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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have tried several self-help books over the last year and a half (some of the better ones include David Allen's GTD
At my wit's end after three years doing an engineering postgraduate degree this book has been the first to help me mobilise again, shut off the inner critic and begin making progress. I have tried several self-help books over the last year and a half (some of the better ones include David Allen's GTD, Martin Seligman's book on Learned Optimism, and Stephen Covey's 7...
Published 9 months ago by Hugo Botley

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars nothing like I had imagined it to be
Very interesting, nothing like I had imagined it to be.
Published 7 months ago by tarka


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have tried several self-help books over the last year and a half (some of the better ones include David Allen's GTD, 20 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Writer's Block (Kindle Edition)
At my wit's end after three years doing an engineering postgraduate degree this book has been the first to help me mobilise again, shut off the inner critic and begin making progress. I have tried several self-help books over the last year and a half (some of the better ones include David Allen's GTD, Martin Seligman's book on Learned Optimism, and Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People).While the three I've picked out have all helped different aspects of my life and work, Hillary Rettig's book has been the most immediately effective and I was able to immediately start being more productive before I was even a quarter of the way through the book.

I used to tell myself that I couldn't possibly be a perfectionist, since all my work is far from perfect (oh the irony of that statement). Now I observe myself when I'm showing procrastinatory behaviour, drag out the timer and tell myself 'just ten minutes'. Furthermore, if ten minutes is all I managed then I congratulate myself on having done more than on the days I did none. In actual fact, it didn't take long before I was overunning the timer and getting swept up in my work again.

The other imortant take home for me was learning how to draft properly. I especially like the attitude that if you set out to do ten minutes, then that is writing time - not pondering or research time. If you must ponder then do it on paper in the thing you are trying to write - let that be your first draft. I previously never used to write more than one or two drafts, and it was painful and slow. Now I am quite happy to write as many drafts as it takes, don't ever feel bogged down, and if I do hit a snag... well, I won't spoil the book for you - there are plenty of enlightening things you can read about in the later chapters that give you plenty of options to work around the book.
A minor criticism aimed at any technical readers is that the book does lean towards catering for the creative author type. While Rettig does frequently address other academic readers, the bias is there but was not a problem for me. I found the perspective refreshing and was easily able to transpose my technical engineering needs while reading.

Another thing is that the book has a definite feminine touch, but I quite enjoyed that. Looking at the list of self-help options i have already tried, they are all male-written, I don't know if that means anything or not and it did not play a conscious part of my decision making process, but certainly I think it is a positive in my experience.
If nothing else, this book has helped me become more comfortable with who I am (I do not exaggerate), and I have a much calmer approach to problems - in work and personal life - that I encounter.

Try it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really great buy !, 30 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Writer's Block (Kindle Edition)
A really great book explaining the causes of Blocks, Procrastination, Putting it off, Perfectionism, Not getting down to it, etc etc. Lots of creative strategies to removing the obstacles and getting down to the job in hand. This is the first book I have read with an original approach to the problem. It does not rely on CBT/Time Management tools. I loved the idea that time is the most valuable resource which we can either spend or invest. Thank you for this imaginative approach.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beat your perfectionism & procrastination, 18 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Writer's Block (Kindle Edition)
This is a brilliant and very well-written book. If you have any trouble getting things done or suffer with writer's block you will get a lot out of this. As a recovering perfectionist, I found it invaluable, comprehensive, sympathetic and above all extremely useful on a practical level. Hilary Rettig knows her stuff - I've already recommended this book to several people. Excellent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profoundly life changing and liberating ( Amanda M Clarke), 4 July 2014
This review is from: The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Writer's Block (Kindle Edition)
Within the week that it has taken me to read this book I have broken free from the shackles of procrastination and self doubt.As the author of a self published book (Amazon Feb 27 2013) which took seven years to write and left me exhausted and now suffering from an autoimmune thyroid condition ( due to a punishing over-identification with my work and perfectionism?) I closed the door to my study and walked away from writing. I had fantastic support from my husband but isolated myself from any kind of writing community, preferring to submit to a literary consultancy for feedback. Although I received some great reviews from supportive readers, I was crushed when some of my closer acquaintances showed no interest in reading my book and others expressed shock at what I'd written (not my mum, who loved it) I did not realise that I've been blocked by traumatic rejection until reading Hillary Rettig' s fantastic book. I have gained an insight into the cause of my burn out, (my over perfectionism goes back to my childhood where high expectations to come top in exams all but paralysed me in my A level year's) I have already drawn my copter landscape for the sequel to my novel and a I have manage a two hour writing session!!! For Ieading me to this amazing author, I praise the Laws of Attraction. THANK YOU HILLARY
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for all creative people, 10 July 2013
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This review is from: The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Writer's Block (Kindle Edition)
Hillary Rettig goes far more deeply into the subject of procrastination than any writer I've encountered before. This book is absolutely packed with helpful tips and insights into why it is so difficult to carry out our creative work. In fact, there is so much useful information here that I would love to buy it as a paperback and not just as a Kindle book (with the Kindle format it's harder to get a sense of exactly where you are in a chapter, especially when the chapters are quite long and made up of several sections).*

I've read books on how to increase creative productivity by other leading writers, and this one is, in my mind, in a league of its own: Hillary Rettig explores the full complexity of the issue and makes her solutions as simple as possible; no poetic diversions or metaphors (eg. I have one creativity guidebook which recommends holding a hot baked potato as a way of learning to relate to one's work). The book focusses on the art of writing, but is equally applicable to other creative activities, and there is a chapter on academic writing which provides much-needed support to students who are struggling with their dissertations. My own work has already started to develop since reading this book and beginning to experiment with just one or two of its ideas. Invaluable!

*Update: delighted to see that the book is now available as a paperback. Not cheap, but I've made an order!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant cure - it works!, 19 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Writer's Block (Kindle Edition)
This book is outstanding, by far the best in its field that I have come across, and I've read all the procrastination bestsellers: Do It Now, Kaizen etc. they all contain useful information but they focus on the removal of procrastination not the damaged root cause and how to heal the damage. It is this which sets Rettig's material apart. She has real integrity. Throughout the book she repeats the need for compassionate objectivity, until it becomes a mantra impossible to ignore, almost hypnotic in its effect (much the same way as Allen Carr succeeds in stopping people smoking. He just explains on every page so very clearly why stopping is no denial, and Rettig explains thoroughly and then again in each chapter why compassion is the only successful response to procrastination.) Her argument is intelligent, well thought through and best of all it works.

After years of procrastination I finally have the correct tools to deal with the problem. They are simple but powerful and few hard core procrastinators would arrive at them unaided. (How Rettig did is a beguiling mystery.) In short she argues that all procrastination has at root perfectionism. She covers the sub-sections of this: idleness, fear, distraction and so on, but all lead back to the original false demand on oneself that a first attempt must be of a certain standard or it is a failure. Rettig unpicks this attitude and replaces it with such compassionate logic and warmth. She gives clear, powerful and very easy to follow instructions on how to overcome this attitude.

If you stall or feel blocked as a writer buy this book now. Don't put it off. It will be the best investment you have ever made in your career. Even for those whose work flows, it is a really useful tool. I recommended it to a prolific writer recently because her work ethic doesn't allow for much time off. Rettig argues that we must pay attention to our other needs, particularly that of sociable fellowship with other writers. I've ditched the guilt since reading this and the writing week feels better planned and is more productive than ever.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than it looks from outside, 2 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Writer's Block (Kindle Edition)
The cover is cheesy but the contents are genuinely helpful. Since following her advice I've been far less blocked and hope to get better in future. Would recommend to any blocked writer or anyone who procrastinates.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 7 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Writer's Block (Kindle Edition)
Very good. Loved it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars nothing like I had imagined it to be, 25 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Writer's Block (Kindle Edition)
Very interesting, nothing like I had imagined it to be.
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