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The Now Habit

[Notes from reading The Now Habit by Neil Fiore. These notes may seem incomplete and scattered to you, but that's because they're just the notes I jotted while reading. So, if you've got questions, or something looks interesting, or whatever... just comment.]

! People want to produce, create. Some have associated certain pain/fear with work. More than lazy or undisciplined, but there's a 'why' behind avoidance.

QT: That is, we procrastinate when we fear a threat to our sense of worth and independence. We only act lazy when our natural drive for fruitful activity is threatened or suppressed.(p15)

! Why? fear of resentment, failure, success

+ Look for patterns in avoidance behavior: when? what types of activities? feelings? justifications? attempted solutions?

! Illustration of 'Raising the Board' vs 'Creating Safety' (p48-54)

QT: The successful person fails many times and bounces back; but "the Failure" fails once, letting that one failure become a judgment of his or her worth, and thus, his or her identity.(p55)

! "Have to.." and "Should.." vs "I want", "I decide" and "I choose" (p58)

"I have to." vs "I choose to."
"I must finish." vs "When can I start?"
"This project is big and important." vs "I can take one small step."
"I must be perfect." vs "I can be perfectly human."
"I don't have time to play." vs "I must take time to play."(p77)

QT: One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon - instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our window today. -Dale Carnegie(p78)

Pull Motivate: plan "play" times and "work" times, so work doesn't seem never ending and you have target rewards

Reverse Calendar: set deadline and work back from there, chunking the work into doable pieces at set intervals (p100-102) [think gtd project planning]

-seems like more work than it's worth
-limiting time for work to create
a)pressure to focus in times
b)know you have planned play
c)visualize work times and scheduled downtimes
-some helpful principles (p127-130)
b)day off
d)30 min quality work
e)don't end down

Flow state:
-little overboard self help talk
-take a deep breath and focus

QT: These statements combine the three elements of effective work imagery (when, where, and on what you will start) and imply choice, safety, and starting. [The other important piece of the process is focusing.](p158)

QT: If you are having extreme difficulty concentrating, quickly jot down any distractions on a separate pad.(p172)

QT: "Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task." -William James (p177)

QT: To work effectively with procrastinators - and that means most people - managers must keep in mind the three main issues that are at the bottom of most procrastination problems: feeling like a victim; being overwhelmed; and fear of failure. Successful leaders and managers address these problem areas by communicating in terms that elicit commitment rather than compliance, by focusing on manageable objectives rather than on overwhelming expectations, and by providing praise for steps taken in the right direction rather than just criticizing mistakes. Their management style creates a pull toward the goal, focuses on starting each step, and provides adequate safety and rewards. (p186)

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