With more on our plates every day and time seeming to slip by at an increasingly rapid pace, this unique approach to time management from a book by Brian Tracy called “Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” resonated strongly with me.
If you are like me, you are overwhelmed with too much to do and too little time. As you struggle to get caught up, new tasks and responsibilities keep rolling in, like the waves of the ocean. Because of this, you will never be able to do everything you have to do.
For this reason, and perhaps more than ever before, your ability as a leader is to select your most important task at each moment, and then to get started on that task, get it done both quickly and effectively. To help you and others be more effective and efficient, we must remember the story about frogs!
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 that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long. Your “frog” is your biggest, most important task, the one you are mostly likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it. It is also the one task that can have the greatest positive impact on your life and resultsfor you and your organization.
The first rule of frog eating is this:
If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.
This is another way of saying that if you and those you lead have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first. Discipline yourself to begin immediately and then to persist until the task is complete before you go on to something else.
Although it’s so much easier to push off the “ugliest frog” in favor of fighting fires and cleaning up all the odds & ends and easy fixes, I think that frog eating should be my goal!
Bayless Engineering & Manufacturing
Like a lot of business people, I get my fair share of junk email. Every once in a while, something will catch my eye and I’ll take a look, wondering, “How in the heck did I get on this mailing list?” This time, the looking paid off.
From “simpletruths.com”, motivational and inspirational gifts, I got a glimpse of something I found useful and wanted to share. It also reminded me of an earlier post by Scott Capistrano. This is from a book entitled, “The Nature of Success”.
“The root for ‘motivation’ is ‘move’, and movement is change. Ask yourself right now… Am I moving forward or am I standing still?
Do I have a career that I love? …Do I have a healthy lifestyle? Is my energy level, my attitude, where it should be? … Is there an activity I’ve wanted to pursue?
Truthful answers to these and other questions will tell you whether you want, or need to change.
A cautionary inner voice will tell you not to rock the boat, to stay on the path of least resistance, but your heart is telling you otherwise.
Listen to your heart. Filter out the old static and tune in something new. Challenge your assumptions, identify and study people already doing what you want to do.
Read books and listen to tapes that will motivate you to break away from the notorious “comfort zone”.
Confront your fears. When one is unsatisfying day just blurs into the next – your life is begging for a change.
Change can truly be a wonderful gift. It can recharge your emotional battery and nourish your soul. Just do it! Choose change and let it make a positive difference in your life.”
— Mac Anderson
Maybe this particular message appeals to me because like some of my business colleagues, I am making changes AND want to know we have some company!