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iProcrastinate Podcast

Dr. Timothy A. Pychyl, associate professor of psychology and director of the Procrastination Research Group (Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada), provides a series of short talks, interviews and question/answer podcasts that explain why we procrastinate and what we can do about it. An award winning educator, Dr. Pychyl challenges his listeners to explore their daily choices to act or postpone acting on their intentions. Do we head to the gym as intended, or slouch back on the couch thinking "I'll feel more like a workout tomorrow"? Do we tackle the task now, or do we avoid it arguing to ourselves that "I work better under pressure"? From losing 10 pounds to changing personal habits, Pychyl, a personality psychologist, focuses on the breakdown of intentional action - a problem commonly called procrastination. This series expands on three main themes: 1) irrational delay that sabotages personal productivity, 2) personality attributes that contribute to self-defeating behaviours, and 3) situational factors that undermine our ability to take or sustain action. Drawing on the research literature, topics include: self-handicapping, anxiety, self-regulation, perfectionism, will power, coping styles, effects on health and well-being, impulsivity, temporal discounting, motivation and even purpose in life. Of course, Dr. Pychyl doesn’t leave his listeners with the problem itself. Once these key factors have been established, he turns his attention to techniques that facilitate self change, habit-breaking implementation intentions, as well as strategies that help each of us to “carpe diem!� The emphasis is on self-understanding, practical advice and tools for change. We guarantee that you will find this an engaging series of podcasts that will provide you with tactics to increase personal productivity and well-being.

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I don't feel like it! I don't want to!

Some reflections on what to do when you don't feel like doing what you know you should be doing. Want to learn more about procrastination? procrastination.ca The closing song is by singer, songwriter Matt Weidinger - check him out at mattweidinger.com


8 Jan 2016

Rank #1

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20 Tips to Reduce Procrastination

Let's start the new year right with 20 tips to help us reduce procrastination. In this interview with Angela Baker (Massey University, New Zealand), we walk through a list together discussing these 20 key strategies. Angela comments on each in relation to some of her work as a counselor, and I discuss many in relation to research. It was a delightful interview that crossed the world (a Wednesday afternoon for me and Thursday morning for Angela!). I think that this will be a podcast that you might listen to more than once if you're struggling with procrastination, particularly academic procrastination. These strategies can make a difference. If you want to learn more about procrastination, visit procrastination.ca or The Procrastinator's Digest: A Concise Guide to Solving the Procrastination Puzzle. I close the podcast with a song entitled "Procrastination" by Matt Weidinger. 

1hr 11mins

17 Jan 2013

Rank #2

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Acceptance & Commitment Therapy

An interview with the psychologist Dr. Frédérick Dionne about Acceptance & Commitment Therapy. Frédérick references the following website for more information: Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. Want to learn more about procrastination? procrastination.ca The closing song is by singer, songwriter Matt Weidinger - check him out at mattweidinger.com


2 Mar 2016

Rank #3

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Unnecessary illusions and the truth about procrastination

Illusions abound about procrastination. This week, I consider 10 of the most common illusions, explaining why we might think these things, but what research reveals as the "truth" of the matter. This episode of the podcast is a version of a talk that I gave recently to students and faculty at Fanshawe College, London, Ontario. I close the podcast with a song entitled "Procrastination" by Matt Weidinger. I think I've found a new theme song for this podcast! Let me know what you think at tpychyl@procrastination.ca. To learn more, visit procrastination.ca or pick up a copy (paper or ebook) of: The Procrastinator's Digest: A Concise Guide to Solving the Procrastination Puzzle.

1hr 13mins

29 Sep 2011

Rank #4

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Personality and Procrastination Part 2: The Five Factor Model of Traits predicts procrastination

In this podcast, we extend the "colour wheel" metaphor with the Five Factor Model of personality ("the big five") and briefly summarize some key relations of the major personality traits with procrastination.


7 Feb 2006

Rank #5

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Self-Control Strategies: Change the motivational strength of goals and temptations

Strengthening our motivation towards our goals while weakening our motivation towards temptations is important to successful goal pursuit. In this podcast, I summarize strategies that help us make a precommitment to change the choice situation and change the psychological meaing of our choice options. It's not as complicated as it sounds, and the strategies are discussed in relation to practical examples from everyday life. To learn more, visit procrastination.ca or The Procrastinator's Digest: A Concise Guide to Solving the Procrastination Puzzle.


2 Dec 2010

Rank #6

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Anxiety and procrastination: An interview with Dr. Bill Knaus

This week, the focus is on a topic that many listeners have asked to learn more about - anxiety. Dr. Bill Knaus brings his clinical insights to this discussion. Dr. Knaus presents a case study, explains various types of anxiety, relates anxiety to perfectionism (and other types of irrational thoughts), and summarizes strategies for change. If you want to learn more about Dr. Knaus' work, check out his latest book End Procrastination Now. As well, The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anxiety: A step by step program. (Knaus, W, New Harbinger, 2008) gives readers psychological tools for following through on addressing their parasitic anxieties and fears. It has a chapter on the procrastination anxiety connection. You can learn more about our research group at procrastination.ca


8 Feb 2010

Rank #7

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Time Management and procrastination: How not to carpe diem!

This week, we consider how even apparently good intentions like making a schedule can contribute to procrastination. We focus this dicussion on a new cartoon strip, "Carpe Diem," that you can find at www.procrastination.ca


1 Mar 2006

Rank #8

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Fear of Failure

This week, we review a recent study on fear of failure and procrastination. Mohsen Haghbin, a senior doctoral student in our research group, explains research that he helped Adam McCaffrey complete as his honours thesis (and which Adam presented this past spring at the Canadian Psychological Association conference). Their study shows that our sense of competence and autonomy are important to consider, as these basic human needs affect the relation between fear of failure and procrastination. This is an interesting and important study that brings together research issues and clinical insights to help us understand when fear of failure may be related to procrastination and when it may actually foster action to avoid potential negative outcomes. To learn more about procrastination, visit procrastination.ca.


27 Aug 2010

Rank #9

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Self-control strategies: Triggers, chutes, ladders and other ways to scaffold our success

In this fascinating interview, Dr. Joel Anderson (Utrecht University, The Netherlands, and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences) explains the notion of distributed willpower. Successful people arrange thier lives in such a way as to economize on willpower and to scaffold their willpower strategicially with environmental support. Willpower is not simply an issue of self-control located solely within the person! Professor Anderson explains how important the social context is to understanding human autonomy, and, most importantly for listeners of this podcast, he provides a number of concrete strategies to strengthen our willpower to overcome procrastination. This is a great interview. I know you'll learn a great deal from this talented philosopher and gifted teacher. If you want to learn more about procrastination, see procrastination.ca.

1hr 15mins

22 Jan 2011

Rank #10

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Implementation Intentions: A key strategy for successful goal pursuit

When I'm asked for strategies for more successful goal pursuit, I usually begin with the notion of implementation intentions. In this podcast, I explain the difference between goal intentions and implementation intentions, with a particular focus on the what, why and when of implementation intentions. This explanation is followed by a summary and discussion of two recent studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of implementation intentions. I know each of us can make use of implementation intentions in our day-to-day lives. I hope you enjoy this introduction to the concept and its function.You can learn more at procrastination.ca or at this blog entry at Psychology Today.


24 Aug 2009

Rank #11

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Strategies for Overcoming Procrastination Part I: Dealing with Avoidance

This is the first in a three-part podcast where we begin to discuss strategies for overcoming procrastination. The content is based on a research paper published by Wendelein Van Eerde in the journal, Applied Psychology: An International Review (see www. procrastination.ca and the podcast link for reference details). In this podcast, we explore 3 strategies for overcoming avoidance with specific examples related to academic procrastination.


22 May 2006

Rank #12

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Mindfulness, emotion-regulation and procrastination

Dr. Fuschia Sirois (Bishops University) joined me to discuss one of her recent studies entitled, "Lost in the Moment: An Investigation of Procrastination, Mindfulness and Well-being." This was a fascinating discussion of how we often focus on short-term mood repair instead of our intended goal pursuit, and how mindfulness may help us cope more effectively with the discomfort we feel when faced with an aversive task. To learn more about procrastination, visit procrastination.ca.


4 Feb 2011

Rank #13

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Self-regulation: Goal setting & attention (tips to reduce procrastination)

In order to understand procrastination, a form of self-regulation failure, we need to consider successful self-regulation. This podcast provides a beginning to this discussion. I review two key elements in successful self-regulation: goal setting and paying attention to the goal we set. This discussion includes tips to more effective goal setting as well as some thoughts on why attention plays such an important role in self-regulation. If you get interested in attention in self-regulation, you might also want to review the previous podcast on Mindfulness Meditation and Procrastination (October 27, 2007).


3 Aug 2009

Rank #14

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Key strategies to procrastinate less

Looking for an overview of how to stop procrastinating? Got an hour? In this podcast, Dr. Pychyl walks through the major factors related to our procrastination as well as strategies to overcome issues such as lack of commitment, defeatist attitude, weak intentions, distractions and low energy. It's a good podcast to end 2012, as we look ahead to the resolutions we'll make for the new year! If you want to learn more about procrastination, visit procrastination.ca or The Procrastinator's Digest: A Concise Guide to Solving the Procrastination Puzzle. I close the podcast with a song entitled "Procrastination" by Matt Weidinger. 


6 Dec 2012

Rank #15

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Self-Regulation in Instant Messaging

My title for the podcast today is taken from a recent study published in the International Journal of e-Collaboration by Dr. Anabel Quan-Haase of the University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario, Canada). Her focus is on how students use instant messaging for their social networking and how, as she writes, "instant messaging is disruptive and multitasking can lead to losses in productivity." Anabel's research revealed that students use a number of different techniques to self-regulate their use of these technologies including preventive and recuperative approaches such as ignoring incoming messages, denying access and digital/physical removal. This is an interesting and far-ranging conversation about some of the promise and peril of instant messaging. To learn more about procrastination and self-regulation see procrastination.ca or The Procrastinator's Digest: A Concise Guide to Solving the Procrastination Puzzle.


27 May 2011

Rank #16

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Irrational thoughts and the power of reason

Clinical psychologist Dr. Bill Knaus and philosopher Dr. Elliot Cohen explain how we can more effectively deal with the irrational thinking that defines procrastination. Dr. Cohen is a founder of philosophical counseling in the U.S., and Dr. Knaus is one of the original directors of post-doctoral training in rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT). Together, these counseling experts provide an important perspective on how to reduce procrastination and worry in our lives. To learn more about procrastination, see procrastination.ca or The Procrastinator's Digest: A Concise Guide to Solving the Procrastination Puzzle.

1hr 13mins

22 Feb 2011

Rank #17

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Strengthening goal intentions

Tips and techniques are never enough. What we often need to do to enhance goal pursuit success is to ensure that our goals matter to us. If we don't value a goal, if we don't have a strong commitment to a goal, we're unlikely to pursue it. Today, I discuss an approach to strengthening goal intentions, and, in doing this, I comment on how we can falsely internalize goals that may in fact lead to procrastination.


15 Feb 2010

Rank #18

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The Positive Side of Planning: Why a time management approach might work

Although I argued in the last podcast that procrastinators are not "broken" and that buying a daytimer or creating a schedule isn't a magic solution to procrastination, a time management approach can be beneficial. In this podcast we consider research that explains how this might work. (Check out www.procrastination.ca for the Carpe Diem cartoon feature for March.)


14 Mar 2006

Rank #19

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The Procrastinator's Guide to Getting Things Done

A short podcast this week about a new book,  The Procrastinator's Guide to Getting Things Done (by Dr. Monica Rameriz Basco, The Guildford Press). I explain how it may be useful as a guide to a cognitive-behavioral approach. I also review one of my points of disagreement with the focus on "types" of procrastinators.To learn more about procrastination, see our research group at procrastination.ca.


3 May 2010

Rank #20