Procrastination - the politics of putting off hard choices and why it's so bad for democracy

Episode 29: Procrastination - the politics of putting off hard choices and why it's so bad for democracy

Host Rafael Behr talks to Professor Fuschia Sirois about the psychology of procrastination.

Show notes

Host Rafael Behr talks to Fuschia Sirois, Professor of Social and Health Psychology at Durham University, and co-Editor-in-Chief at the British Journal Of Health Psychology, about procrastination.

In this free-flowing conversation, Fuschia and Rafael talk about what procrastination is, how it impacts politics and public policy, what we can do about it, and why Rafael may have incorrectly compared himself to Brad Pitt when he was a lot younger (Raf that is)

For more on Rafael Behr, and to order his eagerly anticipated first book:

Fuschia Sirois’ latest book

Procrastination: What It Is, Why It's a Problem, and What You Can Do About It

Some of her other recent publications

Biskas, M. Sirois, F. M., & Webb, T. L. (2022). Using social cognition models to understand why people, such as perfectionists, struggle to respond with self-compassion. British Journal of Social Psychology, 61, 1160-1182. Open access

Sirois, F. M., & Owens, J. (2021). A meta-analysis of loneliness and use of primary health care. Health Psychology Review. Open access

Baird, H. Webb, T. L., Sirois, F. M., & Gibson-Miller, J. (2021). Understanding the effects of time perspective: A meta-analysis testing a self-regulatory framework. Psychological Bulletin, 147 (3), 233-267. Link

Sirois, F. M., & Owens, J. (2021). Factors associated with psychological distress in health-care workers during an infectious disease outbreak: A rapid systematic review. Frontiers in Psychiatry. Open access.

Neff, K., Tóth-Király, I., Yarnell, L., Arimitsu, K., Castilho, P., Ghorbani, N., Guo, H., Hirsch, J., Hupfield, J., Hutz, C. S., Kotsou, I., Lee, W. K., Montero-Marin, J., Sirois, F. M., de Souza, L., Svendsen, J., Wilkinson, L., & Mantzios, M. (2019). Examining the Self-Compassion Scale in 20 diverse samples: Support for use of a total score and six subscale scores. Psychological Assessment, 31, 27-45. Link

This podcast is hosted by


Rafael Behr

Rafael Behr

Rafael Behr is a political columnist for the Guardian. He is a former Political Editor for the New Statesman, Chief Leader Writer and Online Editor for The Observer, a business news reporter for BBC online and a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times, based in the Baltic region and Russia. Rafael is a regular contributor to Prospect Magazine, a guest on BBC and Sky News and a speaker at UK think tanks. His book, Politics, A Survivor’s Guide, is published by Atlantic. He hosts the Politics on the Couch podcast. Before becoming a journalist, Rafael was a political risk analyst covering countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. He studied modern languages Merton College, Oxford and took a Master’s degree in Russian Studies at the School for Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London. He lives in Brighton with his family. He plays the guitar and harmonica, sometimes simultaneously, not always melodiously.

View episodes


Fuschia Sirois

Fuschia Sirois

Fuschia Sirois is Professor of Social and Health Psychology at the Department of Psychology, Durham University, and co-Editor-in-Chief, British Journal Of Health Psychology.

View episodes

Subscribe now

Get new episodes of Politics on the Couch automatically