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The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  9,630 Ratings  ·  434 Reviews
Offers a program to complete tasks in an efficent, stress-free manner and allow more time for recreation without feeling guilty.
Paperback, 201 pages
Published November 1st 1988 by Tarcher
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Jody The Power of Less by Leo Babauta. I have ADD and struggle constantly, & Leo's book really helps me - it is about paring down your…moreThe Power of Less by Leo Babauta. I have ADD and struggle constantly, & Leo's book really helps me - it is about paring down your stuff/commitments/etc, so that you have LESS to do & worry about, & you will be doing the things that matter to you more easily/effectively. He also has a blog, also, after reading below, i have installed SelfControl on my computer, which is a simple software that blocks the programs of your choice (Facebook, Pinterest, Ebay, ETC) for the time of your choice. (less)
Ralph A great way I have found to read books is to download the samples on iBooks. They usually give a nice big sample that can give you a great idea of the…moreA great way I have found to read books is to download the samples on iBooks. They usually give a nice big sample that can give you a great idea of the book. Libraries are also great, and many of them have a lot of online books these days.(less)

Community Reviews

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Emma Sea
Jan 13, 2013 Emma Sea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emma Sea by: Leah
original review Jan 13, 2013

The whole book was one big "THIS!!". Interspersed with a few "Fuck! I'm such a doofus" moments.


book +36 hours

-completed a draft of an article I've been avoiding since November
-emailed someone I've been dodging for ten days
-joined a gym and went once (this is a different kettle of fish from joining a gym and going a sustained 4+ times a week; please check back)
-Completed a work review I have put off since December
-completed a task due last November

update 21 Sep 201
Petra Eggs
Oh my gosh, I'm in such a quandary. I know I never get round to things and overthink things to the extent that action become a distant concept. I need help. I recognise that. This book looks like it could help.

But before I found it, I was checking out this one, The Thief of Time: Philosophical Essays on Procrastination and now I don't know which one to get. I'll have to think about it and hopefully decide before next week's book order goes in. Or the one after that.

Maybe I should look for more
Dec 27, 2011 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not usually one to read a bunch of self help sort of books, though I occasionally will run through one on a recommendation, such as the odd finance book about getting debt under control. But, despite other problems that I have in life the single biggest, hands down, is procrastination.

People who don't procrastinate will look at a procrastinator and see only that that person is either not working hard enough or putting off work. They don't procrastinate and as such don't understand the motiva
Zack Ward
Aug 05, 2012 Zack Ward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Zack by: Reddit
I wish that I could recommend this book to my Freshman self, because the program is already working for me (Medical School Application).

Fiore puts forth the thesis that procrastination is a defense mechanism that people use to escape the anxiety they feel for large looming projects. They are afraid of producing inadequate work and they are afraid of being judged harshly for failing. It isn't laziness that drives the procrastinator to procrastinate, rather, it is the negative self-talk: the shou
Jan 30, 2013 Deepthi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most practical books in the Psychology of Procrastination that I have read. The cliched advice 'Just do it' is not a sustainable adage for procrastinators to live by. Procrastination is not the problem, it is a symptom a deeper underlying issue regarding fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of success or generally feeling overwhelmed by grand plans and pressure. This book uses a combination of great tools like reverse psychology, introducing guilt-free play into one's schedule, me ...more
Jun 09, 2009 Cara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: life-changers, life
Most books that claim to help you with procrastination boil down to: get organized, make a list, get off your butt and do your work. Unlike those, this book is very helpful. It starts by explaining why people procrastinate. It's not because we're lazy, it's because procrastination rewards us in one way or another (ex. if you delay a task, sometimes it will turn out not to have been necessary at all, so not doing it saved you some pointless work. Goofing off is more fun than work. If you wait unt ...more
Katie Bananas
Dec 20, 2016 Katie Bananas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-improvement
I'm glad I got to read this before the year ended. I think it will be very useful to incorporate these habits into my 2017 resolutions and goal settings, and hopefully taking each to full use as the year flows. I'm happy I read this to see where my pestiest habits are obvious to have time and room to correct them and start with a kick off of motivation, a burst anew!! :)
Mar 01, 2013 Jerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to write this review, but have been putting it off. That's a joke. If you read the book, you know what I mean.

I do suffer from putting things off. Not everything, just those things that, for some reason,hit me as complex and time consuming. Dr. Fiore not only helped me to better understand the nature of my reasoning, but to also realize that I am not broken. He goes even further in offering specific tools and techniques to get yourself out of those bad habits.

For me, there are a coupl
Mar 30, 2013 Mikal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this book on Audio CD throughout the month of March. It's a practical approach to identifying and understanding the habits of procrastination.

Early in the book the author shattered one of my previously held myths. I believed that procrastination was the problem, now I have come to understand that procrastination is not the problem, its the symptom.

This audiobook (not lengthy) offers a solid viewpoint into why we procrastinate. This makes it useful for individuals who struggle with
Jul 09, 2012 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: how-to
I don't think of myself as a huge procrastinator, but I think all of us are in some form or fashion. I'm messy. I'd rather read than do dishes right after I make dinner. I leave my shoes everywhere. I'm on Facebook too much. And I'm trying to streamline things that I do, make my life a little easier by getting on the ball. I think had interesting things to say as to why we procrastinate, and how to get around it. The most intriguing one is the Unschedule--you only get to "treat" yourself after y ...more
Oct 10, 2010 Volkan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good companion to "Getting Things Done." While GTD teaches you how to apply behavioral methods to boost your productivity, "The Now Habit" explains the mental processes that block action, and how to overcome them using a combination behavioral and psychoanalytical tricks. The toolset includes some behavioral tools, like the Unschedule (a schedule where you fill in the fun stuff first), guilt-free play and the reverse calendar. If you are just starting out with the program, I found that th ...more
Yes, I have read every productivity book in existence now, why do you ask?

This one was quite different from most of the others I've read - most of the books out there are, essentially, GTD and how to stick to it. This book was actually very psychological - I could identify with a lot of the stories about insecurity, especially as he kept going on and on about students who couldn't finish their dissertations. xD While I liked the idea of the Unschedule, and understand the concepts involved, I fe
May 31, 2011 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read about 3/4 of this book and had to stop for the moment since it brought up so much for me to work on in the first half. The exercises are really great and helped me discover some new things about myself that I didn't understand before. It has helped me out significantly in my guilt and procrastination issues. The author is correct that many books teach you how to schedule, plan, and/or organize better but they never actually dig in to why you aren't living your life in the first place. The ...more
Deirdre Keating
Apr 16, 2008 Deirdre Keating rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Perhaps this one is too embarrassing to list here:-)

I got it via inter-library loan, and have procrastinated finishing it, but so far it does have some unique solutions.

ETA: I read it in a rush, which perhaps helped because I just skipped any annoying examples or verbose parts. I thought several of his ideas were original and fit me well. So often, because I haven't done what I "Should" do, I don't let myself do what I want to do either. So I end up doing unproductive things, etc. Anyone faced w
Jan 23, 2009 DDog rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to DDog by: Graydancer
This was a pretty good read. A friend recommended it and as procrastination has been one of my banes for a long time, I requested it from the library.

I noticed other reviewers saying it was predictable and rehashed things they'd read elsewhere or seemed like common sense--but I definitely needed to read this one. Sometimes people tell you things over and over again but it never really clicks until the moment is right--and it simply never occurred to me that procrastination happens because it's a
May 18, 2009 Kevan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ahh, self-help books from the 80s. I scooped this book out of a box of discards at my brother-in-law's place, and flipped through it during a pre-dinner lull in conversation. What at first seemed cheesy quickly became a remarkably practical read. I brought it home and read it each subsequent day during my commute to work.

Whether or not you're find yourself procrastinating, this book supplies some killer tips for being more efficient. I would recommend it highly to:
- people trying to juggle quasi
أميرة هاني
This is a great book for hard-line chronic procrastinators like myself :) I've learned that by acknowledging the voice that screams "let's do something else" and just calming it down by saying something like: "OK I understand your urgent need to check Facebook right this moment and I've jotted it down on my to-do list to make sure it gets done at some point. Now, can we relax and sit down to write a short introduction to that chapter? Thank you.", I actually get more things done. By allowing mys ...more
Sep 22, 2013 Sasa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although my procrastination patterns have been entrenched so deeply that I even procrastinated reading this book (!), I had never had much insight into their underlying causes and mechanisms. The Now Habit has given me a valuable understanding of where they stem from, along with several simple, yet effective strategies to tackle them. If your modus operandi is "I'll do that later" and your to-do list is so full that just looking at it makes you cringe with horror, I strongly recommend reading th ...more
Mike W
Mar 23, 2013 Mike W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
This is an insightful book about the underlying psychology of procrastination and it offers some useful practical advice about how to stop procrastinating. It's definitely worth reading for anyone who has struggled to complete (or even to start) an important task.
Mar 08, 2013 kk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Yes
Oh My! I don't give too many books five stars but this book is amazing.
I'm about half way through the book and I already see progress in the way I operate on a daily basis. I created a simple tracking tool with all the things I want to accomplish and it is the inspiration from this book that keeps me moving forward.

The author writes in a gentle motivating voice. He's dead on with the reasons why we procrastinate at certain times in our lives or in certain areas. It's the understanding of those
Apr 16, 2012 Raven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed it. I tend to be a procrastinator and while reading this book, I became more aware of bad habits that have been formed over the years. Now that I'm recognizing them, I'm able to do something about it. The concept that resonated with me the strongest was that the more we procrastinate on a project or task the more stress we feel, that our body feels about it, the more we feel overwhelmed and anxious. All that is work that we're doing, but unproductive work and actually more stres ...more
Apr 05, 2013 Mani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Get this NOW!
You've got to be willing to put in the work to reshape the habits and this book provides practical tips for facing your procrastination. I would suggest putting this in your brain after Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life AND The Willpower Instinct. The former will provide you a great deconstruction of the phases of the attention process. The latter will reveal some stuff you're doing to get in your own way.

Either way, don't expect overnight changes. If you're thinki
Sep 22, 2013 Wanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably the most useful book on breaking the procrastination habit that I have ever read. Just by changing self-talk, I find I can break through resistance and get working on a project. Re-framing the motivation for a task from "I have to" (someone else is making me do this) to "I choose to" (this whole thing is my decision) changes my feelings about a task. It was also nice to find validation for a technique that I have always used: schedule in the fun and make the not-so-scintillating tasks f ...more
Krvava Meri
Sep 21, 2013 Krvava Meri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enkratna knjiga za kronične odlaševalce. Avtor ponudi dodelan in učinkovit sistem, kako se pravočasno lotiti stvari in jih dejansko opraviti. Meni je resnično spremenila življenje! Obveznosti, ki sem jih prej odlašala, ker so se mi zdele kot ogromen bav-bav, se zdaj upam lotiti in jih uspešno speljati do konca.
Še vedno je potreben napor, da ne podležem starim vzorcev odlašanja, ampak zdaj vem, da je produktivna alternativa možna.
2.5 stars. This book is geared more toward people who regularly work on big projects than toward those who need help with the day-to-day. I didn't care for the meditation section. The idea of unscheduling is interesting though, and Fiore does offer some helpful tips on completing large tasks manageably. The first half of the book was a lot of the psychology behind procrastination, and the second half was more practical.
Feb 22, 2017 Bethany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017_adult
I thought the tools described in this book were useful and applicable. I also found it interesting to hear the causes of procrastination, and strategies one can try to deal with not only their own procrastination, but procrastination of others.

One gripe I have - I listened to the audiobook, which the author read, and he was not very good. It took me a while to get over his odd pacing of speech and pauses.
This book has given me a lot to think about re: the reasons behind my chronic and frankly debilitating procrastination problems. Almost every one of the explanations for procrastination given applies to me (perfectionism, self-criticism, fear of failure, being easily overwhelmed, rebelling against authority) and Fiore offers some practical exercises which are meant to turn a procrastinator into a producer. I can already tell, though, that I'm going to have a lot of trouble actually putting them ...more
Feb 12, 2017 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This book gave me many insights as to why I procrastinate on certain projects and gives some clear "how to" techniques to overcome what stands in your way of being a "producer." I am going to incorporate his techniques and get some projects DONE!
Jan 11, 2010 Natalia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, 2010
The first half of the book is good, even though the author writes in that don't-spook-the-baby-mouse way, as if he's afraid of overwhelming or confronting the reader (which kind of makes sense, given the book's main premise is that people procrastinate on the things that freak them out). The end bit about dealing with other people who procrastinate is useful, if a bit short. The bit in the middle with the visualization exercises was way too self-y help-y for me!

Be ready to pick and choose what i
Alex Stevenson
Nov 23, 2014 Alex Stevenson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Decided to read this after feeling like I had a never ending list of things I "had to do". This book totally killed that thinking and replaced it with the empowering belief of making the choice to take on tasks rather than feeling like you're forced into them against your will. It also helps you reframe work in your mind to something you just have to start with and not worry about all the effort it's going to take in the future. The best part of the book is the Unschedule which is a system when ...more
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Overcoming Procastination 3 53 Jun 04, 2012 10:46PM  
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“In most cases you are the one who confuses just doing the job with testing your worth.

Replace 'I have to' with 'I choose to'.”
“I’m not leaving the plane that way,” I said to myself. That’s when I discovered the power of choice—a third place that is neither “have to” or “want to.” That discovery freed me to move forward to make two other choices: I’m not going to be kicked out of this plane; and If I’m going to leave this plane, it will be under my own power. I’m going to maximize my chances of a safe exit. The change in my feelings at that moment was quite dramatic. Stress was replaced with purposeful action; a sense of victimhood was transformed into empowerment. There was no hesitation, no ambivalence.” 3 likes
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