize every second of every day since time is the only resource we can’t get back. While reading it, I could feel myself relaxing a little bit. It allows me to be much more functional and not so paralyzed. I’m starting to look at things differently than the way I had grown up with and into a way that makes more sense to me."

-Cass Noble

"Self-Calm lives up to its name. It takes on stoic concepts in clear concise language which I found was a helpful and centering way to start my days. For someone who is familiar with other modern stoic voices like Ryan Holiday but unfamiliar with the original text, this book helped flesh out my knowledge of the topic without feeling bogged down by historical language. Self-Calm helps give perspective to the common trials of life."

-Erin McCarty

"I'm going to keep re-reading it again and again as I did with the version of Meditations I had (Gregory Hays version). This makes the content of Meditations much more accessible because it's written in a much simpler and modern language. Looks good on the Kindle too!"

-Randy Tan

"I'm struck by the great sound quality! The mic and voice are nearly flawless, I love the relaxed vocal speed, sounds so professional."

-Christer Kaitila

Included Formats for Self-Calm (Book 3 of 3)

After years of development, research, several rewrites, and integrating feedback from testing with dozens of people putting it into practice, Self-Command: How to Get Yourself to Do Things is ready.

Audiobook formats: DRM-free m4b, one-file mp3, also split into chapter mp3s (13 files)

Transcript formats: epub, mobi, azw3, plain text, PDF

Run time: 7 hours 11 minutes

For more information about Self-Calm, a preview of the audio from it, a couple more reader/listener testimonials, or even to pick up the whole ebook-only (without the audiobook) at no cost, visit

Recommended Listening/Reading Order

Self-Command is the main material, and meant to be listened to first. Self-Doubt is a direct extension and supplement to those ideas, so is meant to go after Self-Command.

Self-Calm is fairly separate, and could be listened to at any point, including before or after (or without) the other two.

Reader responses on this page include some people who obtained the material through the Friends-and-Family Sharing License described above, using the "i-will-volunteer-2-hours-this-year" option, or membership in the author's HomeTeam GameDev training groups.

One last bonus strategy

This one also isn't directly found in the Self-Command or Self-Doubt material, but it pairs well in terms of not letting things slip through the cracks that you intend to do.

I want this!

3 full audiobooks, including ebook/text versions of each, with friends-and-family sharing. Note: if the "i-will-volunteer-2-hours-this-year" code is in the URL, the "I Will Volunteer" Option terms below apply.

Run Time
4 hours 54 minutes (Self-Command, Part 1), 2 hours 30 minutes (Self-Doubt, Part 2), 7 hours 11 minutes (Self-Calm, Supplemental Material), 14.5 hours total
Audiobook Formats
DRM-free m4b, one-file mp3, also split into chapter mp3s (14 files for Self-Command, 12 files for Self-Doubt, 13 files for Self-Calm)
Transcript Formats
epub, mobi, azw3, plain text, PDF
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Audiobook Bundle! Self-Command: How to Get Yourself to Do Things, plus its follow up, Self-Doubt. Also includes Self-Calm - a modernization of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

64 ratings
I want this!