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The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play Paperback – November 1, 1988

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam-Tarcher; 1st edition (March 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874775043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874775044
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Neil Fiore (CA) is the bestselling author of The Now Habit, Awaken Your Strongest Self, and Coping with the Emotional Impact of Cancer. He was a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne, a manager for Johnson & Johnson, and has worked as a psychologist at the Counseling Center of the University of California, Berkeley.
Neil has published in The New England Journal of Medicine and been cited in the New York Times, London Times, and the Wall Street Journal.
He is researching Optimal Performance in sports, on exams, and in recovery from surgery, chemotherapy and medical procedures. He presents at Behavioral Health conferences internationally.
Neil now conducts seminars and lectures at major universities and corporations and at the University of California, Berkeley Extension - Free articles and videos at

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,436 of 1,445 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Kerns on December 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
Last year I ordered four books on procrastination from This one was the gem of the bunch. All the others told you to do what you're already doing: "Force yourself to do it, even if you don't want to." Well, if that worked, my mother would have cured me of the habit when I was twelve. What Fiore does is show you that it's exactly the attitude of self-punishment that makes you procrastinate. He shows you how to start working to achieve rewards, as opposed to working to avoid punishment or failure. We work when we expect to be rewarded in return, and can't muster the effort if we expect punishment whether we work or not.
This book *works*. I am one of those people who would procrastinate so badly on a term paper that it would never get turned in, and I would be wracked with guilt over it. My gpa sometimes dipped below 2.0., but for the past three semesters it has averaged 3.5.
One reviewer below recommends the book "Do It Now," because it has a more "mature" view of the problem. Folks, "Do It Now" will tell you that you're insecure and childish, and that all you need is to realize how silly you're being. At first, it sounds familiar, and for that reason you think it will help. But it doesn't. If you want to feel like procrastination is a hopeless problem that you'll always have, buy "Do It Now." Otherwise, "The Now Habit" is the one that will teach you how to overcome the problem *without* any guilt trips.
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577 of 587 people found the following review helpful By J. Rae on January 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book just might change your life. It changed mine. I had read every other book on procrastination before finding this book, including the others mentioned in these reviews. This is, quite simply, the BEST book; completely different from the rest. It is quite possibly the best self-help book I have ever read. It may also be one of the best books ever written on anxiety and on achieving one's goals in life - subjects which I have learned are all connected.
Five years ago, I worked at an office job I didn't like much. Since reading Neil Fiore's book, I have written and published two well-reviewed children's books and realized my life-long dream of studying medicine. At the age of 35, I started medical school with no science background or training and in 5 months, I will graduate as an MD. This book allowed me to follow my dreams (thirty minutes at a time) and to acheive them. It can help you do the same.
Do not be fooled by books with flashier covers; it's what's inside that counts. Anyone who procrastinates will recognize themselves in these pages; they will also recognize the feelings of being overwhelmed and paralyzed before even starting a project, and the disappointment in themselves that results from chronic procrastination.
This is a book that actually teaches you to understand yourself, to take care of yourself, and to help yourself develop simple habits that can change your life. This is truly an easy and non-scary program, proving that you don't have to turn your life upside down to turn it around! The words in this book have stayed with me for years, and I carry a little card with reminders from it in my wallet. This program works. Believe me - I learned medicine thirty minutes at a time! And, most importantly, I had lots of time left over for fun.
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137 of 139 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book several years ago, and it literally changed the way I work and play. I was never much interested in books written by psychologists, and I don't even remember where or why I bought the book. I do know that it identified my problems with procrastination so clearly I was amazed. An long list of the qualities of a "procrastinator" described early in the book described me with unusual accuracy, and that got my attention. I am an educator, I have a Ph.D. in the sciences, and I have used this book to help many students over the past five years. The ideas work, the "unschedule" works, it is actually possible to be as busy as can be, and have more fun and freedom from stress than you can immagine. I think of one example in the book of a Ph.D. student that was "working" on his thesis some 60 hours a week, with dirty laundry and dishes all over the house, in a state of mental stagnation and depression that he seemed unaware of (my description). The author worked with this individual and set out a schedule of playing golf several times a week, and only working on his thesis some 18 hours per week. In the first week of the "unschedule" the student reluctantly went along as ordered by the author. He was amazed. He got more done on his thesis than he had in years. "The Now Habit" book is worth more than 100 times the price to anyone who is "so busy that they can't seem to get things done."
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115 of 116 people found the following review helpful By A reader on September 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am a serious procrastinator and was very poor at time management. I had labelled myself as "lazy," despite the fact that I spent most of my time trying to work (and putting everything fun on hold).
Per the suggestion of one of my bosses a few years ago, I began looking into time management. I couldn't afford any of the time management seminars, so I turned to books.
The first book I read was "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey, which presented a wonderful framework in living a balanced and successful life, in all areas. Stephen Covey's book will tell you how to prioritize and balance your life (work, family, play, etc.).
However, after reading that book, although I was aware of prioritizing and living my life based on values, a mission statement, etc., I was still was avoiding actually doing the things on my "prioritized" list which were the most important. I didn't understand why.
Dr. Fiore's book was exactly what I needed to fill the gap. In his gentle and familiar way, he looks at procrastion in a comprehensive way that is easy to understand. He begins with looking at WHY we procrastinate (this was important for me to know) and also presents an unbelievably effective approach on to HOW to overcome it.
Perhaps one of the most wonderful aspects of Fiore's book is that he ends his book with all the ways to overcome future pitfalls, should you find you are returning to procrastinating. This is why I never looked at buying another procrastination book after his. I did not need it. Because of this book, I now have the tools so that, if I do find myself tending towards procrastinating (and now I know what my triggers are thanks to Dr. Fiore), I can work through them. I believe this is where Dr. Fiore's book differs from most self-help books.
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