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Introduction > Introduction - Pg. xiv

Introduction xiv How to Use This Book Procrastinators are famous for wanting to skip around in books rather than methodically plod through them from page 1 to the end. Though I recommend that you try to read the chapters at least roughly in order, skipping around isn't such a bad thing if that's the quickest route to the answers you need. To that end, here's a brief overview of what's inside: · Part 1, "The Whats, Whys, and Woes of Procrastination," helps you get your bearings. It wakes you up to the dangers of procrastination so that you'll be motivated to break the habit. And it tells you what procrastination is and why it's so common. You'll also find chapters that help you pinpoint the reasons why you put off things and a chapter on how your relationship with time (being at war with it, for example) fuels the problem. · Part 2," Becoming an Ex-Procrastinator," provides the foundation for getting over your problem. You'll learn what change is all about, why your past efforts to break the procrastination habit haven't worked, and how you're going to really do it this time. There's a special focus on getting rid of clutter, getting organized, simplifying your life, and learning to make decisions. Achieving these things plays an important role in overcoming procrastination. The final chapter of this part lets you in on the secret formula for overcoming procrastination. · Part 3, "Tips and Tricks for Getting Things Done," is the meat of the book. In these chapters, I roll up my sleeves and help you get those dishes washed, keep those New Year's resolutions, and stop putting off those home repair projects. You'll find nitty-gritty tips for taking care of chores and reaching goals related to your life at home, your family life, and your social life (or for getting a life if you feel you don't have one!). You'll also learn how to attend to your health, wealth, safety, and, most important, happiness. · Part 4, "Getting Things Done at Work and School," continues the theme of Part 3 in that it pro- vides specific, practical tips for accomplishing tasks and reaching goals. The focus in this part is on your professional life rather than your personal life. You'll learn why you procrastinate on the job--or even about getting a job in the first place--as well as put off making decisions or taking action about your career in general. You'll also find tips for students on everything from avoiding the last-minute rush to write papers and cram for exams to completing degrees and dealing with academic red tape. · Part 5, "Living the Life of an Ex-Procrastinator," ensures that your efforts to break the procras- tination habit aren't another failed attempt. You'll make a Procrastination Proclamation, a sort of contract with yourself to prioritize what you want to work on and lay out how and when you plan to do it. You'll also learn how to deal with people around you who procrastinate. (You know how irritating ex-smokers can be when they're around smokers; well, the same self-righteousness can afflict ex-procrastinators.) Finally, you'll learn how to keep it all going and keep it all in per- spective by getting things accomplished without sacrificing your mind, body, and spirit. Extras To highlight special tips and resources, useful facts, pitfalls to watch out for, and insights from fellow procrastinators, there are boxes scattered throughout each chapter. You can spot them by their icons, which are as follows: Action Tactic