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The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play Paperback – April 5, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; Revised edition (April 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585425524
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585425525
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"It is rare to find a book that translates academically sound research into wise and helpful advice."
Jeffrey P. Prince, University of California, Berkley

"THE NOW HABIT is the definitive bible for releasing anyone's procrastinating past and becoming a 'producer.' This book is my go-to recommendation to my clients (and myself!) for beating procrastinatiomn and the guilt that comes with it."
Lisa Rothstein, The DaVinci Dilemma

"I recommend THE NOW HABIT to my coaching clients and friends and family members because it provides clear, practical, effective advice for gettingthings done without beating yourself up."
Liisa Kyle, Ph.D, co-author of Happiness Awaits You

"If procrastination is a major problem in your life – or even a minor problem – this book is well worth a reading. The techniques in this book are mostly psychological, but that does not mean they’re not incredibly powerful if used appropriately. Plus, the techniques here dovetail well with many other personal development philosophies, so you don’t have to toss out what you already know and what already works for you in order to adopt THE NOW HABIT"
The SImple Dollar

"’I've found THE NOW HABIT by Neil Fiore, Ph.D. to be a phenomenal resource for many clients who struggle with procrastination. Fiore helps you figure out why you are procrastinating and offers concrete exercises and strategies to overcome the most common blocks to getting started. This is a fantastic book."
Carrie Spaulding, The Thirty-something Coach


About the Author

Neil Fiore, Ph.D., guides managers, executives, and their employees to new levels of peak performance. Drawing from his experience as a lieutenant with the 101st Airborne Division, a manager with Johnson & Johnson, a statistical analyst for Shell Oil, and a psychologist and career counselor at the University of California, Berkeley, Fiore brings practical tools for life and work to his seminar participants. He holds a doctorate in psychology and a B.S. degree in economics.

Customer Reviews

Please stop beating yourself up long enough to read this book.
Lisa Rothstein
In his book, The Now Habit, Dr. Neil Fiore sets out to give us the tools we need to break the procrastination habit.
Fowler Wainwright
I found the principles and ideas provided in this book to be very helpful.
Rule 62 Ken

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Jsea on August 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I know that there are already 100+ reviews on here, but what the heck, Neil deserves my complements as well. Prior to reading this book, I was having serious anxiety about work. It was devastating. I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out why I couldn't "get to it" like all of my other colleagues. I thought I had ADD because I couldn't finish (or sometimes even start) my projects. I was so scared that I was going to get fired, I ended up going to a psychiatrist.I described my problem of being unable to work, get things done, being distracted etc, and they subsequently prescribed me ADD medication. However, after I took the medication for a month it still didn't help my problem. (Actually, the medication made me feel really weird , but I digress).

I stumbled upon this book on Amazon, and boy am I glad I did. This book saved my life, I really think so.
After I implemented the tools given in the book, I was suddenly able to get over my phobic response to my work anxiey. I started to become a producer. Knowing what I know now from this book, I would have paid $1000+ for the advice it gave me.

I just love the positive attitude that Neil conveys throughout the book.
Also, I would like to add that I work full-time and recently started university full time as well. And guess what, I'm on my third consecutive semester of getting a 4.0!

Thank you Now Habit!
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100 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Potts Weinstein on October 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play originally was published in 1989, so perhaps everyone besides me has already read this book ... but I found it incredibly helpful in diagnosing my current procrastination problems with finishing my book and getting done some nagging stuff on my to-do list.


- Practical tools to diagnose your problems (keeping a procrastination log).
- The "Unschedule" tool to schedule your fun time, to keep you motivated to get your work done.
- Acknowledgment that most of us actually only have 15-20 hours a week for the big projects, once you plan for meetings, email, phone calls, showers, kids, sleeping, and the rest of life.
- Great for self-employed people who have wide open but incredibly busy schedules.


- Really, you've heard a fair amount of the stuff in this book (keeping track of your time, setting goals, etc.) but I found it was presented in a way that was helpful to me.
- If you are not a self-motivated person, not sure that scheduling "fun" time will get you motivated to do work; especially if you are not sure what you should be working on.
- The Now Habit contains a bunch of procrastinator stories that frankly, I speed-read through because reading about other procrastinators make me upset, but those stories may be very helpful if you feel alone in your habits.

What I've already used:

- Realized that the reason I was procrastinating on finishing my book (it was 98% done) was avoiding delayed failure. In other words, when I finish my book it will be published and I could fail at selling the book, so if I never finish, I can't fail. Nuts.
- Used the "unschedule" to figure out I only have 15 hours a week for major projects.
- First day I used the "unschedule" I got all my work done by 2:30 PM. I didn't know what to do with all that time -- it was weird and great!
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54 of 54 people found the following review helpful By O. Brown HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 14, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I give this book six stars, as it is helping me (an overwhelmed workaholic) to overcome a lifelong problem with procrastination. Really. Just from a book, albeit a great book!

The author, Neil Fiore, defines procrastination as "a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision." Procrastination is a strategy to obtain temporary relief from stress, not a character defect or a personal or moral failure (as I'd thought before reading this book).

The book addresses key issues underlying procrastination so that by the time you have finished with the book you are prepared to overcome the habit of procrastination in your life. For example, for me one obstacle I've struggled with (but didn't know it before reading the book) was "the fear that you must deprive yourself of leisure time in order to satisfy some unseen judge". Guilt-free play was something I never did; I rarely played at all, and if I did I felt guilty. The author shows you how to build guilt-free play into your schedule so that you are paradoxically MORE productive rather than less. Another example is I figured out that I viewed my projects as reflections of my worth as a person; the book gave me self-talk so that I can separate my self-esteem from the work I do. These are just two examples; I'm sure that whatever your issues with procrastination, you'll find them addressed here, and then be equipped with the tools to overcome them.

Here is a great quote that the author uses from William James: "Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task." If you're like me and want to end the tyranny of your "To Do" list once and for all, you will absolutely not be disappointed!

Highest recommendation!
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174 of 196 people found the following review helpful By John-Paul Morgante on April 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
While re-reading "Getting Things Done" by David Allen and looking at his website, I came across a recommendation for this book. The tip came from a solid source so I bought the book. I was looking for some practical steps (like those in GTD) but found more psychological insights. That left me a little disappointed.

The book has some solid advice about the reasons for procrastination and how to move forward but it will not provide you with any lists, calendar tips, prioritization methods, or the like. It helps you to work on your thoughts and gets you to say, "I choose" instead of "I have to". It also helps to free you from the guilt of not doing and encourages you to "start".

This is all important stuff because we really do act according to our thoughts so getting those right is the first step. Regardless, it left me a little empty as I was looking for ore implementation tips to help me fine-tune a workflow system.

The bottom-line: If you don't know where to turn and are overwhelmed, this book might just help you break through. If you got things moving in the right direction and need some "black-belt" skills, look elsewhere.
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