Sunday, April 20, 2014

iProcrastinate Podcasts - Because you know you do!

One thing I've enjoyed during my long trips between home and Richmond is podcasts. I usually listen to "Wait Wait - Don't Tell Me" or "Car Talk," but since December I've really been struggling with procrastination. So a Google search on the topic brought me to iProcrastinate Podcasts, which are produced by a psychology professor in Canada named Dr. Timothy Pychyl of Carleton University. His website is

Dr. Pychyl's podcasts often have easy to implement strategies for overcoming procrastination.
As a graduate student, I really appreciated how much Dr. Pychyl integrated his own research into his podcast discussions. I think he captures the essence of procrastination really well in his explanation of it as a way to emotionally regulate when we are faced with an averse task. Whether true or imagined, we come up with ways of thinking about tasks that put us into an emotional state that makes us want to feel better - and fast. So instead of sticking with the task, we "give in to feel good" and do something else that will make us feel better in the short term. That's just the beginning of how he explains procrastination, so check out his website for more!

He wrote this fantastic little book called "Solving the Procrastination Puzzle" (renamed from it's former title, The Procrastinator's Digest) in which he provides a short but concise summary of how to understand procrastination, and how to learn strategies to deal with it.

Dr. Pychyl's book on understanding and overcoming procrastination.
If you think, "well, if I get off task by listening to or reading this stuff about procrastination, isn't that just reinforcing my problem?" I, too, had that same thought. But I promise, a little time invested here will pay off in the long run. I read the book in early 2014, and reinforce the ideas with a podcast every time I'm in the car traveling for more than an hour. I can't quantify for you how much this information has translated into hours of productivity, but it's done a lot for my emotional health, and self confidence - when I'm starting to get down on myself for being my own worst enemy, I just turn to these strategies and before I know it I'm confidently moving on from my procrastination temptations.

Graduate students aren't the only ones dealing with procrastination... and Dr. Pychyl's ideas are translatable beyond the student life. Professors, business people, even if you're just looking to stop procrastinating from your health & exercise goals, I think this could be of help for you.