Eat That Frog – Managing Your Time and Getting More Done
Days of worrying you won’t get everything done will be over once you read Eat That Frog…
Reading Brian Tracy’s book has changed the way I work on a daily basis. Yes, that sounds like a bold statement but, for me, it’s true.
Managing your time and daily tasks can sometimes feel like a struggle, with no end in sight. For some, like me, I always wanted to get everything done – there and then – in one day… I couldn’t “put off” anything till tomorrow!
But, after talking with Andy and Joel, I realised that this was basically setting myself an impossible daily objective. No matter how organised someone is, if they find it tricky to prioritise tasks, they will always be treading water.
That’s when Andy recommended Eat That Frog.
The simple truth
The first thing wise to accept is that your job will never be done. There will always be something else, then something else and something else. But this is ok. In fact, if the business you’re working in is growing, it is normal. There will always be more people to help with more services or products.
So, what’s the answer?
To be honest, there are many, says Mr Tracy. However, the first would be what I mentioned above – prioritise! Write down your tasks, prioritise the most important ones and get them done first (and well). This is where the title from the book comes from; if the worst thing you had to do every day was eat a frog, when should you do it? You do it first! Then you can crack on with the rest of your day.
Setting these priorities will then become a habit.
Five tips to get you started
Eat That Frog contains twenty-one methods, techniques and strategies that will increase your personal effectiveness. Now, if I went through every one, I may as well re-write the book, so I’ve picked out the five that stood out most for me. Enjoy!
1. Plan every day in advance:
This in itself will increase your productivity. Work from a list. This will force you to plan and think about what’s to come and trigger your creativity.
Taking around ten minutes to plan out your day will save you up to two hours in wasted time just thinking about what you’ve got to do that day.
2. Practice creative procrastination:
So, you have your list of tasks, which normally consists of more smaller jobs than big ones. Many of us would naturally want to finish the smaller (easier) ones first. However, it’s the bigger tasks that will have the bigger consequences, therefore are more important. We have to acknowledge that.
Go straight in for those bigger ‘frogs’ and your smaller frogs can be delegated or left until later that day.
3. Use the ABCDE method:
This is where your daily task list becomes a work of art!
Get your list and label each item A, B, C, D or E before you begin your day. ‘A’ being the most important, the one(s) that would have the most serious positive or negative consequence; through to ‘E’, which are the tasks that you can move to another day.
Getting into the habit of doing this will allow you to work through your day as efficiently as possible.
4. Take it one oil barrel at a time:
Quoting from Eat That Frog… “by the yard it’s hard; but inch by inch, anything’s a clinch!”
If you have a huge task in front of you, approach it one step at a time to get it done. Instead of sitting there contemplating how long something’s going to take or what’s involved, break it down into mini tasks, so in effect you’re always getting something done.
Eat your pizza slice by slice and soon that whole bad boy will be gone. We’re full of analogies today!
5. Motivate yourself into action:
To keep performing at your best, encourage yourself and think of the 99 things you get right rather than the one thing you get wrong. It’s about being optimistic, which may be easier for some than others. You can’t just flip a switch. Perhaps “logical” is a more appropriate word; instead of thinking that a task seems impossible, think, “OK, how can we do this and what do we need to get there?”
You can do it, you have done it before and you always will. Most of us are capable of achieving more than we think. We just have to believe in ourselves! No one could run a mile in under four minutes. Then Roger Bannister did it and suddenly four people did it within a year!
There we have it. A few insights into this gem of a book. Time is everything and once you’ve got your days nailed, you will find that your overall work and personal life will become more productive!
I wonder what you could get from this book?
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