iProcrastinate Podcast
Why we procrastinate and what we can do about it.
Is Procrastination Weakness of Will?

What is weakness of will? Is procrastination a special instance of a weakness of will? These are questions that I pose to the guest this week, Dr. Sarah Stroud, Associate Professor of Philosophy (McGill University). I sought out Dr. Stroud as she wrote an excellent chapter in the recently published book, The Thief of Time: Philosophical Essays on Procrastination (Oxford University Press). I stole the title of her chapter as the title for this podcast, "Is Procrastination Weakness of Will?" I know you'll enjoy this discussion of weakness of will, as Dr. Stroud provides some everyday examples to explain her concepts. I learned a great deal from this interview, and I'm happy to share this philosophical perspective on our understanding of procrastination.

If you want to learn more about procrastination, check out procrastination.ca or my new book, The Procrastinator's Digest: A Concise Guide to Solving the Procrastination Problem

Direct download: Weakness_of_will.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:13pm EDT

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.

Direct download: Self-Control_Strategies.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:12pm EDT

Anemic Intentions

Note: Poor audio quality. I finally sat down to record a short podcast. Unfortunately, the audio quality isn't very good. It's my fault. I hand held a new recorder that created noise and inconsistent sound levels. In addition, I didn't use a pop filter. You'd think I'd learn! I decided to post this in any case, because I simply don't have the time to re-record it.

The topic is about the nature of our intentions and how making indeterminate or "anemic" intentions may be part of the problem with our goal pursuit and may contribute to our procrastination. I'm sorry that the audio has problems, but I hope it's still worth a listen. I will revisit these ideas when I interview Sarah Stroud (Philosophy, McGill University) about her writing about procrastinaiton as weakness of will. (When I do revist these ideas in a future podcast, I will take this flawed recording down.)

If you want to learn more, see procrastination.ca.

Direct download: Anemic_intentions.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:00pm EDT

Emotional Intelligence and Procrastination: The central role of self-control

This week, we discuss the role of emotional intelligence (EI) in understanding procrastination. Eric Heward joined me for an interview about his recently completed Master's thesis research in which he explored the relation of measures of EI and measures of procrastination. Eric does an excellent job of defining the key terms and providing a summary of his findings. Together, we discussed what this focus on emotions means to our understanding of procrastination and our own work at self-change.

If you want to learn more about our research, see procrastination.ca or my recently published book, The Procrastinator's Digest: A Concise Guide to Solving the Procrastination Puzzle.

Direct download: Emotional_Intelligence.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:34am EDT

Still Procrastinating? An interview with Dr. Joseph Ferrari

Dr. Joseph Ferrari's new book, Still Procrastinating? The No Regrets Guide To Getting It Done, was published this week by Wiley. Today, I interviewed Joe about his book. He describes his philosophy behind the book and provides an outline of the various chapters.

You can learn more about procrastination at procrastination.ca or download The Procrastinator's Digest: A Concise Guide to Solving the Procrastination Puzzle

Direct download: Still_Procrastinating_.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:32am EDT

Is Procrastination Weakness of Will?

This week, I discuss an interesting philosophical perspective on procrastination and the notion of "weakness of will." The content for my discussion comes from a chapter written by Sarah Stroud (McGill University) in "The Thief of Time: Philosophical Essays on Procrastination" (2004: Oxford University Press). I took the title of my podcast from her chapter with the same title. It's an interesting topic, and my discussion takes us from the Greek notion of Akrasia up to more recent definitions and understandings of weakness of will. Yes, procrastination is a weakness of will, but there are various issues to consider, particularly this notion of intention.

NEW - My book, The Procrastinator's Digest: A Concise Guide to Solving the Procrastination Puzzle, is now available through Amazon and Barnes&Noble at a reduced price! They have agreed to sell the eBook at $2.99, so there is no longer a difference between U.S. and non-U.S. orders (non-U.S. orders should use Amazon, not Xlibris).

Here's more about Dr. Stroud taken from "The Thief of Time"
Sarah Stroud is Associate Professor of Philosophy at McGill University in Montreal. Her research interests range across moral psychology, moral and practical reasoning, moral theory, and metaethics; she is currently working on partiality in moral psychology and moral theory. With Christine Tappolet, she coedited Weakness of Will and Practical Irrationality (2003/2007), and she recently contributed the entry on weakness of will to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy . Her work has appeared in Ethics and Philosophy and Public Affairs , among other journals. She is one of two associate editors of the International Encyclopedia of Ethics , now under preparation for Wiley-Blackwell with Hugh LaFollette as editor-in-chief, to be published in 9 to 12 volumes in 2012.

Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:53pm EDT

Optimism, confidence and career change in tough economic times

This week the tables are turned. I'm interviewed by Alan Kearns, Canada's Career Coach, of careerjoy.com. Alan asked me to discuss the role of  optimism, confidence and managing emotions in the career search process. We did this interview quite awhile ago, but Alan had problems with the sound, so he hadn't posted it. I think this is a good follow-up to last week's podcast about fear of failure and how competence/confidence is important in understanding our response. Do we procrastinate to cope with negative emotions or work hard to avoid a possible negative outcome?

Learn more at procrastination.ca or check out The Procrastinator's Digest: A Concise Guide to Solving the Procrastination Puzzle.

Direct download: Confidence__Career_Search.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:04pm EDT

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.

Direct download: Fear_of_failure.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:44pm EDT

Choose a strategy that fits

A very short podcast this week with some reflections about how any strategy for change must be evaluated in terms of your own personal context and needs. Although one strategy may work for some of your procrastinated tasks, just the opposite strategy may be required in other areas of your goal pursuit.

To learn more, visit procrastination.ca

Direct download: Strategies_need_to_fit.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:40pm EDT

Temptation and procrastination

This week, I interview Emrah Eren, a graduate student in our program at Carleton University. Emrah discusses his recent research about intentions, temptation and procrastination. His results are very interesting in terms of what can actually break the link between temptation and procrastination.

To learn more, visit procrastination.ca. To order my new book The Procrastinator's Digest: A Concise Guide to Solving the Procrastination Puzzle, use this direct link to Amazon.com or visit procrastinatorsdigest.com to learn more about the book.

Direct download: Temptation_and_procrastination.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:30am EDT

The intention-behaviour gap: A useful theory for understanding procrastination

If you have been struggling with exercising more or eating more healthily, this podcast is for you.  In this interview with Dr. Peter Hall (University of Waterloo), we are introduced to a way of thinking about what influences our behaviour. Peter is a clinically trained psychologist who does research on health behaviours. He and his colleague Geoffrey Fong have proposed an important new theory to explain the processes that affect our behaviour choice including our intentions, habits (pre-potent responses) and self-regulatory capacity (executive function). Please, don't be put off by the theoretical focus or the terms here! Peter does an excellent job of explaining the theory, as well as how we can make sense of our own procrastination from this perspective. He includes strategies for change as well.

You can read the paper "Temporal self-regulation theory: A model for individual health behavior" as a pdf at this link.

If you want to learn more about procrastination, see procrastination.ca or check out my new book at The Procrastinator's Digest: A Concise Guide to Solving the Procrastination Puzzle

Direct download: Temporal_Self-Regulation_Theory.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:12pm EDT

Giving in to feel awful?

In this podcast, I respond to a listener who wrote, ". . .when I'm deep into procrastination, I don't do things that make me feel good, sometimes I seem to fly deep into some sort of personal crisis to avoid my work. Often I don't even realize I'm doing it. . . I think some of my friends see this trait in themselves as well." Today, I discuss why we might do this with a focus on emotions and procrastination.

To learn more about procrastination: procrastination.ca or The Procrastinator's Digest: A Concise Guide to Solving the Procrastination Puzzle.

Direct download: Giving_in_to_feel_awful_.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

Try harder! Procrastination, agency and willpower

Today, I interview Professor Mark D. White (Professor, Department of Political Science, Economics, and Philosophy, College of Staten Island and The Graduate Center, CUNY). Mark discusses his chapter in the recent book The Thief of Time: Philosophical Essays on Procrastination. His chapter is entitled "Resisting Procrastination: Kantian Autonomy and the Role of the Will." Using examples as common as the temptation to eat a donut, Mark does an excellent job of explaining how current theorizing from the perspective of behavioral economics falls short of explaining procrastination and how we need to consider the issue of "will" in this instance of self-regulation failure. In short, Mark explains how we have to "try harder" in order to resist procrastination.

Check out Mark White's blog on Psychology Today: Maybe it's just me, but . . .

You can learn more at procrastination.ca. Check out The Procrastinator's Digest: A Concise Guide to Solving the Procrastination Puzzle.

Direct download: Try_harder.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:11pm EDT

Successful self-regulation is key

Today, I summarize an excellent new piece of research by Jeffrey Paulitzki (University of Waterloo). Jeffrey just defended this research for his doctoral degree. He did an outstanding job. The focus of his research, and my podcast, is how we need to understand both habits and self-regulatory ability in goal pursuit. Although intentions do predict behaviour, both our habits and our executive function (self-regulatory ability) are crucial to our success. I also introduce listeners to Temporal Self-Regulation Theory. You will hear more about this in future podcasts as well, because it is a good framework for thinking about goal pursuit and the gap between intention and action that we know as procrastination.

Direct download: Habits_and_Inhibitory_control.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:15pm EDT

The Procrastinator's Digest - My New Book

My new book - The Procrastinator's Digest: A Concise Guide to Solving the Procrastination Puzzle -  is now available at procrastinatorsdigest.com.  In this podcast, I explain the history of the book as a project for my sabbatical including why I created such a short book and how it is structured. I also add some important notes for non-U.S. orders. I invite your comments at feedback@procrastinatorsdigest.com

Learn more at procrastination.ca

Direct download: The_Procrastinators_Digest_-_book_launch.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:01pm EDT

Leveraging Self-Control: An interesting strategy for coping with procrastination This is the last podcast of my sabbatical year. Don't worry, I will continue my regular schedule for the summer. This week, I am summarizing a key idea from a chapter in a recent book entitled The Thief of Time: Philosophical Essays on Procrastination. Chrisoula Andreou, a philosopher from the University of Utah, argues that we can use self-control in one area of our lives where we don't procrastinate to help us achieve goals in other areas of our lives where we seem to lack self-control. I explain how this works with the notion of local traits.

To learn more about procrastination, see procrastination.ca
Direct download: Self-control_as_a_local_trait.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:21pm EDT

Stop Giving in to Feel Good! A conversation with Donna Karlin Donna Karlin, Founder of  A Better Perspective, has pioneered the specialized practice of Shadow Coaching with global political, business and senior organizational leaders in the public and private sectors.  By entering the client's environment, she works with them in translating awareness into practice, essentially fostering the emergence of the Shadow Coach in the clients themselves. In this podcast, Donna and I talk about one of my favourite topics, giving in to feel good. Our conversation provides insight into her coaching process and things we can do ourselves to implement this approach in our own lives.

Want to learn more about procrastination? See procrastination.ca.
Direct download: Stop_Giving_in_to_Feel_Good.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:49pm EDT

Strengthening Goal Intentions: How much do you really want it? It's easy to put off goals for which we don't feel a strong commitment. This is part of the procrastination problem. We can lack strong goal intentions. In this podcast, I discuss how we might strengthen goal intentions and why this is important. I provide some common examples of how this happens in our lives, and I stress the importance of strengthening goal intentions within the context of other strategies that we use to ensure more effective goal pursuit such as implementation intentions and the strategic use of our willpower. Sound too complicated? It isn't. In any case, it's how I got to flossing my teeth more regularly! It's worth a listen.

More information about procrastination is available at procrastination.ca
Direct download: Strengthening_Goal_Intentions_Part_1.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:11pm EDT

The 2010 Productivity Reset: Join me for a free online discussion JOIN ME LIVE IN A CONVERSATION ABOUT "GIVING IN TO FEEL GOOD." In this very short podcast, I announce an exciting upcoming Virtual Conference and a FREE pre-conference conversation session. These events are being sponsored by The DESARA Group. The DESARA Group specializes in business process improvement, and during this time when we're all asked "to do more with less" and to "work smarter, not harder," the DESARA Group is providing an opportunity to step back and "reset" ourselves and how we approach things. The event  is called the The 2010 Productivity Reset.

Taking an opportunity to pause and reflect while benefiting from the expertise of an amazing group of presenters will certainly help to shift and improve on how we are working. I believe that the event will help energize participants and provide new ways of thinking and doing that will enhance personal productivity.

Next Tuesday, June 15 at 11 a.m. Eastern time, I will be participating in a 1 hour, online discussion with Leadership Coach, Donna Karlin. Donna and I will be discussing "Productivity and Decision Making: Stop Giving in to Feel Good." This is a FREE INTERACTIVE SESSION, so you can register and ask questions or comment on what we're presenting together. I hope you'll join us to explore the topic and to consider whether further work of this sort might make the full conference at the end of the month something that you and your colleagues might benefit from.

The links below provide access to more information about the conference organizers and the event itself:
The DESARA Group
The 2010 Productivity Reset (NOTE: If you decide to register for this event, please use this registration link. In doing so, you will be supporting the iProcrastinate Podcasts, as I will receive a commission as an affiliate of the conference).
The Pre-Conference Session with Dr. Tim Pychyl, June 15th 11 a.m. Eastern

Direct download: Reset_announcement.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:01pm EDT

When is it procrastination, when not? This podcast is a little different than my typical post. Today, I use a personal example to discuss the nature of distractions, the subjectivity of procrastination and how the irrationality of procrastination can affect our perceptions of self. Be forewarned that this is me rambling a bit as I think out loud about how we manage our goal pursuit as we muddle through our day-to-day tasks. In the end, I think you'll see that I integrate a great deal of the principles that underlie self-regulation failure and procrastination.
Direct download: The_problem_with_distractions.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:37pm EDT

Here's another new book! The author, Dr. Bill Knaus, has been a regular guest on iProcrastinate Podcasts. Today, he discusses his newest book Fearless Job Hunting: Powerful Psychological Strategies for Getting the Job you Want  We discuss how we can become our own worst enemy in the job hunting process from the preparation of the resume through to social networking and interviewing. If you want to read more about Bill's book and his perspective on this "fearless job hunting," you can read this blog posting on PsychologyToday.

If you want to learn more about procrastination, check out procrastination.ca
Direct download: Fearless_Job_Hunting_-_A_new_book_2.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

This week, I interviewed Dr. Joseph Ferrari of De Paul University (Chicago) about his upcoming book entitled, Still Procrastinating? The no regrets guide to getting it done. Joe, a colleague and friend, turned the table on me at different points to interview me about my upcoming book, my podcasts, blog and teaching.

To learn more about procrastination, check out procrastination.ca
Direct download: Interview_with_Dr._Joseph_Ferrari.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:05pm EDT

Here's an interesting study about how the characteristics of a task affect our procrastination. I summarize this interesting new study, providing a summary of how task characteristics (e.g., task difficulty) as well as our motivation (e.g., I do it only because I have to) and self-control (e.g., I am good at resisting temptation) help explain why we might procrastinate on the task at hand.

You can learn more about our research and resources at procrastination.ca
Direct download: Tasks__Motivation_affect_Procrastination.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:44pm EDT

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.
Direct download: The_Procrastinators_Guide_to_Getting_Things_Done.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 10:49am EDT

This week, I interview someone who is becoming a regular guest on the podcast, Dr. William (Bill) Knaus. Bill has just published his new book End Procrastination Now: Get It Done with a Proven Psychological Approach (McGraw Hill). We discuss what readers will find in his book as well as specific tips on how to deal with procrastination.

For more information about procrastination, see our Research Group at procrastination.ca.
Direct download: Bill_Knaus_on_his_new_book.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 1:58pm EDT

Why we procrastinate: An overview for Professional Organizers (and the chronically disorganized) Here's a podcast that summarizes why we procrastinate.  Earlier this month, I was a guest instructor for the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD). This study group is part of the professional development important to members of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). During this one-hour teleclass, I did my best to summarize what we know about procrastination. I think this summary has relevance for anyone interested in knowing more about procrastination.

If you want to know more about the topic, see procrastination.ca.
Direct download: Disorganization.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30am EDT

Paralyzed by Procrastination Sometimes when we procrastinate on one thing, it seems to prevent us from doing anything at all - at least anything we think we should be doing. This week, I share a listener's story about how the most detrimental effect of his tendency to procrastinate is that it makes him put everything else on hold. I discuss the potential role of anxiety in this process as well as our sense of agency and the importance of making conscious choices.

You can learn more about our research at procrastination.ca
Direct download: Paralyzed_by_procrastination.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:35pm EDT

Re-Post of the January 9th interview with Dr. Bill Knaus With the recent upgrade in the system software at LibSyn, it seems that my first interview with Dr. Bill Knaus was lost in the transfer. I'm posting it again.  This interview from January 9, 2010 was Dr. Knaus (Bill) introducing iProcrastinate Podcast listeners to his work on procrastination. It's an excellent interview for which I have received many positive reviews. Bill is the author of over 20 books, including one of the first on procrastination with Dr. Albert Ellis in the 1970's.
Direct download: Knaus_interview.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:03pm EDT

Perfectionism, Evaluation Anxiety and Fear of Failure: End procrastination now with Dr. Bill Knaus This week, I invited Dr. Bill Knaus to talk about his work with and writing about procrastination. He has provided a lengthy podcast covering a great deal of important material. He focuses specifically on how we can learn to challenge our absolutist beliefs (such as perfectionism) and he moves us towards a "do it now" perspective on our lives. Note that my introduction to the podcast seems to have a strange echo in it. I will correct this in future podcasts. The majority of the podcast is recorded clearly.
Direct download: The_procrastination_excuse.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:24pm EDT

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.
Direct download: Strengthen_Goal_Intentions.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:28pm EDT

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

Direct download: Anxiety_and_procrastination_Knaus_interview.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:30am EDT

Using time urgency to motivate action: Planning and procrastination

When you're going to set an intention to complete a task, do you: (a) start at today and look forward to the first available opportunity to act, or (b) start at the deadline and look backward to choose a date? I asked this question of my Psychology Today blog readers. They provided some insightful answers that I discuss today in relation to our planning and procrastination.

If you want to learn more about our research, check out procrastination.ca.

Direct download: Planning_and_procrastination.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:30am EDT

Implementation Intentions as a solution to 4 problems in our goal pursuit I'm often asked what someone should do to reduce procrastination. One of my most common answers is, "It's not enough to have a goal intention, you need to have an implementation intention too." Today, I explain what an implementation intention is and how it works to overcome four common problems in goal pursuit.

Here is an Amazon link for The thief of time: Philosophical essays on procrastination

If you want to more about our research, see procrastination.ca

Direct download: Implementation_Intentions_2.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:30am EDT

Avoiding what might have been: An interview with Dr. Fuschia Sirois When we don't get the results we expect or hope for, we can imagine different outcomes, both better and worse. These are known as upward and downward counterfactuals. In the podcast today, I interviewed Dr. Fuschia Sirois from the University of Windsor (Ontario, Canada) who has explored the relation between counterfactuals and procrastination.

I've written about one of Fuschia's studies on my Psychology Today blog. You can find it here at Avoiding What Might Have Been.

You can learn more about our research at procrastination.ca
Direct download: Sirois_interview_2.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:30am EDT

Listener feedback episode: Comments about the weekly podcast schedule (and other things) This is an extra podcast for the week. The focus is on listener feedback, particularly replies to whether or not I should podcast less frequently. The feedback was unanimous, keep it weekly, at least while you're able to on your sabbatical. I will.

Although I'm posting this to address the issue of podcast frequency, the listeners' comments and my feedback may interest you in terms of strategies for dealing with procrastination.

You can learn more at procrastination.ca
Direct download: Weekly_podcast_survey.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:06pm EDT

Approach and avoidance goals: What's the difference in terms of procrastination? Welcome to the first podcast of 2010! Today, I summarize a study completed as part of an M.A. thesis by Matt Dann. Matt explored the relation of approach and avoidance goals, as well as approach and avoidance personality with procrastination. His findings provide some insight into how we might more successfully re-frame our tasks to be approach rather than avoidance goals.

You can learn more about our research and access other resources at procrastination.ca.
Direct download: Avoidance_goals.m4a
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:30am EDT