Defeating Delay: Dr. Tim Pychyl On Solving the Procrastination Puzzle

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Procrastination is failing to get on with life itself. When we learn to stop needless, voluntary delay, we live more fully. – Tim Pychl 

On this episode, I speak with Professor Tim Pychyl about the impact procrastination has on our well-being. This isn’t just about managing or optimizing a to-do list or finishing a project; procrastination affects the whole of your life. 

Tim is a retired psychology professor whose research focused on understanding why we can become our own worst enemy through procrastination. In addition to journal publications and co-edited scholarly books, including Procrastination, Health & Well-Being and Counseling the Procrastinator in Academic Settings. Tim wrote the brief and accessible Solving the Procrastination Puzzle: A Concise Guide to Strategies for Change. An award-winning teacher, Tim has shared his passion for learning through his iProcrastinate podcast and blog on Psychology Today. Learn more at

In this episode, we delve into a variety of topics, including:

  • On teaching and the importance of presence
  • Defining and qualifying  procrastination 
  • How procrastination differs from normal delay
  • Rational and irrational delay 
  • On self-regulation failure
  • Future self-theory  
  • On the benefit of chunking down 
  • Getting started 
  • Priming the pump and the five-minute rule 
  • Recognizing avoidance when it appears 
  • “What’s the next action?” 
  • Procrastination and depression, 
  • Acceptance and self-compassion 
  • On ego depletion theory and replication 
  • On extended will 


In this episode, we’ll help you confront procrastination head-on. We’ll shed light on the futility of delay and provide actionable strategies to help you move from mere dreaming to more doing.

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