The Now Habit
I’ve always struggled with procrastination in my personal life, so when I heard about this audiobook, I devoured it in one-go.
One of the most effective programs to combat procrastination, THE NOW HABIT has sold over 200,000 copies and been translated into 11 languages.
The Now Habit is an older productivity book from 1988, but its core concepts hold up well. Dr. Neil Fiore breaks down procrastination and offers several actionable steps to combat it.
He recommends scheduling fun things throughout your week so that pockets of time for working can naturally fall into place around the fun things. “I have to finish my project by 5:30, because I’m meeting friends for dinner tonight.”
When trying to focus on your work. Instead of putting out little fires as they pop up, try to jot down distractions in the moment so you can evaluate and possibly act on them later.
I’ve also found value in Dr. Fiore’s suggestion to not associate self-worth with your work. I tend to do that a lot with my podcast, because it’s so personal. If it sucks, I suck.
Worries can give you a plan for action.
- What’s the worst that can happen?
- What would I do if the worst happened? How would I cope? Who could help?
- How would I lessen the actual pain?
- What alternatives are there? What else is “acceptable”?
- What can I do now to limit the dreaded outcome from happening?
- Anything I can do now to increase my chances to reach my goal?
Here’s a sampling of notes and thoughts I pulled from my bullet journal.
- Failure is OK.
- Perfection causes procrastination.
- Ask yourself, “When can I start?”
- Polishing is wasted work. Nothing can be perfect.
- Don’t tie self-worth into work.
- Safety nets are helpful. Don’t put all worth into work or one project.
- Mitigate mistakes by looking ahead and diffusing them beforehand.
- Persistently start. Keep momentum going.
- Choosing gives you the power to jump in wholeheartedly.
- Saying, “I have to…” makes you stuck. Instead-say “I choose to…” or “I will…”
- Screw up quickly and move forward. Start>create>polish>edit.
- Leisure time is restorative. Use it. Look forward to it. Schedule playtime first.
- 3-dimensional thinking. Look at the project as a whole. Then break into chunks.
- Use a reverse calendar. When is ultimate deadline? Then set goals in weeks before that date.
- Break big projects into small 15 min of work.
- Push Method = Threats.
- Pull Method = Rewards.
Focus on rewards. Put them on a calendar.