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

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  15,492 ratings  ·  746 reviews
Learn how to overcome procrastination and enjoy guilt-free play!  One of the most effective programs to combat procrastination, THE NOW HABIT has sold over 100,000 copies, has been translated into 11 languages, and is now revised and updated.

Featuring a new introduction and a new section providing strategies to understand and deal with the role technology plays in procrast
Paperback, 206 pages
Published April 5th 2007 by TarcherPerigee (first published November 1st 1988)
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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 stuff/commitments/et…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, zenhabits.net. 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)
Mirkat Do people join Goodreads thinking it is a website that "has" the books? You read them in the normal ways. Obtain them from libraries or buy them from …moreDo people join Goodreads thinking it is a website that "has" the books? You read them in the normal ways. Obtain them from libraries or buy them from book vendors. Why is this even a question?(less)

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Emma Sea
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 met a man today who interviewed Pol Pot
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
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those that leave everything to tomorrow
Recommended to Jaidee by: a fellow procrastinator
4.5 "helpful, systematic, encouraging" stars !!

2017 Honorable Mention Read

I am a closet procrastinator. My friends do not know that I am., but my partner and family are well aware of it. Procrastination has become quite severe over the past three years to the point that I am tired much of the time and needing more and more rest despite not really increasing my productivity.

This book was immensely helpful to me and I am already turning things around and hope to continue doing so. Through reflec
Zack Ward
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: pub-1988
I don't really read self-help books. I simply don't find myself interesting enough to spend hours on introspection.

Nothing makes me sadder than meeting a gorgeous man, who tells me is a reader only to learn he reads exclusively self-help. (I've been on Tinder a lot lately).

Additionally, most self-help books could be easily blog posts. They have just been stretched with mind-numbing repetitions and pointless anecdotes to justify the advance paid out to the author. And so is the case with this bo
Katie Bananas
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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!! :) ...more
Katie Alender
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I need all the help I can get.
Jul 09, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Mar 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 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
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
I have read the Chinese version. I think this book is good.
Oct 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: newly-read-2012
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 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Deirdre Keating
Apr 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Una Tiers
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book has great suggestions to get a project finished. They include to do a little bit, as little as 15-30 minutes at a time. Another suggestion was to just start anywhere. And, they suggested a jabberwocky start. That is my word application for a time when you just shoot from the hip and do not aim for accuracy.
This last idea makes sense to me since I try to write to the end of a project without editing. Otherwise, if you edit as you go along, you will be older than dirt before it is done.
Apr 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think the advice in here is sound, and could be very helpful to some people. It's basically cognitive behavioral therapy focused on procrastination. This was too narrow a focus for me to find the whole book very interesting to read though, so for me personally it was 2* but for the subset of procrastinators who can get themselves to read a big book and do all the exercises it would be a 4*. ...more
Mar 08, 2013 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
Jan 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Wanda Pedersen
Sep 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
didn't finish....but not because of procrastination...no, I didn't finish because I enjoyed applying lessons learned and lost sight of finishing the book. Listening to this as an audiobook. I used it as a way to stay productive during the workday. Here is what I've learned so far: if you have to or should...you won't. Choose what you want to do...then you just might have a chance of getting it done. ...more
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
this was written 28 yrs ago. I picked it up at a free book exchange . I can see why now.
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now Habit  

If you have a choice between listening to the audio version of this or reading the text version?  Go for the text.  This is definitely an instance where the author should not have read his own work.  Think equal parts William Shatner, B-movie hypnotist, and narrator of a 1950s filmstrip designed to be watched by eighth graders when they have a substitute for science class.  I was tempted to quit this book as soon as it started because of the narration--but the topic inspired me to sti
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book had some new ideas on productivity. Here are the top ten ideas I generated from this book:
- The 30 minute action rule - Asks what’s important and just put aside 30 minutes (or 15 mins) of your time to work on it. You’ll start gaining momentum and then you’ll keep rolling.
- To enter the flow state during your work, start by quick 5 minutes focusing meditation. Also, dedicate about 20 minutes a day to meditation in the morning or evening.
- Make Play a Priority. "All work and no play m
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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'.”
“The choice is not working or not working, but which type of work; even feeling guilty because of procrastinating takes some effort. When you commit to a goal, you're committing to a form of work that brings ongoing rewards. When you procrastinate, you're choosing a self-punishing form of work.” 9 likes
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