How To!

How To Stop Procrastinating

A behavioral scientist teaches a dog trainer new tricks for productivity.


Episode Notes

Marie trains dogs for a living, but she’s struggling to teach herself a new trick—overcoming procrastination. For a year, she’s been ready to launch a new dog training app….just as soon as she makes the training videos for it. The delay is hurting business so why can’t she ever cross this task off her to-do list? In this episode of How To!, Dan Ariely, professor at Duke University and author of Predictably Irrational, shares some procrastination tips that got him through a tough time in his own life. When a difficult task looms in front of you, Dan says, reward yourself for the effort, not the outcome. Otherwise, you may never get started.

What are your steepest challenges during the pandemic? And what have you found is working for you? Leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001. We’re collecting your problems and solutions for our recurring Quarantine Q&A.

Podcast production by Derek John and Rachael Allen.


About the Show

What if Dear Abby were an investigative reporter? Each week, Amanda Ripley and Carvell Wallace take on listeners’ toughest problems and, with the help of experts, find the answers to questions you’ve always wanted to ask but couldn’t. Until now.

Do you have a problem that needs solving? Have you found the advice on our podcast helpful? Send us a note at or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might play it on the air.

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