"Never handle same piece of paper twice."
This oft-heard bit of advice kept swimming through my thoughts as I stared at piece of paper in front of me, wondering what on earth to do with it. Not that this was first time I'd touched this particular piece of paper. Not second, nor third. In fact, I'd tossed this sucker back into my in-bin several times during last two months.
The time had come to do something with it.
But what? I'd already asked my boss for clarification on assignment--twice. And who knew how many minutes I'd spent, on and off, studying it, mulling over it, and feeling guilty about not doing anything with it. It had become my nemesis, this piece of paper. How could I make it disappear, once and for all? Why did I keep procrastinating on this one task?
That's when it hit me. Maybe I had at last asked myself right question. Instead of "what do I do with this?", perhaps real question was "why am I *not* doing this?"
Intrigued by this new insight, I looked at piece of paper again. Within seconds, answer came to me. I kept putting this task off because I simply didn't have enough information to complete it. And asking my boss for assistance hadn't helped because she wasn't a subject matter expert on this topic, either. But I did know someone who was, and I knew that person would be more than happy to help me.
I was finally on my way to making that piece of paper go away. Moreover, I'd learned a very important lesson on how to deal with procrastination in process.
During my research on this topic, I discovered an article by Dr. Kent T. Yamauchi at Virginia Tech, in which he listed three main causes for procrastination: inadequacy, discomfort and perfectionism. On top of this, tendency to procrastinate something often increases exponentially with our desire to complete it; therefore, more important goal is to our feeling of success and well-being, more reasons we find to put off doing it.
So here we are, many of us, putting off returning to school, or writing that book, or starting our business, or whatever it is that we resolve year after year to do--but don't.