“If Not NOW Then WHEN” – Simple Productivity Mindset



Recently I was listening to a live monthly mast mind webinar that James Schramko holds for all of his SuperFastBusiness members – a membership which I’m proud to be a part of and which bring massive amounts of value to my education of online business, marketing and productivity. Whilst many business and marketing issues were discussed on this live mastermind call there was really one part of the call that struck an immediate chord with me.

James used the phrase “If Not Now Then When” admittedly it is a quote or saying that has been used for a long, long time and most notably used by the likes of Oprah Winfrey in recent times. However, it has been used quite regularly throughout modern political history from the likes of Robert F. Kennedy, Mikhail Gobachev, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Also it is meant to have been used by Rabbi Hillel a Jewish Leader from the 1st Century. But rather than give you a history lesson I want to focus on this great phrase and analyse how it can be used by you to better your own motivation and/or productivity in your day to day life.

By thinking consciously you can use this simple phrase as an important mindset tool to immediately prompt you into action.

We all know that taking action and avoiding the pitfalls of procrastination is an ongoing battle in this day and age with so many technological distractions within arms reach.

So if you take anything away from this blog post please imprint the words “If Not Now Then When” into your minds.

Meaning of “If Not Now The When”?


Ultimately the phrase “If Not Now Then When” is used as a motivational quote or saying and it is meant to prompt a person to take immediate action on any task or job that they know that they inevitably will have to complete or take action on at some point in time.

The point of the phrase “If Not Now Then When” really throws the question back onto each individual asking them that if they have a job to complete or action to take then if they’re not willing to start taking action right now then the question ultimately puts it on the individual to ask themselves when it is a good time take action and get on top of any particular job or work that needs to be done.

We see too many people procrastinating or giving up excuses as to why they are not ready to take action right now. But the fact is – when will be a good time to take action, is there any ever any perfect time. Why not NOW rather than push things to the side and leaving it for a later time.

How to Get Shit Done


By incorporating this mindset of “If Not Now Then When” into your daily life you will definitely notice that you are taking more action with everything going on in your life. You will find that you will become far more organised, less cluttered and be less stressed about getting on top of work or jobs which you know you will inevitably have have to do anyway at some point in time.

You can use this phrase and apply it to anything in your life whether it is the small things in life like taking the clothes out of the washing machine and just leaving it in a pile to hang up. By taking the “If Not Then When” approach you could take immediate action and hang it up right now so that the job is done and completed immediately rather than sitting around in a cluttered mess around the home. This is just a minor domestic example.

You can also apply this phrase to more significant jobs in your life such as important projects at work or taking action on a to do list in order to be more productive within the workplace.

Whatever the case may be it is the general mindset behind this phrase will allow you to become more productive and take action.

Action steps for you to take right now!


It is all well and good for you to sit and read this blog post and listen to me rant on about this wonderful motivational and mindset phrase. But just like most articles you read in this over stimulated world we live in you may walk away quickly forgetting about this mindset and failing to incorporate it into you day to day life.

So want I want you to do right now is to immediately TAKE ACTION so that it forces you to incorporate this phrase into your day-to-day life, then you can set and forget it because the prompts will be with you everywhere you go.

This is what I want you to do, I want you to set up strategic reminder anchors around your house, your workplace and even on your personal possession which has a written affirmation of this phrase “If Not Now Then When”.


fridge whiteboard

For example at home you might have this phrase written on a small whiteboard which is on your fridge in the kitchen.



At work you might have this phrase strategically placed in the background picture on your desktop or on your computer screensaver so that every time you’re working on either your computer or in your office written phrase will be staring at you and prompting you to take action.

Personal Possession:

if not now then when on mobile

You may even want to take a screenshot of this phrase and put it onto your mobile phone as the wallpaper so that every time you go to open your phone up to play with some social media or other distracting applications you will read this phrase and it will make you conscious about the fact that you should take immediate action on more important jobs that you would otherwise put off and procrastinate over.

Getting the phrase inscribed on your mobile phone case is another good way to being a constant reminder, just like in the picture below.

Take action today and incorporate this phrase and simple mindset tool into your day to day life. It really is about snapping you into action to complete the more arduous or unexciting tasks in your life which ultimately have to be done anyway. Why not get on top of your life and stop lamenting about how boring or tough the job ahead of you is.

If you are keen to read more about how to take action and activate your Hustle Muscle then see our recent blog post recanting the interview between Jamie Foxx and Tim Ferris – Working the Hustle Muscle.

Tell us in comments below interesting ways in which you have incorporated this mindset tool into you life.

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Joshua Boorman
We aim to provoke your conscious thought and discuss all topics to help you live more meaningful and purposeful lives.
Joshua Boorman


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About The Author

Joshua Boorman

We aim to provoke your conscious thought and discuss all topics to help you live more meaningful and purposeful lives.