Effects of cognitive load, objective self-awareness and time limits on the self-regulation of performance speed and accuracy were investigated between procrastinators and non-procrastinators. In experiment 1 chronic procrastinators completed fewer items (slow speed) and made more errors (less accuracy) than non-procrastinators under high but not low cognitive load conditions when the time span was limited and brief. In experiment 2 chronic procrastinators performed slower than non-procrastinators under a 2 second, but not under no limit, 1 second, or 4 second time limit conditions. Chronic procrastinators compared to non-procrastinators also performed more slowly and made more performance errors under objective self-awareness conditions regardless of the length of time. These experiments indicate that chronic procrastinators regulate ineffectively their performance speed and accuracy when they ‘work under pressure’ (defined by high cognitive load, objective self-awareness, and imposed time limitations). Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.