Addicted to Distractions?

Tim Pychyl, PhD - Guest Bio
Tim PychylDr. Tim Pychyl is the Director of the Centre for Initiatives in Education and Associate Professor of Psychology at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. Tim and his students have been researching procrastination for the past 20 years (

He is the author of Solving the Procrastination Puzzle: A Concise Guide to Strategies for Change (Tarcher/Penguin, 2013) and co-editor of Procrastination, Health and Well-Being (Elsevier, in press). A professor passionate about teaching, Tim is the recipient of numerous teaching awards and he is a 3M National Teaching Fellow.
  • Topic Info:Technology is amazing. You can do almost everything on a device you can hold in your hand. No wonder you freak out if you leave your cell phone in the kitchen or lose it somewhere in your house.

    Technology is a fun distraction. The problem is that it lends itself to procrastination. You get so focused on the world you can access inside your phone that you put off doing things in the world outside of the phone.

    What can you do to deal with this telephone-assisted procrastination?

    1. Turn off your phone. Yes. Turn it all the way off. If you can't turn it off for short periods during the day, at least turn it off at night. You don't need your sleep ruined by a notification that your cousin liked your photo on Facebook.
    2. Block the sites that distract you. You know which sites are a time suck for you. The cats can still "haz cheeseburger" and the dogs will still have shame when your work is done. You can remove the block when your deadline has been met.
    3. Delete apps that waste your time. If you have games on your phone that are far more interesting than what you need to do in real life, delete them. If you lack the self control to save those apps as a reward, you don't need them.
    4. Treat yourself. Set up a reward system for making gains on your tasks. Making a benchmark earns some video game time, a nap or a trip for some frozen yogurt.
    Listen in as Dr. Timothy Pychyl shares how you can beat the distractions life gives you.
  • Book Title:Solving the Procrastination Puzzle
  • Host:Michelle King Robson and Pam Peeke, MD