“If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.” This is another way of saying that if you have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first.” ~ Brian Tracy
In yesterday’s post I introduced you to a method called Eat the Frog. This method works because it encourages “deep work”, a term used to describe the distraction-free work on those tasks that are mentally demanding. The tasks that require all your attention and skill.
Eat the frog works with your agenda in that you choose the largest scariest task on your list to tackle first. If you eat your frog before you answer emails or return phone calls, etc you set yourself up to have better control of your day and time. Making you more productive. At the very least you feel as if you have accomplished something at the end of the day, and that us a great feeling. Don’t you agree?
If you’re like me, you overestimate what you can do in a day. You may start out with six items on your list or agenda. Can you finish all six items in your day? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on the complexity of those items and whether you need to involve anyone else. This leads to feeling unproductive and unmotivated. Knocking off one big and important task first, makes you feel strong and productive. You feel confident as the day moves along.
Eat the frog gets the unpleasant tasks out of your way, which equates to a reduction in stress, fear, and negative expectations for the rest of your day.
Plus, eating the frog gets those unpleasant tasks out of the way, which reduces stress, fear, and expectation for the rest of the day, which means you will likely feel better throughout the day! Feeling better and more confident can make you more productive, so give it a shot!
By focusing on one task, every other item on your To-Do list is set aside (for now). This may seem less productive but in the long-term you’ll find you’re more productive. You and your work become more focused, precise, and powerful. What a great way to motivate yourself for the rest of your day!
Use Your Mornings
Most people are more productive in the mornings. Your brain is refreshed after a good night’s sleep and your mindset tends to be more positive. As the day wears on, your body and mind become worn down. You become more cynical and negative. Take advantage of a fresh and positive mindset to handle one important scary task. Eat the frog.
Keep It Simple
The eat the frog method is simple. It doesn’t require lots of steps or actions. You choose one big, meaty task you need to get done. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, choose the one that scares the XXX out of you, the one you’ve been putting off doing and get it done.
This method works with anything. Work assignments, To-Do lists. Anything. My sister doesn’t like to clean the bathroom. That’s her big scary task when we’re cleaning up on the weekend. She does that first thing so she can check it off her list. The rest of the cleaning is gravy after the bathroom is clean. For me it’s dusting. It would be fine if you could dust straight surfaces but there are blinds and corners and the areas that need this chore seem never-ending. I knock that out while my sister cleans the bathroom and again the rest is gravy. Then we move on to the next frog. Pretty soon we’ve cleaned the entire house and we can go do something fun.
Tips to Eat Your Frog
- Here are some tips for eating your frog:
- Pick something you can complete in one to four hours.
- Aim to finish before lunch
- Break larger frogs into smaller pieces that require smaller steps to finish. Every step leads you to the finish line. A boost to your mindset and a win in your pocket.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you look at your To-Do list. That’s when it’s time to eat the frog. Throwing all your attention into one task may seem counterproductive but as you complete that big important task you will find you’re able to focus on other smaller tasks. Eat the frog and give yourself a boost of productivity.
I will focus on one task at a time.
I will use my morning to eat the frog.
I will find ways to apply this technique to everything I do.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed with your To-Do list or life, you need a little positivity.
Head on over and grab my free Positivity Journal.