Notes from Now Habit by Neil A. Fiore, Ph.D.
Creating Safety: The First Major Step Out of Procrastination" (Excellent Analogy)
- walking along a 30-foot board (task)
- board is suspended between two buildings, 100 feet above the ground (task determines your worth)
- you are frozen until you realize the building you are on is on fire (perfectionism/procrastination raise the stakes & time pressure forces you to act)
- board 100 feet above the ground with a safety net (indisputable sense of worth acts as a safety net)
Five Self-Statements that Distinguish Procrastinators from Producers
- I have to.
- replace w/I choose to.
- I must finish.
- replace w/When can I start?
- This is so big.
- replace w/I can take one small step.
- I must be perfect.
- I can be human.
- I don't have time to play.
- I must take time to play.
Combined: I choose to start one small imperfect step knowing I am human and I must take time to play.
Use Pull-Method Motivation
|push method||pull method|
|peel the potatoes or you'll lose your weekend pass||earn another day of leave for each basket|
|increase the number of clients called per day or find another job||learn how to communicate effectively with clients and you'll be able to see more clients|
|read this entire shelf of books by the end of the semester||imagine that, as you read a chapter, you are placing it on this empty shelf|
- three-dimensional thinking
- consider any of the places to start, don't limit yourself to one right place
- permit yourself time along the way to learn, build confidence, and ask for help
- don't be critical that you're only starting when you "should be finished."
- reverse calendar
- think backwords from the goal & deadline to the present
- work of worrying (don't stop with just worrying, develop an action plan)
- What is the worst that could happen?
- What would I do if the worst really happened?
- How would I lessen the pain and get on with as much happiness as possible if the worse did occur?
- What alternatives would I have?
- What can I do now to lessen the probability of this dreaded event occuring?
- Is there anything I can do now to increase my chances of achieving my goal?
- persistent starting
- Do not work more than twenty hours a week on this project.
- Do not work more than five hours a day on this project.
- You must exercise, play, dance at least one hour a day.
- You must take at least one day a week off from any work.
- Aim for only thirty minutes of quality work.
- Work for an imperfect, perfectly human first effort.
- Start small.
- Schedule only
- previously committed time such as meals, sleep, meetings
- free time, recreation, leisure reading
- health activites such as swimming, running, tennis
- routine structured events such as commuting time, classes, medical appointments
- fill unschedule with work on projects only after you have completed at least one-half hour
- take credit only for periods of work that represent at least thirty minutes of uninterrupted work
- reward yourself with a break or a change to a more enjoyable task after each period worked
- keep track of the number of quality hours worked each day and each week
- always leave at least one full day a week for recreation and any necessary small chores
- before deciding to play, take time out for just thirty minutes of work on your project
- focus on starting
- think small
- keep starting
- never end down
Managing People Who Procrastinate Commitment to a task sparks much more creativity and motivation than compliance.
|You'd better finish by noon.||What can you get me by noon?|
|You have to get here on time, or else.||I've placed you in a responsible position and I'm depending on you to be here at nine o'clock.|
|Do it exactly as I showed you.||We need to be able to trust each other's work, so I need you to follow the guidelines precisely. Let me know if you have any problems with them.|
Focus On Starting vs. Finishing