Solving the Procrastination Puzzle Master Class

MentorCoach is proud to present:

Solving the Procrastination Puzzle:
A Concise Guide to Strategies for Change
A Master Class

A recorded webinar led by Timothy A. Pychyl, PhD

Timothy Pychyl, PhD, an award-winning psychology professor, is considered to be the world’s leading expert on procrastination. He is the author of two books: Solving the Procrastination Puzzle: A Concise Guide to Strategies for Change and his most recent, Procrastination, Health & Well-Being.

A Recorded Webinar available 24/7/365

Eight 90-minute classes
12 hours of ICF CCEs

(plus optional $20 for ICF CCEs-RD)

About Dr. Timothy Pychyl

Dr. Tim Pychyl 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, Do not Delay blog on Psychology Today and most recently his series on the Waking Up app. Learn more at

Interview with Dr. Tim Pychyl 

Listen to Timothy Pychyl talk about his work: Dr. Pychyl is an international authority on procrastination, Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Centre for Initiatives in Education at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and author, Solving the Procrastination Puzzle.  As a researcher, writer, and speaker about procrastination for almost 20 years. Tim has garnered an international reputation for his scholarship and a global audience for his iProcrastinate Podcast and his Don’t Delay Blog with Psychology Today. His book, The Procrastinator’s Digest: A Concise Guide to Solving the Procrastination Puzzle was a highly-rated, concise, and procrastinator-friendly guide to working with patterns of procrastination that was expanded and republished as Solving the Procrastination Puzzle: A Concise Guide to Strategies for Change.”

About This Class

The Solving the Procrastination Puzzle Master Class will provide students with evidence-based strategies to use with clients to help them reduce or even eliminate procrastination in their lives. The class will help coaches understand the theory and research that explains how procrastination is an emotion-regulation problem, not a time-management problem. Based on this understanding, students will become familiar with a series of strategies to assist clients to accomplish the following:

  • more effectively regulate emotions,
  • set more concrete implementation intentions,
  • identify and take advantage of environmental affordances to support goal pursuit,
  • enhance self-continuity in order for present-self to act more effectively,
  • practice self-compassion to help reduce the negative effects of perfectionism and increase self-forgiveness that is necessary for trying again in the future.

Course Format

Each class will run for 90 minutes via Zoom. Each 90-minute session will be divided into the following 4 segments:

  1. Each class will begin with a 30- to 40-minute instructional segment:  here, Tim will introduce the topic for the week with examples, summarize research that addresses the topic, and provide a strategy (or a number of strategies as appropriate) that coaches could incorporate into their practice to enable clients to address this aspect of procrastination.
  2. This instructional portion will be followed by a 5- 10-minute segment for “Questions of Clarification.” Questions at this point will be focused on specific points of that day’s teaching, such as research or terms used.
  3. The third 30-minute segment will be the “Coach’s Corner:” during this time, Irene Nizzero (MentorCoach instructor) will talk with Tim about ways she sees coaches using this approach now,  how she has used the same or similar techniques in the past and/or how students might incorporate aspects of the information presented more concretely in their work with clients.
  4. The final, 10- to 20-minute segment will be an open Q&A: a lively, open-ended conversation begun in the “Coach’s Corner” with further application of theory and research to coaching specifically.

The Eight Weeks

Week 1 – Name It to Tame It

Although all procrastination is delay, not all delay is procrastination. We begin by examining what procrastination is and in not in order to understand the nature of delay in our lives more fully. Delay is a part of life, and not all delay is problematic. In addition, even when some delay becomes problematic, it may not be procrastination per se. We may be forgetful or distracted, resulting in delay. Using examples and vignettes, we consider how clients might learn to distinguish between truly needless delay that undermines them from purpose, or inevitable delay that is part of life.

Week 2 – The Costs of Procrastination

Although some people diminish the negative effects of procrastination to the anxiety of a few “all-nighters” and a little extra stress, research reveals that procrastination undermines performance, well-being and even our health. In this session, we explore the research related to the outcomes associated with procrastination, including the deeply existential problem of not getting on with our lives due to needless delay. Understanding and identifying the costs of procrastination in our lives can help motivate clients to change.

Week 3 – Giving in to Feel Good

Procrastination, that “thief of time,” is often framed as a time-management problem. From grade-school students to CEOs, too often our coaching focus can be on enhancing efficiency through time-management. However, although time management is necessary, it is not sufficient to solve the procrastination puzzle. In this session, we review research that more accurately frames procrastination as an emotion-regulation problem – where we misregulate our emotions by “giving in to feel good.” This self-regulation approach can form the foundation of effective coaching related to procrastination issues.

Week 4 – 7 Techniques to Manage Emotions

Building on our understanding of procrastination as a self-regulation failure, particularly an emotion-regulation problem, we spend our time in this session reviewing the Affect Regulation Training (ART) program as a series of coachable skills that have been shown to decrease procrastination.

Week 5 – Predictably Irrational

Behavioral economists and psychologists alike have learned that we are more like Homer Simpson than homo economicus. We are, in the words of Dan Ariely, “predictably irrational.” In many ways, procrastination is an outcome of, or at least affected by, our irrationality in terms of how we think about the future and our future selves. “I’ll feel like it tomorrow.” In this session, we explore some of these biases in human cognition and the implications for how we can help clients with their goal pursuit by recognizing and counteracting our inherent irrationality.

Week 6 – Outsource Your Will

All too often, we lament that our procrastination problem is a symptom of our lack of willpower. If only we had the willpower, we could get going on that dreaded task. We think about willpower as an internal individual attribute, a muscle that we need to strengthen. In this session, we challenge this thinking and learn techniques to help clients outsource their will using environmental helps to support goal pursuit.

Week 7 – More Effective Intentions and Plans

We have all made half-hearted, anemic intentions that simply have no motivational force in our lives. In fact, coaches and psychotherapists alike lament how clients say that they will do the follow up work before the next meeting, but all too often this never happens which undermines the coaching and therapeutic process. In this session, we learn how to move past broad goal intentions to more specific implementation intentions, as well as a 4-step process to help move clients from wishes to specific plans.

Week 8 – Perfectionism, Self-Compassion & Self-Forgiveness

Even when we have a strong readiness for change in our lives, change is an uneven process often described as “two steps forward, one step back.” Research has shown that unless we can forgive ourselves for not following through as intended, we are less likely to try again. The thing is, self-forgiveness requires self-compassion, and self-compassion can be undermined by our attitudes towards compassion as well as perfectionistic tendencies. In this session, we consider how to enhance a client’s self-compassion by addressing self-forgiveness, self-compassion and perfectionism.

Private Class Webpage

We will be using a password-protected class website that will be your home on the web for this class. For each session, we’ve posted Tim’s PowerPoints in multiple formats, relevant articles, videos, and blog entries. Most important, we’ve posted Tim’s lecture recording—both audio and video—from each week’s class as well.

You will have a unique password to this class webpage that gives you access for four months.  If you want to keep access to the class beyond that, just download the class material to your computer.

International Coaching Federation (ICF) Coach Continuing Education

Listening by Recording. This recorded class is approved for 12 CCEs in ICF Resource Development for students meeting the class attendance requirement for listening by recording.  To qualify for these ICF CCEs, students must listen to all recordings and submit all class attendance codes (2 for each class) and a summary paragraph of each class.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

The cancellation and refund policy for this Master Class and for all independent study/recorded classes is: No refunds.  All sales are final.

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