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

Focusing exercise

Two minutes, three breaths at each step

  • Letting go of the past
  • Letting go of the future
  • Centering in the present

As you begin to speak to yourself in a language that focuses on results rather than blame, on choice rather than have to, on what is rather than what you think should be, you will find that your body and mind cooperate by providing a level of positive energy, without stress or anxiety, free from unnecessary struggles of the past and negative comparisons with the future.

Negative language: avoid "have to" and "should"

Positive language:

  • I am going to the store
  • I will be at the dentist at 3 PM
  • I am going to traffic court this morning

Replacing negative attitudes

  • Replace "I have to" by "I choose to" in your inner dialogue
  • Replace "I must finish" with "When can I start?" Focuses energy on what can be tackled now
  • Replace "This is so big" with "I can take one small step"
  • Replace "I must be perfect" with "I can be human." Add acceptance of (not resignation to) your human limits
  • Procrastinator: "I have to finish something big and do it perfectly while working hard for long periods of time without time to play." Producer: "I choose to start on one small imperfect step knowing I have plenty of time for play"

"Putting off living" is the most tragic form of procrastination we can engage in. Not only does it keep us from completing the really important tasks in life, it lessens our respect for ourselves.

Three major blocks to action

  • Fear of being overwhelmed
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of finishing

All large tasks are completed in a series of starts: keep on starting, and finishing will take care of itself.

Thirty minutes can be all the time in the world to solve a problem when you are intensely focused. The important thing is that you got started.

Before deciding to go to a recreational activity or social commitment, take time out for just thirty minutes of quality work.