In this episode I chat to Dr Tim Pychyl, psychologist and head of the Procrastination Research Group at Carleton University, Canada.
Tim has devoted over 20 years to the ‘breakdown in volitional action’ we call procrastination. Since I get more letters about struggling with procrastination than all other creative writing topics combined so I thought it was worth approaching one of the world’s leading experts on procrastination for advice.
We talk neuroscience, specifically the roles of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex in procrastination, and what recent MRI scans of the brains of procrastinators and non-procrastinators have revealed. We talk psychology – what’s going on with procrastinators, what we’re trying to achieve when we procrastinate, and why procrastination fails on its own terms, let alone frustrating us in other ways. We talk statistics – the latest data from various studies all over the world, showing what, verifiably, works and what doesn’t work when we’re trying to reduce procrastination. And to kick it all off we talk semantics – what procrastination is and what it is not, and why being able to distinguish between the two is so essential.
This is, for me, one of the most important episodes out of the 100+ so far that I’ve recorded. I’ve started applying the knowledge Tim gives me in this chat and it’s had such a positive impact on my writing practice and my life. I’m writing much more, I’m having more fun and I find it easier to spot myself procrastinating and step out of it into action. If you suffer from procrastination, I really, really hope you listen and apply the science-based, data-driven advice so you can start giving yourself the rich rewards of diving in and achieving things large and small.
This is a great episode to listen to if you want to know:
– how can I stop procrastinating?
– what is procrastination?
– why are some people more prone to procrastination than others?
– why do writers procrastinate?
If you want to read more by Tim, check out the website of the Procrastination Research Group where he shares blog posts, podcasts, and all sorts of powerful knowledge on what procrastination is and how we can help free each other from it.
Of course if you want to practise translating dynamic decision-making into immediate action, a great opportunity would be to click this link and buy my weird historical adventure novel set in England in the 1930s, THE HONOURS.
I don’t get any money for making the show. There are no premium episodes for subscribers – it’s all available to everyone for free. If you’d like to help me cover my running costs, such as Soundcloud hosting, website hosting and suchlike, you can drop a few beans into my digital guitar case here.