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We all experience procrastination and feeling of self-criticism. The Now Habit Summary will free you from this bad habit with its strategic program for overcoming procrastination and enjoying guilt-free play. So, let’s start.
Procrastination is a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision.
Procrastination is not a problem, it’s a solution or we use it as a tool to avoid problems and fears associated with a project or task. Well, what are those fears?
Fear of success, fear of failure, fear of being imperfect are the fears that we try to avoid using procrastination.
The now habit summary provides tools and methods to lessen criticism and help you to start sooner.
When you attach your self worth with your work or performance and criticize yourself for small errors or doing an imperfect work, you lose confidence. With lost confidence, you have an even greater need for procrastination to cope with unfavorable judgment.
Procrastination gives you temporary relief from stress and anxiety. The more difficult work is for you, the more you try to seek relief through avoidance and involvement in other pleasurable activities.
Everybody procrastinates differently. Record your procrastination habit with for three days. Record the emotions attached with tasks that you’re putting off.
After a few days, you’ll realize which thoughts and feelings leading you toward achievement and which one leading towards further delay.
When you become aware of your procrastination patterns, habits and thoughts that lead to this bad habit, you can easily replace them with positive self-talk.
Imagine the following situations to better understand how we procrastinate.
Situation A: You have to walk on 9 feet long and 1-foot wide bar, which is kept on the ground. What are your feelings now?
Probably, you will be thinking it’s easy and will do it with no fears.
Situation B: What if, you have to walk the same bar which is kept between two building just 100 feet above the ground. What you will feel now?
You will not do it. Right? The fear of falling is much more that it doesn’t matter how easy the task is!
Situation C: What if one building is on fire and you have to walk or you’ll die.
Anyhow you’ll walk by sitting or standing whatever! Fear of death will push you to do it.
The same things we are doing in our life. We raise the task 100 feet high by attaching our self worth with that task and then focus on falling/ failure rather than doing, which leads to procrastination.
We make every situation do or die. If I made a mistake I’m a loser, not acceptable and so on.
Our early training leads us to the belief that our self worth is determined by our performance. Thus we need self-protection from failing rather than just doing the work.
Now imagine situation D: The same 100 feet above bar kept between two building and you have to walk on it. One thing added is a 3 feet safety net below it. What are your feelings now?
You will walk now without fear of falling, focusing completely on walking. Similarly, create a safety net in your life by assuring that no one can threaten you, you are worthy even if you fail.
Note: Read better ways to form new habit with atomic habits summary
Have to’s are the message of stress. When you talk like “I have to do this stuff”, inner voice come, “but, I don’t want to do it?” Have to message create pressure and inner conflict.
Shoulds are messages of depression. should compare the ideal situation with the current situation. Have to’s and should do not communicate clearly what you are choosing to do? when you are choosing to do it?
Replace I have to with I choose to.
Replace I must finish with when can I start?
Replace “the project is so big and important with I can take one small step.
Replace I must be perfect with I can be perfectly human.
Reprogram your self talk like “I choose to start on one small step, knowing I have plenty of time for play”.
The now habit summary focuses on spending more time on playing, enjoying leisure time and doing more quality work. Give yourself more time to guilt-free play. It will renew your physical as well as mental energy.
People who work continuously on their projects feel like shit, no respect for themselves and need procrastination to emotional relief.
Fear of being overwhelmed, fear of failure and fear of not finishing are associated with your work. The now habit summary has three tools to overcome blocks to action.
We try to face a task in one shot. Overview of the work in terms of length, breadth, and width. Divide each task into small steps and focus on when and where to start. Then plan your work using reverse calendar.
The reverse calendar starts with the ultimate deadline for your project and then moves back step by step; to the present where you can focus your energy on starting.
The reverse calendar gives you more control over your deadlines and frees yourself from being overwhelmed and anxious.
Well, worrying can benefit you if you’ll use it properly. It can wear you and evoke action to prepare that danger. Develop an action plan to solve the issue. Once, problem solved, your mind will calm.
Always focus on starting. You can start many times a day. Always look for one more step. Persistent starting will help you to overcome third block i.e fear of finishing.
The unschedule is reverse psychology which focuses on putting more time in play and more quality in work. Aim for doing quality work for only thirty minutes. 30 minutes are enough to break the inertia of starting.
Do not work for more than 5 hrs/day on this project.
You must exercise, play or dance at least 1 hr a day.
Unscheduling gives immediate reward and sense of achievement after working 30 quality minutes, breaking anxiety related to a task.
I already mentioned in deep work summary, working in the flow state, shutdowns inner disturbance and helps you to attain your peak state.
Two-minute relaxation exercises will help you get into the flow state. When you work in flow state your anxiety diminished and your urge to emotional relief in the form of procrastination will stop.
Trying to completely change your old procrastination patterns is quite hard. you will fail sometime but, that’s ok! Make a planned setback by procrastinating for three days. observe your emotions worries anxieties self talk.
Once you know which thoughts are making you a procrastinator and which making you achiever you can change them slowly.
Until and unless you manage your own procrastination you can’t manage others. Successful leaders, managers avoid talking their employee in “have to’s” and Should’s language. They focus on commitment rather than compliance.
They give constructive feedback rather than criticism. Give rewards, compliments for good work.
Well, I think this book is a proper guide to understand why we procrastinate and help to overcome it. So, this book is for everyone who wants to understand procrastination.
With this, we come to the end of the now habit summary written by Neil Fiore. I recommend you buying this book.
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