Summary of The Now Habit

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9 Overall

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8 Innovation

9 Style


Since 1989, many people have overcome procrastination by following psychologist Neil A. Fiore’s recommendations. He believes procrastination is an outdated habit used to protect yourself from fear of failure and self-criticism. In this 2007 second edition of his classic text, Fiore continues to offer examples, strategies and concrete exercises to help you escape the anxiety, unhappiness and alienation that result from procrastination. Learn why you procrastinate, how it serves you, the “insidious cycle” it creates and how to start taking charge of your life and time. Fiore’s advice is geared toward businesspeople who struggle with procrastination and toward managers who want to help procrastinators on their teams. This manual will be most useful to those who eager to break free of destructive habits and determined to take steps in a new direction by doing the effective exercises that Fiore recommends. 

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why you procrastinate,
  • How to recognize the “insidious cycle” of procrastination, and
  • How to manage your time while enjoying your life and accomplishing your goals.

About the Author

Neil A. Fiore, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and a management consultant to industrial, educational and health care organizations. He publishes extensively and speaks often on radio and television.



The Procrastination Coping Mechanism 

Procrastination works, temporarily, to protect people from self-criticism, shame and anxiety. That is, procrastination isn’t crazy; it’s just an ineffective way of coping with problems you create. Most procrastinators submit their work on time – but at great cost and loss of quality work. Chastising procrastinators never works; it merely reinforces the self-criticism at the root of the behavior. People use procrastination to cope with “low self-esteem, perfectionism, fear of failure and of success, indecisiveness, lack of work-play balance, ineffective goal-setting and “negative concepts about work and yourself.” They focus on what’s wrong with them instead of simply focusing on doing the task.  

Fear of failure and of success arises from the presumption that your work is the core of your identity, so you feel any criticism as a criticism of you as a person. To eliminate the fear of failure, accept feedback about your work without seeing it as a judgment of your worth. Fear of success occurs when finishing a task leads only to higher...

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