Have you eaten your frog today?
How do you overcome your barriers and get things done? There are no shortcuts – if we leave things then stuff piles up along with a big pile of stress.
In the words of the author Mark Twain:
“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”
What is your ‘frog?’ What is the one task that you despise doing each day? Once you have chosen your ‘frog’ make it a habit to wake up every morning and do that task first.
Brian explains Eat That Frog as follows:
1. Don’t dwell
If you want to get something done then get on and do it. Looking at the frog isn’t going to help so we just need to eat it up without delay. Brian says we need to get in the habit of attacking what’s most important – eating the major task helps us reach high levels of performance and productivity. If we can make it a lifelong habit then we are on to a winner. Brian says, “Successful, effective people are those who launch directly into their major tasks and then discipline themselves to work steadily and single-mindedly until those tasks are complete. “Failure to execute” is one of the biggest problems in organisations today.”
2. Eat the ugliest frog first
Sometimes we have a monster task in front of us and it takes no working out that this is the frog we need to consume first. But then there are plenty of times when we have a couple of big jobs to do – which one do we tackle first. Brian suggests, in the spirit of Mark Twain, that we get rid of the ugliest one first. He says, “Discipline yourself to begin immediately and then to persist until the task is complete before you go on to something else.”
3. Make it an addiction
Brian suggests that we commit to ‘doing’ because we feel better about ourselves and this positive mindset is addictive. When we ‘eat that frog’ each day we start to automatically do what needs to be done.
Teachers always have 101 things to do but there will be plenty that can be put on the back-burner. There are also plenty of ‘frogs’ that need eating.
So take Brian’s advice and get your day off to a good start and eat the biggest and ugliest frog because once it is out of the way you will be on top of the day rather than being victim to it with the day being on top of you.
Read also my blog for Teacher Toolkit about being a professional procrastinator – Become A Time Stealer which details the Eisenhower Matrix.
You might also be interested in Getting Things Done by David Allen.