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So how do you overcome this powerful procrastination tendency? By asking yourself *why* you keep doing it. Is it because you feel inadequate to complete task? Or does thinking about doing it make you uncomfortable? Or do you feel that if you can't do something perfectly, you don't want to do it t all? Once you understand "why" behind procrastinating, you've taken a major first step towards dealing with it.
In my situation with that miserable piece of paper, I'd felt inadequate to perform task correctly. I needed more information. Once I realized that, I was able to take steps to get information I needed, and urge to put task off disappeared.
What if I had realized instead that I was uncomfortable performing task? Let's say assignment was something that struck me as unethical, or that I perceived would cause me harm or embarrassment. Again, had I come to these realizations, I would better know what steps to take to address them. Maybe I would have expressed these concerns to my boss, instead of simply asking her for clarification, or perhaps I would have suggested that it be reassigned to someone more capable of performing it safely.
As for perfectionism...this is perhaps most potent cause for procrastination. While striving to do one's very best in each endeavor is admirable, settling for nothing less than perfect stops us from even trying. At 1976 Olympics Nadia Comaneci made history, becoming first gymnast to ever score a perfect 10. Could she have achieved such an accomplishment without a great deal of efforts, or hundreds of hours of practice? Of course not.
So, if you're putting off something that means a great deal to you, ask yourself: Is it because you feel inadequate to perform it? Then turn to those who can help you sharpen your skills. Does task cause you discomfort? Perhaps you need to break it down into smaller tasks, until you can build up a comfort level that allows you to try something greater. Are you a perfectionist? Recognize truth in "practice makes perfect," and practice, practice, practice.
And one more thing--try not to ever handle same piece of paper twice.
Mary Anne Hahn is a freelance writer who wants to encourage others to follow their dreams. If you're looking to start an online business on a shoestring budget, she invites you to join her at http://goalsetter.buildreferrals.com , or email her for more information, mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org .