How did you become an expert on procrastination?
After 20+ years of research, teaching, coaching and training, I've learned a thing or two about managing procrastination.
I'm an Oxford graduate who struggled with perfectionism during my studies. And although I conducted postgraduate research and published academic articles, I never got round to finishing my doctoral thesis. I wish I'd known then what I know now!
After Oxford, I started out as a politics lecturer at Queen Mary College, London University, then taught social sciences at the Open University for 14 years. During this period I met countless students struggling with deadlines and distractions. And I also witnessed the impact of procrastination among teaching colleagues.
Fascinated by the role of motivation in teaching and learning, I trained as a certified professional co-active coach at the Coaches Training Institute. In 2008 I launched my own consultancy JLP Coach. Since then I've coached hundreds of individuals from diverse backgrounds. I've spoken to audiences of all sizes, from student groups to international conferences. I've led workshops in boardrooms, classrooms, conference halls and even a spa! And recently I've led virtual events for individuals and organisations worldwide.
From students avoiding assignments to professionals postponing key tasks, I understand what it means to get 'stuck'. And I offer solutions to shift the habit.
What are your credentials?
In addition to my degree in Politics, Philosophy & Economics, I hold a postgraduate teaching certificate from the Open University. So I'm now a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority. I'm also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a charity committed to innovation and social change.
I've been a member of APDO Association of Professional Declutterers & Organisers for over a decade and volunteered for 6 years as an Board member. During this time, I wrote and led the 1st UK courses for professional organisers. I'm also proud to be involved with ICD, the Institute for Challenging Disorganization - I belong to the ICD Time Management & Productivity task force and contributed a chapter on procrastination for the new ICD textbook.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, I continued to coach online and to speak at several virtual events. I also founded an Academy of Virtual Organisers and created the 1st UK training for professional organisers who are pivoting to work with clients online.
In 2017 I won the Small Business Sunday business award created by Theo Paphitis and in 2019 I was a finalist for the Work Avenue Brand of the Year business award. And just for fun, I was delighted to be awarded the Queen of Organising Skills award by the Aqua Design Group.
Any publications to help with procrastination?
I've written two books for the popular What's Your Excuse? series: Being More Productive (2017) outlines practical strategies to stop procrastinating. Clearing Your Clutter (2018) will help you to declutter and get organised. My next book will be on how to help teens develop effective time management and study skills. In addition, I've written countless articles about time management, organising and productivity, and am regularly featured in the media.
And on a personal note?
When I'm not working, you'll find me reading, writing, cooking and trying to follow my own advice, trying to just be rather than constantly doing.
I not only live but thrive with Charcot-Marie-Tooth neurological illness. That's why I have a special interest in supporting students and adults with disabilities. A lifelong learner, I'm currently learning to lip read.
I share my home in London with two young adults and a little white rescue pup.