iProcrastinate Podcast
Why we procrastinate and what we can do about it.
Decisional procrastination: An interview with Dr. Joseph Ferrari Are you indecisive? Would you rather that someone else choose the movie you'll watch together or the food from a menu? If so, I think you'll enjoy this interview with Dr. Joseph Ferrari (DePaul University, Chicago). Dr. Ferrari is one of the world's foremost experts on the topic of procrastination, and he summarizes some interesting studies about decisional procrastination as well as what we might do to reduce this indecision in our own lives.

If you want to learn more about procrastination, check out procrastination.ca.
Direct download: Indecisiveness.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:30am EST

New Year's resolutions: Why we may fail to act on these intentions The new year looms ahead, and one of the expectations for this time of year is to set a new year's resolution. Do you have one? Do you expect to successfully act on this intention? In this podcast, I share some thoughts about why these resolutions often fail and what we can do to be more successful with change in the year ahead.
Direct download: New_Years_resolutions.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:46am EST

Perfectionism (Part 2): The perfectionistic procrastinator Here's the second part of my interview with Dr. Gordon Flett (York University, Toronto). In this podcast, we discuss the relation between procrastination and perfectionism, with a specific focus on the perfectionistic procrastinator.

If you want to learn more about procrastination, check out procrastination.ca.
Direct download: Perfectionism_Part_2.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:31pm EST

Perfectionism (Part 1): An interview with Dr. Gordon Flett This is the first of a two-part podcast on perfectionism and procrastination. In this first part, Dr. Gordon Flett (York University, Toronto) explains what perfectionism is, why it's problematic and what can be done to help those who are troubled by perfectionism. I thoroughly enjoyed this interview, and I'm sure you will too.

If you want to learn more about our research or procrastination, check out procrastination.ca.
Direct download: Perfectionism_Part_1.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:31pm EST

A problem with chronic self-appraisal: Self-regulation failure This week, I talk about some research related to impulsivity and anxiety. Interestingly, both are related to chronic preoccupation with the evaluation of self, goals and plans. Impulsivity and anxiety are also related to procrastination, so we need to think about how chronic self-appraisal and criticism may affect self-regulation. I wrote about this study on my Psychology Today blog. You can check out this entry for the reference to the study.

If you want to learn more about our research and procrastination, visit procrastination.ca
Direct download: Chronic_self-appraisal_and_impulsivity.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:27pm EST

The "Un-Schedule" as a strategy for successful time management Although I usually note that procrastination is not a time-management problem, it doesn't mean that more effective planning for our goal pursuit won't help. So, this week I present one of my own favourite planning strategies, the "un-schedule." I explain what it is and, using examples from my own life, I explore how it works to create more accurate and honest implementation intentions for our goals.

If you want to learn more about procrastination or my research, check out procrastination.ca.
Direct download: Strategies_for_success.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:43pm EST

Does evaluation threat help or hinder our procrastination? It depends! This week, after discussing some very important listener feedback, I summarize a study about evaluation threat and its effects on procrastination. The results may surprise you. Whether or not high evaluation threat makes you procrastinate more (which is what we typically might think) depends on whether you're high or low on trait procrastination.

You can find my original blog posting about this topic on my Psychology Today "Don't Delay" blog (including the reference for the study if you're interested in reading it yourself). 

If you want to learn more about procrastination, see procrastination.ca.
Direct download: Evaluation_Threat_and_Procrastination.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:35pm EST

Guilt and our strategies to reduce cognitive dissonance for procrastinating When we procrastinate, the most common emotion is guilt. It's an uncomfortable feeling caused, at least in part, by the dissonance between what we intended to do and what we're doing (not what we intended). This dissonance is uncomfortable, and we do a number of things to reduce it including distraction, denial, and trivialization to name a few. This week, I discuss the nature of cognitive dissonance in relation to procrastination as well as the various strategies we use to make ourselves feel better. Of course, I also suggest a strategy that's more effective in the long run.

If you want to read about this in addition to listening to the podcast, check out my Don't Delay blog on Psychology Today entitled, "Procrastination, guilt, excuses and the road less traveled."

Interested in learning more about procrastination? Check out procrastination.ca.
Direct download: Cognitive_dissonance_and_procrastination.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:00am EST

Worry helps me cope: Another problematic metacognitive belief A recent study indicates that both behavioural and decisional procrastination are related to maladaptive beliefs known as metacognitions. In this podcast, I relate two listeners' comments to this study and discuss how our thinking can create problems for us in terms of procrastination.
Direct download: Worry_helps_me_cope.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:59am EST

Quirks of the Brain: Procrastination's Perfect Storm Hey, a second podcast for November 10th. Yes, I'm trying to make up for my absence last week :-) In this short podcast, I discuss some summary statements related to neuroscience that describe what David Rock calls "quirks of our brains." I think these quirks of our stone-age brain in the modern world help explain why we're vulnerable to self-regulation failure.

If you want to read David Rock's original posting on this topic, check out his posting on Psychology Today for August 30, 2009. Here's my blog posting in reply to his writing. It may interest you, as I provide links to each of the topics I mention in the podcast (in case you want to follow up on one topic in more detail).

As always, you can keep up with our research at procrastination.ca
Direct download: Quirks_of_the_Brain.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:09pm EST

Old habits die hard: Why do we procrastinate? In this, the first podcast for November, I reflect on a listener's questions about advice to new faculty members by Robert Boice, and I answer a few short questions about why we procrastinate and what we can do about it. The emphasis is on practical knowledge related to self-change. I hope it's useful to you.
Direct download: Old_habits_die_hard.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:01pm EST

Not helpful: Thoughts on irrational thoughts This week I discuss three things: 1) a listener's comments about meaning and decisional procrastination, 2) a useful "mantra" in life - Not Helpful, and 3) some research on irrational beliefs (where I draw on the "not helpful" mantra as a strategy for change).

You can learn more about Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) in my Psychology Today blog posting.  If you want to know more about our research, check out procrastination.ca

Finally, if you want to think more about Jai Pausch's "not helpful" strategy, check out my blog about Randy's "Last Lecture."
Direct download: Not_helpful.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:59pm EST

A procrastinator's story This week, I'm sharing a letter from a reader of my Psychology Today blog, Don't Delay. It's an insightful, well-written (at times painful) first-hand account of coming to grips with procrastination. I comment on this story in relation to other listeners' notes to me, as I discuss the process of change for chronic procrastinators.

Want to learn more about procrastination? Check out our Procrastination Research Group Web site.
Direct download: A_procrastinators_story.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:14pm EST

I'll look after my health later: How procrastination undermines our health Every procrastinator knows the stress associated with that needless delay. The question is, does this relate to increased illness as well? In fact, it's not just the stress associated with procrastination that may affect your health. Treatment delay and fewer wellness behaviors have been implicated in the procrastination-illness relation.

In this podcast, I discuss the research of Dr. Fuschia Sirois (University of Windsor) who has been exploring the relation between procrastination and health. Note: Although I say otherwise in the introduction to the podcast, I end this podcast with a practical strategy to make your health-promoting behaviors a daily habit.

Bear with me today please, as I recorded this during a bout of the flu, so I do "wander" a bit. If you want to know about Dr. Sirois, you can check out her Health and Well-being Web site.

For more about procrastination, check out the Procrastination Research Group (including our Psychology Today blog, podcasts, cartoons and research). Here are a few of the studies I refer to today:

Sirois, F.M., Voth, J., & Pychyl. T.A. (under review). "I'll look after my health later": A longitudinal study of the linkages of procrastination to health and well-being.

Sirois, F. M. (2007). "I'll look after my health, later": A replication and extension of the procrastination-health model with community-dwelling adults. Personality and Individual Differences, 43 (1), 15-26.

Sirois, F. M., Melia-Gordon, M.L., & Pychyl, T. A. (2003). "I'll look after my health, later": An investigation of procrastination and health. Personality and Individual Differences, 35 (5),1167-1184.

Direct download: Ill_look_after_my_health_later.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:29am EST

Two hundred toenails: Strategies to get going on avoidance goals Avoidance goals create a focus on avoiding or eliminating undesired outcomes. For example, avoid failing my exam. Approach-oriented goals involve reaching or maintaining desired outcomes; get an "A" on my exam. Although approach-oriented goals are related to more happiness and goal success overall, we all have avoidance goals in our lives. In this podcast, I discuss one of my avoidance goals and some strategies I use to help me get going on the task that is ripe for procrastination.

By popular request, I end this episode with my dog team howling good night after the evening feeding. If you'd like to learn more about my "other life" as a dog musher, check out this story from Mushing Magazine (Note: This is a 6 MB PDF document).

To learn more, see procrastination.ca. Our latest Carpe Diem cartoon has a focus on approach and avoidance goals.
Direct download: Two_hundred_toenails.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:42am EST

Thoughts on goal pursuit from Viktor Frankl In his autobiography published (in German) in March of 1995 to coincide with his 90th birthday, Dr. Viktor Frankl reflected on the "Manner of my Work." His reflections are simple and clear, speaking directly to two habits that defeat procrastination. His advice is the focus of this week's podcast.

The image of Dr. Frankl that appears in this podcast was taken from the Official Web site of the Viktor Frankl Institute Vienna. If you're interested in Frankl's well-known book, "Man's Search for Meaning" you can find it Amazon (and just about any used book store)

If you want to learn more about procrastination, see my Procrastination Research Group. I welcome your comments at tpychyl@gmail.com. If you have a minute, please review the podcast on iTunes.
Direct download: Frankl_on_the_Manner_of_my_Work.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:06pm EST

Tackling Procrastination: Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy While we all desire to reach or release our full potential, we often face deep internal struggles with perfectionism, excessive self-doubt, lack of persistence, self-depreciation and procrastination. This week, I discuss a REBT therapy approach that you may find useful.

If you want to access the references to the research I discuss, see my Psychology Today blog on the topic.

Want to know more about procrastination? Check out procrastination.ca

Finally, if you listen to this podcast and get interested in Lance Mackey, the world's foremost long-distance dog musher, you can listen to a Traildancer Kennels' Trail Talk podcast of his recent presentation. And, you can learn more about my own "other life" as a dog musher.
Direct download: Tackling_procrastination_-_Rational_Emotive_Behavior_Therapy.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:48pm EST

Go with the flow: Why procrastination undermines these optimal experiences Procrastinators rarely engage in their lives in a way that creates the experience of "flow." They're rarely "in the zone" or "find their groove." What's flow? Why are the optimal conditions for flow just the opposite of what promotes task delay? In this episode, I discuss flow and some recent research that addresses these questions.

For more information about this research and the concept of flow, see my Psychology Today blog posting.

You can learn more about procrastination at procrastination.ca.

Direct download: Flow.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:47pm EST

Self-awareness: The good, the bad and the ugly This week I discuss three things. First, I address the notion of "intention updates" and the difference between changing our intentions and procrastination. Second, I read listeners' comments and reply to their questions. Finally, the topic for this week is how self-conscious awareness works both to strengthen and undermine self-regulation. There are different types of self-awareness, and we live with the internal dialogue that these can create.
Direct download: How_self-consciousness_can_undermine_us.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:34am EST

Structured Procrastination: Harness avoidance to succeed Perhaps the most frequently read essay on the Internet about procrastination, is Professor John Perry's (Stanford University) piece entitled, "Structured Procrastination." In this podcast I summarize Prof. Perry's argument and reflect on its strengths and the limitation of this approach. I know you'll like it, as Prof. Perry writes about how we can harness our task avoidance to actually get things done! In Perry's words, "what could be more noble than using one character flaw to offset the bad effects of another?"

You can read Prof. Perry's essay at structuredprocrastination.com (you can even buy the t-shirt!).

You can learn more about procrastination at procrastination.ca.
Direct download: Structured_Procrastination.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:35am EST

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.
Direct download: Implementation_intentions.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:18am EST

Strengthening Willpower - Research, Strategies & Tips This is the last in the three-part series on willpower. Today, I discuss research that shows how we might bolster our willpower when we feel depleted. I end the discussion by providing 8 concrete strategies or "tips" to enhance your willpower and self-regulatory strength. You can find the references for this research at my Psychology Today blog. If you haven't yet, check out procrastination.ca for more information.
Direct download: Strengthening_Willpower_-_Research_strategies_and_tips.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Willpower is like a muscle Willpower is a limited resource that we can exhaust quite quickly. In this podcast, I summarize the approach taken to this research and some key findings. The implications of this limited resource approach is important for understanding self-regulation failure with procrastination (as well as problems with smoking, drinking, junk food consumption, impulsive spending, even whether you'll likely to leave the dirty dishes in the sink). This is the second in a three-part series on willpower. I'll finish this discussion on August 17th. (Note: I posted this as a MP3 file. If you prefer the M4A format, please let me know.) For the Psychology Today blog and relevant references use this link.
Direct download: Willpower_is_like_a_muscle.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:30am EST

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).
Direct download: Willpower_Part_1_Goal_setting.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:25am EST

In search of the Arousal Procrastinator I work better under pressure. . . Really? I don't believe you, and one of our latest studies casts doubt on the construct of the arousal procrastinator. This week, I discuss arousal-based personality traits, procrastination and working at the last minute because you enjoy the rush. Like the podcast? Want to learn more? You can at procrastination.ca.
Direct download: Arousal_procrastinator.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:08pm EST

Self-forgiveness and procrastination This week, I'm discussing a very interesting finding in some of our research. We studied how self-forgiveness affected procrastination. The reasoning was that procrastination can be viewed as a transgression against the self. Like other transgressions in our lives, if we don't forgive, we experience negative emotions and tend to avoid. Self-forgiveness is a route to healing and moving ahead. You can always learn more at procrastination.ca (check out the blog at Psychology Today).
Direct download: Self-forgivenss_and_procrastination.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:16am EST

Procrastination and Guilt A second podcast for Monday, July 13th as I try to sort out a technical issue with my recording.

The topic is guilt, the most common emotion associated with procrastination. I'll follow up on this next week with a podcast about some of our latest research on self-forgiveness and procrastination.
Direct download: Ten_sentences_about_guilt_and_procrastination.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:36pm EST

Giving in to feel good: Why self-regulation fails iProcrastinate Podcasts are back! I'm on sabbatical, and I'll be making a weekly post for the next year as I do my research and writing on, what else, procrastination. Nothing like a sabbatical to give me the extra time needed to get to these podcasts.

This week, I'm speaking about emotional regulation. In particular, I discuss research that shows how our short-term strategy of feeling good now, undermines our goal pursuit and causes problems in many areas of our lives. For references related to this podcast see my blog at Psychology Today that is linked at my homepage: procrastination.ca

It's good to be back. I hope you'll give me your feedback.

Note: I recognize some strange recording issue with this podcast, and I'll do my best to sort this out for next week. If you know what I'm doing wrong, please let me know. FYI - I'm using a Zoom H2 recorder to create the podcast, importing the file into iTunes and then inserting it as an MP3 file into Garageband. The recording on the H2 and in Garageband does not have the strange electronic echo that the podcast has. I will also use the Zoom H2 as a USB microphone.
Direct download: July_13_09_Giving_in_to_Feel_Good_final_version_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:28pm EST