by Toneka R. Etienne, Ph.D.
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GENRE: Self-Help, Personal Development
Ready to create lasting transformation in your life? Become You reveals a practical lifestyle blueprint for the modern day woman. Begin your deep dive transformation by turning an honest, but loving mirror on your belief systems, habits, and spiritual life. This book will help you create a balanced lifestyle so that you can passionately pursue your goals and dreams without losing yourself in the process.
Procrastinating is the art of actively postponing or delaying something. And it’s just another one of the obstacles that can potentially stand in the way of living the life of your dreams. But did you know there are different kinds of procrastinators? See if you fit into one of the following categories.
- Thrill-seeker – These are usually your last minute, “get it done” kind of people. They wait until the last minute to complete an important task or project and attribute their procrastination to their “zone of genius.” I am very guilty of embodying this one right here. I spent the majority of graduate school being a thrill-seeker. I would wait until the weekend before a huge paper was due and spend the next day and a half writing around the clock to get it done. This form of procrastination always caused me a great deal of self-inflicted stress, and after finishing an assignment, I’d always promise myself I wasn’t going to do it again.
- The Avoider – This person usually procrastinates by avoiding the task and usually does so out of either fear of success or fear of failure. This one crept up for me as I was writing this book. So many times while thinking about this book, I thought, “No one wants to hear what you have to say.” I also thought about how the success of this book could change my life, which brought up some fears that I didn’t realize I had.
- The Indecisive – This person can’t and won’t make a decision. Unfortunately, even with her lack of action, she still won’t take responsibility for her outcomes. Very rarely does this type of procrastinator believe she has any responsibility for her life, and she presents herself as a victim in most situations.
So how can you combat procrastination? Break it down. You can get really overwhelmed by a complex task or project. Sometimes you may have a project you want to tackle, but once you start to think about all the pieces of the puzzle, it gets all too daunting. At that point, you can either turn into the avoider or the indecisive. So instead of looking at the project as this huge mountain of a task, break it down in steps. That was one of the things that helped me to complete my dissertation. I focused on one chapter at a time and didn’t allow myself to even think about steps 2 through 100!
Here’s another great tip if you’re still stuck: start at either the beginning or the end and fill in the pieces along the way. I almost never know exactly how something I write is going to turn out. I start with just one section, and it develops from there. You just have to trust the process and take it one step at a time.
Reward yourself. As I stated before, I can be the thrill-seeker type of procrastinator, since I get so emotionally charged up about the things I have to do. So to add some spice to the mix, I put myself on a reward system to get things done. I give myself a deadline to complete something, and if I do it on schedule, I treat myself to something that I know I’ll enjoy. I started with very simple rewards, like an extra scoop of ice cream or a new necklace. I realized that when I procrastinated, this dark cloud remained over me, and I couldn’t enjoy my leisure time. So I started to reward myself with things like more family time, an afternoon at the park with my girls, or a date night with my husband.
I’ve mentioned breaking down your tasks. You don’t have to complete the huge task to reward yourself. Instead, implement little rewards along the way. While writing this book, I would give myself short tasks to complete a section, knowing that if I did so, the weekend time I spent with my family would be that much more rewarding and pleasurable since I’d knocked something off my list.
Reframe. Sometimes you get so wrapped up in your emotions and fears that you forget why you started on this journey in the first place. To reframe is to connect back to your why. It’s your reminder of what’s most important. When you connect to the driving force behind your journey, allow that force to propel you forward in spite of the temptation of procrastination.
Disconnect. Eliminate all possible distractions to create your work environment. Turn off the cell phone and television. Create a clean work space—whatever you need to do to help you focus and get to work. When I go into serious creation mode, I have to completely remove myself from any familiar environments. While finishing my dissertation, I spent two and a half days locked in a hotel room. I wrote, ate, slept, repeat. And it worked for me, I completed two of my five chapters. And for this book, I took the same approach. For three days, I focused all my attention on this book, in a hotel room, with tiny rewards along the way. I rewarded myself with a brownie one night, a hot tub party with my husband and daughters in the hotel another night, and a new bathing suit the last night.
Toneka R. Etienne, Ph.D., is a Psychologist, wife, mother, Huffington Post contributor, and creator at www.tonekaetienne.com. Toneka is a self-love advocate, encouraging women to balance their daily lives with the ambition to continually pursue their dreams. Her calling is to fully support women as they call soulful purpose and intention into their life and business connected to their deepest and most authentic selves. When she’s not holding sacred space for women’s transformation, Toneka can be found doing her favorite things: spending time with her husband and two daughters, traveling, reading, connecting with like-minded visionaries, and looking for divine inspiration.
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Toneka will be awarding a signed copy of Become You to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.