Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that it is probably the worse thing that is going to happen to you all day long.
In these uncertain times, with unpredictable timetables and competing priorities it can be hard to manage all the tasks you need to complete in any one day.
As you know I am an advocate for creating a schedule rather than ‘to-do’ lists. There just isn’t enough time for everything on our ‘To Do’ list – and there never will be. Successful people don’t try to do everything. They learn to focus on the most important tasks and make sure they get done.
A time based task is more palatable.
Generally we put off tasks that are difficult, complicated or push us out of our comfort zones. So they stay on our ‘to do’ lists. By allocating your first time slot to the ‘frog’ your biggest, most important or most difficult task, it will be done!
As the theory goes eat your ‘frog’ first thing and the rest of the day should be easy. The idea of eating the frog may make you queasy and it may taste nasty and be an annoying or frustrating task. But get it out of the way and it should lighten up your mood and empower you throughout the day.
This is especially good advice for procrastinators and those who wallow in emails for hours before getting to some of the more important tasks at hand.
From my experience, in small business, this is easier to achieve if you organise your ‘frogs in advance. Maybe you need to break the frog into bite sizes pieces. Combining the “Eat The Frog” with another favourite tool of mine the “Pomodoro” time management technique (basically using a timer set for 25 minutes) and you will get lots done before you know it.
I deal with some of my frogs by setting a timer for only two to three minutes to coming up with as many solutions I can think of to problem solve something I have been procrastinating over. Then I choose the best one/s and go for it. The more practice you get at this technique the quicker your brain will respond to solutions and the more you will see these challenges as opportunities.
Brian Tracy wrote the book #Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time. In the book he shows you how to zero in on your critical tasks and organise your day using time management techniques around decision, discipline and determination.
There are now many app you can use to help you get the most important (and dreaded) task for the day done and dusted. Clockify’s The Pomodoro timer and Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog app are two of them.
What’s your frog and how do you plan on eating it?