Eat That Frog!
On a recent Mastermind we were doing some training on the subject of Time Management and Productivity – “Time is Money” and we got around to the subject of procrastination – it’s that thing that bugs us all from time to time and we are no exception.
Eat That Frog
We were using the “eat that frog” analogy from the story and book by Brian Tracy and if you’ve not read it we certainly suggest that you do.
There’s an old saying that says…”If the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is eat a live frog, then nothing worse can happen for the rest of the day!” (This was originally said by Mark Twain incidentally)
Brian Tracy says that your “frog” should be the most difficult item on your things to do list, the one where you’re most likely to procrastinate; because, if you eat that first, it’ll give you energy and momentum for the rest of the day. But, if you don’t…and let him sit there on the plate and stare at you while you do a hundred unimportant things, it can drain your energy and you won’t even know it. Trust us we’ve been there and done it!
“The key to happiness, satisfaction, great success, and a wonderful feeling of personal power and effectiveness is for you to develop the habit of eating your frog first thing every day when you start work” Brian Tracy
Fortunately, this is a learned skill that you can acquire through repetition. And when you develop the habit of starting on your most important task before anything else, your success is assured.
Here is a summary of the 21 great ways to stop procrastinating and get more things done faster courtesy of Brian Tracy. Review these rules and principles regularly until they become firmly ingrained in your thinking and actions, and your future will be guaranteed
#1 Set the table
Decide Exactly what you want. Clarity is essential. Write out your goals and objectives before you begin
#2 Plan every day in advance
Think on paper. Every minute you spend in planning can save you five or ten minutes in execution
#3 Apply the 80/20 Rule to everything
Twenty percent of your activities will account for 80 percent of your results. Always concentrate your efforts on that top 20 percent
#4 Consider the consequences
Your most important tasks and priorities are those that can have the most serious consequences, positive or negative, on your life or work. Focus on these above all esle.
#5 Practice creative procrastination
Since you can’t do everything, you must learn to deliberately put off those tasks that are of low value so that you have enough time to do the few things that really count.
#6 Use the ABCDE Method continually
Before you begin work on a list of tasks, take a few moments to organise them by value and priority so you can be sure of working on your most important activities
#7 Focus on key result areas
Identify and determine those results that you absolutely, positively have to get to do your job well and work on them all day long.
#8 The Laws of Three
Identify the three things you do in your work that account for 90 percent of yoru contribution, and focus on getting them done before anything else. You will then have more time for your family and personal life
#9 Prepare thoroughly before you begin
Have everything you need at hand before you start. Assemble all the papers, information, tools, work materials and numbers you might require so that you can get started and keep going
#10 Take it one oil barrel at a time
You can accomplish the biggest and most complicated job if you just complete it one step at a time
#11 Upgrade your key skills
The more knowledgeable and skilled you become at yoru key tasks, the faster you start them and the sooner you get them done
#12 Leverage your special talents
Determine exactly what it is that you are very good at doing, or could be very good at, and throw your whole heart into doing those specific things very, very well.
#13 Idenify your key constraints
Determing the bottlenecks that set the speed at which you achieve your most important goals, and focus on alleviating them.
#14 Put the pressure on yourself
Imagine that you have to leave town for a month, and work as if you had to get all your major tasks completed before you left
#15 Maximise your personal power
Identify your periods of highest mental and physical energy each day, and structure your most important and demanding tasks around those times. Get lost of rest so you can perform at your best
#16 Motivate yourself into action
Be your own cheerleader. Look for the good in every situation. Focus on the solution rather than the problem. Always be optimistic and constructive
#17 Get out of the technological time sinks
Use technology to improve the quality of your communications, but do not allow yourself to become a slave to it. Learn to occasionally turn things off and leave them off
#18 Slice and dice the task
Break large, complex tasks down into bite-sized pieces and then do just one small part of the task to get started
#19 Create large chunks of time
Organise your days around large blocks of time where you can concentrate for extended periods on your most important tasks
#20 Develop a sense of urgency
Make a habit of moving fast on your key tasks. Become known as a person who does things quickly and well
#21 Single handle every task
Set clear priorities, start immediately on your most important task, and then work without stopping until the job is 100 percent complete. This is the real key to high performance and maximum personal productivity
Make a decision to practice these principles every day until they become second nature to you.”
We have a little movie we watch that helps us – click here to play
For us, having a mentor that we can share our “frogs! with has made a real difference to us – they’re not going to do it for us but once you have an accountability partner then you really do get on and do it!
What’s your “frog” – we’d love to know – just leave a comment in the box below and ….. if we can help you get over it then maybe it’s time you got yourself a mentor …….. for as long as it takes.
Eat That Frog!